Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

TVNZ grab for Maori funding challenged

Television New Zealand has been accused of hypocrisy for its bid for a share of the contestable funding available to promote te reo Maori.

Community worker Dennis O'Reilly says support for the Maori language should be part of the broadcaster's mainstream commitment, and not just something it does to get extra state funding.

Mr O'Reilly was cut off by Close Up host Paul Henry when he tried to deliver a poroporoaki for slain two-year old Jhia Te Tua, during a segment on gang violence in Wanganui.

“Not only was that insulting in the moment, it then becomes hypocritical for Rick Ellis, the chief executive of TV1, to then apply for the $13 million of contestable funding through Te Mangai Paho to promote te reo Maori. You’ve got to be consistent,” Mr O'Reilly says.

Rick Ellis and Maori programmes head Whai Ngata yesterday faced a grilling from Parliament's Maori Affairs select committee on TVNZ's Maori plans.

MAORI TOURISM SECTOR WORKING TOGETHER

A Maori exhibitor at this week's TRENZ tourism showcase in Rotorua says everyone in the sector realises the benefits of working together.

Melissa Crockett from Auckland-based Potiki Adventures says there is a real sense of whanungatanga among Maori operators, and she has no hesitation recommending other Maori tourism products and services.

She says there is real diversity on offer for overseas visitors.

“They can do sightseeing and tourism experiences all over the country that are really different from Pakeha experiences in that, if they take the indigenous route, they’re going to be adding a lot more levels to the tour for their clients so it’s really important for all of us to walk together, and we do, to try and showcase that Maori culture,” Ms Crocket says.

TRENZ has allowed Potiki Adventures to get valuable face time with industry heavyweights from around the world.

RANGTAHI OPINION MUST BE SOUGHT

The Minister of Youth Affairs says many councils are unsure about how they can gauge the views of rangatahi.

Nanaia Mahuta says councils serving areas with a high number of young people have a duty to consult.

She says the theme of this week's Youth Week, your community needs youth, is a challenge to decision makers.

Ms Mahuta says councils show a range of capability.

“Some might have a council of rangatahi and some might have rangatahi advisers and they have focus groups and meetings with rangatahi to get their views. Some councils, they’re way back in the dark ages and they have no idea of what's the best approach,” Ms Mahuta says.

SHOWCASE FOR MOUNTAINS TO SEA PATHWAY

Whanganui Maori tourism operators are using the annual TRENZ tourism showcase in Rotorua to trial a new marketing intitiative funded by Trade and Enterprise.

Journeys on the Whanganui coordinator Noko Tangaroa says the 16 Maori and non-Maori operators in his group offer experiences from the mountains of the central plateau to the sea.

He says the new Te Kahui Tupua framework allows tour wholesalers to construct a wide range of packages within the rohe.

“We're all operators in our own right. We all have our own stories and experiences to share, but to tie that in with the brand, which is almost a sort of promise that people will come to the region, dig a little deeper, look for a much more deeper and meaningful experience. That's what we're offering,” Mr Tangaroa says.

Te Kahui Tupua allows Pakeha operators to slot into the Maori tourism network and kaupapa.

ENVIRONMENT BOP CONSIDERS SUBMISSIONS ON MOVE

The Bay of Plenty regional council is this week holding its annual hearings, with most of the submissions challenging its plans to move its headquarters from Whakatane to Tauranga.

Tangata whenua from the eastern bay say this will take it away from the concentrations of Maori population, and it will make it much harder to make their concerns heard.

Maanu Paul from Ngati Awa and Ngati Manawa says some of the reasons Environment BOP is giving for moving don't stack up.

“The rationale for setting up the office in Whakatane still hasn’t changed. Floods still occur in Whakatane, not in Tauranga. Earthquakes still occur in the eastern Bay of Plenty, they don't happen in Tauranga,” Maanu Paul.

Environment BOP chair John Cronin says even if the relocation doesn't happen, the regional council's Tauranga presence will still need to be boosted to handle extra workloads in land use, compliance and transport areas.

MORE BOOKS FOR MAORI READERS NEEDED

A Maori author says encouraging Maori children to write their own stories could be the way to overcome a shortage of books aimed at tamariki.

Tim Tipene has published five books in the Warrior series targeting Maori children and adolescents.

He says literacy levels can be improved by giving children stories about things they are familiar with.

Mr Tipene says tamariki respond well to his books when he takes therm into the classroom.

"Their attention was full on. They were wanting to listen. They were wanting to be part of it. They were asking questions. So I think a lot of the books they were given they can’t relate to. I don’t think we have enough material out there. I think we really need to keep things cooking and encourage our children to write," Mr Tipene says.

His books are a tool to promote healthy lifestyle and anti-bullying messages in schools.

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