Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Te Arawa wants water back too

Te Arawa members want to reopen talks on the ownership of the water in their lakes.

They instructed the annual hui of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust to investigate lodging a treaty claim for what the Crown calls the stratum - the water in the lakes and the air above.

The stratum was left out of the settlement passed into law two years ago, which gave the iwi ownership of the beds of Rotorua and 13 other central North Island lakes.

The trust's chairperson, Toby Curtis, says the water wasn't on the table during negotiations.

“When they did the settlement, there was no opportunity to ever consider the water. That was nearly four years ago. The climate has changed. Tainui as got their water back with the river. Tuwharetoa’s got its water back with the lake. They have to give ours back,” Mr Curtis says.

The trust was told to report back on progress to next year's annual meeting.

CONVERSATION REVEALS HEART OF FAMILY

Terms like cuzzy, auntie, nanny and my bro help whanau learn core values like whanaungatanga and manaakitanga.

That's the finding of new research into everyday conversations in Maori families.

Researcher Huia Tomlins-Jahnke says her pilot study of four families found music, sport and food were common topics, karakia was an integral part of daily life, and many of the conversations with the children focused on children.

While similar studies of non-Maori families found the use of personal pronouns was uncommon, in her sample they helped connect whanau members.

“References to each other a cuzzie or my cousin, my auntie my uncle, just using those kinds of kinship terms. These were really clear markers about how important whanau and whanaungatanga is as a core value in our society,” Ms Tomlins-Jahnke says.

Her study found children were not excluded from issues like illness and death within the whanau.

FAMILY RUN WINS TE HOUTAEWA CHALLENGE

It was a family affair for the winner of the women's section of last weekend's Te Houtaewa challenge.

Ady Ngawati says the best part was running down Te Oneroa a Tohe or 90 Mile Beach with her dad, who did his first 21 kilometer race.

The Ngapuhi woman, who also won last year's Auckland marathon, says her 63 kilometre run was the longest she's ever attempted.

“The intensity is a lot lower than with the marathon because it’s all about pace and stamina, it’s endurance. I’ve never been over 50 kilometers before so it was the unknown doing an extra 13 kms. You just don’t know where your mind’s going to take so and more so where your body’s going to take you at the end,” Ms Ngawati says.

She finished second overall in 5 hours 16 minutes.

Her next big challenge is the Rotorua marathon in early May.

INVESTMENT IN MAORI DOCTORS WILL PAY OFF

The Maori Doctors Association wants to see more done to boost Maori participation in the health sector.

Chairperson David Jansen says Medical Council figures showing only two and half percent of doctors identify as Maori is evidence of years of neglect.

Maori make up almost 15 percent of the population.

Dr Jansen says encouraging Maori into the sector is a good investment.

“They're less likely to go overseas. They’re more likely to stay. They’re more likely to work with Maori communities. So for the investment we make, we get a better return, so for my money we ought to invest more in that area so I think it’s really valuable to get Maori involved in the health sector,” he says.

RANGATIHI INPUT SOUGHT ON MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

An Auckland University think tank is asking Maori and Pacific island youth about their experiences of mental health or drug and alcohol services.

Shona Clarke from the Werry Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health says today's hui will look for ways to get more rangatahi using the services.

She says most mental health programmes are designed ands delivered by adults, so it's important young people can have input.

“The project is about increasing the numbers of young people that are participating and having an active say about the youth mental health and alcohol and drug services that they use. We’re trying to encourage services to employ young people and get young people involved, improve it as well so it's not tokenistic,” Ms Clarke says.

WESLEY APOLOGISES FOR POLYFEST PRIZE SNAFU

The host of this year's Polyfest has apologised for a mistake which led to the wrong school being declared the winner of the kapa haka section.

Craig Seuseu, the director of the Auckland secondary schools Maori and Pacific Island cultural festival, says a time penalty against Te Wharekura o Hoani Waititi wasn't picked up when scores were initially collated by Wesley College scrutineers.

When it was picked up, the five point penalty was enough to drop the West Auckland school down to fourth place.

“The mistake was realized Sunday morning, so all four kuras have been invited down to Wesley and their mistake was explained to them so all four schools are aware of that, they’re aware of where it leaves them, there’s been and apology made due to the collating error by Wesley College and those four schools are aware those taonga will be reallocated between those four schools,” Mr Seuseu says.

Te Kahurangi from Auckland Girls Grammar School's Te Kahurangi emerged the winner, with Te Kapunga from James Cook High School second and Otara's Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Piripono third.

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