Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Te Kawai Taumata puts out net

A special electoral college has held its first meeting to start the process of selecting new members of Te Ohu Kaimoana fisheries settlement trust and directors for its commercial arm Aotearoa Fisheries.

The college, appointed by regional groupings of iwi, includes the chairpersons of Tainui, Ngati Porou and Ngai Tahu, outgoing commissioner Naida Glashish for Tai Tokerau, Graham Morell from Ngapuhi, Joe Mason for Mataatua, Na Reihana from Takitimu, Marty Davis representing Te Tai Hauauru tribes, John Morgan from the top of the South Island and Sharyn Watene for the National Urban Maori Authority.

The Arawa position remains to be filled.

Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says the group is still working out how to fill the four positions which will become vacant next month.

“It's around trying to get a process that is robust, fair, and appropriate, having consideration for the kind of contention and controversy that has shrouded the previous election processes, we want to be cautious in our approach, we want to act in a responsible manner, that is what we intend to do,” Morgan said.

CYFS TURNOVER STRESSING OUT COMMUNITIES

Massey University academic Fiona Te Momo says a high turnover rate of Child, Youth and Family Service social workers puts great stress on Maori staff and communities.

Some 400 staff, 14 per cent of the department, left in the year ending June, 100 higher more than in 2002.

Dr Te Momo says Maori case workers tend to get the tough assignments.

“CYFs has a low number of Maori liaison staff. They have a high paper workload to do as well. A lot of the ones that are employed, not many of them have a lot of them have not a lot of experience working in their communities. Now when you get this coupled with a lot of clients they don’t have enough human resource to get to, you can see it starts to break down,” Te Momo said.

Fiona Te Momo says Maori runanga and other organisations need to take more of the load of social work, and not wait for government to step in.

OYSTER FARM DECISION A BLOW

The High Court rejection of a claim for compensation by Bay of Islands oyster farmers is a blow for Maori in the region.

The oyster farmers sued Far North District Council for $12 million because they claimed the source of viral contamination in 2001 was caused by sewage discharges from nearby Kawakawa.

Environmental activist Emma Gibbs says there are no positives for Maori to come out of the ruling.

“We still have no jobs for those families. They’ve all promised, their employers, the oyster farmers, that as soon as the farms were open they’re all coming back to work. Right up to this day those Maori families are still there because there’s no mahi apart from that. And of course people are still eating kaimoana,” Gibbs said.

Emma Gibbs says the council should have accepted the blame because its sewerage infrastructure was so run down.

MAORI NEED SOCIAL WORK TAKEOVER

Maori community development expert Fiona Te Momo says Maori at every level need to get more involved in administering social services.

Dr Te Momo, who lectures at Massey University's Albany campus, says the high turnover of social workers from Child, Youth and Family Services is a sign the mainstream system isn't coping with the challenges in the community.

She says it's time for Maori to look after their whanau first, and not wait for government agencies to step in.

”By the time it reaches government level it’s too big. Our runangas and our tribal groupings need to tackle this, start sorting out our own social issues and not leave it to government, because if we leave it to them, it may not always be in our best interests,” Te Momo said.

FRONT OF THE BOX GOES FOR CORPORATE PUNCH

Award winning Maori television production company Front of the Box Productions wants to give a new look to business.

The company has launched a corporate communications arm, PUNCH Presentations.

Punch spokesperson Philippa Rennie says Front of the Box has experience doing commercial work for indigenous clients, and it wants to take its particular skills and Maori way of doing things to a wider base.

“We feel we can take the best parts of our kaupapa into the commercial sector. We don’t feel they’re at odds with each other, about things like manaakitanga and so forth,” Rennie said.

Philippa Rennie says PUNCH will target the corporate sector and government departments for videos, presentations and new media solutions such as websites.

MAORI SPORTS ROUND-UP

It was big weekend for Maori sport with three major sporting tournaments in the North Island.

The Nga Hau e Wha Maori Squash Tournament held in Wainuiomata saw one New Zealand's top players, Commonwealth Games doubles silver medalist Tamsyn Leevey from Taumarunui took time out from the international circuit to win the Women's Open.

Rhys Williams from Tauranga won the men's open.

At the National Maori Hockey Tournament at Smallbone Park in Rotorua, Tai Tokerau beat Takitimu in the final to win the women's trophy, while Tamaki Makaurau won the battle against the Waikato Men to take home the men's title.

Rotorua also hosted the national Maori rugby league tournament, where the Taranaki rohe selection trounced Tuhoe in the final.

League legend and Taranaki coach Howie Tamati says there was a high standard of play on display, with the teams boosted by many professional players back from Australia to play for their home rohe.

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