Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Unemployment off low skill base

National Party Maori affairs spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu says low Maori unemployment figures shouldn't be used to hide the fact Maori still lag in earning power.

Mrs te Heuheu says the Maori unemployment rate is still twice that of non-Maori.

She says the dole queue may be shorter, but numbers on other welfare benefits have increased.

Mrs te Heuheu says the government needs to do more to raise Maori skills.

“For our people, it is an issue of lifting the skills base to makes sure that Maori get into better paying, longer term type employment that offers career opportunities and that sort of things, so there’s still a big job ahead of the government,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.

She says the improved job climate is more a result of buoyant economic times than government initiatives.

TAITOKERAU MARAE LOOK AT WATER NEEDS

The organiser of a wananga on marae water hopes it will be the catalyst for upgrading the hundred marae in Taitokerau.

Arthur Harawira, Te Runanga O Ngapuhi's hapu development co-ordinator, says marae are increasingly being recognised as community facilities.

Mr Harawira says the runanga is concerned many marae might might not be able to cope in the event of civil defence emergencies and other crises.

“Historically they've just served a group of whanau or the Maori sector biut now there’s a move to include all those who live within that rohe, which will include Pakeha, Chinese, whoever, into the marare so it’s a community development programme,” Mr Harawira says.

Tomorrow's wananga in Kaikohe will discuss ways marae can improve the quality of their water.

BATTALION ASSOCIATION PLANNING TEST TREAT

The Maori Battalion Association wants to get as many surviving members of the 28 Maori Battalion as can travel to the All Blacks - France rugby test in Auckland in June.

Organising committee member Bert Mackie says the associaiton is attempting to raise 30 thousand dollars in 30 days to fund the project.

Mr Mackie says the trip will include a dinner function with current and past Maori All Blacks.

He says many Battalion members have never watched a live test.

“Not for a few years anyway, because a lot of them may have difficulty getting around. So we thought here we are, here’s a little way of saying thank you and so we decided this was what we'd do,” Mr Mackie says.

There are only 68 surviving Maori Battalion veterans.

NO CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNMENT WATER MANAGEMENT

A prominent Northland elder says he has no confidence in the ability of local or central government to manage water resources.

Nuki Aldridge says those same bodies are responsible for the pollution of most of the nation's waterways.

He says it is abhorrent to Maori tikanga to discharge human waste into the same streams and waterways used for drinking, yet that is what councils have allowed.

“They think they've got the answers, but when you look at the history of management, who are the polluters. The polluters are the local governments, the councils, and central government, and they’re saying they know how to manage water. I don’t think so. Let’s hear the voice of Maoridom to say leave our water alone,” Mr Aldridge says.

He says Maori have a better record in protecting water resources.

The paramount chief of Tuwharetoa, Tumu te Heuheu, has called a national hui at Pukawa Marae next month on water ownership and management.

RANGATAHI SET UP FOR ARREST FREE CRIME SPREES

New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark says gangs are sending out rangatahi to commit crimes, because they know they can not be charged.

Mr Mark says that's one of the reasons he has put up a members bill to lower the age of criminal responsibility.

He says gangs are aware that rangatahi can't be charged with many crimes.

“It's very common. In fact, if I go back to my time before I was a member of Parliament, down in Christchurch, it was well know to police and to CIB that organized crime was recruiting and mobilizing young people to burgle homes to order, and that‘s been going on for years,” Mr Mark says.

He says youths now can't be charged for serious crimes like rape, aggravated robbery, and assault with intent to injure.

NGAI TAHU PICKS UP RESEARCH FARM

Ngai Tahu has added to its extensive South Island land holdings with the purchase of AgResearch's Tara Hills research farm at the southern end of the MacKenzie Country.

Ngai Tahu Properties chief executive Tony Sewell says the tribe has bought the 33 hundred hectare high country farm to farm.

Geoff Balme, AgResearch's chief financial officer, says Tara Hills had been used for research into merino sheep and dryland pasture research.

But he says dwindling science funding from the farming industry means that science can no longer be supported, and future research will be done in partnership with privately owned farms,

Mr Balme says Tara Hills is currently running 7 thousand merino sheep and 300 cattle.

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