Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rent due says Labour MP who lost seat

Former Labour Party Northern Maori MP Bruce Gregory says treaty claim settlements are falling far short of what Maori can consider fair.

Dr Gregory is backing calls by some in Ngapuhi for return of all land held by the Crown.

He says the monetary limits the Crown is putting on settlements can only be described as a inadequate.

“For all the wrongs that the Crown has done us, the amount that they are giving us is one, ours by right anyway, and two, is only a pittance of what they owe use. My argument is hey man, the rent’s due, when are you going to start paying up,” Gregory said.

Bruce Gregory says the Crown has a debt of honour to pay Maori.


Family and Foster Care Federation spokesperson Toni Hewitt says it's important Maori children needing foster care are placed with Maori families.

It's Fostercare awareness week, and agencies around the country have events planned for children and caregivers.

Ms Hewitt says agencies involved in foster care are aware of the cultural needs of their charges.

She says the transition required for children into the care of a family of the same ethnic background is less stressful for the child.

Toni Hewitt says it's important families feel they have options when members have problems with parenting, and fostering can be a a way to relieve that stress for extended periods.


A wananga is being held at Bethells Beach on Auckland's west coast this week to give boys a taste of tikanga Maori.

The Tama Tane Wananga involves 22 boys from Year 7 and up from around the Waitakere region.

Kaiawhina Rewi Spraggon says the wananga involves bush walks, tikanga Maori and Maori marital arts training.

“The kaupapa of our wananga is actually empowering them, in particular with mau rakau, also building survival skills as well, so the four days they are out there they will learn not only tikanga Mairiu and mau rakau and what have you but also the kaupapa around the Marae,” Spraggon says.

The wananga is supported by the Waitakere City Council, Waitemata Health and the Ministry of Education.


The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is reviewing the relationship between its elected and appointed Maori representatives.

The council is the only one in the country with Maori wards.

Council spokesperson Bruce Fraser says confusion has arisen about the role of the appointed iwi representatives.

He says the council, including the three current Maori ward representatives, will meet with the Maori Regional Representation Committee next month to discuss the findings of an independent review of the situation.

“There's a general view that it’s time for change, that we need to make it a bit better. There’s been lot’s of strength abut what’s happened, but it’s now time to change it with the constituent Maori councilors on board and look for a new way of moving forward,” Fraser said.

Bruce Fraser says the fact the number of Maori wards will be cut to two as part of an overall reduction in the size of the council could also affect future relationships.


The prime minister says while Maori unemployment rates are at the lowest they have been in decades, there is still room for improvement.

The Department of Labour says Maori unemployment is now down to 8.5 percent, which is still more than three times the rate of joblessness among Pakeha.

Helen Clark says the state of the Maori workforce is a far cry from the situation Labour inherited when they took over the treasury benches six years ago.

“It's actually reduced by more than half in the time we’ve been in office, and I’m really proud of that, and to see so many more of our whanau and young people able to get up in the morning and go out to a job and have the dignity of being able to pay their own way, this is terrific,” Clark said.


Auckland City Art Gallery is putting its exhibition spaces to sleep for the next two years with a show called Oriora - the Maori version of a lullaby.

The gallery will be closed from January while a $90 million extension is built.

Oriori is a collaboration between Rachel Rakena of Ngapuhi and Ngai Tahu, sound artis Jane Venis and animator Kurt Adams.

Ms Rakena says while a lullaby is used to put children, oriori have traditionally had a more complex role.

“I was thinking about an oriori actually addressing significant history and people and events, rather than just to put to sleep,” Rakena said.


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