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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Whanau focus for education summit

The fifth Hui Taumata Matauranga which kicks off in Taupo today will look at the role of whanau in the education of tamariki.

Organiser Connor Rangi from the Tuwharetoa Trust Board says it is a theme which has been consistent since the first Maori education summit in 2001.

He says the hui will consider ways to building whanau capability, relationships between whanau and schools, strategies which iwi can adopt and Te Puni Kokiri initiatives.

“Participants will be able
 to talk through, discuss, debate issues that are very real and critical to whanau engagement in terms of learning and in terms of education,” Rangi said.

Connor Rangi says section keynote speakers include Mark Solomon, Hekia Parata, Mason Durie and Tuwharetoa chief Tumu Te Heuheu.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the Government should keep funding the Mauriora whanau violence programme.

Mrs Turia spoke at a conference this in Wanganui this week of Mauriora providers.

She says the programme, which was a pilot sponsored by Maori development ministry Te Puni Kokiri, has been undermined by other government departments.

Mrs Turia says Mauriora differs from other anti violence initiatives, because it targets families and asks them to work together to mauriora or a sense of wellness.

She says it's clear other approaches aren't working.

“Unless the whanau are engaged it doesn’t work, and that’s what the government and its agencies have never clapped on to. They have always treated peopled as individuals, and they have blamed individuals when people don’t respond to their programmes and their services,” Turia said.

Tariana Turia says those who fund anti violence programmes should take more responsibility when they fail.


A Maori archaeologist has been given a post doctoral fellowship to study how archaeology, ethnography and tribal history affect the way Maori see their environment.

Des Kahotea from Ngati Pukenga says he will be working with hapu at Kawhia and Kapiti on how they define what is called ancestral landscape.

Dr Kohotea says traditionally archaeologists have tended to look at individual sites rather than the whole landscape, which has hampered Maori who are trying to protect their heritage.

He says to protect themselves in case of legal battles, iwi need to record their knowledge and make planning authorities aware of sensitive areas.

“If there's a issue and you haven’t got it flagged or raised, and you raise it to the court, well it’s all very much left to the individual judge. But I’ve found if you’ve managed to identify, put it in a district plan, of made it a historic area or whatever under the Historic Places Act, the judge has to lean to you,” Kahotea said.

Des Kahotea is doing his research at Victoria University through Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, the National Institute of Maori Research Excellence.


Organisers of this weekend's Maori education hui in Taupo says it has become an important forum for influencing education policy.

Connor Rangi of the Tuwharetoa Trust Board says the four previous Hui Taumata Matauranga have led to changes in the way the Ministry of Education treats Matauranga Maori or Maori knowledge.

This year's theme is about supporting the foundation of whanau.
Mr Rangi says it's a chance for Maori educationalists to talk directly to policymakers.

“Our people have the ear of the ministers to be able to push issues that are specifically for Maori education and so other issues around fisheries, around land claims and so on take a back seat over this weekend and the focus is around better learning and teaching outcomes for Maori
,” Rangi said.

Connor Rangi says about 600 participants are expected in Taupo over the weekend.


Kohanga Reo National trust chairperson Timoti Karetu says Maori men may be put off working in preschools because of the attitudes of Maori women.

The movement is struggling to attract male staff and volunteers, in line with a national trend that just one percent of pre-school teachers are men.

Professor Karetu says a hui held on Matakana Island this week discussed ways to attract more men into the sector.’

He says the 120 men who attended have gone home with a challenge to recruit more men to work alongside them, but a lot will depend on the welcome they get from women.

“Quite a number of men feel really uncomfortable about the ways the women treat them in kohanga, but I still thing the male presence in kohanga will be reinvigorating, will give a whole new impetus, and the kids will have a male presence to relate to,” Karetu said.

Timoti Karetu says it's important pre-schoolers get to see Maori male role models.


The Maori law society wants to challenge the stereotype that Maori lawyers are all on the Treaty settlement gravy train.

Aidan Warren, the organiser of this weekend's Te Huinga Roia Maori hui at Te Aute Colege in the Hawkes Bay, says only a small percentage of Maori lawyers work in the treaty area.

He says while there are many young lawyers burning themselves out on claim enquiries, Maori lawyers encompass the whole range of what the profession has to offer.

He says Maori lawyers are asking how best they can serve Maori people.

The theme of this year's hui is Tino Rangatiratanga - controlling our own destiny, and includes a panel discussion chaired by Maori Land Court chief judge Joe Williams and featuring MPs Pita Sharples and Metiria Turia and lawyers Annete Sykes and Moana Jackson.


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