Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Lawbreakers in deep blue

A leading Auckland lawyer says he has found clear evidence the police broke the law during last month's anti-terror raid on Ruatoki.

Peter Williams QC spent the weekend in the Tuhoe stronghold collecting statements from 35 people caught up in the Black Monday police action.

He says police treated Tuhoe people as if there were second class citizens who would never retaliate.

“There's been no apologies, there’s been no offers to fix up all the things the police have smashed in the houses, smashed ceilings and turning over the furniture and all the rest of it. There’s been transgressions of the law in relation to search. They took people into custody, that is, they guarded them when they had no right to,” Mr Williams says.

A letter of complaint is being prepared for the commissioner of police, and further action will be taken if there is no suitable response.


A Maori public health specialist says a cervical cancer vaccine could save the lives of many Maori women.

Family First is opposing giving Gardasil to teenage girls, because it says it says the vaccine will promote promiscuity.

But Paparangi Reed says it's vital women build up immunity to sexually transmitted infections which can lead to the cancer, before they are sexually active.

She says the lobby group is substituting morality for medical science.

“Like most vaccines you have to give the vaccine before you’re exposed to the contagious agent, whether it be a bacteria or a virus, so it’s important that girls get it before they’re sexually active, and as we know, some men take advantage of quite young girls, so we need to make sure young girls are protected,” Dr Reed says.

The Government is seeking advice from British health officials about that country's decision to give the vaccine to all 12-year-old girls.


Kapa haka skills helped a Rotorua man take a classical music title at last weekend's New Zealand Aria song competition.

Huia Clayton, from Te Arawa and Whakatohea, won the Maori section with his rendition of Io Matua.

He says knowing te reo, being able to pronounce the words and knowing what he was singing about, helped him sell the song on stage at the Rotorua Convention Centre.

His preparation was on the job, singing for tourists in one of the Sulphur City's kapa haka groups.

“I didn't prepare too much. I just said here’s a song, send it in, then I’ll go in and sing it. At concerts, after our performances, we sing songs while people are taking photographs, and that’s one of the songs that I sing normally,” Mr Clayton says.

The overall prize was won by Perth-based professional singer Wade Kernot.


Alcohol and drug researchers say the lingering effects of colonisation may be responsible for disproportionately high levels of Maori addiction.

Addiction is under the microscope this week at the Cutting Edge conference in Auckland.

Doug Sellman from the National Addiction Centre in Christchurch says there is debate about whether it is cause by genes or the environment, or a mix of the two.

He says in the case of Maori, socio-economic and developmental disadvantage seem more important.

“We don't think Maori have difficulty because of their genetics. It’s because of the social disadvantage that Maori have in a colonized society such as we have in New Zealand,” Professor Sellman says.

Over the past decade researchers have started to pay much more attention to the special nature of Maori difficulties with addiction.


Totara trees which were cleared to make way for the new Kerikeri heritage bypass are being turned into imposing pou whenua for the Northland town.

The posts will stand at either end of the bypass to mark the Kerikeri Inlet as the place where Maori and Pakeha first met.

Waitai Tua from Te Runanga O Ngati Rehia says it's one of six pou whenua planned for sites throughout the tribe's rohe.

Although the focus is on tangata whenua and Pakeha, other migrant groups won't be ignored by carvers Heemi Rihari and Rameka Rewiti .

“Heemi has made one poupou with no carving on it due to the fact that Kerikeri is a multicultural society and that will symbolize those type of people that is living within the rohe of Ngati Rehia,” Mr Tua says.

The team also plans to carve pou for Kororipa Pa opposite the Stone Store, where chiefs of the North used to gather before major events.


A leading figure in the revival of te reo Maori has been recognised for services to New Zealand childrens literature.

Katerina Mataira from Ngati Porou won the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award for her decades producing books in te reo.

As well as writing her own stories, Ms Mataira translated other books or prepared new versions on the same theme.

“And that is because te reo Maori is really so different from English. The way that the language is structured. The way every language has its own very very unique idioms do not translate easily,” Ms Mataira says.

When she started teaching in the 1950s, the challenge was to provide enough literature for those learning the language.


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