Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Indigenous declaration vote defended

The Prime Minister says she'll put New Zealand's record up against any of the countries which voted for a United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights.

The Government has come under fire since it voted last week against the declaration, along with Australia, Canada and the United States.

Helen Clark says the vote has given the Maori Party and others at the far end of the Maori sovereignty movement something to moan about.

"That's to be expected, but anyone who seriously looks at that voting list looks at New Zealand and Canada for example, and compares the record here of genuinely and seriously attempting to address indigenous rights issues, and compares that against a great many of the countries who signed the declaration, will know we have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of,” Ms Clark says.


A former Labour Northern Maori MP says he's committed to stopping construction of a proposed visitors' centre at Te Rerenga Wairua.

The Department of Conservation is building a carpark and toilets on Pae Rehua, the hill overlooking Cape Reinga in the far north.

Planning is underway for a visitors' centre next to the new carpark.

Bruce Gregory says the area is sacred to all Maori, and what is being proposed is totally inappropriate.

“Pae Rehua should be a marae atea wairua, just an area of land, sacred, at which people can meet and if necessary, korero, karakia. There should be no buildings here and the buildings which they are talking about should be developed away from the area,” Dr Gregory says.

The best place for a visitors centre would be Te Paki, where the tour buses come off 90 Mile Beach, or nearby Waitiki Landing.


The only self styled brown label at New Zealand Fashion Week continues to grow.

Kia Kaha designer Charmaine Love showed her latest signature collection on the Auckland catwalk today, but she says most of her attention is now overseas.

The Charmaine Love Collection has been signed with American fashion showroom Ambrosia, and Kia Kaha's Cambo golf range, produced in association with former US Open winner Michael Campbell, is selling in Europe, Australia and through Golf Galaxy in the United States.

“We're exporting to America now and that’s going really well, particularly in the golf market. We’re selling up there in the biggest golf company in America and its sales are as strong as Nike and Adidas, which is fantastic for us,” Ms Love says.

She says foreign buyers appreciate the meanings behind the Maori-influenced designs on Kia Kaha clothing.


It's been a good year for Ngai Tahu Tourism.

The company doubled its previous record profit to $8.6 million on revenue of $39 million.

John Thorburn, the chief executive, says more than half a million tourists came through its attractions.

He says it has been consolidating existing businesses, buying new ones and shifting to running its businesses on a regional basis.

“It makes a lot of sense to focus in particular regions where we have some strength and really work on building those community relationships and building our opposition in those cluster areas, so that’s been our strategy. We’ve focused on areas in the southern lakes, West Coast, Abel Tasman where we’ve already got a position that we can build on,” Mr Thorburn says.

Over the next year Ngai Tahu Tourism aims to continue its expansion strategy.


Young Maori are more likely to be overweight than their peers.
That's the conclusion of a new report from health agency Te Hotu Manawa Maori.

Nutrition manager Leonie Matoe says Maori girls are particularly vulnerable, with obesity rates 50 percent higher than non-Maori girls.

She says the culprit is often fast food - and tackling the problem means finding messages that are realistic for low income Maori families.

“We're promoting all this wonderful healthy kai, but unfortunately what we’re promoting is out or reach because of income and out of economic necessity so what whanau actually have to buy, or what stores are around them, actually forced to eat a lot of the high fat, high sugar products that are around,” Ms Matoe says.

A nutrition resource kit for Maori health providers will be released at a national hui at Turangawaewae next month.


A Rotorua kura kaupapa principal is crediting reading for a double win in the Pikihuia Maori short story award.

Uenuku Fairhall from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Koutu won the award for best story in Maori, while his pupil Te Teira Maxwell won the student's section.

Three other pupils also made the finals.

Mr Fairhall says he had the senior students working on the kaupapa from the beginning of the year.

“Our best writing comes from our kids who are best readers and we push that all the time. From 10 to one to 1.05 the whole school’s reading, whether it’s a visitor or whatever, everyone. The teachers got to read. And that’s the only way to give you insights and different ways of looking at things, so reading and writing have to go together. You feed one and you feed the other,” Mr Fairhall says.

He will probably enter the Pikihuia Awards one more time.


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