Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hoki quota cut further 10 percent

Major cuts to hoki and orange roughy catch levels in the forthcoming fishing season were expected by Maori companies.

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has cut hoki quota by 10 percent to 91,000 tonnes and roughy by 9-point-5 percent on the south and east Chatham Rise.

The orange roughy fishery off the central West Coast of the South Island was closed.

South Island red cod, Southern flatfish, oreo and North Island eel were also cut.

Robin Hapi, the executive chair of Aotearoa Fisheries, says the cuts will have a significant impact on Aotearoa and its subsidiary Sealord Group.

But he says the industry was pushing for the hoki catch to be cut to 80,000 tonnes, but accepted the minister's judgment the fishery was sustainable at the higher level.

“We're an industry that advocates decisions being made that ensures the continued viability and sustainability of our fish stocks. Much of what the minister has done leads us in that direction,” Mr Hapi says.

The cuts, along with unfavourable exchange rates and variable fuel costs, illustrate the complexity of the fishing industry.

NEW DIRECTOR FOR MAORI RESEARCH CENTRE

The new director of the Maori Centre of Research Excellence at Auckland University wants to make research more relevant to Maori.

Tracey McIntosh from Tuhoe, a sociologist, has worked in France, Burundi, Fiji and the United States.

She replaces Linda Smith, who has a new position at Waikato University, and she'll share the role with Professor Michael Walker.

Dr McIntosh says as a centre drawing from several universities and with strong links to Maori, Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga is well placed to contribute to Maori society.

“One of the things that Nga Pae can do very successfully is around connecting people to work together in ways you can get greater levels of leverage, where you can draw on each other’s expertise and knowledge,” Dr McIntosh says.

KOREA VETERAN WINS PASSCHENDAELE TRIP

For Ngati Porou veteran Alexander Reedy, a trip to Passchendaele will mean tracing his father's footsteps.

The Korean War veteran is traveling with nine others to Belgium to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle.

They will attend Anzac services and visit the Tyne Cot cemetery where 12 thousand Commonwealth soldiers are buried.

Mr Reedy is looking forward to seeing the fields where his whanau fought.

“I'm up in the clouds because my dad went over there, 1914-1918. He went over there as a 15 year old so I’ll be retracing his steps and my uncles, I had two uncles, and some more whanau from here, from Ngati Porou, Tairawhiti area, and a few more. Well, we are going over there to remember them,” Mr Reedy says.

The veterans, who were chosen by ballot, include two from the Second World War, one from J Force, two from Korea, three from Malaya and two from Vietnam.

MAHUTA FACES REJIGGED ELECTORATE

It's not a good decision, but it's one she can make work for her.

That's the reaction of Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta to boundary changes which see her electorate losing the Ngati Maniapoto areas in the King Country and pushing north into Manurewa.

She says the renamed Hauraki-Waikato seat loses some of its tribal integrity.

“It does change the general dynamic of the seat. Historically Western Maori has always had Waikato Maniapoto aligned and now the seat will go from Waikato largely across the Waikato, but you know, what that shows is there has been huge population growth, large concentration in the city areas,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says the changes are likely to accelerate the trend for Maori voters to move from the Maori to the general roll.

Of the other Maori seats, only Te Tai Tokerau and Waiariki retained their 2005 boundaries.

SCHOLARSHIP FOR LANGUAGE SPEAKERS

The Government is offering a new $30,000 scholarship to encourage Maori language speakers to train as teachers.

Parekura Horomia, the Associate Educate Minister, says it's being created as part of an overhaul of the TeachNZ recruitment scholarships.

He says a bouyant job market has created a shortage of Maori language speakers available to staff kura kaupapa and bilingual units.

“It was the advent of Maori TV, the consolidation of iwi radio stations, the expansion of the Maori language strategy and Maori kura and kohanga. There certainly is a very viable future for those who are keen to use the language and keen to train as teachers and we need them,” Mr Horomia says.

Applicants will need either six years of work experience, or three years' experience and a degree.

MAORI MUSLIM FAST LEARNER

Danyia Williams is about to start a month of fasts from dawn to sunset.

The kohanga reo teacher from Ngati Porou, Ngati Ruanui and Ngati Apa is a recent convert to Islam, whose holiest month, Ramadan, is just starting.

She was born Mormon, raised a Christian, and developed a keen interest in tikanga Maori, but says there was always something missing.

Ms Williams says converting wasn't easy, and involved weekly classes to learn Arabic and the Muslim holy book, the Ko'ran.

“At the beginning it was very hard and very hard on the people around you, your family and your children. What I mean hard is like straight away dressing Muslim, being covered, praying, to eating Halal food,” Ms Williams says.

There are more than 1000 Maori Muslims, with numbers increasing.

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