Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 27, 2007

AUT bail-out slammed

The Government is being accused of double standards over its $50 million bail out of the Auckland University of Technology.

Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen says the money is an investment to enable to new university to continue its development and improve its research and teaching capability.

But unionist Matt McCarten, a former board member of Te Wananga o Aotearoa, says the university racked up $90 million in debt on a massive building programme to attract students who aren't coming.

He says the government's response is in stark contrast to its reaction when the Maori tertiary institution tried to collect the $20 million it was owed for capital development, under a treaty settlement.

“They wanted the CEO’s resignation, they wanted statutory managers, they wanted to put Crown managers in, it was a public disgrace, and here it’s just business as usual, and they’re still in debt, and they’re running at a deficit, but it seems to be all OK,” Mr McCarten says.

He says the wananga is in a far healthier state than the rest of the polytechnic sector, but the government seems determined to undermine it.

NOT WHITE ENOUGH TO BE MAYOR

Comedian Mike King has some sobering news for his good friend who would be mayor.

He says the odds are stacked against Willie Jackson sporting Manukau's mayoral chains.

The Waipu based humorist says the decision by Mr Jackson and fellow politician turned broadcasters John Tamihere to join the local body fray was big news in the Maori world.

But he's warning his Mangere mate not to get his hopes up.

“Now that's a news story that these two boys are standing for mayor. Now John Tamihere I could understand but Willie Jackson. Puh-leeze. Standing in Manukau. Puh-leeze. Hasn’t Willie looked in the mirror lately? He’s not white. He’s not going to get that job. Man o man o man.”

SOUL SEARCHING LEADS TO SOLO DISC

One of the country's top Maori musicians says a long period of soul searching led him to create his first solo album.

Tiki Taane's Past, Present, Future album fuses bass-heavy dub and traditional Maori instruments.

Mr Taane says as a member of Salmonella Dub for more than a decade, he felt stuck somewhere in between the cultures of his Scottish mother and his Ngati Maniapoto father ... so he had to get out to embrace his Maori side.

“What am I doing? I’ve been in this band for 11 years. I feel like I’ve taken it as far as I’m able. I’ve come to a crossroad in my life. I need to either keep going down the path I’m on which is already good, in one of the biggest bands in New Zealand, making lots of money, selling records, playing big sell-out shows, but artistically not doing what I really really really feel like I want to be doing,” Mr Taane says.

Tangaroa, the first single off the album, features the haka and vocals of Tiki Taane's father Uekaha Taanetinorau.

POYNTER REMEMBERED FOR MAORI ENGAGEMENT

Whanganui Maori have being paying homage to former mayor Chas Poynter.

Putiki Marae chairperson Hone Tamehana says many people outside the rohe have a distorted view of the relationship between tangata whenua and Mr Poynter, who was buried on Saturday.

That's because of sensationalist media coverage of the Motua Gardens occupation a decade ago.

But Mr Poynter was a regular at marae events, and he's remembered with affection.

Mr Tamehana says the iwi would like to see a walkway near the town centre named after Mr Poynter.

“It's currently under construction and I think it’s near completion and it’s flanking the river on the town side and would be most appropriate. That’s where I believe Chas spent a lot of his time,” Mr Tamehana says.

The iwi is unhappy with a proposal by current mayor Michael Laws to take an ancestral name off Wikitoria Road, which runs between the highway and Wanganui Airport, and call it Poynter Drive.

MAORI MAORI SURGEONS NEEDED

There's a call for more Maori to become surgeons.

The Royal Australian College of Surgeons is predicting 50 percent growth in surgery volumes over the next two decades because of the growth and aging of the population.

But John Simpson, the college's executive director, says New Zealand is struggling to keep up with demand because of the lure of overseas opportunities and changes in the health workforce.

He says the number of surgeons in training needs to more than double from the current 27, and more Maori need to learn to wield a scalpel.

“There are two or three starting at the training scheme now but there are still no great move to have a lot of additional Mari surgeons, as much as we would all like there to be,” Mr Simpson says.

Maori doctors tends to specialise in areas of more immediate need, such as primary healthcare, community care and general practice.

LIBRARY TAKES DEEPER LOOK AT HOKIANGA

Auckland City Library is trying to alert people to the wealth of material which focuses on the Hokainga.

It's mounting a three month exhibition of work relating to the region, including static displays and korero from Maori with connections to the region.

Judith Waaka, the Maori collections librarian, says Hokianaga Whakapou Taniwha.. whapaou ariki.. whakapou tangata holds many surprises.

“A lot of it is rare one-off material that is held in special collections and not many people know about – books, manuscripts, photographs from the early 1800s,” Ms Waaka says.

At lunchtime today, tattooist and sculptor Gordon Hatfield will talk on the history of ta moko in Hokainga.

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