Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Gangs recruit schoolkids with bandana plan

Northern leaders are concerned gangs are moving into the area recruiting 12 and 13 years olds to distribute drugs.

Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau says the gang war in Wanganui in which a two year old girl died is symptomatic of greater activity by gangs across the country.

Mr Tau says in Kaikohe and neighbouring towns, gang prospects seem to be judged not by the burglaries they commit but the number of younger boys they can lure into the drug trade.

“A lot of young kids are persuaded into that sort of thing by being promised bandanas and all the regalia. That sort of peer pressure is being exerted right across the spectrum in the north here and we’re really worried about that,” Mr Tau says.

While the Ngapuhi Runanga is working with police and other government agencies on the problem, the solution will need to come from out of the Maori community.

SOLE CHARGE PRINCIPALS SHARE IDEAS

Principals of sole charge schools are meeting in Palmerston North this week to discuss the challenges they face.

Such schools with less than 25 pupils used to be common in rural Maori communities, and several of the 35 principals expected at Massey University's centre for educational development are Maori.

Centre associate director Jeff Franks says sole charge principals must balance administration load with classroom time, and they have to deliver all the cultural elements expected by their communities.

“The principals that will be coming to our conference have growing awareness of the need to help children to be bicultural and to respect the treaty, and in our conference there will be opportunities for teachers to talk to one anther about the needs of individual students and of Maori in particular,” Mr Franks says.

ALBUM KEEPS WAI ON ROAD SEVEN YEARS

Maori electronica group Wai is off to Beijing this weekend to perform at a world music concert.

Lead singer Mina Ripia says the group hasn't stopped working since it released its debut album 7 years ago.

Its unique fusion of kapa haka, techno and dum and bass has attracted fans around the world.

Ms Ripia says she and partner Maaka McGregor still dig taking their brand of waiata Maori on the road.

“It has been consuming both Maaka and I’s lives for the past seven years, which has been great, because the album was created to the memory of my papa, so to be still being able to share that memory seven years later and with people who haven’t got the faintest idea that we the Maori people are even a people, it's awesome,” Ms Ripia says.

Wai is half way through its second album, but recording sessions have to be fitted in between trips to Norway, Taiwan, Spain and Brazil later this year.

TRIBUNAL LASHES CROWN DISCOVERY GAME PLAYING

The Waitangi Tribunal has delivered a blistering criticism of the Crown's attempts to withhold documents relating to the proposed settlement of Ngati Whatua's Auckland land claims.

A 2003 report by the Crown's most senior historian challenging the historical account used in the settlement agreement, and one questioning Ngati Whatua's unwillingness to consult with cross claimants, didn't surface until two weeks ago.

In a memorandum released yesterday, tribunal deputy chairperson Carrie Wainwright made clear her unhappiness with the explanations from Crown Law and the Office of Treaty Settlements.

Judge Wainwright said the tribunal process relies on all parties sharing information, and she does not expect parties to engage in the kind of game playing over discovery that can characterise litigation in the courts.

Judge Wainwright says while the Crown was entitled to put into evidence whatever interpretation it wanted on the way negotiations with Ngati Whatua were conducted, its lawyers were obliged to put all documents before the tribunal, and not just those that supported its interpretation.

She says the tribunal will finish its report on theTamaki Makaurau settlement process without another hearing.

It will also hold a separate review of the way the Crown furnishes tribunal inquiries with evidence and relevant documents.

POLICE ON ALERT FOR GANG FLARE UP

A senior Maori policeman says gang tensions could flare up in any part of the country in response to the killing of a Black Power member's daughter in Wanganui.

Wayne Panapa, the iwi liason officer for the Waikato Police district, has been in the river city since the weekend.

He says while things are relatively calm, that could change after this week's tangi for two year old Jhia Te Tua.

“Some of the talk is it may not happen in Wanganui, it may flare up in Counties Manukau or South Auckland or some other place. They’ve got national groups throughout the motu,” Mr Panapa says.

DELUXE HOTERE STUDY PLANNED

Te Aupouri artist Ralph Hotere is the subject of a major book due out in November.

Publisher Ron Sang says Mr Hotere has selected the most important works from each of his major series for inclusion in the book.

He says writers Vincent O'Sullivan and Kriselle Baker were able to penetrate the veil of privacy the Dunedin-based artist surrounds himself with.

“He is extremely private and he doesn’t like any publicity, it’s almost impossible to ask him to answer any questions, so you’ve got to do your own homework and it’s been very successful having those two to do the book because they know him from way back and Vincent O’Sullivan’s article is so easy to read, it’s not like a textbook at all, it’s not an academic review, it’s a simple biography,” Mr Sang says.

As well as the standard edition, there will be a $9000 limited edition of 100 copies featuring heavier paper, a stainless steel cover and a silkscreened work by the artist.

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