Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rangitane slights aquaculture package

Marlborough's Rangitane iwi wants practical help to get it into aquaculture, not more talk.

Chief executive Richard Bradley says the government's new Blue Horizon policy doesn't address the issues the iwi has identified in its attempts to set up a marine farm in the Marlborough Sounds.

He's also skeptical of Te Puni Kokiri's plans to build stronger relationships between industry and Maori.

“Oh hell that's what we need eh, more Maori liaison people (laughs). The problem is it’s supposed to be a commercial aquaculture settlement so it really needs to be business focused, so we actually need not more consultants. We need someone who is able to come up with a business case to get Maori into the business,” Mr Bradley says.

Maori want action now on the commitment in the Maori commercial aquaculture settlement to give them 20 percent of all existing and new aquaculture space.

HEALTHY FOOD MESSAGE FACES ECONOMIC REALITY

The principal of west Auckland's Hoani Waititi kura kaupapa says his school is already trying to get across a healthy food message, but a lot depends on parents.

The Government has told schools to stop selling high fat and high sugar food and drinks, as part of its efforts to tackle the country's obesity epidemic.

Tipene Lemon says Hoani Waititi supports the idea, but parents are driven by their own economic conditions.

“We as a kura may have some ideas about hauora and nutrition and what is appropriate for our kids here However, the reality is that whanau will possibly be able to purchase the more inexpensive kai, and that’s the kai their kids will bring to kura, even if it isn’t the stuff we really want to see them bring to kura,” Mr Lemon says.

The most important thing is parents are providing food for their tamariki.

PARTY PLANNED FOR MORALE BOOST

Maori working for the Auckland District Health Board will get a chance to strut their stuff later this month.

In a bid to boost staff morale, Maori services within Starship Hospital, Greenlane Clinical Centre and Auckland City Hospital will get together to dance and sing at a special two day event.

Mero Cooper, the kai-atawhai for the board's He Kamaka Oranga Maori health secretariat, says staff are getting into the spirit of the event.

“We were approached to put in a group and sing some songs, and we though that was bring to just get up and sing, so we wanted to put the x factor in and we’re going to be all bling and dressed up and kopua and kauhine outfits. We’re doing it to the tune of Achey Breakey Heart,” she says.

The performances will be judged by health board tikanga advisor Naida Glavish.

TRIBUTES FOR WITARINA HARRIS

Hundreds of people have been through Rotorua's Te Papaiouru Marae today to pay tribute to an exceptional woman.

Te Arawa kuia the late Witarina Harris, who died on Sunday at aged 101, is lying in state at the Tamatekapua meeting house.

Known as a silent film actress and in her later role as kuia of the New Zealand film archive, whaea Harris worked for many years for politician Sir Apirana Ngata and was a founding member of the Maori Women's Welfare League.

National MP Georgina Te Heuheu says it was an extraordinary life.

“Absolutely a wonderful lady, a sharing, generous human being, just one of those people that in any tribe you describe them as the duchess or the queen. Every tribe has their special ladies, and she was one of the ones in the Te Arawa tribal family who was very special,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.

The funeral service for Witarina Harris will start at 11 tomorrow

FAMILY GROUP CONFERENCES GIFT TO WORLD

Family group conferences are being described as a gift from Maori to the world.

Allan MacRae, the family group conference manager for the Child Youth and Family Service, says more than 20 countries have adopted the process of bringing offenders, victims and their families together.

The American Human Society last week honoured New Zealand for the achievement.

Mr MacRae says Maori provided crucial input into the development of the conferences 20 years ago.

“It's come about through the activities of Maori in advocating for the rights of families to have a say in what’s happening to their young people, about harnessing the initiatives of the Maori people and the community at large to address the problems, and it is a gift that Maori have give to New Zealand society,” Mr MacRae says.

BOOK TRACKS MAORI-CHINESE LINK

A new book is telling the stories of some of the 5000 people who share Maori and Chinese whakapapa.

Jade Taniwha author Jenny Bol Jun Lee says many of them came out of relationships formed between Maori women and Chinese market gardeners.

She says the children often struggled to fit in.

They talk about difficult experiences being both and feeling on the margins a lot of the time, both from Maori and Chinese communities and Pakeha society, so it has been awkward for the people I've interviewed,” Ms Lee says.

Jade Taniwha will be launched tomorrow at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae.

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