Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Sunday, May 20, 2007

New beginning for wardens

The president of the Maori Wardens Association says a $2.5 million budget infusion will help the organisation push for autonomy.

Peter Walden says the money, which is earmarked for vehicles, communications, uniforms, training, and improved governance, is overdue but welcome.

The wardens come under the authority of the Maori Council, but in practice the council has let them chart their own course.

Peter Walden says the situation is still unsatisfactory, and this may be a chance to do something about it.

“I would like my organisation to build the infrastructure inside relationship building,” Mr Walden says.

Te Puni Kokiri is putting together a project team to determine where the money will be spent.

NGAI TAHU BACKS 1080 FOR NOW

Ngai Tahu is backing 1080 for pest control until a better alternative is available.

The Environmental Risk Management Authority is holding hearings into whether the Department of Conservation and the Animal Health Board can continue importing the poison.

Ngai Tahu environment spokesperson Edward Ellison says the tribe's vision is to enhance the natural environment, which is under threat from possums.

“1080 is the option we have at the moment. It has the potential to reduce numbers so we go with that, but our message to ERMA is our support is condition that they actually change the policy to extinction of these pests,” Mr Ellison says.

The hearings end in Wellington this week.

DPB EASY OUT FOR TOO MANY WAHINE

A veteran social worker says while the domestic purposes benefit has helped many Maori women get out of violent relationships, it has also contributed to break-ups.

West Auckland-based Lovey George is now working in programmes to reduce domestic violence.

She says the DPB has empowered many wahine who in the past would have been locked into unsatisfactory relationships.

A downside is some women use it rather than finding ways to work through relationship problems.

“Some wahine do take the easy way out and go for the DPB when they get hoha. DPB has lead to the break up of a lot of whanau,” Ms George says.

STRENGTH OF WATER GETS GERMAN BACKING

The German production company which backed The Whale Rider has swung in behind another film with a Maori theme.

Pandora Film from Frankfurt will co-produce The Strength of Water, written by playwright Briar Grace-Smith of Ngapuhi and Ngati Wai.

The film, about twin children living on a Northland chicken farm, will be shot around the Hokianga starting in August.

It's due for completion midway through 2008.

TRAVEL AGENTS GATHER IN ROTORUA

Maori operators will feature prominently at the tourism industry's annual conference starting in Rotorua today.

Deputy Mayor Trevor Maxwell says 350 international wholesale travel agents and 400 New Zealand businesses are expected in the sulphur city.

Mr Maxwell says it's the first time Rotorua has hosted the TRENZ conference, despite its history as a tourism destination since the days of the pink and white terraces.

“It's actually having all themovers and the shakers, n0t only from around New Zealand, but from overseas, and it’s another way of showcasing what we’ve got, and there will be a lot of Maori businesses there, that's for sure,” Mr Maxwell says.

Rotorua is expecting even more international travellers keen to experience kiwi and Maori hospitality once extensions to the Rorotua Airport runway are complete.

SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATIONS FOR PALIAMENT

Simultaneous translations in Parliament's debating chamber will lead to greater understanding, according to one of the men who will provide the service.

Last week's budget included $230,000 to pilot the idea.

Rangi McGarvey, who has worked in parliament for nine years, says it will be more effective than the current system, where the translator stands up after the speaker finishes.

“Probably one of the most difficult assignments for the interpreter is the simultaneous interpretation, but the advantage is the speaker, the flow of his words is not interrupted, his korero is not interrupted, peole who are listening and engaged are not interrupted, hearing te reo Maori,” McGarvey says.

MAORI PIGMENTS USED FOR MOHUA PAINTINGS

A show in a Nelson gallery of paintings using traditional Maori pigments is sparking considerable interest.

Artist Robin Slow from Ngati Tama says Ko Te Kura I Huna Ki Roto Ki Te Toto - or, It is a Treasure Hidden in the Blood, draws on the history of Golden Bay, known to Maori as Mohua,

The paintings include pigments like soot and ironstone, or kokowai, which creates a red pigment.

He says the materials generate their own stories.

“If you go back to the separation story in Rangi and Papa, when Rangi, his arms were wrenched apart, it was the blood that dripped down on to Papa and eventually Tane took that and formed the first woman. Now within that there are a whole lot of incredible stories. There are incredible values. There are all sorts of ways of looking at it, and it is another way of looking at the land here it’s a different way of looking at the landscape and the way people have moved on it and the histories that go with it,” Mr Slow says.

The exhibition at the Catchment Gallery in Nelson runs for another week.

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