Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Boot put into TPK spending

The National Party is questioning the spending of Maori development money on rugby.

Spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu says a financial review of Te Puni Kokiri has revealed that it is handing out grants in an ad hoc manner.

She says money from the Maori potential fund, which is supposed to build up matauranga or knowledge, strengthen whakamana or leadership and develop Maori rawa or resources, has instead gone to sports clubs.

“That was the job of others, namely the rugby union, to foster rugby I guess in various places, and when the need of Maori is so high in areas like housing and jobs and incomes, which really do address the potential of Maori, then we can see the rationale for that sort of funding,” Mrs te Heuheu says.

The select committee was also concerned at what value Maori would have got from the $90,000 spent on foreign travel by Maori Trustee John Paki during the year.


There's more to being the hau kainga than meets the eye.

That's why Te Wananga o Aotearoa's Rotorua campus is offering a pilot course on marae roles.

Tutor Maia Mihaka says many kaumatua are concerned that many of the younger people coming through don't have a solid grasp on some of the kawa and tikanga involved.

She says the old ways of handing on knowledge over many years don't suit everyone's lifestyle.

When you are the koeke or the kaumatua of the marae you’re expected to be the ones in the wharenui and do all the korero there, and then if you’re a bit younger you’re stuck in the kitchen and sometimes I think because of the way our world is today there’s just no way everyone can get off work to attend important hui at the marae,” Maia Mihaka says.


There's a call for Maori to go back to the breast.
The Government has launched a strategy to up breastfeeding rates and create supportive environments mother's feeding their children.

Marewa Glover from Auckland University's School of Population Health says Maori rates of breastfeeding are much lower than other New Zealand women.

She says that's because Maori mums were told they needed the change the way they cared for their babies, when they should have been sticking with what their grandmothers did.

“This is the way we did it and this is what we have to get back to. It is absolutely normal, it is the best thing to do, it’s cheap, it’s clean. Baby doesn’t need anything else up to six months and then the World Health Organisation recommends breast feeding up to two years and beyond,” Dr Glover says.

She says Maori women have lost confidence in their own abilities, which makes them vulnerable to aggressive baby food marketers.


A Maori academic is backing the idea of separate Maori seats in any rejig of Auckland's regional and local councils.

An issues paper prepared for the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance suggests an Auckland regional body could be elected based on existing electorates - which would include the three Maori electorates which draw on the city.

The Royal commission's chair, retired High Court judge, says it's an idea worth considering.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Canterbury University's School of Maori and Indigenous Studies, says separate seats put Maori at the table where crucial decisions are made.

“Auckland's too big a city to dilute Maori opinion just because a minority are Maori so I think it’s a brave opinion on his part and good luck to him and let’s just hope that Auckland Maori get organised and make submissions and try to secure something for themselves,” Mr Taonui says.

Submissions to the Royal Commission close in a month.


The Accident Compensation Corporation's new director of Maori and community relations wants to see more Maori taking up the services they are entitled to.

Paula Snowden from Ngapuhi has previously held senior positions with Te Puni Kokiri, the Alcohol Advisory Council and Housing New Zealand.

She says Maori women are particularly slow to get help when they need it.

“One of the issues for women generally is that women priorities the healthcare of their children and their husbands over themselves and that’s true for all women. One of the challenges is to show women how they can access the right healthcare services including injury prevention and treatment for their own injuries that benefits their families, that prioritising their own health care does not deprioritise their families,” Ms Snowden says.


A children's author hopes his books will show Maori tamariki ways to stay on the straight and narrow.

Tim Tipene, a martial artist and trained counselor, founded a basic martial arts programme, Kura Toa Warrior School, to help kids at risk.

He's also won prizes for books like Haere, Farewell Jack Farewell and Taming the Taniwha,

His latest title, Rewa Finds his Wings, tackles themes of identity and motivation.

“Basically it's about a young fellow who’s not too happy about his direction in life, with the path of work he’s chosen, though he certainly enjoys the bush and admiring the birds, so his mum is concerned about him so she sends him up north to see a tohunga that she knows, and he helps him discover his path,” Mr Tipene says.

His experience working on men's anger management and violence programmes made him realise how important it was to work with children before they made big mistakes in their lives.


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