Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, November 05, 2007

Labour still cares says Jones

The lack of Maori specific rhetoric in the Prime Minister’s speech at the annual Labour Party conference held in Auckland over the weekend, doesn't mean Labour is neglecting Maori needs.

That's the view of rising MP Shane Jones, who was last week elevated to cabinet.

The former head of Te Ohu Kaimoana says Helen Clark spoke of a push to improve housing affordability, which would impact many Maori families currently living in rental accommodation, and tax cuts that would benefit all workers including Maori.

“And let’s be fair here. She listed in chronicle fashion 8 to 9 years of policy changes, new programmes and massive transfers, billions and billions of dollars, through into the community and Maori have been handsome beneficiaries there so I don’t think it’s fair to say that just because there wasn’t a string of specific iwi references, that our people haven’t benefited. Our people are in the target group that Labour is always chasing,” Mr Jones says.


The new associate Minister of Tourism says the Maori tourism sector needs to grow.

Nanaia Mahuta says research indicates Maori culture is an integral part of the visitor experience for many tourists.

She intends to continue the work done by former associate Dover Samuels in creating opportunities for Maori operators

“A lot of the face of New Zealand is presented by Maori participation in tourism. We’ve got to grow that. Everything that people recognize about what makes New Zealand unique has a lot to do with our clean green image and a lot to do with Maori, so we are key players in that industry,” Ms Mahuta says.


Rangi Kipa’s latest work is in good company.

The Whakatane-based artist created a work based on a traditional carved meeting house for the inaugural show of the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art’s new building.

The show, called Star Power – Museum as Body Electric, celebrates the global reach of art.

Stephen Wainwright, the chief executive of Creative New Zealand, says Mr Kipa’s inclusion is an acknowledgement of the impact Maori art is having on the North American art community.

“He's gone there with a number of internationally renowned artists from Mexico, Canada, South Africa and so on, so it‘s a terrific opportunity for him to have his work placed in the context of these well known international artists in a brand new exhibition space in Denver,” Mr Wainwright says.

And Rangi Kipa has another show opening this month closer to home - Auckland’s Artspace gallery.


The Southern regional manager for the alcohol liquor advisory council says there will be a lot of interest from Maori working in the health sector, to a conference discussing culturally-based strategies to combat addictions.

Tuari Potiki is at the Cutting Edge Addiction Conference being held at Auckland’s Aotea Centre.

700 delegates including over 300 from across the Tasman will hear from international experts in the field, with keynote speakers focusing on addictions and their impact on indigenous communities.

Mr Potiki says studies both here and overseas confirm the success of culturally focused programmes.

“How you get to know someone is hugely important. Gender, by women for women. There are issues only women can understand, that need to be addressed by other wahine. Similarly, there are things that only we Maori can do. Other people haven’t got our answers for us,” Mr Potiki says.


The man in charge of returning koiwi to New Zealand’s national museum says his upbringing prepared him for his new role.

Te Herekiekie Herewini says as the new manager of repatriation at Te
Papa, he’ll be picking up on the work of others over the past two decades who have established the principle of bring back Maori remains from museums around the world.

He says it’s fulfilling a responsibility to the tupuna involved.

“One of my aunties always said to me when I was very young, she said ‘Boy, when you pass away, no matter where you are in the country, the whanau’s going to come and get you and bring you home. That philosophy sot of stayed in my head. For me, our tupuna are overseas so it’s up to us to bring them home and take them back where they belong so they can have a peaceful rest,” Mr Herewini says.

The next group of 48 koiwi and toi moko is due to come back from British institutions on November 21.


The South Auckland Family Violence Prevention Network wants whanau to find alternatives to lashing out.

It’s holding an awareness programme this week, with buses traveling round the city offering anti-violence information and presentations by community agencies

There’s also a family fun day in Mangere Town centre tomorrow with food and information stalls.

Spokesperson Ngaire Harris says one of the messages is that involvement with sport can change behaviour, and so the campaign has enlisted the support of the Manukau Rovers and Mangere youth rugby league.

“Living out here, you just kind of get bombarded with all these negative messages so this is just a good chance for them to say well these are our alternatives to having fun with whanau, and there’s quite a high level of Maori rugby league in Waikato and South Auckland and you don’t see them but there’s a lot of happiness and fun going on with them,” Ms Harris says.


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