Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, October 09, 2006

Teaching talent poached by govt agencies

Government departments are responsible for losing some of the best maori talent from the education sector.

That's the opinion of the Maori Party spokesperson on education Te Ururoa Flavell.

He says while calls recently have been made for more men to become teachers within the kohanga reo movement, the reality is more Maori teachers are needed across the board, in the primary secondary and tertiary sectors.

Mr Flavell says while recruitment is important, it's also vital those Maori teachers are retained within the education system.

“You know they might
 be teaching for one or two years, and all of a sudden plucked out to go into government departments because of their reo, or their demeanour, or their life experiences are something which might be valuable in say ERO or government departments, It’s something which we really must address in terms of bringing that Maori fact to the schooling environment,” Flavell said.


Organisers of last week's Mauriora Whanau Potential hui say Health and Social Workers are looking for any way to help prevent whanau violence.

Nancy Tuani from the Whanganui River Maori Trust Board says the hui brought together 300 representatives from 200 national organisations.

Ms Tuani says there is no one solution to violence, and people are looking for any ideas and support they can get.

“The take of family violence is so huge, everyone is looking for any thing that is going to help with that issue There’s no one fix for all of it, there are heaps of contributing factors, so everyone who came was looking for some support in their mahi,” Tuani said.

Nancy Tuani says there is a lot of interest in kaupapa Maori and whanau-based strategies to address violence.


The new president of the tertiary staff union says she wants to see more work done on Maori models of education.

Sharon Stevens from Te Whakatohea and Ngapuhi has been part of the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education for 16 years, and she takes the top job after a four year apprenticeship as vice president.

She says she has learned a lot over the years from the union's kaumatua such as Huirangi Waikerepuru and Kaa Daniels, and she is looking forward investigating the whole Maori education section from cradle to grave.

“The whole sector right from early childhood to higher levels, because I don’t think education stops in a Maori sense. We begin from the day we are born to the day we die, so we have a difference concept of education from the other side of the coin I suppose,” Stevens said.

The new role means Sharon Stevens will relocate from Horahora near Whangarei to Wellington when the job formally starts next February.


Iwi social service providers have been challenged to retain a Maori style of delivery, whatever their government funders may want.

The providers' national collective, Te Kahui Atiwhai, has just held its annual hui.

Chairperson Arapeta Hamilton says the hui was given an inspiring speech by Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, whose background is in iwi social services, on the path ahead.

“She was issuing a number of challenges to us. One of them was not adopting the face of the represser in the mahi we are doing. Don't try to be like Child Youth and Family, because we are not. Our kaupapa is different,” Hamilton said.

Arapeta Hamilton says the 137 iwi services providers under the Te Kahui Atiwha umbrella have a positive impact on Maori communities in spite of their limited funding and resources.


The Maori Internet Society is back, with a mission of carving out a space for Maori in the world wide web.

Chairperson Karaitiana Taiuru says the society's founders handed over responsibility for the organisation to a new generation after they won its first major battle, creation of the special dot maori dot nz internet name space.

But he says the new team didn't do anything, so the founders have re-entered the fray.

He says there are only about 400 dot maori dot nz addresses registered.
“One of the things we need to do is promote dot maori dot nz. I don't think anyone has done that yet. I still talk to people who have never heard of dot maori dot nz, so there is definitely a need for a marketing campaign for that,” Taiuru said.

Karaitiana Taiuru says the Maori Internet Society is working with Internet New Zealand to change this country's internet name servers so they can cope with Maori addresses which contain macrons.


The Maori party spokesperson on education, says there are more important issues confronting Maori communities than the number of men teaching at kohanga reo.

The issue was raised at a hui in Matakana Island recently, where participants were challenged to return to their rohe, and do what they can to attract more men into the sector.

The same concerns are reflected in kindergarten and pre school education, where just 1 percent of the staff are male.

Te Ururoa Flavell says it is not just the pre school sector that is having difficulty attracting male teachers.

“Lack of our people taking up the teaching profession across the board, primary, secondary and beyond. I'm comfortable for women to take up those roles in kohanga reo, and for those men who want to, good on them, but I think we have bigger issues to worry about at present,” Flavell said.


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