Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

NUMA looking at fisheries education fund

The National Urban Maori Authority is looking at ways the money earmarked in the fisheries settlement for education and training can help its constitutents.

John Tamihere from West Auckland's Te Whanau o Waipareira says Te Putea Whakatupu Trust will eventually have a putea of $20 million.

Mr Tamihere says it's important the money, which was fought for by the urban authorities, go to Maori who may be cut off from their tribal affiliations.

“Census shows up to one in four Maori are non-aligned to any tribal group. And so this fund was out in place to try to support them. We’re endeavoring to brand that and get a range of scholarships out of all the tertiary facilities up and down the country going for Maori,” Mr Tamihere says.

The National Urban Maori Authority is growing, with the Nelson authority the latest to join.


Ngati Manawa claimant and Maori Council member Maanu Paul says the Government should not do settlements which breach Maori tikanga or traditions.

Ngati Manawa has claimed part of the Kaingaroa Forest which the Government intends to hand over as part of a settlement of Te Arawa land claims.

Mr Paul says cordial relationships with neighbouring iwi are the cornerstone of Maori life, and Te Arawa risks upsetting those relationships.

“Those Maori claimants like Te Arawa who have accepted a deed of settlement of other people’s lands for themselves ought to say to the Crown ‘we cannot abide with this. Remove other people’s properties out of the settlement and we’ll accept the settlement,’” Mr Paul says.

The Te Arawa settlement is held up while the High Court and the Waitangi Tribunal consider separate challenges to the process.


Maori actor Rena Owen says she had to draw on her own childhood experiences for her latest role as a Tuhoe kuia.

Owen plays the lead role of Puhi in Children of the Rain, a sequel by director Vincent Ward to his breakthrough 1981 documentary In Spring One Plants Alone.

The original film followed Puhi as she talked about the hardships endured through three marriages, the loss of tamariki and the challenges of caring for a schizophrenic son, who she believed was under a maketu or curse.

Owen says she jumped at the chance to play the kuia at age 50 and 80.

"One of the only reasons I think I could portray this wahine was because I did grow up in the sticks, under the shadow of my grandmother, so when I watched this documentary I could identify this woman,” Owen says.

Children of the Rain is due for release towards the end of the year.


The minister in charge of Child Youth and Family Services says she's satisfied with the numbers of social workers achieving full registration.

National's Anne Tolley has challenged the fact only a third of CYF social workers are registered with the Social Workers Registration Board.

But Ruth Dyson says that's good progress, given that the board has been going for just over two years and staff must take time out from their existing work to be assessed.

Ms Dyson says New Zealand social workers face major challenges and need specialised skills because of the number of Maori families they deal with.

“We know that more Maori families are in low income situations. Their traditional family support is no longer available, they have some inter-generational unemployment issues, often live in rural, isolated communities. For social work support of those families, it obviously needs more specialised skills,” she says.

Ms Dyson says Child Youth and Family remains committed to having all its social workers go through the registration process.


The sport of handball is picking up a strong following among Maori.

Des Ratima from Handball New Zealand says Maori women dominate the top women's teams, while many of the top male players are expatriates from Europe.

Mr Ratima says Maori also dominate the administration of the sport, and they're trying to generate wider interest.

“It's been in Maori control since its inception in this country. Like touch and like tag, which has taken off among Pacific Island and Maori rangatahi, handball has that same potential,” Mr Ratima says.

The national handball championships will run this month at Auckland's Waitaakere Stadium.


Once Were Warriors star Rena Owen says being in the exotic ethnic class can be a disadvantage in Hollywood.

Owen has kept busy with supporting roles in Tinseltown since her 1995 breakthrough, but has to come back to this part of the world for lead roles.

She says roles for brown women in mainstream movies are limited in mainstream movies.

Owen fears it could count against Whale Rider star star Keisha Castle Hughes, if she tries to follow in the footsteps of another teenage Kiwi actress, Anna Paquin.

“Now that girl went on from movie to movie to movie to movie, whereas with Keisha, the opportunities have been more limited, and you’ve got to say why, what’s the difference. And the difference really is the visual thing, inn terms of skin colouring and she’s like me, she’s always going to be in the exotic ethnic class,” she says.

Owen is currently working on a Vincent Ward film, The Rain of the Children.


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