Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Teacher crime risk scare threat

Post Primary teachers Association president Debbie te Whaiti says Maori teachers would be concerned if there was a witch hunt about teachers' past histories.

The Teachers' Council has come under fire for the way it deals with teachers found to have criminal records.

Ms Te Whaiti says Maori teachers will be treated the same as any other teacher found to have a criminal conviction for assault, drugs or sexual abuse.

She's satisfied with the job done by the certification body.

“Given that Maori as a population are more likely to have criminal convictions than the non-Maori population, so that’s when the judgments start being made. The Teachers Council make those judgments, and they make them with more information than you could access unless you were the teacher ourselves,” Te Whaiti said.


Maori will again be targeted by the police, when a new recruitment campaign begins this weekend.

For many years the police have tried to attract more Maori into a career within the force.

Numbers have improved, but more are needed.

Andre Morris, the iwi liason officer for the Waitakere and Rodney Police District says it is widely acknowledged how effective police officers working within their own cultural communities can be.

He says getting more Maori into the blue uniform is part of the strengthening relationships between the police and the communities they serve.

“It's not just about us recruiting Maori as police. It is about us getting on side and working and building those relationships with our community. “Our community is our backbone, our tuara, and I can see positive outcomes for us if we take up that challenge,” Morris said.


A Maori Battalion veteran has celebrated his 100th birthday at Wanganui surrounded by more than 250 friends and whanau.

William Hikitangaarangi Smith and five generations of his family were present to mark the ton.

Mr Smith was born at Whangaehu and worked as a freezing worker, drainlayer, Maori warden and, in later years, a farmer.

In Italy he was one of the Maori Battalion troops dispatched to pick up Benito Mussolini -- only to find the Italian dictator had already been executed by partisans.

Rana Hiroti, one of Mr Smith's many grandchildren says in more recent times his grandfather got a computer at age 85, and has become a keen user.

William Smith and his late wife Tiria had 14 children.


Associate Housing Minister Dover Samuels says Maori should not see state housing as the solution for all their needs.

Mr Samuels is urging iwi to look for ways to house their people, using government programmes where they are available.

But he says state rental housing is not a long term solution for whanau, but the income-related rents should offer people an opportunity to save.

“State houses are there as a hand up while they are saving, and when they are in an economic or financial position to move on, they move on and buy their own homes and make the houses available for more needy families,” Samuels said.

Dover Samuels says Maori should also be wary of trying to buy houses before they have sufficient income to service any loans.


Massey University's Te Au Rangahau Maori Business Research Unit today launched a book of case studies highlighting the success of Maori business.

He Wairere Pakihi profiles 17 firms from around the country including a fashion label, tourism ventures, a television production company and a major land incorporation.

Editor Malcolm Mulholland says Maori businesses blend tikanga with profit-making activities, and many face unique challenges.

“Because you are Maori you are expected not only to deal with the business side of things but also some of the social issues, some of the employment conditions, and that type of thing. I must say though, we never encountered anyone who wasn’t happy about the wage they were being paid, or the conditions they faced. The one issue they sometimes did encounter was the whole gambit of issues people may face because they are Maori,” Mulholland said.

Malcolm Mulholland says the unit defined a Maori business as one that is Maori owned.


A young rower will be in top company at next month's Maori sports awards in Auckland.

Awards organiser, Dick Garrett says Storm Uru, who won the single skulls at the world under 23 rowing championships, is up against rugby league prop Ruben Wiki and All Black prop Carl Hayman in the men's category.

Contenders for the top senior women's award are Farah Palmer from the Black Ferns rugby team, Silver Ferns netballer Temepara George and tennis player Leanne Baker.

Mr Garret says there are a host of new names in the junior awards category, reflecting the diversity of sports that have seen Maori success during the past year.


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