Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Horomia gives his party the big tick

The Minister of Maori Affairs expects a good scorecard for the Government's handling of Maori issues when the party faithful gather for their annual conference in Rotorua this weekend.

Parekura Horomia says the party will review its performance over the first year of a new term, and he's satisfied Maori have been well served by his party during that time.

He says more Maori are employed or staring their own businesses, and they are graduating from tertiary institutions in unprecedented numbers.

Mr Horomia says that has been achieved in a relatively short time.

“When we came in six years ago there were a whole lot of things to unbundle because the National Party had sold a lot of state houses, so they put pressure on housing for Maori, but I certainly think it has been one of the strongest performances for Maori across all issues for the past 20 or so years,” Horomia said.

The Maori Party will also be holding its conference in Christchurch this weekend.


Maori opposed to the development of a marine education and aquarium development on Wellington's south coast will appeal the granting of a resource consent by the Wellington Regional Council.

Toa Waaka from Save the Point dot com, who organised a peteition against the development, says it is a threat to the rights of tangata whenua to collect kai from their traditional mahinga kai.

Mr Waaka says Wellington's south coast is not the place for such a centre.

“We're not dead set against a marine education centre or an aquarium. It’s just its location, and being on the south coast, children can learn a lot more from being on the foreshore, in the rocks and looking at things in a natural environment, not in an controlled and human environment,” Waaka said.


A marathon set to test the endurance of New Zealand's best Waka Ama crews may cause a few waves.

Tomorrow's Sugarloaf Iron Ocean race is over a 30 kilometre course from Tutukaka to the Sugarloaf or Kaimata rock and back to shore.

Coordinator Ralph Ruka says 13 crews have confirmed for the Open and Master's Mens and Women's Sections, and competitors have undergone months of endurance preparation.

Mr Ruka says it's not for the faint hearted.

“This is the only open water race in New Zealand for waka ama. A lot of the long races we do have are mostly in harbours. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted, so we are scrutinising paddlers so we know they can go the distance,” Ruka said.

Ralph Ruka says the coastguard is on board for the Sugarloaf Iron Ocean Race and the weather is set to be good.


The chairperson of Te Wananga o Aotearoa says the wananga wants to continue offering the Kiwi Ora programme for new migrants, if it can get Tertiary Education Commission to fund it.

Craig Coxhead says Kiwi Ora currently has more than 4000 students, accounting for about 10 percent of the wananga's funding.

While enrolments are done through the wananga, course content and tuition is provided by a private company.

Students can enrol at any time during the year, but Kiwi Ora head Susan Cullen says her company won't take new enrolments after the end of this year, because funding for students taken on after that date won't continue into 2008.

Mr Coxhead says he'd like to see the programme continue, if it can be included back in the wanaga's profile or funding plan with the Tertiary Education Commission.

“We're currently in discussions about our current profile and we’re looking at Kiwi Ora as part of our profile beyond 2008,” Coxhead said.

Tertiary Education Commission spokesperson Andrew Bristol says the decision to stop funding Kiwi Ora was made last year, because the TEC felt it was too popular and out of step with migrant need.


Maori potential will be on the table at the Labour Party's annual conference in Rotorua over the weekend.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says Maori have benefitted over the past four years from government initiatives aimed at improving opportunities in the workplace.

He says the party needs to maintain that momentum.

“One thing we’re very clear on is the right skills for the appropriate opportunities for those things that are round, and when you have a shortage of nursing of about 1000, you have a teacher shortage, in the trades, that has a big M on it which is about us as Maori people,” Horomia said.


Tonight's Tainui sports awards will highlight the success of sports people from the Waikato-based tribe in extreme sports.

The more usual codes will be in the competition, with entrants in netball, basketball, softball and rugby, including a nomination for Farah Palmer for captaining the New Zealand team to win the women's rugby world cup.

Coordinator Julian Williams says there are also nominations on slalom skiing, karate, kickboxing, boxing and motorsport.

The awards will be held at the Waikato-Tainui endowed college at Hpuhopu.


A large group from Tainui is expected in the far north tomorrow to support the visit of King Tuheitia to Te Koa.

Tainui spokesperson Tom Moana says by going back to the area his grandmother came from, King Tuheitia is responding to an invitation made when he was crowned.

Mr Moana says the welcome from Te Aupouri at Potahi Marae in Te Kao will be slightly different from the usual round of Kingitanga poukai.

“They may not be directly involved with Kingitanga, but it’s also about family, more so than the Kingitanga situation, Moana said.


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