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 06, 2007

Wanganui death indictment of gang support

New Zealand First Law and Order spokesperson Ron Mark says too many Maori are condoning and promoting gang lifestyles.

Mr Mark says the death of a two-year old in a gang related shooting in Wanganui over the weekend should be a wake up call to Maori families who turn a blind eye to the activities of whanau members in gangs.

Mr Mark says it's time Maori stopped looking for someone else to blame.

“The days are long gone when we can sit here and blame other people for our own behaviour. The days are long gone when we can blame the missionaries and blame colonization. This is New Zealand today. These people are allowed to behave in this way because Maoridom across all Aotearoa tolerate it and even promote it,” Mr Mark says.

New Zealand First wants a Suppression of Gangs Act, modeled on the suppression of terrorism legislation.


A former Maori school principal says there are few people competent to evaluate Maori teachers.

Primary teachers from around the country are voting today on whether to support a new career model in the profession.

Jim Perry, who headed kura kaupapa Maori in Te Puke and Mangere, says the proposed model is supposed to acknowledge teachers with advanced skills and create leadership pathways.

But Mr Perry says a lot of what Maori teachers are expected to do isn’t captured by the model.

“The question’s got to be, who is capable of assessing the ability of our Maori teachers, particularly those in kura kaupapa, kura auraki? That’s one of the big problems we've got,” Mr Perry says.


Rangitikei District Council's Te Roopu Ahi Kaa is looking at ways to get more young Maori involved.

Chairperson Richard Steedman says it is considering selecting youth representatives from the constituent iwi to take part during the public forum part of komiti meetings.

Mr Steedman says the komiti needs to have an eye to the future and a succession plan.

“District Councils are not the most exciting places really for youth but Rangitikei District Council does have a youth forum and we have been working on ways of brining them into councils,” Mr Steedman says.


A former member of the New Zealand Educational Institute’s executive says while a new system aimed at retaining primary school teachers is welcome, it may not be enough for many Maori teachers.

Today 25 thousand teachers nationwide will vote on a new model for evaluating teachers, which will affect career paths and salaries.

Jim Perry, a retired school principal, says retaining top Maori teachers has been a constant battle over the years.

He says expectations on Maori teachers are different, from leading school kapa haka groups to acting as social workers.

“You’re expected to do a lot more, because you are Maori. Any discipline problems with the Maori kids, go and get the Maori teacher, get them to come along and fix it up. And if in fact you are being used for that, then that should be recognised in terms of an improvement in your salary level,” Mr Perry says.

He says it would be hard to find people with the competence to assess Maori teachers.


A hui in Blenheim today will look for better ways for youth workers to deal with rangatahi.

Coordinator Robin Spence from the Marlborough Youth Trust says there are no simple rules youth workers.

Ms Spence says they need to be able to work in a range of different cultural situations.

“We're going to be talking about cultural identity because it is vital to be able to network in to the different communities. As well as Maori, we’ve got quite and international population, because a lot of migrant workers come in with their families to work in the vineyards so we do have quite a multicultural situation here,” Ms Spence says.


A Maori entertainer who has lived in Las Vegas for 40 years is back home to finish a documentary about his brother.

Kawana Pohe, from Tuwharetoa was a saxophonist for the Maori Hi Fives, who toured extensively through Australia and Asia in the early 1960s.

Mr Pohe's tuakana, Johnny Pohe, one of the first Maori pilots in World War 2.

He flew for the Royal Airforce before he was shot down and became a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III.

Johnny Pohe was one of 76 prisoners who tunneled out of Stalag Luft III in an escape that formed the basis of the Steve McQueen classic The Great Escape, and one of the 50 who were recaptured and shot.

Kawana Pohe says it was an honour to be part of the documentary.

“They wanted to film me at the gravesite at Posnan where Johnny’s tombstone is and where a lot of the Commonwealth airmen were buried. Wouldn’t say it was my best performance, but for my brother I played saxophone at his graveside,” Mr Pohe says.


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