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 16, 2007


An artist caught up in yesterday's terrorism raids is standing by the man who appears to be the main target of the massive police exercise.

Tattooist and carver Gordon Hatfield was questioned yesterday at his Auckland home by armed police, and computers were seized after a search.

He says the interrogation was sparked by a text exchange with Tame Iti a year ago, about his availability to contribute to a wananga.

Mr Hatfield says he receives such requests to do workshops all the time, and saw nothing sinister in the Tuhoe activist's request.

“Wananga just means there is an opportunity to go and share knowledge, and I didn’t look any further into that. I would trust Tame, I would say more than some of my own family. I’ve known Tame for years and I know that Tame is a man of kaupapa and a man of honour, so I wasn’t about to question his motives of what the wananga was about,” Mr Hatfield says.

He wasn't arrested - but police have demanded a DNA sample.


Maori Anglicans from the Wellington diocese are willing to take a more inclusive approach to same sex partners in their parishes.

The diocese held a hui at Waiwhetu Marae over the weekend to discuss sexuality and transgender issues, as part of wider consultation within the church on the issue.

Bishop Muru Walters says the theological and historical traditions within the church can point to such an approach, and the congregation is ready.

“Our own people have got rich experiences. I think they’re ready and able to provide support wherever there’s any sense of discrimination, that they will resist it and support the people that have been discriminated against, marginalized and so on. I think you’re not the church if you weren't doing that,” Bishop Walters says.

The issue will be discussed further at next month's Maori synod in Christchurch, and referred to the General Synod next year.


It's kapa haka time this week for primary and intermediate school students from around the country.

Rahera Herewini, the organiser of the bi-annual national competitions, says students from 19 schools from Rangitane to Te Tai Tokerau are competing at the Manukau events centre.

She says they're setting new benchmarks for performance at that level - and bringing a lot of emotion to the task.

“When they get off stage all happy and glowing and even some of them crying because they could feel the ihi and the wehi while they were on the stage, that sort of thing for us the committee that is running this, that is what we are wanting to see the kids enjoying themselves,” Ms Herewini says.


An Aitanga a Hauiti artist believes yesterday's police raids on the Maori community in Ruatoki could spark some great art.

John Walsh says one of those arrested, Tame Iti, is, among other thing, an artist ... whose past work has placing a row of painted car wrecks along the line marking where Tuhoe land was confiscated in the 1960s.

He says art is often driven by a sense of history or injustice.

“These dawn raids yesterday, it’s another amazing chunk of New Zealand history being born here, Those sorts of things create good art, with a bit of luck, and help to get people to think about what's happening,” he says.

John Walsh's latest exhibition, on the theme of global warming, is on at the John Leech Gallery in Auckland


The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology is addressing its failure to attract Maori students.

Sandra Williams, its marketing and student services director, says only 155 of the 1617 students enrolled last year were Maori.

The polytechnic has appointed someone to liaise with the region's eight iwi, and it is also looking at upping the completion rates of existing students.

“One part is about recruitment and the other part is about successful outcomes for those students as well, and we’d like to get more students studying at diploma and degree level, not just the foundation and entry level programmes,” Ms Williams says.


Meanwhile, Christchurch Polytechnic believes a whole of whanau approach is the key to getting more Maori through its doors.

Hana O'Regan, the dean of the Maori faculty Te Puna Wanaka, says the education can transform a whanau.

But she says many whanau have more immediate concerns, which the faculty needs to take account of.

Education or language isn’t often on the priorities for people when subsistence is right in front of their faces. Issues of poverty and abuse and some of the pressures that our people are living under, education and furthering your reo doesn’t necessarily and present itself as the most important thing for a lot of our community,” Ms O'Regan says.

Initiatives like kaumatua courses and bilingual childcare are making Te Puna Wanaka more relevant to the community.


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