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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Kawa could be key for Maori diet programme

A Maori doctoral researcher says new forms of kawa may be the way to encourage healthier lifestyles.

Meihana Durie from Massey University is presenting his research into kawa or cultural protocols to the nutrition and physical activity public health conference in Rotorua this week.

Mr Durie says urbanisation means many whanau lost touch with the practices that had ensured a healthy lifetyle.

“There were a lot of kawa that revolved around kai. The distribution of food for example to whanau round the area after fishing, planting, even eating or consumption of kai was regulated, and I think it was regulated to ensure the health was kept intact and people were kept safe while they were doing it, but some of those things seems to be lost over time,” he says.

Mr Durie says a large scale social programme involving kanohi ki te kanohi or face to face contact with families may be the best way to get the healthy living message to Maori.


For the last time, Maori froum round the country are gathering in Ngaruawahia this Wednesday to mark the coronation of the late Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

Turangawaewae Marae Committee chair Pokaia Nepia says the programme includes a marae tour and exhibition, a display of Tainui's three waka, kapa haka and cabaret performances.

Mr Nepia says Kingitanga is experiencing a surge of interest and a lot of support for Kingi Tuheitia.

“We've gained a lot more support now since her tangihanga. We feel it at the marae and even the other poukai marae, now that Tuheitia is sitting where she used to be, it’s gone more more bigger,” Mr Nepia says.

Seven kowhai trees will be planted on the Waikato river bank, symbolising Dame Te Atairangikaahu's seven children and celebrating her role as a mother and nurturer of people.


Fishing guru Bill Hohepa says he's constantly amazed by inventions Maori come up with to catch more fish.

The Snells Beach based fisherman was swamped at last weekend's New Zealand Boatshow by anglers keen to hear about the sea band invented by a Maori fisher from the Waikato.

It's a type of bungy cord used on fishing tackle which means fish are less likely to slip the hook when they get close to the boat.

Mr Hohepa says he's also impressed by a handy trick for pulling up anchors, devised by Cardy Reihana in Napier.

“Have a 20 litre drum and shackle that to the anchor rope. Pull the rope to wherever you are in the driving pit and drive, and the drum sort of goes down the back, down the line, and the chain goes through the shackle, the anchor turns up. Go back and pick up a whole bunch of loose rope and pull the anchor up it just saves a hole lot of time pulling anchors,” Mr Hohepa says.


New Plymouth District Councilor Howie Tamati says it's important archological sites and waahi tapu are noted on the district plans.

The council came under fire from community board members when it went into closed session to consider plans to update planning maps to include archaeological and Maori waahi tapu sites.

Mr Tamati says the issue can raise heated emotions, but the council has to follow proper procedures.

He says including sites on plans can ensure their protection, even if there is little physical evidence of what was there before.

“It may well be a puna. It may be a waterfall, tauranga waka, something like that. No visual evidence but these areas are of significance, that may well be owned by Pakeha owners, and if the farmer’s proposing subdivision of the land, these archaeological sites, waahi tapu sites, are not disturbed and not damaged,” Mr Tamati says.


The Prime Minister says changing demographics are putting a lot of pressure on Maori elders to pass on cultural information to rangatahi.

It's national youth week, and Helen Clark says the majority of young people are doing themselves and their families proud by studying and working, rather than racing cars or hanging our in street gangs.

She says because rangatahi make up such a big percentage of the Maori population, it's vital they get the cultural training they need.

“The Maori population is a young one, 40 to 50 percent would be under 25. That means a lot of responsibility I think on the elders in terms of transmission, passing on of culture, and te reo and values, because this young bow wave coming on through,” Ms Clark says.


The patron of the latest wing to graduate from the Police College in Porirua says cultural responsiveness is now a vital part of police training.

Naida Glavish first came to public attention when as a toll operator she refused orders to stop saying kia ora to callers.

She's gone on to fill a number of prominent roles in te ao Maori, and she's also part of the Police commissioner's advisory taumata.

Ms Glavish says the feedback after co-hosted a session on the police's Maori responsiveness strategy shows how much policing has changed.

“There were recruits coming up to us and saying to us, of the five months of being here, those last two days had been the best two days to them because they can get that other training at any time, but what we were treating them to in terms of cultural responsiveness and Maori responsiveness is something they considered very special,” Ms Glavish says.


Blogger Doctor_Eva said...

Your health is in real danger if you eat fast-food more than twice a week! But I know, how to lose weight!

7:59 pm  

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