Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brett Shepherd gets top business honour

Leading Maori businesspeople are this evening being celebrated for their commercial acumen and their contributions to iwi.

Auckland University's business school has named Brett Shepherd from Ngati Maru and Ngati Tamatera, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank New Zealand, as the 2007 outstanding Maori business leader.

Manuka Henare, the associate dean of Maori and Pacific Development, says tonight's gala dinner will also honour two alumni involved in tribal businesses, Hamuera Mitchell from Ngati Whakaue and Wayne Mulligan from Taranaki and Te Atiawa.

He says the awards illustrate the growing scope of Maori business.

“In the case of someone like Brett Shepherd, where he deals with multi-billions of dollars in investment, and then to be an advisor in Maori business development, the two worlds are wide apart but the business problems are similar. The difference is in the scale of things and the difference also is in the culture of things,” Dr Henare says.

He says the growing Maori asset base has boosted the number of Maori students looking for new skills in economic and business development.

PRISON FALE STEP FORWARD

A former head of Corrections is welcoming the inclusion of a Polynesian unit at the country's newest prison.

Spring Hills Prison in the north Waikato, which opened yesterday, includes a whare for Maori inmates and, for the first time, a fale for prisoners with a Pacific Island whakapapa.

Kim Workman from Prison Fellowship says it's building on the success of Maori units.

“It's really modeled after the Maori focus units which have had a really positive effect because a lot of the guys that go in, they don’t have anything – they don’t have culture, they don’t have any spiritual understandings. Providing them with values that are centered around a culture, that can be a foundation for change,” Mr Workman says.

GREENS ENDORSE SCHOLARSHIP PLAN

The Greens says new incentives to attract fluent Maori speakers into teaching are on the right track.

Metiria Turei, the party's Maori affairs spokesperson, says the 30 thousand dollar a year scholarships should short circuit some of the problems getting enough suitable teachers.

“It's a very good idea to get people who are already reo speakers, who have already made that commitment, to do teaching, rather than always trying to start at the beginning by getting young people who don’t necessarily have the reo doing both the reo and teachers’ college stuff and then hoping that in three years time there will be enough,” Ms Turei says.

The TeachNZ scholarships are aimed at encouraging people with work experience and existing degrees to switch careers.

SHEPHERD HUMBLED BY AWARD

An investment banker who's no stranger to multi million dollar deals says he's humbled to be named this year's Outstanding Maori Business leader.

Brett Shepherd, from Hauraki iwi Ngati Maru and Ngati Tamatera is due to receive his tohu within the hour at Auckland University Business School's fifth Maori alumni dinner.

The 45 year old is chief executive of Deutsche Bank New Zealand and head of its global investment arm.

Mr Shepherd hopes recognition of his achievement encourages other Maori to consider careers in commerce.

“Very humbled by it, and at the same time proud to receive it when I look at the past recipients like Rob McLeod who is recognized as a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy and the New Zealand Tax Act. When I look at other people who have been recipients, it’s a humbling thing for me, but great for the recognition,” Mr Shepherd says.

Also being recognised are two of the school's former students, Hamuera Mitchell, who chairs many Ngati Whakaue land trusts and businesses, and Wayne Mulligan from Taranaki and Te Atiawa.

RANGATAHI RETURN FOR SUMMIT

Tainui rangatahi living in Australia are this week reconnecting with their roots.

They have joined other young people from the tribe at the first Tainui Rangatahi Summit in Ngaruawahia.

Waatea News reporter Mania Clarke says it was an emotional homecoming for some who had never been to New Zealand before.

She says there was little support for a suggestion to the hui from Anglican priest Hone Kaa, who has worked across the Tasman, for Maori in Australia to build their own tikanga.

“They want to build a base and a relationship and a partnership and build ways that they can heave people come over and have their tikanga taught. They want to maintain Tainuitanga. They want to retain our tikanga and tangihanga and just the way things are run. They don’t want to be severed from that and they want to keep those things and maintain those things with their lives and their families while they are living in Australia,” Ms Clark says.

EXTINCT EAGLE LAUNCHING BOOK IDEA

A writer whose work seems destined to gather dust in the drawer is today launching her second novel.

Isabel Waiti-Mulholland from Uepohatu had completed several manuscripts before she came to the attention of Huia Publishers.

She says while she doesn't set out to write from an obviously Maori perspective, just writing about New Zealand kids in New Zealand settings makes Maori content inevitable.

The new book, Inna Furey, is the first in a series of five.

“My aim with these stories is to write stories that kids want to read. There’s no other reason to write for anyone really. But I also wanted to write stories that have close ties to our land, and in particular our flora and fauna, past and present,” Ms Waiti-Mulholland says.

Inna Fury features the extinct Pouakai or Harpagornis moorei , the largest eagle ever known.

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