Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 13, 2006

Waipareira planning rapid response

Te Whanau o Waipareira is setting up a rapid response team to identify children who are going off the rails and work with their families to address their social and learning problems.

Spokesperson John Tamihere says the West Auckland Maori trust is sick of its community being managed by the criminal justice system.

Mr Tamihere says government agencies aren't up to the job, and Waipareira feels it is time to step in.

“We've already developed and have the capacity in house. We’ve already run for 10 years wraparound programmes. We know how to run health. We know how to run welfare. We know how to best educate. We’ve never been allowed to apply that with any vim or vigor, so to hell with that, we’re just going to do it,” Tamihere said.

John Tamihere says outcomes of the Waipareira initiative should be a drop in family violence, a lift in literacy and numeracy of Maori children and a drop in youth offending.

MAORI TEEN PREGNANCIES CONCERN

An University of Auckland researcher says Maori teenage girls are far more likely to get pregnant than girls from other ethnic groups.

Liz Craig says Maori women are almost five times as likely to give birth in their teens than their Pakeha counterparts.

Dr Craig says that has important implications for social policy to stop it creating inter-generational problems.

“One of the most important issues is we really have to make sure resources are wrapped around so those mums can continue their education, because that will have economic impacts on the environment those children are growing up in,” Dr Craig said.

MARINE RESERVE FOR NGATI AWA

The establishment of a marine reserve near Whakatane is being applauded by Maori and opposed by anglers.

Te Paepae o Aotea, also known as the Volkner Rocks Reserve, is 5 kilometres northwest of Whakaari or White Island.

It opened today after years of discussion between Whakatane iwi Ngati Awa, fishermen and DOC.

Ngati Awa historian Pouroto Ngaropo says the importance of the site to his tribe and Mataatua people in general, can't be underestimated.

“Te Paepae o Aotea rocks are very significant to Ngati Awa because when any of our people die, spiritually, that’s the place where all the spirits of the Mataatua waka depart to back to the traditional home of our ancestors,” said Ngaropo.

LATIMER PRAISED BY MINISTER

The Minister of Maori Affairs says the contribution of Maori Council chairperson Sir Graham Latimer to Maoridom can't be underestimated.

Parekura Horomia says Sir Graham has shown his extraordinary commitment to the Maori people by allowing himself to be re-elected head of the council for a 12th three year term.

He says while Sir Graham had been a long time member of the National Party, he was able to transcend political boundaries.

“You know he's stood the test of time. I have total respect for Sir Graham. He’s been through his rough patches but he’s been consistent. He may not have been our party but he’s always been kindly and supportive of people like myself, and I certainly as the Minister for Maori Affairs can only mihi to him,” Horomia says

He says Sir Graham dese4rves to be mentioned alonside other renowned Maori leaders such as Turi Carroll, James Henare and Whina Cooper for his contributions to Maori.

NGAPUHI URGED TO GET BEHIND CLAIM PROCESS

The chair of the Ngapuhi Claims Design group says iwi and hapu clusters need to get around the table or they might lose out.

The group met yesterday to work out how the remaining historical claims in Northland should be presented.

It has until the end of February to design a process for approval by the Waitangi Tribunal.

Rudy Taylor says some affiliated iwi and hapu are holding back, and that would be a mistake.

“We're talking about overlapping boundaries. We’re talking about the whanau hapu. In terms of their claims and what they see in it. Getting around the table can only be an advantage. Staying outside can only be a disadvantage. We’re there to push the boundaries between the people and the Crown,” Taylor said.

Rudy Taylor says the Ngapuhi Claims Design team will hold hui to consult with Ngapuhi round the country, starting in west Auckland on October the 30th and South Auckland the following day.

ASHES OF ELVIS DADS DAY

Whangarei community group Ashes of Elvis says fathers need to interact more with their sons.

The group, made up of Maori health sector workers, is holding a Dads and Lads day in Whangarei next month, an idea it hopes will be picked up by other centres.

Founding member George McGaughey says being a father means taking part in your children's lives, and absent fathers can be found living in the home.

George McGaughey says Ashes of Elvis says had noticed the lack of a father in many of the difficult health and social situations they have to deal with.

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