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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Te Ataarangi reward seeing reo grow

One of the people behind the popular Te Ataarangi method of teaching te reo Maori says her reward is seeing the language grow.

Twenty years ago Nganehu Turner from Ngati Maniapoto helped bring Te Ataarangi into the Waikato polytechnic, where she still teaches.

The speech-based method uses coloured rakau or sticks to stimulate simple conversations.

Mrs Turner says it allows students to learn about words in depth, and they can also pick up what they need to know about tikanga Maori, waiata and karakia.

“We don't just korero the reo but we also look at the meaning behind it, the meaning, the spiritual and physical side of the word and the sentence structure, that’s where I think the popularity of Te Ataarangi,” Mrs Turner says.

Students are now looking beyond the language and wanting to know more about the wairua and spiritual side of Maori culture.

MAORI ART GALLERY IN AWANUI

The far north has a new art gallery for fans of the best of what Te Tai Tokerau has to offer.

Esta Proctor from Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri has opened Te Ara Toi in the Awanui visitor centre, just north of Kaitaia.

Its first show brings together seven women artists to represent the seven stars in Matariki - Nga Wahine e Whitu.

Ms Proctor says the women use traditional Maori fibres and material in their art.

She says Maori artists in the north need more outlets.

“They aren't given an opportunity to reflect what the far north is really about and that is using the local resources and what is available to them, and it’s used in an eco-conscious way and that’s just how the far north is, it’s untapped and thank goodness, so hopefully it will stay that way,” Ms Proctor says.

AGENT ORANGE OUTREACH NOT JUST FOR GOVERNMENT

Returned serviceman Jim Perry says Maori Vietnam veterans and their families should be doing more to find out about the Agent Orange compensation package, rather than waiting to be contacted by the government.

E kii ana a hoia tawhito a Jim Perry, ehara ma te Kaawanatanga hai whakapaa atu ki nga hoia i pakanga atu ki Vietnam me oo ratou whaanau i paakinotia e te paitini karaka.

Mr Perry says the RSA should become more involved in the notification process.

NAPIER RESIDENTS BATTLE OVER SUBURB NAME

Napier residents are facing off with Maori over the name of the city's newest suburb.

The Geographic Board says the Napier City Council development will be called Orutu Park.

Homeowners have started a petition because they want to stick with the suburb's working title, Parklands.

Bevan Taylor from the council's Maori consultative committee says Ngati Kahungunu was offended by the homeowners' claims that the name made the suburb sound scruffy and would affect house prices.

He says Orutu is the right tupuna name for the area.

“The Whanganui Orutu was a lake called Orutu covers that area. It’s part of the Orutu lake before the earthquake, and that’s a sort of a historical reason why our committee sought to have the name of that subdivision called Orutu,” Mr Taylor says.

The final decision on the name will be made by the Minister for Land Information.

KNOWLEDGE COULD CLOSE MIGRANT GAP

The Green's immigration spokesperson says more education is needed to address the negative view Maori have of new migrants.

A Massey University study has found Maori are far more hostile to immigration than non-Maori.

Keith Locke says while few New Zealanders understand the cultures of people moving here, new arrivals are also ill-prepared.

“Often newly arriving immigrants, they’re not taken through any courses, any real education to understand the particular role of the tangata whenua of our nation, and I think a lot could be done to improve that,” Mr Locke says.

He's encouraged by the efforts made by some migrant commnuities, such as the Waitangi Day event organised by Auckland's Sri Lankan community.

RANGATAHI DISCOVERING STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

A union advocate says young workers are rediscovering the strength they have in numbers.

Alistair Duncan from the Service and Food Workers Union says the industrial reforms of the 1990s left many rangatahi with little knowledge of the union movement or their rights in the workplace.

But he says recent strikes and lockouts are showing them how to see beyond the individual contract.

“They know a good deal when they see it. They also know a crap deal when they see it. But what they haven’t done and what they could perhaps pick up from some of their forebears is if it takes two, if it takes four, if it takes eight or 16 people, you do get a better result when you work collectively than just trying to thumb the system on your own,” Mr Duncan says.

HEALTH MANAGER URGES MAORI TO GET TO HOSPITAL EARLIER

The manager or Maori Services for Counties Manukau Health says Maori shouldn't wait until they are on death's doorstep to see a health professional.

Hai taa te Kaihautuu o nga Ratonga Hauora i te rohe o Manukau a Bernard Te Paa me haere moata nga Maori e maauiui ana ki te taakuta. Engari he aarai nui te utu taakuta ki etahi:

Mr Te Paa says the cost of going to the doctor is a major barrier to getting early and appropriate health care.

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