Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Maori get call for mobile phone funding

Maori incorporations and trusts will be offered the chance to invest in a company building a mobile phone network which uses spectrum set aside for Maori.

The Maori spectrum trust, through its commercial subsidiary Hautaki, has been working for six years with Zimbabwe-based Econet Wireless on the project.

Hautaki chairperson Bill Osborne says a deal is close to being signed with new investors from Hong Kong and London who have experience in similar networks.

Mr Osborne says as part of the deal, a fixed portion of the shares must be available for Maori.

“We want to make it as pan-Maori as possible so people actually have the opportunity to participate in it, but it has to be a commercially significant amount so we are not dealing with lots and lots and lots of little amounts,” Osborne said.

Bill Osborne says the calibre of the new investors should reassure Maori investors that the project will go ahead.


Education Minister Steve Maharey says a new curriculum for Maori immersion schools will reflect a completely Maori world view.

Mr Maharey says the document, which is due to introduced next July, won't just be a translation of the mainstream curriculum.

Mr Maharey says a lot of knotty questions had to be considered.

“What is a Maori style of learning, what is the learning and teaching going on here, and how can we ensure the curriculum reflects that style. So come July next year, that will be a very helpful development and hopefully a very productive debate before it gets put into practice,” Maharey said.


Last weekend's delayed telecast of the Kiwi versus Kangaroo league test turned out to be a huge coup for Maori TV.

More than 100 thousand viewers tuned in for the delayed telecast.
Maori Television spokesperson Sonia Haggie says the use of sport to draw attention to the fledgling channel is paying off.

“We went after rugby league as a signature sport because it appeals to so many of our own people but also a broad range of the New Zealand population and what we do with the rugby league is through the programming we introduce the reo at a very basic level, and that is our way of accessing a wider mainstream audience,” Haggie said.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says Labour's Dover Samuels is wrong in his interpretation of the Foreshore and Seabed Act (Repeal) Bill.

Mr Samuels says the Maori Party's flagship members bill confirms that foreshore and seabed is Crown property, and it will not do what the party's supporters were promised.

But Dr Sharples says his party just wants to give Maori a chance to have their day in court.

“The bill we put forward brings it back to the status quo, where it was before the Foreshore and Seabed Act, which gives Maori the right to go to the Maori Land Court and test before the law their relationship to the foreshore and seabed,” Sharples said.

Pita Sharples says more than 30 other Acts of Parliament will need to be amended to repeal the Act.


The Maori policy advisor for the Association of University Staff says Maori risk dropping out of the national Tertiary Education Plan.

Naomi Manu says Maori need to oppose a plan to remove a specific reference to Maori strategy from the plan.

She says Maori educational concerns are being put on the back burner.

“There needs to be specific priorities for Maori in the tertiary education strategy. If we don’t act, support for Maori staff and students will be omitted from the government’s priorities for tertiary education,” Manu said.


Maori health professionals met in Tauranga today to try to find Maori ways to tackle obesity.

Leonie Mapoi, the nutrition and physical activity manager for the Maori heart foundation, Te Hotu Manawa Maori, says obesity has a range of causes, and there is no simple solution.

She says the hui at Huria Marae discussed the need for improved nutritional education, and the availability of fresh foods in Maori communities, where fast food is often easier to find than fruit and vegetables.

Ms Mapoi says the hui looked for Maori solutions.

“It's kaupapa Maori. We know the most effective nutrition silutions have come from by Maori for Maori approaches, so we really see the need to develop that,” Mapoi said.


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