Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Summit to seek child bashing end

Leading Anglican cleric Hone Kaa wants Maori experts on child abuse to do something practical about the problem.

He's called a three day summit, Nga Mana Ririki or The Power of the LIttle Ones, the be held at Auckland's Holy Sepulchre complex at the end of November.

He says the fact Maori children are almost twice as likely than non-Maori
tamariki to be abused or neglected is an indictment, and Maori solutions need to be found.

“Part of the trigger for mew was I was tired of people blaming the problem on Maori and I just thought it’s about time we stood up and said this is a nationwide problem and we will do our best from our perspective, our Maori perspective, to try and alter this situation,” Dr Kaa says.

Support is coming from iwi and Maori social services providers keen to move the problem from a talk to action.

PARTY DRIVES AWAY YOUTH VOTE

The Maori Party is backing moves to increase the driving age.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the number of Maori involved in road accidents is too high.

His party is supporting a United Future bill to increase to 16 the age young people can apply for a driver's licence.

He's seen too many whanau affected by road smashes.

“Cited examples in our own region of a large number of our own people involved either as drivers or as casualties of road crashes. We want the debate to happen and it’s all about trying to keep our own roads safe. There’s still a hell of a lot of discussion to go and various speakers introduce new discussion around it, but we’re just happy to open the door up on the debate and see what comes through the door,” Mr Flavell says.

LONDON KOHANGA CELEBRATES TURNING 10

A kohanga which has become a second home for whanau living in London is celebrating its tenth birthday.

Te Kohanga Reo o Ranana allows tamariki living far from home to learning poi, waiata, haka and some reo, despite the fact they may never has set foot in Aotearoa.

Sharon Hathaway, a former kaiako at the kohanga, says it's a lifeline for expatriates.

“As soon as people come along they generally become really committed to Te Kohanga Reo over there and as you’d expect it’s a real whanau kind of environment and people are really out there just to tautoko each other no matter where you’re at or where you’ve been or what your level of reo it. It’s a great environment to learn,” Ms Hathaway says.

Ranana is also one of the schools to be featured in a new BBC television series, Take A Bow.

The 28 children have been filmed performed singing and talking in front of Hinemihi O Te Ao Tawhito in Surrey, a focal point for the Ngati Ranana club.

WARDENS’ POLICE TRAINING SHOULD BE TWO WAY

The head of one the country's most active Maori wardens groups says the police could learn from them how to relate to Maori.

Jack Taumanu from the Waitemata Wardens has just completed the first course for wardens run by police liaison officers at the Police College in Porirua.

The training was part of a package of measures in this year's budget.

He says the wardens would like to be regular visitors to the college.

“We can provide the necessary Maori wardens who are skilled, to be able to teach the recruits who are at the police college another dimension of how to handle our people,” Mr Taumanu says.

SURFERS BACK TO TARANAKI

Maori surfers brought their unique style to the sport this weekend.

This year's Auahi Kore Maori Surfing Championships were held back where it all started 15 years ago, at Oakura beach in Taranaki.

Kahungunu's Richard Christie secured his place in the New Zealand team for the 2008 Oceania Cup by taking out the open men's division.

Also booking their tickets for Tahiti next June are Open women's winner Jessica Santorik and Bodhi Whitaker, who topped the Junior Men.

Te Kauhoe Wano, a former over 40 champion, says the atmosphere is a lot less aggressively competitive than the nationals or even the regional events.

“When you're in that competition mode it’s very little discussion with each other as you prepare, and very little discussion after as you react to either winning or losing. At the Maori titles, it’s that really whanau vibe, sitting on the beach, hanging out, joking, like all Maori wanting to win when you get in the water but when you come out, sharing a kai together,” Mr Wano says.

A highlight of the weekend was the powhiri, with many of the surfers learning to haka for the occasion.

MAORI LEAGUE TALKING THROUGH TRANS TASMAN TIFF

Maori rugby league officials from both sides of the Tasman are trying to work out how they can work together better.

For the first time in several years there was no Australian team at the annual Maori tournament in Rotorua this weekend.

There has been tension in recent times because of a bid by Sydney-based Maori to affiliate with the New South Wales league.

John Devonshire from the Maori Rugby League says some officials did come over from Australia for the tournament, and useful discussions were held.

He says the next transTasman clash is between the women's sides, with the Maori squad named at the end of the tournament.

“In a couple of week’s time they’ve got two test matches against the Australian women, in Rotorua, so Annette Thompson and her crew, it’s exciting for them to name their team and go into battle with the Australian team, so it’s just an extra edge in our wahine toa this year,” Mr Devonshire says.

On the field, Tainui beat Muriwhenua in the waka division, Auckland won the rohe trophy, and in the wahine division, Te Aupouri beat Ngati Kahungunu.

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