Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reading plan bypasses teachers

Donna Awatere-Huata wants education to be taken back into the whanau.

The former MP has reworked her four-minute reading programme into a whanau literacy programme for West Auckland's Waipareira Trust.

Catch Kapohia involves training up people to assess the literacy levels of family members and deliver reading programme.

Mrs Awatere-Huata says Maori need an alternative to the school system, which has failed Maori for more than 30 years.

“What you're doing is putting the knowledge back in the family rather than relying on them going to school and leaving it for a teacher to do. (In) 2006, 53 percent of Maori boys failed NCEA level one literacy and numeracy. I mean, get real. Our children are bright. They’re not learning to read because of the way they're being taught,” Ms Awatere-Huata says.

Unless Maori help themselves they will spiral into failure.


Labour will have to convince New Zealand First of the wisdom of its planned Maori development bank to get it through Parliament.

The plan to use $35 million of the Maori Trustee's accumulated profits to create a new statutory corporation is opposed by National and the Maori Party.

Winston Peters says his party voted to send the Maori Trustee Amendment Bill to a select committee so it could find out how Maori Business Aotearoa New Zealand would work.

“This idea could work, but I’ve not seen anything of the past that would give me a belief it would work at this point in time, so New Zealand First’s position is we want to know exactly what’s going to happen, whether there is a chance of imperiling the fund that is over 90 years old and belonging to 140,000 people, and it’s their money, we’re entitled to know where it's going,” he says.

Mr Peters says past loan schemes like the Mana Enterprises of the 1980s had failed to deliver on their promise of Maori development.


Maori printmakers have joined together to promote the artform to Maori.

Toi Wakataa Press co-founder Vanessa Edwards says the collective now has 15 members.

She says while print making is not a traditional Maori form, there are elements about it that feel familiar.

“We've discussed the idea of why we were attracted to the form of printmaking and there’s that idea of carving when it comes to woodcuts and cutting out those relief carvings and sculptures and things like that, and printing them up and inking them, and there’s also this nice idea about ink and line with ta moko and pushing the ink into the line and wiping it back and pulling out an image,” she says.

Edwards' etchings of Pakeha women wearing moko kauae or chin tattoos are currently on show at the Solander Gallery in Wellington.


It’s the Fox fighting fund.

That's Tau Henare's name for a proposed new Maori development agency, to be set up with accumulated profits of the Maori Trustee.

The National list MP says that money should go to the 180,000 owners whose land the trustee administers.

He says the statutory corporation, Maori Business Aotearoa New Zealand, is a bad idea by the Maori affairs minister, Parekura Horomia.

“It's going to be a bank. It's going to be a development fund for his mates and for his pet projects. Who chooses these people who are going to be on this corporation? The minister of Maori affairs. Who chooses the chairman? The minister of Maori affairs.

“This guy is under pressure now on the East Coast now that Derek (Fox) has been elected as the representative of the Maori Party. He is under major pressure,” Mr Henare says.

He says rather than spending the money, the government should be trying to find all the Maori Trustee's beneficiaries.


The founder of a leading contemporary dance company says culture festivals are helping develop the next generation of Maori and Pacific Island dancers.

Polyfest, the Auckland secondary schools' Maori and Pacific Island cultural festival kicked off today in Manukau.

Neil Ieriemia from Black Grace the huge festival it gives young people the chance to learn about their culture and link it to future careers.

“People from our cultures generally don’t consider dance as a valid career path because it’s so much a part of our everyday life. We go to a tangi or a wedding, we sing and we naturally get up and we’re storyteller, so we don’t see it as part of our daily lives, but something like Polyfest helps to reinforce that for people,” Ieriemia says.

Black Grace is performing at WOMAD in New Plymouth this weekend.


Maori kites will be flying in Italian skies next month.

Kerikeri high school teacher Harko Brown is leading a group of students to an international kite festival in Cervia.

As well as flying seven traditional kites, the group will perform kapa haka and demonstrate Maori games.

“The kites we made are specific to the event and the event we’re making at Cervia this year, it’s more the emphasis on Maori games and Matariki. The biggest one we’ve got is a three metre round kite called the tuwharekiarahi, and those are the kites that were flown when game playing was going on at marae in the pa,” Mr Brown says.

While in Italy He Manu o Aotearoa will also visit the abbey at Monte Cassino to pay their respects to the New Zealanders who fell in World War II.


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