Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Radio head welcomes cash for new gear

The chairperson of the umbrella group representing iwi radio stations says while a $3.4 million capital injection into the sector is welcome, the continuing needs of the sector still need to be addressed.

The new money will be used to upgrade equipment at the 21 iwi radio stations, much of which was installed when they were launched 15 years ago.

Te Maumako Akuhata from Te Whakaruruhau o Nga Reo Irirangi Maori says what is needed is an increase in operational funding so the stations can better service their communities.

“15 years down the track we’re all getting $320,000, but the overall radio funding putea has not increased. The next push will be for more operational funding, but we have to prove a case, and that is going to be difficult,” Akuhata said.


National list MP Tau Henare says the government is creating unnecessary jobs in agencies like Maori development ministry Te Puni Kokiri to buy votes by creating jobs unnecessarily.

The former minister of Maori affairs, says under Labour New Zealand is experiencing an unprecedented level of bureaucracy. Mr Henare says it has to stop.

“You can't keep growing the public service so that every three years those public servants will vote for Labour. That’s what they’re basically doing. It’s a sinister attempt to bolster the unions and it’s a sinister attempt to create jobs when there are no jobs, and all they are doing is creating bureaucrats,” Henare said.

Tau Henare says a National-led government would analyse the worth of the public service.


Turuki Health CEO Syd Jackson says the Family Start programme is about empowering parents to give their tamariki the best start.

The Mangere-based Maori health providern launched the Ministry of Social Development-funded programme in south Auckland yesterday.

It will target young pregnant mothers and whanau with children under a year.
Mr Jackson says parents need to be encouraged to commit themselves to raising their children, and they need to learn some skills to help them.

“We are about strengthening families, we are about teaching parents to be dedicated to the role they have taken on as parents, because they are the first teachers that our tamariki have, and to ensure that the health and well being of our tamariki is protected in the Mangere area,” Jackson said.

Syd Jackson says about 5 percent of the Mangere population could qualify for Family Start services.


The Fire Service Maori liaison officer says good hosts are fire conscious.

Piki Thomas says while marae go to great lengths to be hospitable, many overlook simple precautions.

The need was highlighted over the weekend with fires at a marae in Welcome Bay and a kura kaupapa in Porirua.

Mr Thomas says while many marae can't afford a sprinkler system or can't install one because of water supply problems, they can at least put in smoke alarms.

“It really sits within the concept of manaakitanga for our manuhiri or being able to be good hosts, and that goes beyond being able to feed them and welcome them, it also means being able to provide them with a safe environment 
to sleep in,” Thomas said.


The government's no-tolerance attitude to fatty foods in schools may prove costly.

Education Minister Steve Maharey has pledged to spend $28 million in schools and early childhood centres to combat childhood obesity, which is a particular concern with Maori and Pacific Island children.

But Post Primary Teachers Association president Debbie Te Whaiti says schools rely on the revenue from their tuck shops, and what the minister is offering may not be enough to make up the cost of supporting the initiative.

“School run canteens and they want to run them, not at a huge profit, but a little bit of a profit, and unfortunately healthy fod can be more expensive to buyt than crap food. You’re asking schools to put money into a canteen rather than get some money out of it or break even,” Te Whaiti said.


National Party list MP Tau Henare says kohanga reo are facing the same problem as mainstream preschools - they can't get enough male teachers.

Mr Henare says women working in early childcare need to accept men have a valuable role in childhood development.

“There's a man drought, not only in the early childhood sector but also in the primary schools. It’s come about in the past 10 years because men actually are being forced out because there is this social engineering thing that only women can do the job,” Henare said.


The Auckland University Business School today celebrates Maori business success.

Manuka Henare, the associate dean of Maori and Pacific Development, says one highlights of the annual Maori Business Awards will be the recognition of accountant and tax expert Rob McLeod from Ngati Porou.

As well as chairing the Business Roundtable, Mr McLeod is a director of Sealord, Tainui Group Holdings, Telecom, Sky City and ANZ National.

Dr Henare says the awards aim to change the way people see Maori.

“There are some remarkable stories. We want to highlight those and bring them out so that people can see oh, Maori are not just a cheap labour force, they can also be the managers and owners and inspirers or creators of new wealth,” Henare said.

Manuka Henare says there will also be awards for past Maori students and scholarships for aspiring Maori business people.


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