Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Peters wants Maori involved on Maori seats.

New Zealand First's leader says Maori people need to be consulted on the future of the Maori seats.

National has pledged to scrap the seats, probably as soon as 2014, once historic treaty claims are settled.

But Winston Peters says it can't be done unilaterally.

He says the best argument for getting rid of the seats was made by the commission of inquiry into the electoral system, which said a mixed member proportional system was a better way to assure Maori representation in Parliament.

“The number of Maori in Parliament has improved dramatically since the 1996 election and what we said as a party two elections ago. That we believe it’s time for Maori people to be consulted on this issue on the promise that was set out by the electoral commission and see what Maori people think about that,” Mr Peters says.

WORLD KIDNEY DAY REMINDER OF FAULTY PLUMBING

Many Maori are walking around without realising they have kidney disease.

Carmel Gregan-Ford from Kidney Health New Zealand says Maori make up about a third of the people receiving dialysis treatment or kidney replacements, in part because of their predisposition to diabetes.

To mark World Kidney Day today, her organisation is screening parliamentary staff.

She says early detection of a disease which affects one in 10 New Zealanders means early treatment.

“The major barrier to the detection and treatment is that up to 90 percent of the people with chronic kidney disease don’t actually know they have it. For Maori it’s a very simple test. They can di it in their own home. So it’s something we’re feeling quite excited about and it’s something we’re going to tray to make more accessible, particularly for the at risk populations, which includes the Maori and Pacific Island people,” Ms Gregan-Ford says.

Kidney Health New Zealand has plans for screening programmes through marae and iwi health providers.

THIRD KEREOPA BOOK GIVES RUA KENANA CLUES

The third and final volume of the teachings of a Tuhoe tohunga is now on the shelves.

Hohepa Kereopa died last September, but not before having a chance to read the manuscript of The Tohunga Journal.

Author Paul Moon, the head of history at AUT University's Te Ara Poutama school of Maori development, says the material was collected during many long sessions beside the tohunga's hospital bed.

The first two books covered Maori principles and concepts and gardening and natural remedies.

“There's this other topic that was always within him. We’d talked about it for years. It was to do with Rua Kenana, the mountain Maungapohatu and the whole movement that took place there 100 years ago. He has a very strong connection with that and had some interesting and provocative ideas about that whole thing. It covers a lot of ideas to do with religion and spirituality,” Dr Moon says.

The Tohunga Journal has been flying off the shelves, as many people were waiting for its publication.

HARAWIRA WANTING SECURE FUNDING FOR BROADCASTERS

Radio station manager turned politician Hone Harawira wants more attention paid to the needs of Maori radio and television.

The Maori Party MP says the Broadcasting Amendment Bill now before Parliament could do more to consolidate gains in the sector.

The party is backing the bill, which will allo Maori broadcast funding agency which will allow Te Mangai Paho to fund the archiving of Maori programmes.

But Mr Harawira says it could go further and address important governance issues.

“Given that Maori Television is run by a board appointed by both Crown and Maori, why is it not possible to extend that same governance arrangement to Te Taurawhiri o te Reo and Te Mangai Paho so that those people are seen to be actively represent the interests of both the Crown and Maori,” he says.

Mr Harawira says Maori broadcasters still don't have guaranteed funding, and the operational grant for iwi radio stations has only been increased once in 20 years.

PUBLIC HEALTH FOCUS FOR NEW MAORI JOURNAL

There's a new publication devoted to Maori public health issues.

Oranui is the work of Anton Blank, a communications consultant who has spent 25 years working in the health field.

The first issue of Oranui includes contributions from Massey University professor Mason Durie, general practioner and researcher David Tipene Leach and Maakere Jordan Kaa.

Mr Blank says there's been no journal specifically about Maori health.

“I've found that working around Maori public heath is there is a lot of work going on that’s not being captured and I guess my idea in terms of pulling the journal together was we start building a sense of history, off what’s developing, so it’s a lot of really innovative work and I wanted to start recording that,” Mr Blank says.

KEARNEY FIXES SIGHTS ON MAY CENTENARY CLASH

The NRL season gets underway this weekend, but the assistant coach for the defending premieres has his mind on a date in early May.

Steven Kearny from Paraparaumu is assistant coach for the Melbourne Storm, who take on the New Zealand warriors in Melbourne on Monday night.

The 35-year-old former Kiwi captain also coaches the national squad.
He says that means getting ready for the centenary trans-Tasman test against Australia in Sydney in May.

“I'm confident that we can provide the players with the right kind of environment to play well on May 9. We’ve got Dean Bell there, the mana that he carries, (Reuben Wiki) will be on board as a mentor-type role for the week. That’s my focus as a coach, to restore that pride and that mana back into the Kiwi jersey,” Mr Kearney says.

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