Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Domestic violence face been there, been done

The face of a campaign to reduce domestic violence says she's a survivor.

Mabel Wharekawa Burt was beaten for 13 years before she got the courage to leave her husband.

She says a Families Commission campaign launched this afternoon in Wellington makes it clear family violence is not okay, and it's okay to ask for help.

Maori can no longer turn a blind eye to violence in their whanau or over the fence.

“Yeah we can blame the law ands there’s this privacy stuff, but somewhere along the line we’ve got to make a commitment and we’ve got to carte about our neighbour, and that’s not just the person next door but your neighbour is someone who participates anywhere in your life, as far as I’m concerned, so that’s my biggest reason for involvement in this campaign,” Ms Wharekawa Burt.

Police deal with 70,000 family violence calls every year.


An Maori-owned Internet Service Provider is teaming up with hauora groups to create a network of Internet cafes in small towns with high Maori populations.

Arataki Communications and Poutiri Trust opened the first one at Waiuku on the weekend, with another 11 Our Space cafes due to open before Christmas in places like Matakana Island, Taneatua and Opotiki.

The initiative has won funding from the Government's digital strategy taskforce.

Director Ngaire Schmidt says Our Space aims to build confidence among people unfamiliar with information technology, and encourage demand for broadband Internet connectivity.

“The actual community suite is just a place to give them to come down and learn as a community, because we understand in some of the smaller communities they don’t have some of the training facilities or the services that are available in the bigger towns, so what we’re trying to do is get the community to help teach each other,” Ms Schmidt says.

The initial response is positive, with many of Waiuku's kaumatua booking in for training on the world wide web.


The Council of Trade Unions says the labour movement has lost a friend.
Syd Jackson, a former Clerical Workers secretary and founder of a Maori union, died yesterday aged 68 after a long battle with cancer.

Sharon Clair, the CTU's Maori vice president, says Mr Jackson's family connections in the Hawkes Bay freezing works set him on a strong trade union path.

He was also instrumental in establishing a runanga within what was then the Federation of Labour.

Ms Clair says he will be remembered as a strong but supportive leader.

“He made room for people to flourish, to speak their minds and their hearts without fear, and we lose not only a leader who was a strong advocate for people’s rights and workers’ rights. More importantly we’re losing a very dear friend to the union movement,” Ms Clair says.

Syd Jackson's body is being taken back to Matahiwi Marae in Clive today.


The Correspondence School wants to develop stronger links with iwi as part of a drive to improve the education outcomes for its Maori students.

The school has announced restructuring which will result in 22 jobs being disestablished and 32 new positions created.

Chief executive Mike Hollings, from Ngati Raukawa, says a quarter of its 13,000 students are Maori, the majority of them secondary students who have become alienated from their previous schools.

He'd like to hire more Maori teachers and regionally-based kaiarahi to develop relationships with students, whanau and communities.

“We want have a lot greater focus on what’s happening in communities and giving in-community support so we are greater connected with families and whanau and communities, which will include hopefuylly that we get greater connections with iwi hapu and whanau,” Mr Hollings says.

The new Correspondence School structure should be finalised by November, after consultation with parents and other stakeholders.


Transit is confident it has iwi backing to widen and seal the last stretch of State Highway One to Cape Reinga.

There was a small protest at last week's launch at Te Rerenga Wairua.

Some of the 17 kilometre stretch lies within territory claimed by Ngati Kuri and Te Aupouri, who say their claim should be settled before the three year project starts.

The Ngati Kuri Trust Board is in limbo because of legal challenges by former officeholders, but Peter Spies, Transit's Auckland region manager, says the roadbuilder consulted extensively with the tribe's Taumata of elders.

“We are certainly aware there were some protests at the opening ceremony, but by and large we have the mandate form the community to proceed with the project. We’re also mindful of community’s desires to ensure that the road is constructed in an appropriate way and we do use local plants,” Mr Spies says.


A Maori historian says indigenous religion is an overlooked feature of early colonial life.

Paul Moon has just published The Newest Country in the World, his account of Aotearoa in the 1840s.

It was a tumultuous time, with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the death of governor William Hobson and arrival of George Grey, formal European settlements in Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin, Hone Heke's rebellion and the movement of the capital to Auckland.

Professor Moon says he took a fresh look at the impact of Christianity.

“When they talk about religious activities in New Zealand in the 1840s, it’s always about the missionaries doing this, the Catholics doing this and so on, but they all tend to ignore the fact that there was an indigenous religion in this country and what was happening in a lot of cases was a process of fusion. You get traditional tohunga in some areas taking on Christian elements into their own views and forming new religions,” he says.

Dr Moon says the Ngakahi sect created by Ngapuhi tohunga Papahurihia was an example of the fusion between Old Testament and old Maori beliefs.


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