Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Muriwhenua elder Manawa Aperahama dies

Ngati Kuri and far North iwi are mourning the loss of Manawa Aperahama, who died on Sunday at the age of 72.

The Ratana apotoro was a founder member of the Mana Motuhake Party, and was a close advisor to the party's leaders, the late Matiu Rata and Sandra Lee.

Muriwhenua Runanga chairperson Rima Edwards says Mr Aperahama was a key figure in the development of the Muriwhenua land and fisheries claims in the 1980s.

“He was one of the initial members of the committee that started the Ngati Kuri claims when Matiu (Rata) first came back, and the Te Aupouri asked to join in, and the other three tribes asked to be joined as well, and Manawa was part of that bringing the five tribes together,” Edwards said.

Rima Edwards says Manawa Aperhama has been taken back to Te Hapua, where he will be buried tomorrow overlooking Parengarenga harbour.

TAMAHERE DOESN’T WANT HELENDOME

Former Labour MP John Tamihere says an Auckland waterfront stadium could turn into a billion dollar monument to bad government.

Mr Tamihere says a lot more planning is needed before any decisions are made about a national stadium.

He says the Government needs to show a better quality of thinking than it has showed so far.

“I think we're all in favour of an iconic type facility, but lets have a proper conversation, let’s have a proper process rather than Helengrad telling us we’re going to have that Helen dome,” Tamihere says.

WHALES FLENSED IN CUSTOMARY WAY

Flensing has been the order of the day at Uretiti Beach, just south of Ruakaka in Northland.

Iwi gathered at the beach to hold a wananga on customary harvest and extract the bone from 17 pilot whales who died in a mass stranding on Saturday.

A similar number of whales made it back to sea.

Ngati Wai resource manager Tui Hoterene says the iwi has implemented its stranding plan developed over the past eight years, and it invited other coastal iwi to help with the harvest.

“We've had a good response from all over the country, even though it’s shirt notice and the whanau have got small resources, We’ve got Ngati Kuri arrived last night, Te Uri o Hau represented, Ngapuhi and of course Ngati Wai,” Hoterene says.

MAORI DIABETES WARNING OVERSTATED

A Maori GP says dire warnings that diabetes could make Maori extinct by the end of the century ignore efforts Maori are already making to counter the disease.

David Jensen says findings by the International Diabetes Foundation in Australia confirms that indigenous peoples are at a much greater risk of contracting type 2 diabetes confirms what medical practitioners on the ground are already dealing with.

Dr Jensen says communities are coming on board.

“I recognise that many Maori communities and many Maori families are doing something about it, and that comes from the point of view of people taking proper interest in diet and exercise for themselves personally and for their families, and there’s whole range of programmes happening in communities and Maori health providers and so on. We are doing things now,” Dr Jensen says.

He says the IDF study should be taken as a call for action by those who have been taking their health for granted.

KA MATE HAKA USE DEFENDED

Cultural expert Amster Reedy says there was no more appropriate haka than Ka Mate for the opening of the New Zealand war memorial in Hyde Park at the weekend.

Questions have been raised about the choice of the haka, which was performed by London-based kapa haka Ngati Ranana, defence force personnel and other New Zealanders at the opening ceremony.

Mr Reedy says the haka credited to Ngati Toa warrior chief Te Rauparaha is a celebration of life.

“It's totally appropriate because it’s a celebration of life. Ka mate means I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die, ka ora means hell, I’m still alive, so we celebrate the death of people because we are the ones still living. Until someone comes up with another haka, that is the most appropriate one to do,” Reedy says.

PUTARARU KURU GROWS UP INTO WHAREKURA

Putaruru Maori immersion school Te Kaokao Roa o Patetere has been given the green light to become south Waikato's first wharekura.

Principal Keith Silveira says it will be much more than just a secondary school where lessons are in Maori.

He says local knowledge and the Kingitanga will be incorporated into the curriculum, so pupils are confident in their Ngati Raukawatanga.

Mr Silveira says Huntly's Wharekura Maori o Rakaumanga is the model.

“For a long time down here people have admired what Rakaumanga have done for their community and their students. We initially took the kids straight from kohanga, and had a Maori education programme for them, and away we went. As we have grown, we gradually became a kura a rohe, which means it’s a tribal based school,” Silveira says.

Keith Silveira says Te Kaokao Roa o Patetere describes the tribal boundaries the school will draw students from.

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