Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bugs record bravado

A former Labour cabinet minister is warning about the potential misuse of interception warrants by the police.

John Tamihere says the arrests of Maori sovereignty and environmental activists last week involved almost two years of surveillance by the police

He says that may have given them a lot of sensational rhetoric to use against those arrested but it isn't evidence any crime has been committed.

“18 months of telephones being surveiled and bugged, there would be huge segments there that if you cut them out and put them on the front of a page of one of our dailies, you’d get a sensational headline. There’s no doubt a bunch of people were into bravado. Whether that bravado extends to terrorism requiring suppression is another issue,” MR Tamihere says.

YOUNG LEADERS’ HUI IN WELLINGTON

What could be the next generation of rangatira will be at the Wellington Town Hall this morning for the Young Maori Leader's Conference.

Organiser Te Kohu Douglas from the Foundation for Indigenous Research, Science and Technology says the conferences have proved a valuable place for rangatahi to network and pick up knowledge.

Unlike the original young leader's conferences which were run in the 1950s and 60s where young people heard from kaumatua what was expected of them, the rangatahi themselves have set the agenda.

He says the first topic of discussion is sure to be last week's police raids, but other issues will come to the fore.

“There's a need to look forward, and so the second issue will be, how can we become people that can make a difference to our tribe, or to our people generally, even though we don’t live within the bounds of our tribal region or have a day to day association with our maraes,” Mr Douglas says.

The hui runs until tomorrow.

WEAVING HUI A SUCCESS FOR NEW GENERATION

The future of Maori weaving is in good hands.

That's the view of Te Aue Davis, an expert kai raranga from Ngati Maniapoto.

300 weavers spent the long weekend at Maraenui in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, sharing skills and knowledge at the biennial national hui.

Ms Davis says new artists coming through polytech courses are taking raranga in a new direction.

“They've sort of branched away, they’ve flown away, they’ve learnt the importance of learning to weave. Having done that. They’ve gone into weaving things for this world, their world, and I have no problems with that. I love it as a matter of fact to see the work that they're doing,” Ms Davis says.

GAPS NOT CLOSING FAST ENOUGH

The gaps are closing, but not enough.

That's the conclusion being drawn from the Ministry of Social Development's latest Social Report.

Conal Smith, the ministry's policy manager, says the lag between Maori and non-Maori is shrinking in areas like life expectancy, early childhood and tertiary education, employment, and housing affordability.

He says Maori have benefited from a long period of national prosperity.

“There's such a high demand for labour at the moment, even some of those affected by the worst recessions of the 1990s are finding it possible to get aback into the labour market. The younger generation of Maori that acre coming through aren’t having the same outcomes that their parents did, who were affected by the recessions of the 1990s. We’re seeing that coming through a bit too,” Mr Smith says.

There's improvement in almost every index except obesity - the number of fat Maori has stayed the same, but everyone else is carrying more weight.

ANOTHER MIHAKA BECOMES CTU KAUMATUA

The Council of Trade Unions has appointed a kaumatua to take care of its Maori members.

Kiwhare Mihaka from Te Arawa has belonged to a union for more than 50 years.

He says Maori should have a special affinity with the collective principles of the union movement.

“This ture of whakawhanaungatanga does assist us in that way to get our people on the move in terms of getting involved as a delegate and ensure that our workplace conditions are good for all workers,” Mr Mihaka says.

He's particularly encouraged by the number of Maori in YUM, the Youth Union Movement.

CHEAPER KAI RECIPE FOR HEALTH

The Obesity Action Coalition believes making healthy kai cheaper can help Maori live longer.

Coalition head Leigh Sturgiss says too many Maori are dying from preventable diseases triggered by being overweight.

She says better nutrition and more exercise are the key to longer life, but healthier choices often have a financial cost.

The coalition wants GST taken off healthy food.

“It just doesn't seem right to us that buying fruit and vegetables is actually a lot dearer than buying fish and chips, or the fact that milk is more expensive than a can of coke. Removing gst on primary produce would we think be a simple solution to a major problem,” Ms Sturgiss says.

She says a good place to start on the path to healthy eating is the food safety tool kit put together by Te Hotu Manawa Maori.

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