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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 21, 2007

Waipareira turns a profit

West Auckland's Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust is celebrating a return to financial health after six tough years.

Unaudited results show assets of $19 million, no debt and a $2.5 million operating profit.

That compares with a $2.5 million loss last year, and losses totaling more than $16 million over the past six years.

The turnaround has come after some major restructuring, including the return of chief executive John Tamihere, the axing of unprofitable businesses and services, and a reduction in staff from 200 to around 120.

Paul Stanley, the general manager, says the organisation has been a lot smarter about the way it does business, which has allowed it to benefit from greater efficiencies.

“There's a price that you can’t put on it and that’s about people’s commitment to it. That whole thing about getting Waipareira up and moving was really based on three things: hard work; hard work; and really hard work,” he says.

Mr Stanley says most of Waipareira's revenue comes from health and social services contracts, as well as some smart investments.


Young Maori and Pacific Island men may be leading double lives.

That's the warning from Alan Va'a from the 274 Trust, which works with rangatahi on the streets of Otara.

He says many parents are caught up working to put food on the family table, and they don't see the telltale signs their sons are drifting into a life of trouble and violence.

“They see their sons come to church. They’re angels at church and they’re not doing too bad at school, but they live this other secret alternative life which is a gangbanger’s life so they can get into trouble that way. From a parent’s point of view we need to play a bigger role in terms of knowing what’s going on in our kids’ lives and maybe understanding the telltale signs of that,” Mr Va'a says.

He says the influence of American street gang culture through music and videos is pervasive through the region.


Police are turning to Maori leaders to help their recruitment efforts.
Iwi Liaison officer says the service has identified the need for more young Maori officers, so it can be more responsive to the community it serves.

As well as targeting school leavers, it is seeking support from rangatira throughout the country.

“Talk to Maori leaders from each Maori region to front up with about 10 of our best from either Ngapuhi, Ngati WWhatua, Kahungunu, right across the country, so the face of policing looks like it’s in a position to police Maori communities,” Mr Haumaha says.


The Maori Women's Welfare League's annual conference kicks off this morning at the Copthorne Waitangi Resort in the Bay of Islands.

It's a major event in the Maori world, as the nation's mothers and grandmothers try to chart a way forward for their communities.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says since its formation in 1951 the league has been the most consistent group in addressing social issues affecting Maori.

He says a new generation of members is changing the way the roopu is perceived.

“From being a duplicate of the Pakeha rural women’s movement they’ve grown to be a very strong Maori force that has both a social and cultural strength that has I think been the most consistent and they’ve stuck together and they've survived,” Mr Horomia says.


A new director of the Maori fisheries trust says Te Ohu Kaimoana needs to win the trust of iwi to be their primary advocate in the fishing industry.

Fred Cookson from Te Arawa and Ngati Kahungunu was this week appointed to the board, along with Ngapuhi chairperson Sonny Tau.

The Whakatohea-based accountant has been involved with iwi fishing enterprises since 1991, and has served as an alternate director for the past year and a half.

He says Te Ohu Kaimona's role is changing as iwi gain control of their own fisheries settlement assets.

“We're going to devolve out of asset allocation, and iwi are going to be able to develop their own autonomy, and then we’re going to have to come in and have the real smarts on policy and regulation in the industry and we’re going to have to be a real lobby group on behalf of our iwi. Now the big thing of course is to encourage our iwi that that’s where we’re going to be heading and bring them with us, so we’ve got to show a bit of leadership around that,” Mr Cookson says.

He says mandated iwi organisations now have the responsibility to ensure the benefits of the fisheries settlement get out to their members.


A leading Maori sculptor says contemporary carvers veering are more willing to push than boundaries than they were a few years ago.

Rex Homan, from Te Rarawa, Ngati Paoa and Te Atiawa exhibits regularly in Aotearoa as well as pioneering new markets in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Mr Homan says while some purists may question his stylised carvings inspired by Maori mythology and nature, he gets a lot of support from younger carvers.

“I know a lot of people say ‘Oh no, that’s not Maori art,’ but I know so many younger Maori today who still refer to the traditional side of things but they try to bring it forward into the present, not to change anything but just to express themselves in a today style,” he says.

Rex Homan is preparing for a solo exhibition in Vancouver next year of his bird series, Nga Manu a Tane.


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