Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Life experience needed for social work

The head of one of the country's most successful Maori social service providers says outsiders can't do the job.

John Tamihere from West Auckland's Waipareira Trust says the current spate of youth crime is going to need some specialist intervention in dysfunctional families, many of them Maori.

He says it's not a place for do-gooders, who may impose their own values systems on a completely different environment.

“They then look at a lot of our people, who are failing people, and treat with them with their values. Well, there’s a values clash, not just a culture clash, not just a Maori Pakeha things. And unless you have people who come from that background worked in that background, have salvaged themselves and are the best workers to relate to these people, you’re not going to get through to them,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says a plan to test pre-school children for anti social behaviour is a good idea, as long as the proper early intervention programmes are developed.

HIGH DOLLAR AND LOW RETURNS HARMING MAORI KIWIGROWERS

The high New Zealand dollar and rising production costs are hitting Maori orchardists hard.

Maanu Paul, who grows organic kiwifruit near Whakatane, says the once lucrative industry is in crisis.

He says Maori produce around 40 percent of the kiwifruit crop, and are now getting a meagre return on investment.

“There is very little profit now in kiwifruit growing. Five years ago we were getting abut $10 a tray and it was costing us about $2 to produce it. Now we’re getting $6 a tray and it’s costing us $4.50 to produce it,” Mr Paul says.

He says the strict quality control demanded by overseas buyers has pushed up costs.

MAORI PROGRAMME HIT AT NEW PLMOUTH FESTIVAL

Maori performers have been given the chance to shine at the Festival of LIghts in New Plymouth.

Emere Wano of Titi Event Management approached the city council with a Sounds of Aotearoa programme because of concern the long running festival had little Maori content.

The programme, which finishes this Sunday, showcases performers like The House Of Shem, Krumping, Toni Huata and her jazz band, Boss Heke, Morgana Watson and the Paatea Maori Club.

She says it was a new experience for the city.

“Sometimes councils in cities, we tend to forget pockets of our community that do exist and want to have the same experiences as others and encourage them to just get out and be seen and be involved in their community,” she says.

The Festival of Lights runs through until March 16th at Pukekura Park.

TRANSIT BLOWS CHANCE FOR BRIDGE FLAG SYMBOL OF UNITY

The Greens Maori spokesperson believes Transit have blown an opportunity to celebrate the country's unique history.

Metiria Turei says the roading body should have let the tino rangatiratanga flag to fly alongside the national ensign on Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day.

Transit stopped flying any flag but the New Zealand flag after a similar controversy last year.

Ms Turei says that response only fuels the debate.

“The debate about the flag flying becomes an us against them debate as opposed to if they had just agreed that on Waitangi Day, one day a year, it would be appropriate to fly it, then it would be a unity debate,” Ms Turei says.

She says flying the flags would be a symbol of the way Maori and Pakeha work together.

NOT ENOUGH PLAYING THE GAME

Maori parents are being told to make their children play sport.

Former All Black and sevens player Eric Rush says too few Maori are getting to the top levels of their sports.

He says parents don't push the issue when rangatahi say they're not interested in competing, resulting in too many young people lacking direction in their lives.

“I think there's a lot to be learnt from playing sport,. All this crap that’s happening on the street nowadays, those fellows are just bored, they’ve got nothing better to do than get into trouble. Kids will have a go at anything if they’re pushed into it It’s just not PC to do that any more and I think that’s wrong. Kids need to be told this is what you’re doing and this is when you're doing it,” Mr Rush says.

He says parents need to accept they need to make a commitment to their children's sport, even if it means taking them to training.

WRITERS HONE THEIR CRAFT IN WAIARIKI

Aspiring Maori writers have been meeting in Rotorua to hone their craft.

Tutor Brian Potiki, a poet and playwright, says new writers need to understand not only the mechanics of the writing process but how to get their work published.

Some of those on the three day workshop at Waiariki Polytechnic have a clear idea of how they want to use their new skills.

“There are a couple of young Maori there who are wanting to go further. They’ve made the start, they’ve come along, they’re quite confident in what they want already. They’re starting to read around and look for models and look for mentors. These ones who’ve come to this class want to expand their work,” Mr Potiki says.

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