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 02, 2007

Damp house inquiry needed

The Public Health Association has backed a Maori Party call for an inquiry into state rental houses.

Director Gay Keating says the links between poor housing and poor health are well-known, with problems like bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma common among people living in damp and overcrowded houses.

She says it's not just a problem in Porirua but across the country, and it disproportionately affects Maori on low incomes.

“It seems to be that rental housing is least well maintained. It’s most likely to be damp. It’s least likely to have adequate hearting. And so Maori, and other people who are on low incomes, who are renting, are most likely to be affected,” Dr Keating says.

She says any inquiry should look not just at state housing but the private market at well.

ETHNIC MINORITIES POSE CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE

An expert in designing new constitutions says many states are grappling with how to recognise their ethnic minorities.

Yash Ghai is delivering the annual Sir Douglas Robb Lectures, starting at the University of Auckland tonight.

The Kenyan lawyer has advised nations from Fiji to Samoa and Afghanistan to Sri Lanka on how democratic constitutions can be fair and workable.

He says many ethnic minorities have similar concerns to Maori about official protection of their culture.

“Traditionally most states relied on what we call individual rights, but today many communities feel that they also have their own culture, way of living, way of relating to others, and that the low should provide protection or recognition of these community institutions and values,” Dr Ghai says.

He says the human rights frameworks are changing to recongise these wider community interests.

WEAVING TEXTBOOK BACK IN PRINT

A how-to book from one of our most respected weavers has been updated.

Weaving a Kakahu by Diggeress Te Kanawa takes the reader through weaving a cloak from selecting and preparing flax, dyeing the fibre, weaving, shaping and adornment.

It's been out of print since 1994.

Editor Ata Te Kanawa says the book was part of the effort by her mother and her grandmother, the late Rangimarie Hetet, to revive interest in traditional weaving by sharing their skills.

“Given now that mum’s 87, clearly she’s not up to doing what she used to do as far as tutoring and stuff, but the good thing about the book is it’s actually a tangible resource. People don‘t need to be taught under her guidance. The book pretty much says it all,” Ms Te Kanawa says.

The updated version was backed by Creative New Zealand and Puwaha ki te Ao Trust.

GALE STOPS WHALE CARVE UP

Gale force winds have delayed the processing of a whale stranded in Northland over the weekend.

Ngati Wai members were out this afternoon trying to deal with an adult male baleen whale washed up on the beach at the southern end of the Waipu estuary.

Te Tui Hoterene, the iwi's stranding coordinator, says there have been 111 strandings in Ngati Wai's rohe since they began liaising with the Conservation Department in 1996.

If the whales die a ceremony is held to return its mauri to the sea, before the flensing begins.

“The entire whale is named, and then if pieces of the whale, say the bone or the teeth are given away and separated from the original skeleton, those pieces are given anther name, so there’s a whakapapa that is created during that process of distribution,” Ms Hoterene says.

Ngati Wai is also working with scientists from the Auckland University of Technology who conduct post-mortems on the whales and analyse their stomach contents to determine the health of the whale population.

ELLISON SHIFTS TO AQUACULTURE NZ

Aquaculture New Zealand's new Maori development manager is considered a good catch.

The Nelson-based organisation has secured the services of Riki Ellison from Ngai Tahu, who is currently the environment stewardship manager for the Environment Ministry.

Mike Burrell, Aquaculture NZ's chief executive, says Mr Ellison will drive the organisation's strategy to promote greater participation of Maori businesses in the industry.

“He's a real catch for us. We’re really pleased he’s coming onboard because he brings a lot of skill, a lot of mana and a lot of expertise dealing with iwi across a whole range of different sectors, so bringing that level of knowledge and speciality to our organisation is very important to us, so we’re absolutely delighted actually,” Mr Burrell says.

Maori already own close to half the aquaculture industry.

PROP RAPIRA READY TO STEP UP

Kiwis' coach Gary Kemble has high hopes of young Maori prop Sam Rapira for this month's trans-Tasman test.

Waikato-raised Rapira was one of the form props of this year’s Rugby League, and although still in his early 20s will front a powerful forward lineup for the Kiwis.

Mr Kemble says his young side was picked with an eye on the future ... and he expects Rapira to feature in the squad for many years to come.

“With losing Nathan Cayless, a lot of responsibility will now be on him, Roy (Asotasi), Fuifui (Moimoi) and Jeff Lima. Roy’s the most experiences of the lot of them but I’ve said to Sam ‘Look you’ve had another good year in the NRL, you have to step up now. Unfortunately it’s a little bit earlier than what we thought, but he’s going to take it with both hands,” Mr Kemble says.

The Kiwis play Australian in Wellington on the 19th of this month, before heading to England for a tour marking 100 years of Rugby League tests between New Zealand and Great Britain.

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