Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Northern kuia Rewa Marsh dies

Taitokerau and Tainui are today mourning kuia Rewa Marsh, who died on Sunday.

Mrs Marsh was raised within the Kingitanga, but after her marriage into Ngapuhi became an important part of the cultural and social life of the north.

She was one of the leaders of the claim against the building of the Ngawha prison.

Her knowledge of tikanga Maori, history, whakapapa and language made her a welcome presence on marae in the rohe.

Mrs Marsh's tangi is Tauwhare Marae in Waimate North. The funeral will be held on Wednesday.

No reira e te pou kuia o Ngapuhi. Moe mai, moe mai, moe mai ra.

TV CHARTER NO GUARANTEE OF FAIRNESS

Maori want a fairer deal out of the rewrite of the Television New Zealand charter.

That's the feedback veteran breakfast host Henare Kingi of Wellington radio station Te Upoko o te Ika is getting from his listeners.

TVNZ has called for submissions on a redrafted charter, which will be fed into the government's five-yearly charter review process.

It is proposing to reiterate a commitment to provide entertaining and informative programming that reflects Maori interests, culture and language ... and to convey those interests to a wider New Zealand audience.

Mr Kingi says a lot of criticism of TVNZ stems from the cavaliar fashion it treats is daily te reo Maori news programme, Te Karere.

“It's fairness for our Maori programmes. They set times for our Maori programmes and yet they can change them as they like. And yet other programmes which is not worth looking at, they don’t change those sorts of programmes. They unfair because they can change it when they like, for tennis or any other games,” he says.

Mr Kingi says from the outside Television New Zealand seems to lack strong Maori leadership.

PYLONS THREATEN HAPU PROSPECTS

Two south Waikato hapu says their economic prospects are being sacrificed to Auckland's Power needs.

Willie Te Aho from Ngati Koroki and Ngati Kahukura says the hapu is not only opposing Transpower's proposed upgrade of its network from Whakamaru to Otahuhu, it also opposes the existing pylons.

That's because the wires run between their marae and their urupa.

He says the power pylons also limit the hapu's options.

“Future livelihood in the Maungatautari area is clearly around tourism, and we want to ensure that the intrinsic aesthetic beauty of our area round Karapiro, Maungatautari is maintained,” Mr Te Aho says.

The hapu could go back to the Waitangi Tribunal to oppose the new transmission route.

GAMBLING FOUNDATION GETS KAUMATUA INSIGHT

Gambling Helpline has appointed a kaumatua to help it improve its services to Maori.

She's Mereana Peka, who is well known in the South Auckland community for her work with the Maori Wardens, the police and as a kaumatua for Inland Revenue's Manukau office.

Krista Ferguson, the chief executive of Gambling Helpline, says Maori continue to be disproportionately represented among those presenting with gambling problems.

She says Ms Peka will bring a new level of expertise.

“We've got a Maori gambling helpline team who are Maori and provide by Maori for Maori support but we wanted to give them extra support around tikanga and te reo and to provide them with that sort of level of support so they can provide appropriate support for people coming forward for help,” Ms Ferguson says.

STUDENTS URGED TO PURSUE MEDICAL CAREERS

Forty Maori secondary school students from around the North Island are in Auckland this week to see whether they want to pursue careers in the medical sciences.

Papaarangi Reid, the tumuaki Maori at the Auckland University medical school, says it's the sixth year of the Whakapiki Ake project, which targets Maori senior students studying science.

She says too few Maori think of the health sciences as a career, and too many schools stream their Maori students out of science subjects.

“Forget Once Were Warriors, once were scientists. Everything about matariki, everything about navigation, everything about boat building, about horticulture, about food preservation, body preservation, that’s all science. Surfing a wave is science, you know that’s wave motion. We really have to forget the colonizing thought that science isn't for us,” Dr Reid says.

If students identified by the Whakapiki Ake programme want to pursue their interest, Auckland University can channel them into a foundation certificate in health sciences before they select professional courses like medicine or pharmacy.

LOW MAORI TURNOUT EXPECTED AGAIN

The chief electoral officer says going on previous trends fewer the half of eligible Maori voters will cast their vote in this year's local body elections.

Murray Wicks says his staff are busy at hui, making contact with people who may have moved house, and who are not listed on the electoral roll.

He says the Maori enrolment rate is high, but turnout could improve.

“Enrolment is currently sitting around 95 percent. As far as participation itself is concerned, that varies from local council to local council and obviously from area to area, but it averages at around about 50 percent voter turn-out,” Mr Wicks says.

GAMBLING EFFECTIVENESS QUERIED

The head of the Gambling Helpline says research is needed to determine whether current programmes are helping address Maori gambling problems.

Krista Ferguson says the appointment of respected south Auckland woman Mereana Peka as the service's kaumatua is an important part of the development of its Maori strategy.

But she says it's hard to assess whether the specialist Maori team or the mainstream helpline if having an impact without a comprehensive research project.

“Well last year we had the highest proportion of Maori contacting our services for the past eight years. That might be good news in the sense that more people are coming forward for help, or it might be bad news in the sense that it shows again that Maori are really being affected by gambling harm,” Ms Ferguson says.

She says 70 percent of the Maori who contact the service say their problems stem from overspending on the pokies.

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