Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sharples takes message to Brash at Orewa

Maori Party leader Pita Sharples took his message into the heart of opposition territory last night, delivering a speech to the Orewa Rotary club.

Doctor Sharples says even though the audience only included a few Maori, it seemed to represent a cross section of small town New Zealand, and was friendly and welcoming.

He says it's a pity the club is associated with National Party leader Don Brash and his speech attacking Maori last year.

“Dr Brash is unable to truly comprehend what a tangata whenua is. He has this idealistic view of how New Zealanders should be and it’s like him, we must be like him, and he cannot see perhaps our different needs and different aspirations and different groups,” Sharples said.

Pita Sharples says Dr Brash needs to understand thr Treaty of Waitangi entitles everyone's children to play on Orewa Beach.

MAORI SOCIAL WORK LACK LOOKED AT

A Massey University academic wants to find out why so few Maori study social work at graduate and post-graduate levels.

Fiona Te Momo from Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu has received a $10,000 Massey research fellowship to continue, her research.

Dr Momo says a lot of Maori are involved in voluntary social work work in organisations like Maori Women's Welfare League and Maori Wardens, but the number actually enrolled in social work degrees is low and getting lower.

She says the imbalance needs to addressed.

“How come we have a high contribution to that sort of area, in voluntary work, yet we don’t have high numbers coming thorough getting bachelors degrees in social work, a masters in social work when we predominantly do it and what are the issues round why we are not filling up the classes and taking on this tohu, because we are doing it anyway in our communities,” Te Momo said.

Fiona Te Momo will conduct her research among Maori in North Shore and West Auckland.

POWERLIFTER WANTS TO LIFT TOP TITLE

The reigning 60 KG class World Powerlifting Masters Champion is on a mission.
Rangimaaria Brightwater-Wharf from Ngati Kahungunu leaves this weekend to defend her title at the 2006 World Championships in Killeen, Texas.

Her niece, Hinemanu Thompson says the 40 year old has been in the sport for 12 years but it's only her second time at the Worlds.
She says her aunt is aiming even higher this year.

“Her main objectives are to retain her title and to become the world champion of champions,” Thompson said.

OREWA PLATFORM FOR SHARPLES

The Orewa Rotary Club has maintained its reputation as a centre for debate on race relations, with Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples giving his side of the argument.

The club, half an hour north of Auckland, was the venue for National Party leader Don Brash's one New Zealand speech in 2004.

Dr Sharples says Orewa has become a code word for a brand of political conservatism associated with conflict, condemnation and division.

But he says the members were friendly and willing to listen to his message of racial unity.

“And I discussed with them the treaty being totally relevant for today’s time and how it could take us all forward as a nation. It’s a real contract between two peoples agreeing to accommodate each other and then looking for things that connect us, things that bind us as a New Zealand people,” Sharples said.
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Pita Sharples says while Don Brash's comments at Orewa seem to have hit a raw nerve, the Labour led government's responses to the speech were just as damaging to Maori.

TE ATATU MARAE DREAM STILL ALIVE

Supporters of a proposed marae on Auckland's Te Atatu peninsula are optimistic the project will go ahead despite continuing legal challenges by neighbours and former landowners.

Waitakere City will rezone 2.5 hectares of reserve for marae purposes, if it wins a case before the High Court next month.
Te Atatu Marae Coalition spokesperson Bobby Newsom says fundraising and planning work is continuing.

Mr Newsom says a hui has been called for October 8 to update residents and supporters on the legal battle.

Bobby Newsom says Te Atatu has one of the largest concentrations of Maori in west Auckland, and there is a crying need for a marae in the suburb.

TIPOKI DESERVES ALL BLACK GO

Former All Black and North Harbour stalwart, Glen Osborne, says Rua Tipoki deserves a spot on the All Blacks end of year tour.

He says Tipoki has become a formidable player and captain, and showed his class in North Harbours' dramatic Ranfuly Cup win against Canterbury over the weekend.

Tipoki spent most of the season on the sidelines after he was suspended for a dangerous tackle during a Super 14 game.

Mr Osborne says despite that transgression, Tipoki deserves an opportunity.

“I hope he does. He’s playing a lot better than the Auckland boys, who always seem to make it into the All Blacks,” Osborne said.

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