Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ngati Kuri corruptin convictions leave tribe split

The High Court sacking of four members of the Ngati Kuri Trust Board may not resolve divisions in the country's northernmost tribe.

Justice Colin Nicholson asked the Maori Trustee to run the board's affairs until new elections, and he barred the four, including chairperson Tom Bowling Murray, from standing again.

Judge Nicholson said the four conspired to block board scrutiny of a corrupt housing scheme at Te Hapua.

Hayward Norman, a former member of the Ngati Kuri board, says many iwi members had a lot of faith in Mr Murray, and the decision will come as a surprise.

“It looked like they were going to resolve matters between them, and at that point it looked like the rest of the board would be held accountable for expenditure, and I am surprised at this turn of events,” Norman said.

Hayward Norman says negotiations for settlement of Ngati Kuri's treaty claims have been held up by the court action, and because some board members had adopted extreme positions on settlement terms.

COMMUNITIES HAVE ROLE IN DRUG BATTLE

The executive officer of the New Zealand Drug Foundation says communities have the answers to combat drug and alcohol problems.

Ross Bell has been at the national hui of CAYAD (Community Action on Youth Alcohol and Drugs), which finished at Orakei Marae in Auckland today.

The initiative was set up three years ago to combat the growing problem of drug and alcohol abuse in this country.

There are now over 40 CAYAD sites, many of them working with Maori service providers.

Mr Bell says CAYAD people have a huge amount of experience tackling the problem.

“They're out of the community, they know what the issues are, and they can provide national decision-makers some of the solutions. My challenge to them is to look outside their community and see there are biggest issues like national laws or even things that happen internationally that can impact on the local community,” Bell said.

KIRO SETS OUT CHILD MONITOR PLAN

A national child development monitoring plan can work if managed and resourced properly.

That's the view of Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro, who is advocating a database on all children, with professional help called on where necessary to assist families.

Dr Kiro says the benefits for Maori are likely to be greater than for the general population because their need is greater, but every child is likely ot benefit.

“The idea is that instead of waiting for problems to happen basically we would proactively assess children at key developmental milestones in their life and put in place the response,” Kiro said.

TARANAKI BUSINESS EXPO REKINDLES LINKS

Taranaki Maori businesses got together today to celebrate their successes, rekindle links with each other and show what they have to offer.

Maunga Tu, Maunga Ora business expo coordinator Wharehoka Wano says a Maori business association was active in the rohe in the 1990s, but in more recent years the businesses have been getting on with their own development.

Mr Wano says it was good to get back together and see how far people have come.

“We've got about 25 Maori businesses that have come to the expo ranging from tourism and education ventures to administration and event management and it’s just an opportunity, because we’re off doing our own things in our own worlds, to get us back under the one roof,” Wano said.

Wharehoka Wano says the expo featured presentations from Kia Kaha Clothing founder Matene Love and government consultant Wayne Mulligan, both Taranaki raised but now making their mark in Wellington and the wider world.

KAYAKER’S VIDEO CREATES DRINK DRIVE IMPACT

Five years after it was first made, a Tairawhiti initiative is still making an impact in injury prevention nationally.

'Shattered Dreams' is a video about Gisborne man Tamati Paul, whose dream of representing New Zealand in Kayaking in the Sydney Olympics was dashed when he was seriously injured by a drunk driver.

Injury Prevention Turanganui a Kiwa coordinator Molly Pardoe says Mr Paul's story works in any forum.

“It doesn't matter if they are white or brown or anything, it just has such an impact because we did it short, only 17 minutes so we could get the impact message right there. Most of the time Tamati is there, so when we are doing workshops you can see the young people looking and thinking, ‘My god, did that happen to him,” Pardoe said.

Molly Pardoe says the programme is backed by Accident Compensation as a way to highlight the damage caused by drunk drivers.

DEEP SOUTH CULTURE KICKING

Maori culture in the deep south is alive and kicking, according to Invercargill teacher Rosina Shandley.

Ms Shandley is organising this weekend's Putangitangi Kapa Haka festival. at which 14 schools from throughout Southland will compete at junior, intermediate and senior level.

The Ngati Porou woman says the festival is a chance to raise awareness of things Maori in a predominantly mainstream environment:

“Because we're such a small community, we’re quite a tight knit Maori community, and quite strong, so we have lots of kaupapa Maori inititiatives going on all the time, but the Putangitangi was a chance for us and for schools to lift their mark a bit because of the competitive edge,” Shandley said.

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