Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Roaming and co-location could benefit NZ Coms

The chair of a Maori-backed mobile phone company says new rules on co-locating cellphone towers makes environmental sense.

New Zealand Communications is building a 100 million dollar network to make use of frequencies reserved for Maori.

Bill Osborne says a draft report on regulation of mobile roaming and co-location, released last Friday by the Commerce Commission, should benefit the company.

He says it will also benefit the country.

“We can still build towers and we can do it pretty cost effectively n the areas where we are wanting to have them initially, but it’s not sensible for New Zealand to have more towers built than it needs to have. We’re not a big enough economy to sustain multitudes of these types of constructions around the country,” Mr Osborne says.

He says New Zealand doesn't have a competitive environment, so consumers are paying more than they should for mobile phone services.

GISBORNE SEWERAGE SCHEME A STEP CLOSER

Gisborne iwi have agreed on a compromise to allow the town's $24 million sewerage scheme to go ahead.

No appeals were filed against a resource consent for a new trickle system, which should be built by 2010.

Ronald Nepe, the chief executive of Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa, says while it's not ideal, the system is better than pumping sewage out to sea, as happens now.

“Our desire is to stop human waste going out into our moana. That’s still our objective and it’s the outcome we’re still looking for. What we see with this process is a step towards that,” he says.

Mr Nepe says four tangata whenua representatives will sit on the committee overseeing the new system and looking for long-term alternatives.

TAURIMA GIVEN AWARD FOR LIFETIME OF SONG

One of the recipients of a lifetime achievement award for contribution to the Maori arts says there's no songs like the old songs.

Tommy Taurima has led kapahaka groups in Aotarearoa and Hawaii and composed many well known waiata.

He received Te Tohu Toi Ke from Maori arts council Te Waka Toi on Saturday for his contribution to the retention of Maori artforms.

He says the hardest thing to teach these days is the Maori choral tradition.

“You've got haka, waiata, moteatea, they’re all kind of similar, but when it comes to singing, ka tu mai nga ropukapake te waiata, not everyone but most of them, they don’t sing, they screen. So what’s happened to the lyrical voice, the natural harmony of the Maori e hoa?” Mr Taurima says.

NOTHLANDERS COMING OFF DOLE QUEUES

More Northlanders are finding work than ever before.

After decades of high unemployment, especially among Maori, the region is experiencing historic highs in employment.

The labour force grew 12.6 percent in the five years to 2006, so the area is now exceeding the national labour force participation average of 68.5 percent..

Marama Wiki, the Northland commissioner for the Ministry of Social Development, says while the labour force is growing faster than the national average, programmes which bridge school and work mean youth unemployment is less of a problem than in the past.

“We don't see them coming into our Work and Income offices and registering for unemployment benefit. I suppose the world is their oyster. At this stage they’ve got so many opportunities out there. For us it’s about making suyre they’re getting the right training and development from an early age to make sure they can be successful in the labour market,” Ms Wiki says.

She says Northland's workforce is still under-qualified compared with other parts of the country, and extra effort is going to encouraging young Maori men to get job skills.

MAORI COMMUNITIES NEED TO ADDRESS ALCOHOL HARM

Alcohol Healthwatch wants to work with Maori organisations to address the harm caused by alcohol abuse in their communities.

Director Rebecca Williams says alcohol is often the catalyst for domestic violence, but that seems to be overlooked in a new plan to use hospital admissions as an opportunity to identify women in violent situations.

She says the government hasn't talked to professionals in the sector, who can make valuable contributions.

She says Maori should also be much more involved in planning strategies.

“Maori communities would have an incredible voice to be coming through to not be taking the criticism but to be taking on the challenges of reducing alcohol related harm and drug harm in their communities,” Ms Williams says.

KING SEEKING TREATY CONNECTIONS, NO JOKE

Maori entertainer Mike King is having trouble shaking his comedian tag as he gathers stories for his new series.

The Waipu based entertainer starts filming this week on a series about the Treaty of Waitangi.

While he's presented serious programmes, many people still associate him with programmes like Pulp Comedy, where swearing and irreverance were the norm.

Mr King says that won't be happening in his Lost in Translation series.

“If you put your relatives forward to take part in the programme there’s no way I’ll be taking the piss out of them. That’s not the sort of programme we’re making. I can understand a lot of people’s reluctance to come forward, especially with me at the helm, given my past track record, but this isn’t that type of show. The show’s positive, warm, fuzzy,” Mr King says.

He's looking for fellow descendants of treaty signatories, as well as people who have got a good yarn to tell about the country's founding document.

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