Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New peace centre at Otago

Maori traditions of peace will be explored by a new centre at Orago University.

The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies was established with a $1.25 million grant from a trust which includes academics, church people, human rights advocates and Moriori lawyer Maui Solomon.

Clive Matthewson, the university's director of development, says the centre will have a distinctively New Zealand flavour.

“There are peace centres elsewhere. Queensland. Bradford in England. But here the donors, and we’re very happy to do this, wanted us to sign a memorandum of understanding that quite a flavour of our peace centre will be the relationship wiuth tangata whenua and drawing on some particular peaceful traditions of Moriori and Parihaka for example,” Dr Matthewson says.

The centre will bring together academics, students and visitors from a wide range of disciplines to find new ways to work against violence and sustain peace.


South Taranaki's new deputy mayor says more Maori need to put themselves forward for office.

Debbie Packer, a member of the Ngati Ruanui Runanga, stood for the council because she wanted to increase Maori participation in local matters.

She says the council could make a big difference to the quality of life in the area, but it had lacked diversity.

“I look to my left and my right and mo matou ki Taranaki, people are leaving and are not coming home. People with expertise. The government is dishing more and more responsibilities to local council and who the heck’s going to be left to represent that? The same ageing councilors we have got now or people like myself,” Ms Packer says.

She joined Simon Rangiwahia on the council.


The first Maori woman to win the Auckland Marathon says you don't have to be svelte to be successful.

Ady Ngawati won Sunday's race on the back of a win in her home town of Whangarei four weeks ago.

The former top triathlete says distance running compliments her day job as a lecturer in sports and recreation, even if her build is not that of a typical marathon runner.

“That's what is a fantastic thing, because I’ve got that Polynesian blood, so I’m not this skinny little marathon runner, the normal build that you see. It goes to show it’s not all about your physique, it’s a power to weight ration,” Ms Ngawati says.


A former Labour Cabinet minister believes Trevor Mallard should face some formal censure for his attack on National MP Tau Henare.

John Tamihere's own career as an MP was marked by ups and downs, because of allegations about his activities before he entered Parliament, and because of unvarnished criticism of his Labour colleagues.

But he never hit a fellow MP, despite a lot of provocation at times.

He says there seem to be different rules in force for Mr Mallard.

“I am a bit amazed all of a sudden it’s okay for a Labour cabinet minister to thump someone. But down in the district court this morning, whether it’s in Opotiki or Kaitaia or Otorohanga, there will be peole arraigned before the court for doing exactly the same, might have had the same stress, may have had the same provocation. I guarantee they won’t be getting a pat on the back for giving a bald headed Maori turncoat, now a member of the National Party, a thump,” Mr Tamihere says.


The director of a Maori production company says Maori need to use the Internet more to get their stories out.

Claudette Hauiti says Front of the Box's new Internet protocol TV service, Gogglebox, will give people an easier way to share their programmes.

She says mainstream coverage of the Police terror raids in the Urewera region has failed to give the Maori perspective the Internet can offer.


Marathon runner Ady Ngawati wants inspire collegues and members of her whanau to tackle long distance running.

The former top triathlete was the first woman home in Sunday's Auckland Marathon.

She focused on distance running after returning home to Whangarei to lecture in sports and recreation.

Ms Ngawati says marathons are a great challenge for women, and she's even persuaded her masseuse to start training for next year’s Rotorua marathon.


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