Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Claim process causing tribal splits

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the Crown's treaty settlement process is causing splits among whanau, hapu and iwi.

Mr Flavell says the Crown's insistence that it will only settle with large groups rather than individual hapu is a recipe for division.

He says it's a return to the 19th century strategy of throwing the money or trade goods in the middle and letting Maori scrap between themselves.

He says the government doesn't seem to care.

“When it comes to another three or four years time, the Labour government will come out and say we’ve got five six seven claims settled, so we’re very happy, but they don’t count the cost actually, and that’s the real dilemma and the shame about the whole process,” Flavell said.

Te Ururoa Flavell says the Government needs to overhaul the Crown process or face revisiting settlements in the future.


Former Labour MP Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan has come to the defence of a new book on the Ratana church.

An Auckland-based apotoro or apostle, Raiti Aperahama, says Ratana Revisited should not have been written because of a church proscription on commercialisation, and because author Keith Newman was not a morehu or church member.

Mrs Tirikatene-Sullivan, whose father Eruera Tirikatene was the first Ratana MP, says she also had doubts, but they went away when she read the book.

“I do not really look at things with that viewpoint, that only a Maori can write about Maori things, only a Ratana can write about Ratana, no, I don’t think like that. Somebody with the skills to do that and the time, and if someone is prepared to do that, I welcome the contribution to the overall knowledge,” Tirikatene-Sullivan said.


Maori and Asians face many similar challenges in their relations with mainstream New Zealand.

That view will be put tomorrow at the Going Bananas Conference in Auckland by Maori-Chinese academic Jenny Lee.

Ms Lee says the conference is looking at Chinese culture in Aotearoa, so the Maori experience becomes relevant.

“Some of the things that are topical are issues around juggling to be Chinese in New Zealand context, issues of racism and discrimination, but also focusing on those things that don’t get media attention, like the positive things people in Chinese communities are achieving, a lot of what like Maori experience through media,” Lee said.

The conference will be held at the Auckland University of Technology.


The author of a new book on the Ratana church says critics would change their minds if they actually read the book.

Keith Newman has come under fire by some church members for what they perceive as commericalising sacred knowledge, and because many of his sources were younger members.

But Mr Newman says Ratana Revisited took 20 years to write because he was determined to make it as accurate as possible.

“I spoke to anybody that would allow me access. There were a lot of people who didn’t allow access, and a lot of those people who were initially opposed to the book have turned around and said ‘Now that we’ve read the book, Keith, we apologise, we’re sorry we made such a fuss because we see you have been respectful to our movement and our family members,’” Newman said.

Keith Newman says church founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana is a neglected figure in history, given the influence his movement had on shaping New Zealand society.


On the eve of International Youth Day, the political system is being blamed for the lack of political involvement by young Maori.

Labour list MP Shane Jones has claimed rangatahi are more apathetic than the youth of 20 years ago.

But Kaapua Smith, who is doing a doctorate in Maori politics at Auckland University, says the group tagged Generation Y don't protest as much as past generations, but they are active in its own way.

Ms Smith says politicians are out of touch with youth issues.

“There is a certain disconnection in terms of youth involvement in politics, I don’t think it’s a young person’s problem. I think it’s the problem of the political system itself. It’s been set up in such as way to ignore young people’s issues. Would you be interested in a whole lot of 50 year olds talking about 20 year old issues,” Smith said.


A Maori-owned company says its new kiosks are giving young Maori and Pacific Island people unprecedented access to health information.

Hamilton-based Webhealth this week won a health informatics award for its innovative website which helps people connect to health and social service providers.

Manager Tahi Tait says it is also putting the information on kiosks, which are proving popular with people who do not have Internet access.

“From the kiosks it’s 15 years olds up to 25 and it’s Maori and Pacific Islanders who are the big users. It’s an absolute turnaround. If you have the information available, they’ll take it up,” Tait said.

Tahi Tait says the Webhealth site and kiosk appeals to people because they can make inquiries about sensitive subjects in a confidential way.

Friday, August 11, 2006

TPK outlines future to stakeholders

Te Puni Kokiri wants to build on what it has already achieved rather than fund new initiatives.

That's the message Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia is giving to regional stakeholder hui.

Today's hui is in Taranaki, and Mr Horomia says a key focus will be helping people into business.

“We're moving away from granting people money to go and do all sorts of things to trying to build on what we’ve done over the past three or four years, like the whanau action research stuff, the capacity building, taking it up a notch so people can get into business that is sustainable and there are specific outcomes,” Horomia said.

Parekura Horomia says the previous capacity building policy has given a sound basis to work from.


The manager of Maori heritage for the Historic Places Trust says iwi are keen to have their historic sites and waahi tapu formally identified.

The trust 's Maori heritage council held a hui in Rotorua yesterday on registering the region's historic sites.

Te Kenehi Teira says major sites include the anchor rocks of the Te Arawa waka at Maketu, the site of an ancient whare at Nuku Te Apiapi in Whakarewarewa and the rock of Hatupatu near Atiamuri.

Mr Teira says the trust has already been working with Te Arawa's Nga Kaihautu tribal executive.

“We have been involved with advising Ngai Kaihauto o TYe Arawa with the Office of Treaty settlements, just to look at the range of tools that can be used to negotiate the xx come under the settlements process,” Teira said.


A Maori owned trust has won an award for its innovative Internet-based health information service.

Webhealth founder Tahi Tait says the award at the Health Informatics annual conference was a welcome endorsement of his trust's efforts to get health information to a wider range of people.

Mr Tait says by using Maori approaches, Webhealth has been able to find fresh ways of delivering information.

”As Maori thinkers, we look at say a challenge or a problem, and we are looking completely at a different way of solving that problem. I think because we’re Maori, we are open to a number of possibilities. Whatever work we do, it has t be relevant to the whanau, to the community,” Tait says.

Tahi Tait says he's pleased at the number of Maori who are registering with the Webhealth site.


A new book on the Ratana movement is meeting some resistance in church quarters.

Ratana Revisited by Auckland writer Keith Newman was launched on Sunday and was written with the assistance of senior church figures.

But church apostle Reiti Aperahama from Te Hapua says readers will be shortchanged.

Mr Aperahama says he won't be reading the book, because there is already enough information about the church available for insiders.

”We have our own annals in the hahi with regard to the church and its founder, but it’s a little bit difficult because it’s in the old Maori., so these books that come out now are a shortcut for them, and if it’s a half a truth, they don’t mind. As far as I’m concerned, a half a truth is a complete lie,” Aperahama said.

Reiti Aperahama says publishing the book breaks the order by church founder TW Ratana not to commercialise its activities.


The head of Prison Fellowship says a programme in jails is helping to heal the hurt done by inmates on the outside.

Kim Workman, a former head of the Corrections Department, says the programme is available to inmates who admit their guilt and are prepared to apologise.

He says they are encouraged to contact their victims to have a meeting and ask foregiveness.

Mr Workman says in about two thirds of cases, the victims refuse the offer.

“But in about a third of the cases they do, and it’s a marvelous thing to see, because you have this prisoner, this offender, who has violated the victim and their family, and asking forgiveness, and often what we see is a healing taking place within the victim,” Workman said.

Kim Workman after such meetings, prisoners have the will to change and can start towards rehabilitating themselves.


California's heat wave could affect the take of mutton birds from our southern islands.

The National Institute of Atmospheric Research has used new lightweight tracking devices to record some of the epic journeys the titi or sooty shearwater makes around the Pacific basin.

NIWA seabird specialist Paul Sagar says as many as 20 million birds migrate annually to California, Japan and Alaska, before returning to New Zealand to breed.

He says New Zealand seems to be the only place they are caught for food, but they face other threats elsewhere, such as may be happening now off the west coast of North America.

“An increase in sea temps off California in the late 80s and there was a 70 to 80 percent drop in zooplankton, those are the little crustaceans in that area, and that is the food supply for our muttonbirds, so they are certainly influenced by the climate changes in other parts of the world,” Sagar said.

Paul Sagar says ancient Polynesian navigators may have used the migrations of vast flocks of muttonbirds as a pointer towards Aotearoa.

Meningitis death does not undermine campaign

A south Auckland health worker says the first fatality of a toddler who was fully immunised against the meningococcal B virus should not be a cause for alarm to Maori parents.

Bernard Te Paa , the Maori services manager for Counties Manukau Health, says it's an isolated case and not an indication the epidemic is on an upswing.

Mr Te Paa says the $200 million vaccination programme is working:

“The latest reports they show there only been two children have died from meningococcal this year. That indicates to us that although there are some risks, there are a heck of a lot of tamariki whose lives are not only being saved but in terms of admissions to hospital, those have been signficantly reduced,” Te Paa said.

Bernard Te Paa says non vaccinated children are five times more likely to contract the disease than vaccinated children,


Labour List Mp Shane Jones says while Maori and Polynesian youth have the potential to be a significant force in elections, that potential is likely to be unrealised because of political apathy.

Mr Jones says the Maori Party underestimated the level of complacency among rangatahi, when it predicted a huge swing to the Maori roll.

“There's an air of indifference from our young people towards politics these days. They don’t seem to have the same level of enthusiasm we had in the ‘80s. And that’s possibly because of the economic buoyancy and they’re interested in other things. And possibly they get put off by the adversarialism that passes for parliamentary politics,” Jones said.


An Auckland University of Technology researcher says Maori have disproportionately high accident rates because they are more likely to be in dangerous jobs.

Sociologist Camille Nahkid says that is because they have on average lower levels of educational achivement.

That means more Maori are working in manual occupations like building, manufacturing, forestry or meat processing which carry a higher risk of injury.


Maori lawyer Annette Sykes says the government is not going to be let off the hook for its dismissal of a report on New Zealand's race relations by a senior United Nations official.

Ministers rejected the report by special rapporteur Rudolfo Stavenhagan because they said it was unbalanced and incorrect.

Ms Sykes told a World Indigenous Day forum at Otago University that the report hasn't gone away, as it will soon be presented to the General Assembly.

Annette Sykes says government actions since Dr Stavenhagen's visit, such as the removal of treaty references from the school curriculum, show a deepening hostility to Maori rights.


Recent rises in employment figures are masking the reality of income inequality facing many Maori workers.

That's the view of Dr Evan Poata-Smith a sociologist at the Auckland University of Technology, who says the fact income equality has got worse over the last five years should be a cause for concern.

He says Maori still tend to be in lower paid jobs with poorer conditions:


A relative of the boy who died in Waikato this week of meningicoccal disease is upset at a government declaration of the success of the meningitis immunisation programme.

On Tuesday Health Minister Peter Hodgson released a statement saying there had been no deaths since the programme began.

Kaumatua Rangi Kawerau from Ngaruawahia says that was at the same time his whanau was preparing to bury his two year old grand nephew.

Rangi Kawerau says it has been a traumatic week for the whanau.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Whanau Ora focus for research

Maori health researchers say to be effective, Maori health initiatives need to take into account wider family groups.

More than 130 researchers are at Te Papa in Wellington this week for the Health Research Council's Hui Whakapiripiri.

Hui facilitator Tu Williams says the theme of Whanau Tu, Whanau Ora has struck a chord with the research community.

He says many of the projects are developing robust evidence-based information which can influence policy.

“Whanau Ora's not just a narrow idea, concept and practice, it’s quite diverse and very holistic. The government’s strategy for Maori health is He Korowai Ora and the centerpiece is Whanau Ora. So from a policy point of view we have a very solid strategy there that we can hang our work on,” Williams said.

Tu Williams says the hui is a way researchers can keep a Maori focus to their work, which they may not get in other academic settings.


The associate Minister of Tourism says if New Zealand could attract even a small percentage of the Chinese tourism market, it would create major opportunities for Maori tourism operators.

Dover Samuels says a high level delegation from the Chinese Tourism administration commented that most Chinese visitors would expecting a Maori experience as part of their holiday.

He says the delegation was impressed by its welcome to Sky City this week by a Ngati Whatua group.

Mr Samuels says most New Zealanders don't appreciate the size of the Chinese tourism market.

“Thirty million Chinese toursist spread out annually and visit different places. Said we didn’t want 30 million, we’ve only got a small country, but we wouldn’t mind cranking up the opportunities for us for the Chinese independent traveler to perhaps 1.5 to 2 million visitors annually,” Samuels said.


Waitakere teens get a chance today to showcase their oratory skills at the fourth Nga Manu Korero o Te Wao Tiriwa competition.

Students from 14 schools will give their thoughts on the two themes of the day, the Auahi Kore anti-smoking campaign and Matariki or the Maori season of renewal.

Organiser Rewi Spraggon says it's about providing a platform for rangatahi and encouraging the next generation of leaders.

Rewi Spraggon says the competition has won the backing of Unitec and the Waitakere City Council.


They call it the warrior gene, but it should be called the Maui gene.

That's the reaction of Maori Council spokesperson Maanu Paul to the discovery by an Environmental Science and Research geneticist that the majority of Maori men carry a gene which has been linked to aggression and risk taking.

Mr Paul says Maori needed something special to not only travel here over vast stretches of ocean, but to survive centuries of colonialism, land confiscation and racism.

He says many of the traits attributed the the gene, such as fearlessness and risk taking, are associated with the Maori demi-god Maui.

IN: We should celebrate the fact that we can now trace this whakapapa all the way back to Maui, and in the case of my particular whanau all the way back to Hawaii and the Cook Islands. That is where we have come from and that is the gene that has survived all these past centuries,” Paul said.

Maanu Paul says the passion shown in the haka is a demonstration of the Maui gene in action.


Council Trade Unions Maori vice president Sharon Clair says the Ministry of Social Development's latest social indicators report should make for sobering reading for those trying to say things are improving for Maori.

Ms Claire says the report still show the bulk of Maori continue to fall behind the mainstream in health, education and income.

She says the government spends more time writing reports than trying to fix problems like obesity.

“If this is about not being able to access healthy foods, remove the GST from fruit and vegetables, enabling a fairer distribution of wealth, so all people in this country can have access to healthy foods,” Clair said.

Sharon Clair says the government doesn't want to talk about the root causes of inequality, such as low pay, insecure employment and low education attainment.


Rotorua man Nga- Hihi- o- te- Raa Bidois is upset at an American gimmick company which is selling taa moko face painting kits for Halloween.

Mr Bidois says it took him eight years to prepare himself for the taa moko he now wears.

He says the face kit trivialises what is a sacred art form.

“I think it's an abomination to a taonga that is considered along with our reao and along with our tikanga, and to take a taonga like this and put it out there as something that is going to scare people is an inconsiderate use of our taonga,” Bidois said.

Turia turns guns on Jones

Stung by Labour list MP Shane Jones, the Maori Party is showing personal attacks are as much a part of its political arsenal as the non-Maori parties.

Mr Jones blames the unexpectedly low response to the Maori Electoral Option on what he calls the Maori Party's focus on negativity and sovereignty, which turned people off the Maori roll.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has bit back, saying Mr Jones is being used by Labour against Maori people.

She says his attacks don't ring true.

“His own history is one of political activism and I don’t believe you can believe in your heart and soul a situation of Maori people and then banish it from your thoughts and begin to believe everything you haven’t believed before, and that is, assimilation is the way forward for us as a people,” Turia said.

Shane Jones says Maori culture and identity should be a unifying factor in New Zealand society, but the corrosive politics being practiced by Mrs Turia are likely to turn both Maori and Pakeha away from it.


Maori researcher Maui Hudson says claims a warrior gene is a factor in Maori violence is a beat up.

Rod Lea from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research says the monoamine oxidase gene, which is carried by about 60 percent of Maori, says the gene has been linked to aggressive behaviour and addiction, and risk taking.

But he denies Australian reports that he also linked the gene to criminality.

Mr Hudson, the institute's Maori development manager, says the gene is well known, but researchers are wary of attributing specific behaviours to it.

“I think there's always the risk when you’re looking at genetic research, and particularly round addiction, that it will be construed in a way that will place blame on people and attribute it to the genetic background and not have any consideration of environmental factors,” Hudson said.


The Maori vice president of the Council of Trade Unions says today's United Nations Indigenous People's Day is a reminder of the global struggle faced by indigenous communities.

Sharon Clair says while Maori have made significant gains, including the establishment of kohanga reo and kura kaupapa immersion schools, health organisations and media initiatives, there is still a long way to go.

Ms Claire says indigenous peoples elsewhere face similar issues.

“The struggle doesn't end. We have 370 million indigenous peoples around the globe, but we have a common link. It is indigenous peoples who end up dispossessed of their land, struggle for their identities, are on lower incomes, so we all share that commonality and in that we have solidarity to ensure that we survive,” Clair said.


Labour MP Shane Jones says personal attacks on him by Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia can't mask the fact her party's actions are undermining the search for national unity.

Mrs Turia says the list MP has stopped fighting for Maori and is instead fighting Maori.

She accuses him of seeking assimilation of Maori into the mainstream.

But Mr Jones says Maori culture and symbols are enriching and deepening the identity of Aotearoa New Zealand.

He says that process of coming together needs to be done in a non-threatening way.

“Maori bring indigeneity to New Zealand’s identity and you’re not going to create a sense of identity among people who are slowly being drawn together anyway by ongoing corrosive politics, you’ve got to search for what draws people together,” Jones said.

Shane Jones says the latest Maori Option process shows Maori people feel they don't have to stay on the Maori roll to exercise their political rights.


Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia says Maori should take heart from the 2006 Social Report.

The report tracks trends in 10 social areas.

It found while life expectancy for Maori increased and suicide rates are coming down, obesity is on the increase, housing is less affordable and there are more people on low incomes than 20 years ago.

Mr Horomia says while there are many positive indicators for Maori, there is still a long way to go.

“Parents started going to work and the kids saw it for the first time. That’s starting to reflect in the report. But the sticky bits are, and I’m not a good example, on obesity and smoking, it isn’t improving, but most of the indicators in there, it’s quite a dramatic report,” Horomia said.


Opportunities for Maori tourism are expected to increase after the chairman of the China Tourism Administration was given an exposure to Maori culture.

Shoa Qiwei and a 50 strong delegation were welcomed by Ngati Whatua to a function at Sky City.

Associate tourism minister Dover Samuels says the majority of international tourists now come from China.

He says Maori need to take advantage of that interest.

Smoking not protected

Maori anti-smoking campaigner Shane Bradbrook says Maori need to realise their job prospects could be affected if they keep lighting up.

The European Commission has backed a firm which refused to hire smokers, and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission has confirmed that refusing to give a job to a person because they smoke does not violate human rights.

Mr Bradbook says the ruling is likely to disproportionally affect Maori because almost 50 percent of Maori adults smoke, but they can't claim discrimination if that is why they are refused a job.


School boards need to ensure they're implementing the Treaty of Waitangi into classes, even if the draft curriculum doesn't spell it out for them.

That's the view of new School Trustees Association president Lorraine Kerr.

Ms Kerr says as a Maori member of school boards, she understands the struggle boards have to work out the right things to do.

Lorraine Kerr says Maori parents should become more involved with school boards so they can ensure there is a treaty partnership.


Te Papa's director of Matauranga Maori, Arapata Hakiwai, is welcoming the passing of the Protected Objects Amendment Bill.

The new law will set up a register of taonga that can't be removed from the country, and includes stiff penalties for people who smuggle artefacts out.

While it can't be used to go after objects which have been removed in the past , it will help New Zealand authorities with future fights.

Mr Hakiwai says the bill is long overdue, and brings New Zaland into line with international conventions,


The Prime Minister says Maori is so entrenched in the New Zealand school system, making references to the treaty of Waitangi in the draft curriculum for school is unnecessary.

The dropping of a specific reference has alarmed educationalists and the Maori Party, which says it it part of a pattern by Labour to roll back Maori gains in the treaty area.

But Helen Clarke says the Treaty is still included in the Education Act and in the National Education Goals, and that Maori reference groups were involved in the preparation of the draft curriculum.


Labour MP Shane Jones says it's not government's job to make young people interested in politics.

Mr Jones says the relatively poor response to the Maori Electoral Option suggests rangatahi are indifferent to politics.

But he says given the relative youth of the Maori population, Maori organisations would be wise to find ways to get rangatahi engaged in the process.


Child phone helplines say young Maori are increasingly using their services, rather than seeking kanohi ki te kanohi or face to face counselling.

Helplines say they are facing an increase in calls overall, and report worrying levels of self harm including cutting, burning and binge drinking.

John, a Maori counsellor with Auckland-based What's Up, says conventional counselling methods are too confrontational to Maori youth, so they seek out phone services.

John says more funding is needed for youth counselling services to cope with whjat seems to be a growing social problem.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Turia wants Census takers to sign voters

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the Maori Electoral Option should be run as part of the Census, rather than as a separate exercise.

The option which allows people to switch between the Maori and general rolls is run in the same year as the census, because census data is needed to determine whether any change in the Maori roll will affect the number of Maori electorates.

Despite the efforts of Mrs Turia's party, it looks like latest Maori Option failed to attract enough new Maori voters to create an eighth Maori seat.

Mrs Turia says both exercises should be run together.

“You have to be enrolled, that’s the law, and with the census they go door to door. I cannot see why an extra page could not have been put into the census as they go door to door for people to enroll, and they can fill in that form there and then,” Turia said.

Tariana Turia says it suits the other political parties to have significant numbers of Maori not registered as voters, because it reduces maori political influence.


The new president of the School Trustees Association says Maori parents need to have more of a say in their children's education.

Lorraine Kerr is the first Maori woman to fill the top role.

She says there are major challenges ahead of her, including finding ways for all parents and caregivers to have an active role in the future of their children.

“I know it won't be an easy road but I’m excited about the challenge, And that is one of the kaupapa I want to push. It doesn’t matter where you come from, have a say in your tamariki’s education, have the courage to stand up and have a say,” Kerr said.

Lorraine Kerr says the school system needs to allow children to become familiar with the nation's cultural heritage of Maori and other cultures.


Te Wananga o Aotearoa's new troubleshooter says he is there to uphold the Government's commitment to raise the quality of tertiary courses.

Dr Tamati Reedy of East Coast iwi Ngati Porou has been appointed Crown representative on the wananga's board.

Dr Reedy, who is head of Waikato University's school of Maori and Pacific development, says his role is to support the Wananga council and provide advice.

“The government's new policy for tertiary education organisations is focusing on quality and retention and better outcomes for our people Maori. I hope that one can focus on bringing the experience from tertiary education institutions such as a mainstream university into that role,” Reedy said.

Tamati Reedy replaces former Te Puni Kokiri head Wira Gardiner.


Labour list MP Shane Jones says by pushing too hard on the Maori Electoral Option, the Maori Party succeeded in pushing many Maori people away from the Maori roll.

While 14,000 Maori voters moved from the general roll to the Maori roll, 7000 voters switched the other way.

However, first time voters opted three to one to go on the Maori roll.

Mr Jones says that is because the Maori Roll is seen as a signifier of identity, which is important for many younger Maori but may not be such a big issue for their parents.

“The concerns of the garden variety Maori aren’t too different from the rank and file all the rest of all New Zealanders, other than language and culture and pride is very important to their identity, but their social and economic concerns aren’t vastly different, so I’m not surprised there is unlikely to be another Maori seat,” Jones said.

Shane Jones says the lack of an emotive issue like the Foreshore and Seabed Bill meant the Maori Party was unable to whip up enthusiasm for its option campaign.


There are moves afoot to create professional standards for people involved in restorative justice programmes.

June Jackson from the Manukau Urban Maori Authority, which runs a restorative justice programme in South Auckland, says providers are talking with the Auckland University of Technology about getting a training course for facilitators approved through the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Mrs Jackson says a lot of Maori are involved in restorative justice, on both sides of the fence.

“Restorative justice is about victims and offenders meeting, andf to give the victim an opportunity to say how they feel about the fear that was in them when they were confronted by the offender, all those sorts of things, And there are a disproportionate number of Maori who are offenders,” Jackson said.

June Jackson says restorative justice processes can often be the first step towards rehabilitation of offenders.


The draft curriculum means schools will need to be more committed to the Treaty of Waitangi and to Maori.

That's the response from Education Minister Steve Maharey to the controversy over the dropping of the treaty from the curriculum.

Mr Maharey says the new shortened curriculum is more practical than the old seven-volume document and requires schools to be more active in implementing the principles of the Treaty.

“It's much more practical. It basically binds it into how the curriculum runs. It requires schools to be doing things about the treaty. It requires them to commit themselves to ensure Maori can be Maori in school system. But beyond that, the National Education Goals still contain the treaty and so does the legislation,” Maharey said.

Mr Maharey says he doesn't expect many changes to the draft when it comes back in November.

Mate Maori factor in prison suicides

A Maori mental health worker is endorsing a call by the Wellington Coroner for the Department Corrections to include Maori concepts such as 'mate Maori' or spiritual sickness in risk assessments.

Coroner Gary Evans made the recommendation in his report on the suicides of two men in Rimutaka Prison in 2004.

Taotahi Pihama says there are real risks for Maori in the prison environment, because they can't see a way forward.

“For different reasons their wairua isn’t there, and once the stark realization of limited time, limited freedom, everything’s shut down on them, and then they get confronted with the prison environment. Then this gives them a no way forward scenario, and this all impacts on them, it doesn’t matter how tough a person is,” Pihama said.

Taotahi Pihama says a large number of the suicides in prison have been Maori, and the trend seems to be getting worse.


Rotorua's deputy mayor says a proposed ban on criminals in the city centre, is not racially based, despite a clear anti Maori bias among some councilors.

Trevor Maxwell, who is from Ngati Rangiwewehi, says the council did not consult with Maori about the proposal, because it did not consider it to be a Maori issue.

He says it may be hard to get that message across because of the activities of prominent councilor Cliff Lee.

“Cliff Lee to me actually has been one of the worst people on any council in New Zealand who has used the race card to be elected onto any council. And he practices it. Any matter which comes up regarding Te Arawa or Maori, you could guarantee he'd oppose it,” Maxwell said.


You might have noticed the New Zealand Warriors wore a distinctive jersey in their match against the Cronulla Sharks this weekend.

The game was a testimonial match for second rower Awen Guttenbiel, who is off to the north of England at the end of the season after 11 years at the Auckland-based Club.

Guttenbiel racked up 50 tackles in the Warriors' 12-10 win, in a display that confirmed his status as one of the best players to have worn the club's strip.

He says the jerseys featured distinctly Maori and Polynesian designs, reflecting the culture of the club, and an acknowledgement of his Maori and Tongan whakapapa.

“I spoke to to Puma about getting a jersey done, and they were keen as to get one designed, so I went and spoke to Inia Taylor at Moko Ink in Grey Lynn, and he designed the jersey. So it was very special to get that jersey played in on my testimonial match,” Guttenbiel said.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she is happy with the result of the Maori electoral option, even though it is unclear whether the Maori roll increased enough to create a new seat.

There was a net increase in the Maori roll of 14,914 from new enrolments or people switching from the general roll.

Whether that was enough to create an eighth Maori seat won't be known until next February, when 2006 Census data is finalised.

Mrs Turia says the result justified the extra effort her party put into the option campaign.

”It would have been great if the numbers had been greater, but they’re not, and it really highlights the huge amount of work we need to do amongst our people to get them onto the roll, because there are still thousands who are not enrolled at all,” Turia said.

Tariana Turia says it's clear the Maori Party will have to work harder to convince voters they should switch from the general roll to the Maori roll when the option is next run in five years.


Education Minister Steve Maharey says people are over-reacting to the dropping of the Treaty of Waitangi from the school curriculum

Mr Maharey says the draft now for comment is not a revision of the seven-volume 1993 curriculum but a complete rewrite into a shorter, sharper document.

He says the national education goals and the Education Act still contain references to the treaty.

Mr Maharey says it's taken for granted that the treaty will be taught.

“The treaty gets taught right through the curriculum, there’s the commitment to Maori being taught across the system , those are things I think that people have come to the conclusion it the practical way of taking that framework, and what we are seeing here is we’re more and more taking it for granted that this should be the flavour of the education system,” Maharey said.

Steve Maharey says he doesn't expect many changes to the draft curriculum when it comes back in November.


Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will be recognised for her supreme talents when she receives an honorary doctorate from the New Zealand Music School - Te Koki, later this year.

It will be the first honorary degree given by the school, which is a partnership between Victoria and Massey Universities.

Victoria University pro vice-chancellor (Maori) Piri Sciascia says the degree will be presented in London at Marlborough House, with with Ngati Ranana in hand to support the proceedings.

Mr Sciascia says Maori have a special sense of pride over the achievements of Dame Kiri, and it should be a special day.

Brash remembers knight’s influence

National Party leader Don Brash says Sir Norman Perry, who died last week, made enormous contributions to both Maori and Pakeha.

The former secretary to MP Sir Apirana Ngata served with the Maori Battalion in Italy, was a Maori Affairs district welfare officer, and made valuable contributions to the Maori Council, Opotiki Maori Trust Board and many Maori land incorporations.

He also set up a clothing factory in Opotiki, and in later years was involved with the welfare of Maori prisoners through the Mahi Tahi Trust.

Mr Brash says he knew Sir Norman from a young age through his father, Presbyterian minister Alan Brash.

Don Brash says Sir Norman was one of a small number of lay people to head the Presbyterian church as Moderator.

Sir Norman will be taken this morning to Omaio Marae near Opotiki.


The chief executive of Hamilton's Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa, says Labour is undermining the Treaty of Waitangi out of fear National Party leader Don Brash could benefit from the issue.

Mere Belzer says Maori organisations are alarmed at the removal of referances to the Treaty in the draft school curriculum, because it is seen as part of a trend.

She says the government has failed to stand up for Maori rights in the face of Mr Brash's one law for all sloganeering.

Mere Belzer says Te Runanga O Kirikiriroa has recommended treaty references be reinstated in official documents and the treaty should be properly ratified.


A leading Maori architect is questioning who has benefited from regulating the housing and construction industries.

Rau Hoskins says Maori are losing the art of constructing whare with materials from the bush.

He is part of a programme which teaches Maori communities how to build nikau whare.

He says they remain a functional option, but regulation has taken power away from people to house themselves.

Rau Hoskins says indigenous peoples have a right to build houses out of indigenous materials.


Ratana members have been challenged to hold the Maori MPs to account for attacks on the status of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Former Labour Cabinet Minister Whetu Tirikatene Sullivan said the New Zealand First Bill to delete references to the principles of the treaty from legislation, and the dropping of the treaty from the school curriculum.

Mrs Tirikatene Sullivan, who is known as Te Omeka in the church, says Ratana MPs have been fighting for greater recognition of the treaty since her father Sir Euera Tirikatene was first elected in 1932.

She says much of what they won now looks like it is about to be lost.

Mrs Tirikatene-Sullivan says Maori should demand their MPs come back to them and explain what they are doing to protect and enhanced the status of the treaty.

She made the comments at the Auckland launch of the book Ratana Revisited by Auckland writer Keith Newman, which she said should awaken the consciences of all thoughtful and caring New Zealanders who are concerned with seeing the treaty recognised.


Maori organic growers organisation Te Waka Kai Ora has made a late application to join the long running Wai 262 claim for indigenous flora and fauna.

The Waitangi Tribunal kicks off the final series of hearing on the claim in south Auckland later this month.

Mataatua representative Maanu Paul says as the people who grow the flora and farm the fauna, Te Waka Kaiora is concerned at the possibility of multinational seed and fertilizer companies controlling their livelihood.

Mr Paul says the growers are also concerned about the running of the claim, which was lodged in 1991 and given urgency in 1994.

He says questions could be asked about what the tribunal was doing, and what the claimants’ lawyers were doing, to let an urgent claim run on so long.

Maanu Paul says the growers are also concerned at the impact of the proposed Australia and New Zealand regulatory agency for foodstuffs and therapeutic goods.

The producer of a talent search on Maori Television says it is launching pad for Maori singers who may not otherwise share their talents.

Auditions for the second series of Maori-oke are now underway.

Mere Waaka from Mauriora Productions says she is impressed with the talent which is emerging.