Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tribunal CNI hui plan endorsed

A Kaingaroa claimant is endorsing a Waitangi Tribunal call for the division of Central North Island forestry assets be left up to the region's iwi.

In a report released yesterday, the tribunal said the Crown should put on hold a settlement with Nga Kaihautu o Te Arawa, because it does not take into account the interests of competing claimants.

Maanu Paul from Ngai Moewhare says the Crown acted outside the law and tried to cut corners for favoured claimants.

He says the tribunal's recommendation of an all parties hui to come up with principles for allocation of Crown forest licence land is in keeping with tikanga or custom.

“That's based on mana whenua which says you don’t declare your boundaries, it’s the hapu around you who says yes, those are the boundaries belonging to that hapu and that’s the Maori way of defining your tangata whenua status of your land,” Mr Paul says.

Ngati Manawa has called a hui of Central North Island iwi at Kaingaroa Village on Sunday to discuss the next step.

MAORI AGENCIES NEED TO WORK TOGETHER ON VIOLENCE

The head of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority says Maori service providers need to work closer together to curb domestic violence.

June Jackson says Maori organisations have neglected opportunities to work together.

Doing so would make more skills and experience available to address the problems facing Maori communities.

“We've got a lot of Maori providers out there, but sometimes I think they all protect their patch, and they don’t kind of share out their resources. I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about their knowledge base, to be inclusive so that we’re all working in with each other. We don't do that,” Mrs Jackson says.

She says drug and alcohol problems lie behind a lot of the violence and child abuse, and those issues need to be tackled up front.

PROPHET’S 90TH CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION

Supporters of Te Kotahitangi are preparing to celebrate the 90th birthday of the movement's enigmatic founder.

Organiser Ruben Collier says more than 5000 of Alexander Phillips' followers are expected at Manu Ariki Marae near Taumarunui this weekend.

Mr Phillips established Te Kotahitanga Building Society in 1961.

He's revered as a faith healer and prophet by his followers.

Mr Collier says Mr Phillips is expected to deliver a special spiritual message.

“I think this will be very close to the climax of his life, to have everybody together at one time coming from all parts of the world. It’ll be something of a special nature,” he says.

Mr Collier says Alex Phillips has an international reputation and following. He's also acknowledged by this country, being made a Commander of the British Empire in 1995 for services to Maori.

VIOLENCE AFFECTING SCHOOL LIFE AND MENTAL HEALTH

Young Maori are more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe.

That's one of the findings of a survey of the health and wellbeing of secondary school students.

Judi Clements from the Mental Health Foundation says the survey paints an alarming picture of New Zealand life.

She says there is a correlation between exposure to violence and depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

It also leads to increased rates of problem behaviour, substance misuse and relationship problems.

“Exposure to violence for young people is associated with problems that can start and continue through life about their mental health and wellbeing and their behaviour and that we need to be vigilant in all the agencies that young people come into contact with,” Ms Clements says.

As well as skipping school, Maori are excluded from schools at an unacceptably high rate.

HENARE LOOKS GREEN AT IRISH EXPERIENCE

National MP Tau Henare says Maori could learn from the Irish on how to tackle deep-rooted social problems.

National's Maori affairs co-spokesperson says the furore over child abuse affects Maori because of where they are in the social and economic ladder.

He says other communities have faced similar problems in the past, and education and jobs are the key to turning things around.

“I look at the Irish and they were in the same boat – appalling statistics, appalling educational standards, and really the only way to get out of the cycle of abuse is actually to make sure that mum and dad have got jobs and that they’ve got food on the table are the kids are happy and getting educated, because if you get those basics right, there’s no reason why any of those kids should be abused,” Mr Henare says.

NO ROOM FOR REST ON REO

New Zealanders are in danger of becoming complacent about the preservation of te reo Maori.

That's the warning from Massey University Maori language head Tai Black on the 20th anniversary of the Maori Language Act.

Professor Black says language revitalisation has focused on the education sector, but its long-term survival requires te reo Maori to be sustained from within the whanau.

He wants to see more non-Maori speaking the language.

“Not only is Maori responsible for te reo Maori but non-Maori has a responsibility as well to formulate a concept of a bilingual, bicultural, multilingual society,” Professor Black says.

BUS SERVICE BOOSTS HOKIANGA PROSPECTS

Maori tourism operators in the Hokianga are celebrating the announcement of a regular bus service to the Bay of Islands.

Koro Carmen, who runs the award winning Footprints over Waipoua, says it connects the region with the north's accommodation hub.

He says operators in Rawene, Opononi and Omapere have suffered by being off the well worn tourist trail.

“Our objective is to ensure that Hokianga becomes a managed destination and helps create us some opportunities because we’ve lacked that in the past but now things are starting to happen and the latest memorandum of understanding with Inter City Group is icing on the cake,” Mr Carmen says.

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