Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 27, 2007

New home could be turning point

The Minister of Justice says a new residential home in Hamilton will provide direction for many young offenders.

Mark Burton attended today's opening of Te Hurihanga or the turning point, an eight-room non-secure unit male offenders aged 14 to 17.

Mr Burton says the key to its success will be the contribution of provider organisations Youth Horizons and Matua Whangai.

“Their strong kaupapa in working with young Maori is going to bring a very important thread to the programme and the way that it operates in the centre for thse young people, so I think this is one of the strong and really positive features of this centre, the two provider organizations,” Mr Burton says,

The programme will be closely monitored to see if it can be applied elsewhere.


West Auckland community groups are holding a family picnic day tomorrow to launch a new family violence prevention programme.

Co-ordinator Ngaroimata Reid from Everyday Communities Waitakere says Hui tahi tupu tahi, or come together grow together, is funded by the Children and Young Persons Service.

Ms Reid says community groups will be encouraged to work together so people can find suitable help.

“There have been some key agencies, Maori agencies, like Tu Wahine Trust, Waipareira, Pacifica, branches of Maori Women’s Welfare League, that have been working in our communities whether we are involved in whanau violence or not, it’s number one knowing what it is and number two, where can I find help,” Ms Reid says.

The picnic kicks off at 11.30 at Falls Park in Henderson.


Tainui kaumatua Hare Puke is warning the Maori Party the tribe's votes won't be won easily.

As part of its push to win the Tainui electorate, Maori Party MPs turned out in force at the Tainui Awhiro poukai at Waingaro on Anzac day.

Mr Puke, a former Tainui Trust Board chair, says while attendance at the tribe's regular hui is commendable, the people want to see long term commitment.

“There's one thing about us, about Tainui. One appearance does not mean that you are already in. If they have to attend one poukai, they have to attend all the poukais. They’re not a one-off show,” Mr Puke says.

He says incumbent Nanaia Mahuta enjoys a lot of support on the ground because of her deft handling of some difficult issues.


The decision by whiteware manufacturer Fisher and Paykel to move its manufacturing to Thailand will hit many Maori and Pacific island families hard.

That's the view of Andrew Little, the national secretary of the Engineering Print and Manufacturing Union.

He says it's an example of how the high New Zealand dollar affects the people with the fewest dollars, and it will hit the whole south Auckland community.

“I think it's extremely disappointing and I think a large portion of the Fisher and Paykel workforce are Maori and Pacific Island, they live around South Auckland, and it’s businesses like Fisher and Paykel and the workforce that works for them that keeps that area alive. When you get a large chunk of jobs going like this, 350 jobs, it has a real impact on that local area,” Mr Little says.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says there could be an argument for sales of state houses to tenants.

While such sales have often occurred under National governments, Labour administrations have in the main opposed the policy.

Mrs Turia says housing was on the minds of people at a series of hui the party's MPs have attended this week in the Tainui rohe, as part of its efforts to win the seat at the next election.

She says there was a lot of korero that the government is ignoring the rural community, with housing a major issue.

Mrs Turia says many Maori can expect to spend their lives in rental housing, and they want a chance to get something of their own.

“People had been living in state houses for over 20 years and they felt that Housing New Zealand should give them the opportunity to by their homes for a reasonable rate, because what they’ve been paying for 22 years, they would have paid for the house they're in,” Mrs Turia says.

The Maori Party believes Labour's Nanaia Mahuta can be defeated next election.


But Waikato kaumatua Hare Puke says Nanaia Mahuta commands great respect in the Tainui electorate and will be hard to unseat.

Mr Puke says the three term MP has dealt effectively with many issues that could have tripped up someone with less political nous.

He says Ms Mahuta's style is admired by many elders.

“Nanaia in our opinion holds to her dignity, and this is what we do commend her, and that is the general consensus I do feel amongst our older people,” Mr Puke says.

He says the Maori Party will need to do more to win support from Tainui people than just turning up to one poukai.


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