Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pre-schooler tests cause unease

The Maori Party is unhappy about plans to test pre-schoolers for anti social behaviour.

The Ministry of Education will work with the Ministries of Health and Social Development to screen the children and offer basic parenting courses to the their parents.

It's claimed the intervention will reduce the chances of children turning to crime later in life.

But Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell, a former teacher, says it seems an extreme measure.

“It's a little bit young to start doing that. There are a lot of circumstances that can change tamariki and their lives, so a little bit cautious about this action if it is taken across the board, in the sense that there is a profile already been painted with respect to our Maori children,” Mr Flavell says.


A negotiator for the Port Nicholson Claim says Maori are asking for nothing more than their fair share in treaty settlements.

An agreement in principle which will make Taranaki Whanui claimants the landlord of a number of iconic Crown buildings in central Wellington is currently out for ratification.

Sir Paul Reeves, a former governor general, says while the negotiations took several long years, the outcome fills him with hope.

“I get a great sense that Maori want to move on, they don’t want to stay in grievance mode, but as they move on they want to taken with them their fair share of the asserts that they see in order that they may develop them and make their contribution both to their own number and also the wider society of Aotearoa New Zealand. I want to be part of that,” Sir Paul says.


Whakarewarewa plans to honour some of its legendary guides.

The Rotorua thermal attraction became the premier destination for tourists to the region after the erruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886 buried the Pink and White Terraces.

Watu Mihinui, a director of Whaka Thermal Tours, says photos of the leading guides will take pride of place at the entrance to the village.

They include Maggie Papkura, Guide Rangi and her mother, Bubbles Mihinui.

She says the guides of the past learned their trade by following their aunties around.

“These days our guides have to be skilled in first aid, knowing what the OSH requirement are, some of the standards through the tourism world. Our guides today have to be trained in those sorts of things as well as the stories that have been handed down for the generations,” Ms Mihinui says.

Modern guides walk comfortably in both worlds, explaining how locals still use geothermal pools to cook food ... while also owning microwaves.


John Key is happy to make the annual 25ths hui at Ratana Pa the start of the political year.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has criticised other parties for showing up at the marae near Wanganui, saying it's inappropriate to use it to make campaign promises.

But the National Party leader says he's been looking forward to his visit today.

He's clocked up some serious hui time around the country over the past year, so his second visit to the pa was a lot less intimidating.

“There's no question that when you spend more time you not only get to see the achievements and the successes and also the areas where there is greater need for development but equally you feel more comfortable. You understand the protocol and you understand what happens and you understand the vitality I think,” Mr Key says.

He used his visit to Ratana to promise more resources for the Waitangi Tribunal and a commitment to settling claims.
The marae also hosted a large ope of Labour MPs led by Helen Clark, as well as New Zealand First MPs.


Politicians are now looking ahead to the next major event on their calendar.

The Prime Minister will attend commemorations at the Treaty Grounds on Waitangi Day, before heading back to attend events in Auckland,.

Don't expect to see her on Te Tii Marae though - Helen Clark still hasn't forgotten the rough treatment she got the last time she went on the lower marae.

Parekura Horomia, the Minister of Maori Affairs, says he'll be at Waitangi too, but taking the focus off the North has had benefits

“Waitangi Day is really important for Te Tii and north but certainly since we’ve been in government, it’s grown dramatically as a celebration around the country where both Pakeha and Maori are celebrating Waitangi day in different forms,” Mr Horomia says.


The Waitangi Tribunal has ordered research continue for claims in the East Coast district, despite a bid by the Ngati Porou Runanga to move directly into negotiations.

The tribunal held a judicial conference in Gisborne yesterday to measure progress on the claims.

It said the casebook, which contains all the historical research prepared for the claims, will close off in December.

Lawyers at the hearing said there was no comment from the tribunal on how it might be affected by talks between the Office of Treaty Settlements and Te Runanga o Ngati Porou.

The runanga got more than 90 percent support from a postal vote on its mandate to enter direct negotiations, but the government has not yet indicated whether it will accept the mandate.

Many of the other claimant groups say they have separate identities within Ngati Porou or independent of the tribe, and they have a right to tell their stories before the tribunal.


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