No help for Graham-Rakena Venice venture
The chief executive of Creative New Zealand says there's no way it will help fund a New Zealand entry to this year's Venice Biennale.
Stephen Wainwright says the government arts body decided to skip the art world's most prestigious fair this year.
Artists Brett Graham and Rachel Rakena are looking for $250,000 to show their multi-media installation Aniwaniwa at Venice.
Stephen Wainwright his organisation has other priorities.
“We're an organisation that is in the fortunate position that there’s no shortage of great ideas that come to us, and as a publicly funded organisation, we’ve got to ensure we take a long term view on how we support the arts in New Zealand,” Mr Wainwright says.
Creative New Zealand is sending five people to the Venice, Frankfurt and Basel art fairs to help it develop a strategy for future participation in international events.
MAORI PARTY TOYING WITH LABOUR’S FIELD
The Maori Party says it will back former Labour MP, Taito Phillip Field if he wants to set up a Pacific party.
The Mangere MP was expelled from Labour after he threatened to stand as an independent next election.
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says he and Tariana Turia met with Mr Field and offered to cast his vote when he is not in the house.
Dr Sharples says there is life after Labour for the Samoan MP.
“If he wants to set up an independent Pacific Islands group or some independent party, we’ll be totally supportive of that, because we feel our own party has made some mileage on behalf of people as an independent voice, and we think the Pacific Island people could get mileage out of an independent voice as well,” Dr Sharples says.
MANGROVE CLEARING DRAWS PUNISHMENT THREAT
Coromandel iwi Ngati Whanaunga wants Environment Waikato regional council to prosecute the people who cleared two hectares of mangroves from the Whangamata harbour.
Environment unit head Nathan Kennedy says mangroves or maanawa are an important fish habitat.
Mr Kennedy says there's a lot of anger in the community, and Ngati Whanaunga won't let the matter rest.
“In terms of punishment we’re going to seek to act within the law as we always have and if it seems that EW won’t prosecute we’ll look at some enforcement action ourselves,” Mr Kennedy says.
He says Environment Waikato's failure to prosecute anyone after the last mangrove clearing session 18 months ago may have emboldened those who see the plant as a pest.
ANTE-NATAL PROGRAMME LAUNCHED IN BAY
An antenatal programme launched in the Hawkes Bay this morning is the first to be designed specifically for expectant Maori women.
Henare Kani from Maori midwives group Nga Maia says the Whanau Mai programme aims to keep alive traditional Maori birthing practices.
Mr Kani says there is a strong taha Maori focus, and as well as advice on health and diet, mothers learn about rituals connected with birth, such as the burial of the whenua - the Maori word for both the land and for the afterbirth.
“It keeps alive Maori concepts, like there’s a wananga whare tangata, birth planning, and how to keep fit. If the whenua is what keeps us alive, then it’s the whenua we’ve got to look after,” Mr Kani says.
A trial programme in South Auckland last year led to an increase in Maori women attending antenatal classes.
GRANDPARENTS MAY QUALIFY FOR MOKOPUNA MONEY
Kaumatua caring for their mokopuna are being urged to contact Work and Income to see what benefits are available to help.
Changes to eligibility rules introduced as part of changes to the government's Working for Families scheme means children being looked after by relatives may now qualify for the unsupported child benefit.
Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta says that will help many Maori, who may be bringing up their children's children.
“Some kaumatua are a bit hesitant to even make the inquiry into Work and Income on whether or not they are eligible, because they are receiving the pension and they don’t want that to be affected,” Ms Mahuta says.
She says there also need to be changes in the way children looking after parents or elderly relatives are funded.
STREET PRESENCE DRAW FOR WARDENS
A Wairarapa Maori warden says bringing back street patrols in Masterton is encouraging new recruits.
Former New Zealand First MP Edwin Perry says the patrols make the wardens more visible to the community.
Mr Perry says a dozen people have contacted the wardens this month about joining up.
He says while people don't become wardens for the money, secure funding would help, and he's looking to his former boss for help in that regard.
“I know that Winston Peters is vying to get the $15 million out of Dr Cullen. Remunerating our Maori wardens, the days have gone when we expect our people to do things for nothing. We need to look a bit forward, and they need to put kai on the table like we all have to,” Mr Perry says.