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Friday, September 08, 2006

Ngapuhi elder calls for coordination

Ngapuhi's Taumata Kaumatua council of elders has decided to attempt some coordination within the country's largest tribe.

Member Nuki Aldridge says the different groups within the north need to operate off the same sheet of music.

Mr Aldridge says the demands of the modern world means effective communication is vital, but Ngapuhi is sending mixed messages to its people and others.

“We have economic direction by trust boards saying this is the way to go, we have social organizations that are saying this is the way to go, we have our runangas telling us this is the way to go. The elders and the kuias are looking in and saying ‘hey, they’re playing a tug of war with one another, they are not actually playing the game together,” Aldridge said.

Nuki Aldridge says the Taumata Kaumatua o Ngapuhi will hold a series of hui on how the iwi can tackle issues in a more coordinated way.


Maori police officers have been asked to be on the look out for potential recruits to ensure the force mirrors the community it serves.

Dick Waihi, the iwi liaison officer for Counties Manukau Police, says six recent homicides and a rise in street gang activity is putting pressure on police in South Auckland.

He says more officers on the street will help, but they must know how to deal with the unique problems police face in the region

“The Government has promised another 1000 over a three year period. We’re working hard to recruit people of ethnic origin. We need more Maori officers within the police force. I know Pacific staff are doing their best to recruit their people,” Waihi said.

Dick Waihi says South Auckland police are working with Maori wardens to get some of the young gang associates off the streets, and they will also put more staff on patrol on weekend nights when a lot of the problems happen.


Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia says the fifth Hui Taumata Maatauranga next month is a timely opportunity to tackle some of the issues facing Maori education.

Mr Horomia says religion in schools, the draft Maori curriculum and the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in the education system are issues which are likely to come up.

He says the government does listen to what comes out of the Hui Taumata Maatauranga.

“People shut Maori education in a narrow cultural prism. It’s more important we get on,” Horomia said.

The Hui Taumata Maatauranga will be held in Taupo from the 6th to the 8th of October.


Maori gamblers are slow coming forward to get help.

The Problem Gambling Foundation estimates there are 100,000 problem gamblers nationwide.

It says 90 percent of those are addicted to poker machines, which seem particularly attractive to Maori women, but few are coming forward to problem gambling programmes.

Foundation spokesperson Bill Bradford says often a bit of good luck can be bad luck in disguise, as gambler may get hooked by an early win but they will inevitably lose.

Bill Bradford says promoters of pokies say they raise funds for the community, but the reality is most of the money goes to sports organizations and racing clubs.


The chief executive of Ngati Porou Whanui Forests says a new forestry policy will allow Maori land to replant their land with native species.

Chris Insley says the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative will allow landowners to trade the carbon credits earned on new forest plantings.

He says the forests can't be clear felled, but they can be selectively harvested after 30 or 40 years.

Ngati Porou Whanui Forests already has 10 thousand hectares of pinus radiata planted on East Coast Maori land, but Mr Insley says it is looking at planting new species under the initiative.

“Douglas fir - redwood, some variety of eucalypt. Also there is the opportunity to plant some native trees on a semi-commercial scale, so things like totara, and kauri and others become real options on Maori land,” Insley said.

Chris Insley says the Ngati Porou Forests is working with the Forest Research Institute to identify the best trees to grow on its lands.


Wellington Maori theatre company Taki Rua is on the road again, taking Maori Language to mainstream schools.

Actor Te Rawhitiroa Bosch says it is getting a positive reaction to its new production, Apirana Taylor's Nga Manu Rooreka.

The play, directed by first-timer Te Koha Tuhaka, was translated into te reo Maori for the tour by Materoa Haenga.

Mr Bosch says it's the 11th year Taki Rua has taken a te reo Maori production out to schools, and it gets across whatever the language proficiency of the audience is.

“Ranging from Kura Kaupapa Maori to secondary schools, primary schools, the local kohanga, so we’ve had huge age range in audience and a huge range in cultures, so some of the audiences have absolutely no reo and some have awesome reo. In general the reaction’s been really cool and even from the kura with no reo, they still really love it,” Bosch said.

Te Rawhitiroa Bosch says the northern leg of the tour will take in Auckland, Hokianga and Waikato


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