Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Horomia has small vision for trustee

The Minister of Maori Affairs wants the Maori Trustee to get into the business of small business lending.

Parekura Horomia says Maori supported the review of the Maori Trust Office, which proposed it be separated out from the Ministry of Maori Development.

The Maori Trustee bill now before parliament includes major changes which were not included in the consultation document, including using $35 million of the trustee's accumulated profits to form a Maori business development corporation.

Mr Horomia says it's a way to build on the Maori Trustee's strengths.

“It's a very good organisation and I just thin it’s time to ensure that those people who want to be in business or who are in business a help up from their own, a leg up form their own, to sustain themselves, to develop themselves,” Mr Horomia says.

He also wants to see money held by the Poutama Trust tipped into the new organisation.


A Far North scheme aimed at getting young people drivers’ licences and legal cars is cutting jobless rates among far North Maori.

Project Wheels is an initiative of the Far North Safer Community Council, Work and Income, ACC, Police, Far North District Council and Skills NZ.

It covers warrants of fitness, vehicle registration, learner and restricted drivers licenses and fine diversion.

Participants also learn some car maintenance and auto engineering skills.
A coordinator, Rawiri Te Paa, says the majority are young Maori male on a benefit.

But most finish the course with jobs lined up.

“We've got no public transport system so even if you’re only 10 minutes out of Kaitaia staying out at the beach say at Ahipara, you still need a vehicle to get to work and one of the big industries up here is JNL and the forestry and there’s so much traveling and if you don’t have a vehicle, you’re pretty much unemployable,” Mr Te Paa says.

Project Wheels will be extended to Kaikohe, Hastings, Chrischurch,and Wellington.


The New Zealand Breakers face their toughest opposition tonight, taking on the Sydney Kings at the North Shore Events Centre.

Te Arapi Maihi, who covers the Breakers games for Maori Television, says win or lose the Breakers have shown this season they can foot it with the best in the Australian Basketball League.

He says the players... including Paul Henare and Paora Winitana... had a lot of close games, but found a way to win.

Halfway through the season the team is fourth in the competition with 9 wins and 6 losses

“Last year they were 11 and 22 for the whole season so this is the first game into the second part of the season, we’re only two games away from equaling how many wins they had last year so Andre Lamanis I’m sure would be pretty proud of his boys,” Mr Maihi says.

The Breakers are about to have their ranks boosted with the arrival of NBA point Guard Orien Greene.


New Zealand's only carving school is celebrating its 40th year by doing what it does best - building houses.

Students from Te Puia in Rotorua have just delivered the carvings for a new meeting house at Wharekawa Marae on the Firth of Thames.

Their tutor, Ngarepo Eparaima, says the marae supplied the totara and matai for the job, and came up with the stories and histories they wanted chiseled into the wood.

“That took a long time to get that passed, and then we started it and in three months we had all those pieces carved and ready to9 take back up to them. It’s what we’re here for. We were set up in 1967 to keep this carving art alive,” Mr Eparaima says.


While many are thinking of santa and gifts, some Maori take a more cosmic view of the Christmas season.

The Summer Solstice is celebrated by cultures around the world as a time to worship gods, make pledges and thank the sun for good crops.

Richard Hall is from Stonehenge Aotearoa, a working observatory and henge in the Wairarapa which incorporates Egyptian, Babylonian, Celtic and Maori navigation and astronomy.

He says the design shows Maori took a keen interest in when the sun reaches its most southerly point.

“If you look at the way the stones are arranged, what we call the heel stones, they mark out the solstice and equinoxes. Now if you go back to the original Maori stories of creation and you talk abut the first house, the first whare kura, you fid the posts of the first house are exactly the same as the stones laid out in Stonehenge Aotearoa,” Mr Hall says.

The solstice this year falls on December 22.


A Te Atiawa woman is preparing for one of the toughest races in the world.

Lisa Tamati-Luskandl has been running ultra marathons for 12 years, and last weekend finished a 150 kilometre run around Mt Taranaki in 19 hours.

She's setting herself for the Death Valley Cup next July.

The race through the California desert is known for temperatures up to 60 degrees celsius, and it climbs from below sea level to the top of 2500 metre Mount Whitney.

She says it's a rewarding sport.

“There's a lot of pain involved. There’s a lot of dedication and training and all that sort of thing. But for me the rewards far outweigh the time and effort involved. I meet wonderful people. I learn to find my own limits and go beyond them. It gives me a real strength for life,” Ms Tamati-Luskandl says.

Because extreme sports fall outside usual funding criteria, she's dependent on sponsorship and donations.


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