Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Maori missing out on boom times

An Auckland University sociologist says Maori aren't getting the full benefit of New Zealand's booming economy.

Louise Humpage says between 2001 and 2006, Maori as a percentage of those on the unemployment benefit rose from 31 percent to 36.5 percent.

The percentage of people on invalids, sickness and domestic purposes benefits who identified as Maori also went up.

Dr Humpage says there is no one reason for Maori marginalisation.

“We know that there’s a whole range of factors, whether it still be discrimination within the labour market, whether it’s Tariana Turia’s argument that there’s still this kind of post-colonial stress, syndrome going on. Others would argue it’s round Maori being in the kind of blue collar, low skilled jobs which of course are increasingly going out of fashion,” Dr Humpage says.

She says the knowledge economy requires workers to be well educated with high tech skills, which excludes many Maori.


A Taranaki kuia says a new programme to help residents of the New Plymouth suburb of Paritutu exposed to dioxin is long overdue.

The Health Ministry will ask all Paritutu residents what health services they needed to manage the effects of exposure to the herbicide, 2,4,5-T, manufactured at the Ivon Watkins-Dow plant until 1987.

A 2005 study found anyone living close to the plant were likely to have dioxin levels between four and seven times higher than the general population.

Emma Mana, who lives in Paritutu, says it's too late for many people.

“It's a bit late because a lot of people have suffered and some of them are still suffering, and it’s just been exposed now. Exposed to the extent that those that are suffering has come forward, and they didn’t realise they were suffering with that,” Mrs Mana says.


Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation's Pah Hill Station near Ohakune has won this year's Maori Excellence in Farming Award for the southern region.

Chairperson Whatarangi Murphy-Peehi says three of Atihau-Whanganui's 10 stations were nominated for the award.

He says Pah Hill should have a good chance of winning the national Ahuwhenua award later in the year.

Mr Murphy-Peehi says the competition encourages farmers to improve their farming practices and gives valuable feedback.

“It's quite good having judges come around our stations, having an outside view. Obviously we like all the positives about how the farm is achieving, but we also like positive feedback on things we could improve on our farm,” Mr Murphy-Peehi says.


Labour MP, Dover Samuels says there needs to be changes to the Ture Whenua Maori Land Act to make it easier for Maori to build houses on their own land.

Mr Samuels says urban house prices are making home ownership unaffordable for most maori families.

He says many Maori want to go back to their own land, but they find themselves thwarted by local authorities, the Resource Management Act, costly service charges and Maori Land Court processes.

However he says there are also problems within ownership groups.

“A lot of this raruraru is because of disagreements that occur within our own whanau, when the owners have difficulty actually agreeing about setting aside land to build for their own family. And I think that type of puhaihai, those type of impediments, we’ve got to resolve ourselves, and the government, local authorities, the Maori land court, certainly can’t do that,” Mr Samuels says.

When Maori can't use their land they often stop paying rates, causing more problems for local councils.


The mayor of Western Bay of Plenty says a Katikati hapu had plenty of notice of development of a reserve on the shores of Tauranga Harbour.

Ngati Te Wai threatened to occupy Taupiro Point Reserve to stop the council building a toilet block and car park on what its says is a pa site and burial ground.

The occupation was called off after a meeting with the council this week.

Mayor Graeme Weld says the council has been up front about its plans for the reserve.

“That has been on the district plan for over four years. It was fully consulted, They were aware of it four years ago and now we’re in construction they’re objecting to it, but we’ve got to work our way through that,” Mr Weld says.

He says it's better to have Taupiro Point managed in an environmentally friendly manner than have it left undeveloped.


The chief executive of Barnados New Zealand says parents are misusing their children by involving them in their protests.

Murray Eldridge says children often do not know the meaning behind the placards they carry.

He says Maori who are protesting should wait until their children are of an age where they can understand what they are standing for.

“How do you put an age on it? I don’t know. But a certain age of maturity, perhaps 8 or 10 where they can understand the issues and be safe with mum and dad when they go on these marches,” Mr Eldridge says.


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