Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fisheries changes dictatorial

The head of one of the largest tribes says proposed changes to the fisheries act are dictatorial.

Under the amendment the Minister of Fisheries will be given greater powers to cut quotas if he thinks the sustainability of a species is at risk... even if he doesn't have the research to back up his concerns.

Api Mahuika, the chair of Ngati Porou Runanga, says that's not what Maori signed up to, when they gave up some rights to reach the fisheries settlement

“He will have contrl in terms of what happens with fisheries proposals. It is no longer a matter of consultation with the peiople who are involved. In fishing,. The decision is made by the ministry and by the ministry, these are some of the flaws. These are dictatorial and cavalier treatment of our people,” Mr Mahuika says.


The new associate minister of health says the willingness of prominent New Zealanders to publicly discuss their mental health has helped lessen the stigma associated with mental illness.

Maori songwriter Mahinarangi Tocker, sportsman John Kirwan and musician Mike Chunn have been the faces of the Like Minds Like Ours campaign which was last week extended for a further six years.

Steve Chadwick says the campaign has cross party support, as all can see the benefits of communities with more acceptance of people with mental health problems.

She says the Like Minds Like Ours campaign is working.

People understanding, because of those brave voices of Mike Chunn and John Kirwan and Mihinerangi all speaking out and I think it’s been a really successful campaign for thking the stigma away, about people that used to once just hide in corners really,” Ms Chadwick says.


First there were the Mothers of Porangahau.

Now the sisters of the coastal Hawkes Bay settlement are highlighted in a follow up book launched last week.

Marina Sciascia says she and co writer Hillary Pederson have tried to capture the stories of 10 Maori and nine Pakeha families who have contributed a huge amount to the area over the past century.

“We’ve seen people come and go in our district and people that have made a big impact and a lot of those families aren’t here any more and you lose sight of the families and the people that had been a part of our growing up so it was like ‘let’s record some of those stories, let’s put their names in print let’s put them in a book and in that way they’ll never get lost,’” Ms Siascia says.

The book was launched at Te Poho, an exhibition at the Hawkes Bay Events Centre in Hastings featuring works by members of Poronagahau’s Ngati Kere people.


One of the developers of the draft Maori curriculum for schools says the document will give Maori medium pupils more opportunities to learn their tribal histories.

Tony Trinnick says in many schools children learn what teachers know, and often a lot of what is important information in the community is ignored.
He says the draft puts a high emphasis on cultural fluency.

“Maori medium focuses pretty much on developing students oral, written language, Maori language, or their literacy, it’s more than just their language, much more than say the English medium does, and I think it also encourages the inclusion of much more local knowledge than the English medium does as well,” Mr Trinnick says.

“The draft will be out for consultation for six months.


Peter Sharples says no one wants to listen to him any more now he's an MP.

The Maori Party co leader is disappointed he wasn't consulted on the draft Maori curriculum which is for Maori medium schools, despite the fact that he founded the country’s first kura kaupapa Maori.

He says fellow MP's Te Uroroa Flavell and Hone Harawira, who also have hands on experience in the sector, were left out of the loop as well.

“Once upon a time I used to be called up for a view on haka, some cultural facet or some educational issue or a marae issue or tikanga as a cultural expert, education expert, something like that. Now I’m just an MP and nobody wants your opinion. But in terms of straight out consultation it’s rare we end up in the grass roots committees any more, which is a shame,” Dr Sharples says.


Happy to some, musical tohunga to others - the music of the late bass baritone Inia Te Wiata is being commemorated in a double CD and DVD this month.

His wife Beryl Te Wiata says she chose the 49 songs covering classical, opera, musicals, spirituals and waiata, to demonstrate the diversity of her late husband’s work.

While several previously unreleased tracks are included, there was little such material available because most of the Ngati Raukawa singer’s career was as a live performer.

She says the title for the collection came naturally.

“He used to say that to people when they were terrible at speaking Maori. Before I left to go to England which was 1948 we didn’t know how to pronounce anything, and over in England it was even worse. They couldn’t cope with his name. So he used to just whisper in somebody’s ear, when they were battling to try to say, it, he’d say ‘Just call me Happy,’” Mrs Te Wiata says.


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