Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Matauri X deal necessary

Labour list MP and Matauri X shareholder Dover Samuels says he is happy with conditions on a proposed 25 hectare beachfront development at Matauri Bay.

Mr Samuels says in granting the resource consent, the Far North District Council and Regional Council has taken into account the concerns of shareholders and whanau living at the bay.

The development will allow the incorporation to pay back $6 million in debt racked up as the result of an investment into a water bottling company which failed.

Mr Samuels says while many shareholders are still angry at the loss, they recognise it is time to move ahead.

“We also recognise we do have a debt, unfortunately many of our shareholders were not privy, were not asked in fact if they supported the project that fell over that resulted in the incurrence of this debt, but we have to pick up the tab, and the only asset we have to repay the debt is our land,” Samuels said.

Dover Samuels says the development should lead to training and work opportunities for the Matauri community and shareholders.

MAORI NEEDED FOR SCHOOL BOARDS

The head of the School Trustees Association says Maori parents with children in mainstream schools need to stand up and be counted.

Lorraine Kerr from Ngati Awa and Tuwharetoa says with school trustee elections coming up next year, now is the time to be identifying potential candidates and pushing them forward.

She says the kohanga reo and kura kaupapa movements helped many Maori parents become more active in their children's education, and the same thing needs to happen in mainstream schools.

“When you think about 75 percednt of our Maori tamariki go through mainstream schools, we need more Maori standing up and being counted, getting involved in their tamariki, getting involved in education themselves,” Kerr said.

Lorraine Kerr says becoming a school trustee is one of the best ways parents can support their tamariki's education.

HUNTLY REVAMP HAS ROOM FOR MAORI

Long time Huntly resident and MP for Tainui, Nanaia Mahuta, says the Waikato District Council has a legal obligation to consult with the Maori community over a proposed revamp for the town.

Waikato kaumatua Timi Maipi has complained the council hadn't taken Maori views into consideration, when it announced a revamp of the town centre along an industrial heritage theme.

Ms Mahuta says there are opportunities for Maori input.

“The district council is obligated to consult with the community, the Maori community in particular, people with a view about how Huntly should be reshaping its identity can feed into that process. If that is not happening, it is just sheer laziness,” Mahuta said.

Nanaia Mahuta says if Huntly Maori don't make submissions on development, she will want to know why.

ARC APPEAL GOOD NEWS FOR PUKETUTU

Waikato kaumatua Sonny Rauwhero is welcoming the Auckland Regional Council's decision to fund an appeal against a proposed compost operation on Puketutu Island

The Environment Court has approved compost company Living Earth plans to compost 75 thousand tonnes of garden waste on the island in the Manukau Harbour each year.

Mr Rauwhero says hapu at Ihumatao and Pukaki on the shores of the harbour will support the appeal.

He says the long time environmental abuse of the area has gone on long enough.

“By the time they’re done with what they want from the land and the sea, we’re left with the rubbish to pick up. Same thing with the sewage ponds, we’re still picking it up. Even though they’ve done a lot of good things, so they say, we’re still left with a lot of sore, the hakihaki and all those sorts of things that goes with the families,” Rauwhero said.

Sonny Rauwhero says Puketutu Island contains sites of spiritual significance to Tainui, including a pa occupied by the first Maori king, Potatau Te Wherowhero.

BREAST CANCER SCREENING UPTAKE PROBED

Maori women aren't taking advantage of the free screening available during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Dr Mona Jeffries, a senior lecturer in public health at Massey University, says she wants to find out why such campaigns aren't reaching Maori women.

Dr Jeffries is part of a study which aims to interview 250 women with breast cancer and 1000 without.

She says the study will look particularly hard at Maori women.

“We do know that Maori women are much less likely than Pakeha women to take part in the screening programme, and that’s a real pity because having screening is by far a women’s best chance of doing something proactive about reducing her risk of dying from breast cancer,” Jeffries said.

Dr Mona Jeffries says the findings from the study should be available by the end of 2007.

GOVERNMENT URGED TO COUGH UP FOR FEES

Maori Students Association chairperson Veronica Tawhai says government rather than students should cover the higher costs of university education.

Ms Tawhai says planned fee rises at Auckland, Canterbury and Massey universities will force many Maori to abandon their dream of tertiary education.

She says the universities are responding to the demands of government, so the government should pay.

“They're looking for better quality and better completion rates, so institutions are having to really up the services they provide, both in terms of teaching and other services students need to complete, so the government should come though with extra funding to support that move,” Tawhai said.

Veronica Tawhai says because more than 40 per cent of Maori students are from low income families, they will be the group most affected by the fee hikes.

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