Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, January 28, 2008

Couple ordained together

In what is believed to be a first for New Zealand, a Maori couple has been ordained together as Anglican priests.

Te Kitohi Pikaahu... the bishop of Tai Tokerau... presided over the ceremony at Whakamaharatanga Marae in Waimamaku on Sunday.

Piitotori Naera and his wife Marina Fong Naera will serve as full-time priests in Kaikohe, covering the Waimate-Taumarere area
Hone Kaa, who tutored the couple at St John's Theological College, Te Rau Kahikatea in Auckland, says they'll be an asset to the church.

“They were the first Maori couple to graduate together with the bachelor’s degree in theology and they must be the first husband and wife couple to be ordained priest together on the same day in the same place. One comes from Waimamaku and the other comes from Opononi.” Dr Kaa says

Bishop Pikaahu also ordained Beverly Crowther from Waikara marae at the edge of Waipoua Forest, who will work part-time in the ministry in Auckland.


A call to bring back Maori community officers to tackle youth crime and escalating violence.

Dennis Hansen, who was a community officer for the Department of Maori Affairs in the 1980s, says he and his colleagues knew where the trouble spots where and how to tackle them.

He says an expert network could be quickly activated, based out of the country's 11-hundred marae.

“All the communities by doing that are able to concentrate on who is breaking the law, who is not going to school, and also you can see hasn’t got any kai in their cupboard, who is gambling, who is going out drinking, but you‘re doing it in a more respectful manner,” Mr Hansen says.

Maori leaders warned 20 years ago that abolishing the Community Officers would lead to chaos.


A Springbok Tour protest leader who turned down an award from the South African Government says he has Maori backing for his stand.

John Minto was nominated for a Tambo award, the highest honour given to non-South Africans, in recognition of his role in the anti-apartheid protests.

He says a South Africa where the number of people living on less than a dollar a day has doubled over the past decade isn't what he was fighting for back in 1981.

Others in the movement expected regime change would bring more for the black majority.

“The Maori people who I know who were active in 1981 who I’ve spoken to about this have said yep, things haven’t gone the way we hoped they were going, and in fact share the disappointment that I do and I think we have to be really frank about that,” Mr Minto says.


EDS got more than it bargained for when it launched five information technology scholarships for Maori today.

The Maori Affairs Minister, Parekura Horomia, announced the Government would put matching funds into the Maori Education Trust - so EDS now has 10 students to mentor and find holiday work for.

Chief executive Steve Murray from Ngati Kuri says as the country's largest IT services company with 2400 staff, that shouldn't be hard.

He says Maori are under-represented in the industry, so EDS wanted to do its bit to boost numbers.

“The term IT can be a bit misleading. There’s a broad spectrum of capability and competency that we’ll be looking for and that we can put to work within EDS, being a global entity. Anything for cutting code through to managing accounts through to finance and business acumen etc etc,” Mr Murray says.

The former Tainui Group Holdings chief executive says experience with a global company is good grounding for Maori who may want to go on to work for tribal or Maori land-based corporates.


The Treaty Negotiations Minister and his two associates have been in Tokomaru Bay today trying to put the finishing touches on an agreement with Ngati Porou over rights to the foreshore and seabed.

Negotiations have dragged since 2003, but have quickened since Michael Cullen took over the portfolio.

The deal now on the table will give the East Coast iwi recognition in regional plans and other statutory documents, allow coastal hapu to develop management regimes and set bylaws, and gives veto powers over aquaculture developments in their rohe.

A spokesperson for Dr Cullen says today's trip is to acknowledge the progress being made on recognising Ngati Porou's enduring mana over the foreshore and seabed.

He says a public announcement is expected shortly.


With Anniversary day out of the way, Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua is getting ready for the next big public holiday.

It's hosting a Waiatangi Day celebration on its ancestral whenua at Okahu Bay in Orakei.

There will be music from House of Shem, Che Fu and Cornerstone Roots and other bands.

Coordinator Teri Davis the historic significance of the day won't be forgotten.

“For our powhiri we’re going to do the reenactment of the arrival of Governor Hobson so we’ve got sailing yachts and waka and whatnot coming ashore into Okahu Bay and the host tribe or hapu is going to do a big powhiri,” Ms Davis says.


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