Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fisheries amendment kicked to touch

Labour's Maori caucus is celebrating a three month delay in reporting back a Bill which would strengthen the hand of the fisheries minister to make quota cuts.

The caucus met the minister, Jim Anderton, last night, to reinforce a select Committee's request for more time to consider the Fisheries Act Amendment Bill.

Te Ohu Kaimoana claims the bill's stated aim of meeting New Zealand's international obligations doesn't stack up, and it is being pushed through to counter industry challenges to quota courts.

List MP Dover Samuels says Labour's Maori MPs support sustainable management of fisheries, but they're not convinced the amendment is necessary.

“It's very important that if there is going to be a change in the law, then that change will be effective and bring out the required results, rather than changing the law simply because one administration or the others, whether it’s the stakeholders, whether it’s the commercial fishermen, whether it’s the ministry, whether it’s Maori have not utilised the process in the right way,” Mr Samuels says.

He's optimistic there's a way forward after last night's meeting.

PORRIDGE NEEDED BACK ON BREAKFAST MENU

Healthy breakfasts are on the agenda at the nutrition and physical activity conference in Rotorua this week.

A report released at the conference shows almost a quarter of Maori children and 40 percent of Pacific island children don't eat breakfast.

Massey University researcher Meihana Durie says public health campaigns may be a way to teach young parents how to feed their children in a healthy way.

Mr Durie, whose own research looks at how cultural protocols can affect lifestyle, says it's a matter of education rather than money, and the old foods are often the best.

“Porridge is cheap and porridge has a lot of good energy in it as well, so it keeps the levels up for a long time and it’s a good food, it doesn’t cost much, so those types of food, porridge and a bit of fruit for breakfast, are going to be good for kids,” Mr Durie says.

He'd like to see new types of kawa developed to get Maori embracing healthy lifestyles in a culturally appropriate way.

INDIGENOUS COMEDY SHUT OUT OF SMALL SCREEN

A Maori comedian says trying to make a living in this country is no joke because of the attitude of TV broadcasters.

Mike King says this month's Comedy Festival shows the depth of talent here, but it's not making the jump from the small stage to the small screen.

He says that's why The Flight of the Conchords - Bret McKenzie and Maori actor Jemaine Clement - are virtually unknown in their own country despite winning series on the BBC and United States cable network HBO.

“Comedy has to be on tv to get traction and this current administration at TVNZ and TV3, they hate New Zealand comedy. Comedy ranks below kids’ programmes. It ranks below documentaries. It ranks below programmes for gay and lesbian people,” Mr King says.

He says New Zealand broadcasters have stopped inventing their own television, and are now following imported formats.

TEARS FROM HEAVEN FOR FINAL KORONEIHANA
Pouring rain did little to dampen spirits at the final Koroneihana Hui in honour of the late Maori queen at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia.

Waatea News reporter Mania Clark says speeches ran more than two hours over time, as manuhiri remembered the women who let the Kingitanga movement for four decades.

She says it was especially poignant for the marae community.

“For the last 40 years they’ve held her coronation at Turangawaewae, so for them it just seems fitting to close her 40th year with a memorial, a remembrance day for her, so that was the purpose of the day. The groups that were invited were those that Te Ata was particularly involved with, because she was the patron of many Maori groups, so they came along in numbers. We had Kohanga Reo, te roopu wahine Maori took o te ora, Maori Women’s Welfare League, different iwi also came, Parekura Horomia was also there, a political presence, but really it was an informal gathering just to remember her,” Ms Clark says.

The year of mourning will not end until August 15, at the start of a week of coronation celebrations for King Tuheitia.

MAORI VOLUNTEERISM PRAISED

Young Maori are outshining their peers in their contributions to their communities.

That's the finding of a study into voluntary work by the Association for Adolescent Health and Development.

Executive officer Sarah Helm says Maori rangatahi often get painted with a negative stereotype, but that's far from the truth.

The average young person aged between 12 and 24 does over 70 hours of unpaid work outside the home each year and 30 hours participating in religious, cultural or civic activities.

Ms Helm says young Maori give significantly more time than the average.

“Every statistic that you hear about young Maori is incredibly negative and I think it’s really important that we start to shatter those myths and have some facts come through, and the facts about how much time young Maori give to their community illustrates to me those stories aren’t really the full picture,” Ms Helm says.

BUMPER SEASON FOR MUTTONBIRDS

The chair of the trust which administers the Rakiura Tiitii Islands says a bumper muttonbird season in the deep south bodes well for the future.

Tane Davis who says the number and the quality of chicks and adult birds has been high, and the Ngai Tahu whanau with birding rights report exceptional returns.

He says the weather has been settled enough to allow the parent sooty shearwaters to fly up to 1500 kilometres to get the food the young titi need to thrive.

“They've been getting that right type of kai as well which has the proper nutrients in it for them to breed a chick, lay an egg, continue that regular source of food, and the krill as well, is a major food source, the young squid, the tiny squid,” Mr Davis says

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