Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wards answer to council drought

A Gisborne District Councilor says it’s time for central government to step in and create Maori wards across the country.

Atareta Poananga and Hemi Hikuwai were returned as Gisborne District councilors, but no other Maori were elected despite the high percentage of Maori in the region’s population.

Ms Poanaga says thats because the age spread means that the Maori population is younger and less likely to participate in local government elections.

She says the failure of other high quality Maori candidates to win in council and district health board contests shows the problem is in the system

“It’s really up to central government now to make those changes in legislation. They could do it overnight should they wish to have more Maori in local government and the health boards, but they choose not to do that. They could create Maori wards in every single part of this country, and then you would have 50 percent more Maori in local government,” Ms Poananga says.


One more term is all Tariana Turia is promising her supporters.

The Maori Party co-leader says by 2011 she will have been in Parliament for 15 years.

She says there will be no shortage of people to replace her, when she eventually moves off.

“No one's indispensable and I think we’re very lucky in the party. We’ve got three members who came in at the last election, hit the ground running, and mainly because they’d already been leaders in their field out in the community, there’s very good safe hands in the Maori Party,” she says.

Mrs Turia says the party has consolidated its electoral success, and proved it can speak from a Maori perspective to every piece of legislation introduced to Parliament.


Almost 300 health workers from Aotearoa, Australia, Canada and the United States have gathered in Rotorua for the third meeting of the International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development.

Convenor Paul Robertson says the theme of the hui is how to turn the knowledge held by whanau into action.

He says the earlier meetings of the network at Townsville in 2003 and Vancouver in 2005 led to valuable exchanges of knowledge and experience, which have already influenced medical training.

“The Australasian medical Council has come up with some quite high level policies around inclusion of indigenous health within the medical curriculum, which has been of real benefit for us in New Zealand because it’s given us some of that macro level support for some of the things that we’re doing quite well at a micro level. Which of course helps to continue the support of increasing hauora Maori as part of the medical curriculum,” Mr Robertson says.

The hui starts this morning and runs until Thursday.


John Tamihere isn't ruling out another shot at the Waitakere mayoralty.

The West Auckland based politician turned broadcaster polled 5000 votes less than the incumbent mayor, Bob Harvey.

Mr Tamihere says he has no regrets about standing, and may do so again.

He says West Aucklanders signaled they want change.

“The analysis is 60 percent wanted a change. They didn’t coalesce around one candidate. It was a very good healthy challenge, so I’m very pleased with the way that went on. No downsides. It was there for the winning, but if you didn’t get there, you don't get there,” Mr Tamihere says.

Other high profile Maori mayoral candidates, Willie Jackson in Manukau, Trevor Maxwell in Rotorua, Ray Ahipene Mercer in Wellington were also unsuccessful.


Generations of New Zealanders are missing out of the richness of the country's history.

That's got to change, according to Pita Sharples.

The Maori Party co-leader says this country should take a dead from across the Tasman, where Prime Minister John Howard has pledged to make Australian history a compulsory subject in schools.

He says New Zealanders get a narrow view of their past.

“Sick of hearing Captain Cook, Captain Cook, Captain Cook. It’s time we talked about Tewhati Apiti, Paora, all those people who were kings and generals. It’s time we got real and honest in New Zealand and started teaching this stuff in our education programme,” Dr Sharples says.

He says ignorance about the Treaty of Waitangi creates friction in the community between Maori and Pakeha.


Northern iwi want the Fisheries Ministry to modify a plan aimed at protecting Hectors and Maui's dolphins.

Ngapuhi and Ngati Whatua say the plan to create a west coast marine mammal sanctuary from Taranaki to north of Dargaville is based on flawed research.

Sonny Tau, the chair of the Ngapuhi Runanga, says the plan involves locking not just the coast but the harbours, even though there is no evidence the dolphins come into the harbours.

He says the Ministry and the Department of Conservation are trying to bully the industry, recreational fishers and Maori.

“All we want to do is sit down and talk to them through the issues, out the facts on the table pretty much like the shared fisheries proposal they had that didn’t fly because they hadn't consulted properly,” Mr Tau says.

He says no Maui's dolphins have died from fishing-related activities since the industry implemented voluntary controls.


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