Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Police in wrong place

Putting a bandaid on a big sore.

That's how Te Ururoa Flavell describes a plan to put police in South Auckland Schools.

Maori Party's education spokesperson taught at Mangere College.
He says the aim is to stop tagging, but most of the graffiti is done by rangatahi who aren't at school.

“Having police in the schools. Jingers, I’d suspect it would be better to have more police in the community working with those groups, or community workers working with those groups such that they can get them involved in some sort of project, whether that be alternative, whether it be trying to get apprenticeships going, something like that,” Mr Flavell says.

He says with more than half of Maori boys and almost as many Maori girls still leaving school without qualifications, the focus should be on lifting educational achievement.


The tunnels, trenches and stockades of Ruapekapeka protected Te Ruki Kawiti and his taua from 10 days of cannon fire.

Now the pa southeast of Kawakawa has been declared a site of engineering significance by the Institute of Professional Engineers.

Spokesperson Trevor Butler says engineering is about finding solutions to new problems.

That's what Ngati Hine faced 160 years ago in one of the last battles of the Northern War.

“Kawiti developed a defense mechanism with tunnels and stockades that proved to be very effective in defense against cannon fire. The British later studied the pa that was built by Kawiti and adopted some of the methods in engineering that he used and it came to be used later in the Crimean was and later in World War One,” Mr Butler says.

The institute has recognised about 50 sites of significance.


Barry Barclay is being remembered as a fighter for a Maori vision of cinema.

The director of Ngati and Feathers of Peace died at his Hokianga home on Monday at the age of 63.

Keri Kaa met Barclay when she was called in to do voiceovers for his documentary The Neglected Miracle, on the appropriation of seeds and plants from indigenous peoples by multinational companies.

She says in Ngati, which starred her brother Wi Kuki Kaa, Barclay showed a sensibilty to that of the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa in his film Ran.

“When Wi Kuki and I saw that film we both thought it was a superb example of what Maoris call tangata whenua which in our family we always interpreted as people who are the land and Kurosawa would kind of plae his actors on the landscape as if they grew from the soil, and Bazza had that kind of eye. He had a gift, and he shared it briefly with us,” Kaa says.

Barry Barclay fought battles in the boardroom and on the film set which made it easier for the next generation of Maori filmmakers.


A parliamentary select committee is recommending teachers only get full registration if they raise student achievement.

The move is aimed at tackling the large number of students who leave school with little or no qualifications.... a disproportionate number of them Maori or Pacific Island rangatahi.

Rhonda Tibble, who heads the Maori Department at Lytton High in Gisborne, says it's a mistake to focus on new teachers and ignore those already registered.

“There's more of us in there than there is likely to be ones coming in new so the policy itself needs to look at what would happen within existing school cultures to bring that into line with the notion of registration only against success of improving educational outcomes. You can’t bring one new in and leave the existing system doing nothing,” Ms Tibble says.

Teachers would be skeptical about how success might be measured under the proposed regime.


The national Maori vegetable growers collective sees new optimism among landowners.

Tahuri Whenua has been holding a five day hui-a-mahi in the top of the South Island to study Maori horticulture initiatives.

Nick Roskruge, the chairperson, says the tour took in large exporters and small growers.

He says the businesses were well managed, and while there are reasons to be cautious, it's important to point out examples of good practice.

“A lot of it is issue that go with Maori land, the small holdings and multiple ownership and all those things that create barriers to moving on and a good business can’t wait two or three years for the nod to move on and do things, You’ve got to be able to respond top things as they arise or as the opportunities happen,” Dr Roskruge says.

He says with their undeveloped land resources and their people, Maori are the largest untapped resource left in the country.


Hip hop is associated with tagging and trouble, but it's being embraced by one part of the Manukau City Council.

Manukau Arts and Parks and the Counties Manukau District Health Board are offering free hip hop classes on Tuesday nights in Manukau Square.

Chantelle Whaiapu, the council's arts co-ordinator, says there's benefits for the whole family, not just rangatahi.

“It's a good way for parents to take part with their children. It’s a good way to spend some whanau time together. It’s only an hour, but it’s enough for parents to see what their children love, what they’re into. I guess it’s rangatahi culture and a different level to when we were all rangatahi as well and it's free,” Ms Whaiapu says.

If people aren't hip to hip hop, on Wednesday night there is free salsa.


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