Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, December 21, 2007

Scholarship applications plummet

A long serving official with the Maori Education Trust says government policies are having a devastating effect of Maori participation in teriary education.

Doug Hauraki says if Auckland University's plan to cap popular courses spreads to other institutions, it will make it much harder to get Maori into the system.

He says the trust had already seen a massive drop-off in Maori participation after the axing of Manaaki Tauira grants.

“When you have a look at us taking 11,000 applications a year up until the time of that decision. We’ve now dropped right down between 3000 and 5000. So once again, it is our people that will miss out on the opportunities that are available,” Mr Hauraki says.

The Maori Education Trust allocates more than a $1 million a year of scholarships as secondary, undergraduate and postgraduate level.

NGATI HINE MAPS HEALTH OF LAND

A Northland hapu wants to know what's happening with 18,000 hectares of land still in tribal ownership.

Ngati Hine Hauora is mapping the physical and natural features of the 750 land parcels that make up the five Motatau Blocks.

It will record the rongoa, kai and marae sites, the stories around landmarks such as rivers, maunga and caves, and the existing and potential uses of the land.

Percy Tipene, the project manager, says it's a natural fit for a health trust.

“Because most of their clientele is in the rural areas, they looked at is the land healthy because if your land is healthy, so too is the people.
Mr Tipene says.

Some information will be published on a public website, with more specialised information available only to beneficiaries and title-holders.

GEORGE REHU TO BE BURIED TODAY

Ngati Rangiwewehi is today burying one of te Arawa's most well loved characters.

George Paramena Rehu was one of the youngest members of the 28 Maori Battalion, serving in the Italian campaign.

On his discharge he became a successful builder and a valued member of the Te Arawa Maori Returned Services League.

Jim Perry, a fellow league member, says Mr Rehu did a lot of things for a lot of people, and was known to put his hand in his pocket to help others.

His knowledge of tribal matters won him a place on Rotorua District Council's iwi consultative group, and on the group advising the Rotorua Museum on preservation and placement of taonga.

“Very important when claims are being laid, fellows like George who were raised in that area, knew all the configurations of the territory, to be able to take people and say this is where the boundary goes, this is where it stars and this is where it finishes,” Mr Perry says.

The funeral at Puhirua Marae beside Lake Rotorua starts at 11.

ALAC TO STRENGTHEN MAORI LINKS

The new head of strategy for the Alcohol Advisory Council wants to work with Maori health services to get the message out.

Tuari Potiki from Kai Tahu says the council hasn't had a comprehensive plan to tackle the negative effects of alcohol in the Maori population.

It fears any programme could get lost in a welter of other health messages.

“What we don't want to do is come in with anther kaupapa on top of the hundreds of kaupapa that are already out there. We’ve got diabetes and asthma and heart disease and whanau are being bombarded by all of these health messages, obesity, stop smoking, don’t eat bacon. We don’t want to come in with another one, ‘and by the way don't drink,’” Mr Potiki says.

He has a 20 year record in Maori health, mental health and justice, as well as managing social programmes for Ngai Tahu Development Corporation.

PATITI POINT GROUP SEEKING PROTECTION FOR ENCAMPMENT SITE

A Timaru group wants to an early Maori settlement registered as an area of historical importance.

Stephen Lowe says the Friends of Patiti Point has spent five years fending off developers, and its latest battle is against a tribute centre - a fancy name for a funeral home.

It has lodged an application with the Historic Places Trust to protect the site.

He says while there has been no full archaeological survey of the area, which included a seasonal Maori village called Hine te Kura, moa bones and middens have been discovered.

“It's where Maori since earliest times gathered to hunt and fish and to land their boats. In slightly more recent times, 1838 to 1845, whalers had a whaling station there, and this was the first interaction in our area between Europeans and Maori,” Mr Lowe says.

Friends of Patiti Point is concerned the council may let the developer start work before the Historic Places Trust can act.

BRIT TAKES ON TAIAHA TRAINING FOR FITNESS

What's an English IT consultant doing with a taiaha.

That's a question people may be asking in the Hawkes Bay this weekend, as they see Chris Reynolds going for his third level in Mau Rakau.

He's a member of Maramara Totara - the London chapter of Te Whare Tutaua o Aotearoa, the governing body for the ancient Maori martial art.

An interest in Maori culture set him on the path to the wananga and grading session at Takapou.

“I was a member of the London Maori club, Ngati Ranana, and I was looking for something to try and keep fit, so my wife and I went along to a practice session and my wife couldn’t put the time in but it appealed to me so I carried on and that was three years ago,” Mr Reynolds says.

Twelve mau rakau exponents have come out from London to be graded and sharpen up their skills.

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