Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 29, 2007

Maori in Australian up 20,000

The number of Maori living in Australia has increased 27 percent over the past five years.

According to results of the 2006 Australian Census released this week, the number of people of Maori ancestry rose 72,956 to 92,912.

68, 814 of them said both parents were born in New Zealand.

A separate category, New Zealander, increased 30 percent to 160,681 in the same period.

Massey University geographer Manuhuia Barcham, who has been studying Maori migration to Australia, says the increase is probably due to a mix of migration and self-identification.

“It seems in our research in Australia between second, third and sometimes fourth generation Maori New Zealanders, there’s a strong degree of ethnic identity among other groups in Australia, so young Maori are also looking for something to link up to, and in a sense just as it is in New Zealand it‘s cool to be Maori, so you’re getting a lot of Maori over there with stylised Maori tattoos etc,” Dr Barcham says.

He says the mining boom in Western Australia is also drawing many Maori workers.

On this side of the Tasman, 565,000 people identified themselves as Maori in last year's Census.

MAOR TEACHERS DO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Maori teachers will be sharing their experiences at a professional development hui in Rotorua.

Te Makao Bowkett from the Post Primary Teachers association say Maori teachers in Maori medium and mainstream secondary schools face unique challenges.

As well as delivering the curriculum, they have strong cultural responsibilities and expectations, and in many cases end up taking on roles which previously belonged within whanau.

She says the hui will hear from law lecturers, oral historians, reo advocates and people with administrative expertise they can pass on.

“They're coming in specifically to talk about teachers’ professional records online, so making sure that especially our young kaiako Maori learn to be smart in the administrative management side of their professional duties,” Ms Bowkett says.

MORE SUPPORT NEEDED FOR MAORI BUSINESS

The Maori Party co-leader would like to see more support for Maori businesses to get past the start up phase.

Pita Sharples is one of the presenters at the Maori business awards in Auckland tomorrow night.

The awards are sponsored by the Maori Womens Development Incorporation, which through small loans and mentoring has helped hundreds of Maori into their own businesses since the 1980s.

Dr Sharples says it's the sort of record which has Maori registering as third in the Global Entrepreneurship Survey.

“Our record's not so good after three years, and this has probably got to do with access to resources and maybe a bit of acumen but certainly we don’t lack the enthusiasm and the initiative and the entrepreneurship,” Dr Sharples says.

MINING BOOM FUELING MAORI RUSH TO OZ

A mining boom is being credited for a big increase in Maori across the Tasman.

Between 2001 and 2006 the number of people of Maori ancestry in Australia jumped from 72,956 to 92,912, according to Census figures released this week.

Manuhuia Barcham from Massey University, has is studying Maori migration, says some of that increase comes from increased self-identification by young Maori, even if their families may have been in Australia for two or three generations.

But he says there is a lot of Maori attracted by a good lifestyle and easy money in some sectors.

“My initial gut feeling would be a lot of that would be out to Western Australia. With the mineral boom out there you’re getting a lot of jobs in the mining industry, a lot of them not requiring a high degree of skill,” Dr Barcham says.

There is a lot of movement by Maori back on forth across the Tasman, and Maori are also unlikely to become Australian citizens.

MAORI BUDGET ADVISORS SOUGHT

A West Auckland grandmother is on the hunt for Maori to train as budget advisors.

Judy Rudolph from the Henderson Budgeting Service says Maori and Polynesian people welcome the chance to talk through their financial problems with someone of their own culture.

That's not always possible because of a shortage of trained advisors.

“The pity of it is we don’t have a lot of Maori budget advisors. It’s not paid work. That’s the trouble, it’s voluntary, but at the end of the day I kind of look at it from this perspective – if we can get Maori more Maori in there, the message gets out to more Maori,” Ms Rudolph says.

ERO REPORT ON SCHOOL FOR MUMS OFF TARGET

The head of a youth health service has leapt to the defence of two Christchurch schools for teenage mothers.

The Education Review Office says the schools are failing because the students continue to have children,

But Sue Bagshaw says the schools are some of the few support services available for young mums keen to gain skills and escape the poverty trap.

She says a disproportionate number of students are Maori, in line with trends throughout the country.

Dr Bagshaw says the ERO shows little understanding for the situation the young women are in.

“All young mums want their babies to have brothers and sisters. It’s really hard to have an only child. I’m not sure if that should be taken as an indicator that the schools have failed. These schools are good. We need community support, we need whanau support to help these young people develop and grow and get out of the poverty trap and these schools are a good way of doing that,” Dr Bagshaw says.

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