Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Skill increase vital for Maori economy

Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson says increasing the skill levels of Maori workers is vital for the economy.

Mr Wilson, who is a member of the Hui Taumata Taskforce, says young Maori and Pacific Islanders will be a major part of the future workforce, so the country needs to invest in developing their skills.

The taskforce grew out of last year's Hui Taumata Maori economic development summit, which looked at developing Maori enterprise, capital and people.

Mr Wilson says it became clear the people were the most important.

"The major assets are the people. In developing enterprise, you actually have to develop the people. The key asset for Maoridom in Maori business is in fact the Maori workforce," Wilson said,

Ross Wilson says skill development programmes need to incorproate kapapa Maori to instil a sense of pride in Maori workers.

CLOAK RESEARCH FUNDED

Some of the korowai locked up in the world's museums may be about to give up their secrets.

The Marsden Fund for scientific research has granted three quarters of a million dollars for a project which will extract DNA from kiwi and dogskin cloaks and flax kete.

Massey University scientist Leon Huynen says Maori weavers' group Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa is giving guidance on what taonga to test.

Dr Huynen says there is a lot of knowledge which can come from the tests.

"Taking the kiwi as an example, a lot of the Maori cloaks are made from kiwi feathers. Not many people know how many kiwi were used to make a cloak. Are the feathjers from different geographical areas in New Zealand, which is one of the more interesting things, If that were the case, perhaps kiwi feather were traded among certain iwi for the purposes of cloak making," Huynan said.

Leon Huynan says the DNA testing only requires a small amount of organic material, so the cloaks will not be damaged.

NGATI AWARDS ATTRACT CROWDS TO COAST

The East Coast has its own version of the Oscars.

Tonight Ruatoria will host the Ngati Awards, at which Ngati Porou honours the work of its rangatahi in film, websites, graphics and other digital arts.

Te Runanga o Ngati Porou spokesperson Nori Parata says the awards, which are in their third year, are open to all 19 schools in the rohe.

She says the numbers taking part and attending the Ngati Festival awards ceremony and exhibition are growing.

Nori Parata say the Ngati Festival, which is backed by the runanga and the Education Ministry, also includes an ICT challenges, where schools from Potaka in the north to Whangara in the south are given three hours to solve an information and communications technology challenge.

PM SKEPTICAL ON MARAE PEACE PROTOCOLS

The prime minister says it is unlikely parliament will adopt marae protocols to curb unruly behaviour.

New Zealand First Maori affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone, has suggested MP's look to tikanga maori, as a guide to appropriate behaviour in the debating chamber.

He says on marae speakers are not subject to the interruptions and interjections prevalent during question time.

But Helen Clark says marae are not always the polite forum some people like to portray them as.

"Parliament's a completely different settingh, isn;t it, and the marae has its own setting, and I might say people aren't always courteously received, speaking for personal experience. But with respect to Parliament, there has been an attempt by the National Party to shut Parliament down. Every time I've got to my feet to answer a question, I have been screamed at," Clark said.

Clark says National's deputy leader and Maori affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee is the worst offender.

COMMUNITY NURSING BETTER THAN HOSPITALS FOR MANY

Maori patients should have more confidence in the medical services available in the community.

Hineroa Hakiaha from the New Zealand Nurses Organisation says moves to cut the waiting lists of public hospitals, are pushing more Maori towards community based medical practitioners.

She says that should help overcome a common Maori belief they can only get the care they need in a hospital.

"The services are out there for our whanau to use and get better care where you donlt take up a bed that's going to be better for someone else in the hospital. We have the skills where someone can be looked after in the community as wll. It's thjat old whakaaro that we need to stay in the hospital and get well there. It doesn't happen like that anymore," Hakiaha said.

Hineroa Hakiaha says medical facilities in the community are now state of the art.

EXHIBIT REMINDER OF INJUSTICE

Tuhoe patriot Tame Iti says his new exhibition, Lest We Forget, aims to remind people of the injustices Tuhoe has endured for more than a century.

The paintings on black building paper use some of the evidence presented by Tuhoe to the Waitangi Tribunal.

Iti says he feels a responsibility to put his brush to work expressing the hurt felt by his people.

"Painting always picking in the middle of my head, so my job is to get it out of my head or out of my ngakau and wairua and get it out there. The work itself is round the issue of what Tuhoe has been talking about for over one hundred years," Iti said.

His exhibition.. Lest We Forget is at the Te Karanga Gallery at 208 Karagahape Rd in Auckland.

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