Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ngai Tahu signs MOU with Tainui

Ngai Tahu have set a path for the new year by forming a closer alliance with the other major post settlement iwi.

Ngai Tahu and Tainui signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with Tainui on the eve of the South Island tribe’s annual hui a tau held at Arowhenua over the weekend.

Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon says the deal paves the way for joint business ventures and is a sign of the growing maturity of the two iwi.

“Sharing information on social, cultural and environmental issues, we hope to be working together economically and it’s something that we want to do with all iwi. We all deal in the same fields. My view is that Maori have every network they need amongst themselves, all they have to do is learn to share it. There’s no reason why you can’t do exactly the same on the economics level,” Mr Solomon says.

After the leadership struggle earlier in the year that divided the executive, tribal members were pleased Ngai Tahu came out of the year with an $80 million surplus.

DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF TAMIRIKI ON HELPLINE

Maori children are taking advantage of a dedicated helpline for tamariki.

Grant Taylor from 0800 whatsup, a telephone counseling service for pre teens, says the service is proving popular, especially with children living in rural areas.

He says the helpline often gives children the confidence to raise issues with their peers or family members.

Figures point to strong usage by tamariki Maori.

“We don't routinely ask kids what their cultural background is, but if it comes up in the course of the counseling conversation, then it’s recorded. What is suggests is that minority groups use Whatsup in much greater proportion than their size in the population, so if you look at our ethnicity data, I think it’s about 28 or 30 percent Maori,” Mr Taylor says.

DEATH CAST PALL OVER MAORI SPORTS AWARDS

There was sadness at this weekend’s Maori sports awards at the death of one of its biggest supporters, former All Black and Maori rugby captain Pat Walsh.

Awards organiser Dick Garret says Mr Walsh, who died Saturday morning, had been attending the awards since their inception in the early 90's.

But he says there was much to celebrate including the induction of some well known names into the Maori sports hall of fame.

“To have on stage Waimarama Taumanu and Buck Shelford and Wynton Rufer and their pedigree of success and achievement and their pedigree as great ambassadors for Maori and indeed all New Zealanders on the national and international stage and there’s nothing better you can produce on the night,” Mr Garrett says.

World champion rower Storm Uru took the major awards, with snooker player Ramona Belmont from Ngati Kahungunu named top sportswomen.

NGATI KAHUNGUNU TO PUSH LANGUAGE RETENTION

Ngati Kahungunu is promising a big push to encourage the learning and use of te reo Maori in its ranks.

The Hawkes Bay iwi drew 1500 people to its annual hui and pa sports day at Hastings’ Splash Palace Amusement Centre over the weekend.

Chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says while members are pleased that its asset base has grown to nearly $40 million dollars, they asked for more emphasis to be put on their culture and language.

“And that was the core korero, use it or lose it. So although our bank balance looks healthy, our tikanga reo balance looks really unhealthy, and that’s what we’re going to emphasis in the next two or three years, and any strategy and every device will be used to upgrade our reo,” Mr Tomoana says.

YOUNG ENGINEER SEES MORE COMING THROUGH

The country's top young engineer is heartened by the number of young Maori and Pacific Island engineers coming through.

Tyrone Newson, who has Te Rarawa and Tongan heritage, says the acknowledgement of his peers in the Engineering Excellence Awards is a major boost.

The award recognises not only his work managing major refurbishing projects at Auckland Airport but his contributions to the profession, including starting Maori and Pacific Island support groups.

He says Maori graduates are moving into good roles.

“And they're starting to move up the ladder now whereas in the past you never used to see many professional Maori and Pacific graduates, You saw them a lot in the trades and the draftsman levels, but now they are moving up the engineering, designers and project managers as well, so it's great to see,” Mr Newson says.

Now he's topped New Zealand, he's off to manage projects in South East Asia and the MIddle East.

TAI CHI FOR MAORI AND PACIFIC ISLAND

Kaumatua across the country are using Tai Chi as a way to improve their health and prevent falls.

Master trainer Toi Walker says the Accident Compensation Commission is backing the Te Puawai o te Tinana programme for Maori and Pacific Islanders.

That's because the ancient Chinese martial art improves posture, muscles, balance and fitness.

“The majority of our Maori people thjat we work with are really enjoying the programme because it’s like body, mind and spirit type work where you can balance out all those three elements, and as Maori we’re aware of our wairua and our tinana and our hinengaro, and when those three are in equal balance, you can see the health of people improve,” Mr Walker says.

He says Australian research also indicated Tai Chi can help people lower their blood sugar, control their arthritis and improve heart function.

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