Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tots protest against ninja raid

A Ruatoki kohanga plans to march through Whakatane to the police station tomorrow morning to protest police actions during Monday's lock-down on the eastern Bay of Plenty township.

Mere Nuku from Taawhaki Kohanga Reo says the actions of armed, black-clad police has left Ruatoki's children are still unsettled, and could have long term consequences.

There's conflict over whether armed police searched buses taking children to the area's five kohanga reo.

The police and government ministers say the police were unarmed, but Mrs Nuku says that's not true.

She says there needs to be a law to protect buses transporting children.

“If they need to be questioned or searched, that they put vehicles behind them to go there until our babies are safely inside the kohanga or the kura, then do the search and talk to the adults,” Mrs Nuku says.

She says Monday's search has undone the kohanga's efforts to stop children playing with toy guns, or to teach them the police are their friends.


Maori are being challenged to shift out of sunset industries and embrace the technologies which will drive the economy in the future.

In a new publication Nga Kaihanga Hou - For Maori Future Makers, Te Puni Kokiri analysts have attempted to predict what Maori will be doing in 2030.

Chief executive Leith Comer says they have considered new technologies like bio, nano and information technology, economic factors and the need for environmental sustainability.

He says the relative youth of the Maori population means it's important to look ahead at how people can participate fully in the economy.

“We are culturally sound and strong in our identity, and that’s important when you think about most of the opportunities will be global, and people who have a strong sense of self and a strong understanding of their turangawaewae will be able to enter into those global markets a lot more secure in who they are,” Mr Comer says.

Nga Kaihanga Hou is being launched at a function at the Ellerslie Racing Club this evening.


A Canterbury bilingual teacher hopes his new book will spark children's interest in conservation.

In Te Haiata/The Dawn, a young boy tries to take revenge on all predators after a wild cat kills his friend Kiwi.

Mike Davey wrote Te Haiata in Maori, but Reed Publishing decided to issue as a bilingual book.

The first time author says there's a double message in the simple tale.

“The dawn chorus has become very quiet in the forest and te reo Maori has become very quiet on the land, so while we’re trying to revitalize both those areas, that’s an underlying metaphor in this story,” Mr Davey says.


Ma te ture te ture e patu - Let the law beat itself to death.

That's the response lawyer Peter Williams QC wants to see to this week's police raids under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.

He says all New Zealander should be concerned their rights are being stolen, not just those for the residents of Ruatoki.

“There should be an action brought there and there should be a group of lawyers, possibly Maori lawyers going down there and making investigations and also some private investigators to help get a battery of statements and bring and action to the High Court of exemplary damages and compensation for all those women and children and so forth that have been so badly treated,” Mr Williams says.

He says this week's actions should encourage more people to join groups fighting for civil rights.


A major indigenous conference has wound up in Rotorua this afternoon.

The International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development brought together almost 300 people from Aotearoa, Australia, Canada and the United States.

One of the speakers, Linda Smith from Waikato University, says the conference is unique because it brings together researchers, academics, practitioners and community-based service providers.

That means it wasn't too academic, and it opens the door to valuable international collaborations.

“Our providers are able to share ideas and resources around how to develop programmes, our academic researchers have made the links they need to make, so I think it’s a really good model for a conference,” Professor Smith says.

Many of the conference delegates took time out during the week to gather outside the Rotorua District Court in support of jailed Tuhoe health worker Tame iti.


A leading Maori band is putting tino rangatiratanga into action with the release of its first album.

Kora has stayed away from record companies, releasing and distributing its dub-driven grooves itself.

Vocalist Laughton Kora from Ngai Tuhoe and Ngati Pukeko says that ensures he and his three brothers and bass player Dan McGruer keep control of their direction.

The Kora brothers grew up surrounded by music, with their musician dad Tate putting them in bands from a young age.

The one thing he did teach us was to respect all musicians, not genres. You get amazing country players, blues players, metal, funk, everything that music can encompass,” Mr Kora says.


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