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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Treaty 2U strikes dark side of Moon

A treaty historian says the government's Treaty 2-U roadshow is a huge waste of time and money.

The truck and trailer unit is touring the country with replicas of the original treaty documents, videos, cartoons and other material put together by the Museum of New Zealand, National Archives, and the National Library.

Paul Moon from Auckland University of Technology says the roadshow has been poorly attended, and it is being undermined by a group from the One New Zealand Foundation who have shadowed it touting a bogus version of treaty history.

Professor Moon says it would be far more effective to put the Treaty of Waitangi into the school curriculum, as other countries do with their founding documents.

“Talk to just about any American and they’d be able to tell you the basics of their founding documents – the Declaration of Independence, their Constitution. And the reason is that is has a pronounced presence and a compulsory presence in the school syllabus, and our treaty doesn’t have that, so we’re forced to try selling it, quite literally out the back of a truck,” Professor Moon says.

He says the roadshow is doing more harm than good.

VETERANS’ MINISTER LOOKING FOR IMPROVEMENTS

The Minister of Veterans Affairs says an agreement between the Government, the Returned Services Association and the Vietnam Veterans Association should improve the way veterans' health is addressed.

The parties signed a memorandum of understanding to identify and act upon concerns raised by the Vietnam veterans.

Rick Barker says the government will still need scientific proof the vets' health problems are the result of their tour of duty.

He says the government is acting on suggestions from Vietnam Veterans, and making contributions of its own.

“One of the things which is very good about the package but not asked for is the trust fund that’s been set uyp, controlled and run by the veterans themselves, and it will give them flexibility to address issues that they have within their community, issues within the family of Vietnam veterans which the state itself would find difficulty in doing,” Mr Barker says.

He says the Vietnam Veterans Association is better positioned than the government to identify health problems among veterans and their families.

RONGOA TALES RECORDED FOR BOOK

Taranaki's tales of traditional Maori healing have been recorded for a new a book.

Mataraakau is a collaboration between Karanga Ora, a group of healers in the region, and artist Joanne Tito.

Ms Tito, from from Taranaki, Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao and Ngati Pikiao, says it's the first time many of the stories have been written down, and the book will offer a multi-faceted view of rongoa Maori.

“There's spiritual, there’s rongoa in the physical sense, there’s rongoa as well being, people talk about the holistic approach to well being, making our own kai from having our own gardens and fishing and that kind of thing as well,” Ms Tito says.

Mataraakau will be published in June.

MILITARY TRAINING CALL BACKED

A Maori mental health worker is backing a call by the new president of the 28 Maori Battalion Association for a return to compulsory military training.

Taotahi Pihama says a taste of military discipline would benefit the many rangatahi who lack direction in their lives.

Mr Pihama says it could start in the school system.

“I went through that at secondary school, and it rounded off me anyway, and it was something I enjouyed too. It took me out of my hautitu comfort zone into one where I had to respect discipline and have routine in my life,” Mr Pihama says.

National service was abolished in 1972.

TERTIARY STUDY KEY TO WAHINE ADVANCEMENT

A high flying Maori woman says greater involvement in tertiary education is helping Maori women win top jobs.

It's Mana Wahine week, and Teresa Wall, the acting deputy director general of Maori health at the Ministry of health, says Maori women should celebrate how much they have achieved.

Ms Wall, who is from far north tribes Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri, says Maori women who complete their university studies are highly sought after in the government sector because of their wider experience of the world.

“You're talking about a number of world views, if you like. Being a woman you have a certain view of the world, and being Maori too is another layer,” Ms Wall says.

MAORI MARKET FROM BIG TO SMALL

The finishing touches are being added to tomorrow's inaugural Maori Market in Wellington.

Toi Maori operations manager Tamahou Temara says the market grew out of an exhibition of Maori art in San Francisco.

The participating artists saw a successful First Nations art market in the Bay Area, and brought the idea back.

Mr Temara says the market will give more than a hundred Maori artists and craftspeople a chance to show their wares, from the big to the small.

“The waka Hinemoana, carved by Hector Busby to small tiki that have been crafted by people like Rangi Kipa, our weavers, our ta moko artists, clay artists, there’ll be a whole range of people here displaying their wares,” Mr Temara says.

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