Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fisheries Minister "electioneering"

The head of a company at the centre of a row over catch limits says the Minister of Fisheries is attacking the industry for electoral gain.

Antons Fisheries successfully challenged Jim Anderton's plan to cut in this season's quota for orange roughy in the North Island fishery.

The Court of Appeal said the minister made his decision despite there being no evidence the fish stock was under immediate threat, and advice the cuts could sink the company.

Mr Anderton says the decision has paralysed the quota management system, and accuses Maori and Pakeha companies of plundering the resource.

Milan Barbarich from Antons rejects there is any plunder going on.

“The Minister is just doing some electioneering. It’s election year after all, and he wants his way, and he wants to impart his will on the masses and he believes that he’s the only one allowed to do this so he’s now refocusing the Ministry of Fisheries to attack us again and the industry for his own personal agenda,” Mr Barbarich says.

He says the industry believes in sustainable harvest, and is prepared to work with the ministry to achieve it.


There's a claim the Government is trying to duck its treaty responsibilities to Maori in public health.

Gay Keating from the Public Health Association says there's no reference to Maori participation or the Treaty of Waitangi in the new Public Health Bill now before Parliament.

She says that will cause confusion and remove incentives to improve Maori health in the community.

“It doesn't encourage either the DHB or local government to enable Maori to participate either in the delivery of services or in decision making. Both of those are important to ensure the environmental health issues which so badly affect Maori, that Maori input into decisions there are strong,” Dr Keating says.

She says the bill should allow iwi authorities to appoint environmental health officers who can act to improve the physical quality of Maori environments.


The chair of Whangarei District Council's Maori liaison committee believes it has a real chance of influencing the way the city is governed.

Kahu Sutherland says the committee for the previous council had a tough time as both sides came to terms with the new way of consultation.

He says most Maori feel alienated from council processes, so it's important this term's committee gets it right on their behalf.

“We've overcome so many of the criticisms, of the hurdles that we experienced in the previous term, and they’ve already got recognition with credibility and all the rest of it and established positions within the community that our councilors and senior management have a high regard for and certainly respect,” Mr Sutherland says.


A set of guidelines to help accident and emergency departments deal with suicidal Maori has made the finals of this year's health innovation awards.

Nicole Coupe, the Maori advisor to the New Zealand guidelines group, says 10 District Health Boards have picked up the whakawhanaungatanga programme.

Maori who present at A and E after a self harm incident are now likely to be seen by a Maori clinician and referred to culturally appropriate follow up services.

Dr Coupe says making the finals is a significant endorsement of the guidelines group's mahi by the profession.

“Being one of a few selected at this time is for us extremely successful and just the fact we’re in there working with emergency departments, mental health services, Maori health services, and they’re all working together, that’s a success factor in itself,” Dr Coupe says.


Auckland University hopes a government push to increase the number of Maori with university entrance qualifications will help it attract students.

An Undergraduate Admissions and Equity Taskforce has recommended the university increase the number of Maori and Pacific students to match the population spread in its catchment area.

Raewyn Dalziel, the academic deputy vice-chancellor, says if secondary schools succeed in boosting the number of Maori school leavers with UE to 30 percent, it will help the university's other programmes.

“We have been trying to increase Maori students over a number of years and we work with secondary schools, We also work with adult students coming into the university, and we also have a research project, the Star Path Project, that is looking at barriers that may exist to a range of students coming into the university, including Maori students,” Ms Dalziel says.

Auckland will have special admission schemes for Maori, Pacific Island and low income students.


A new war documentary aims to cast light on a previously unsung group - Maori airmen.

Turangaarere, which screens on Friday morning as part of Maori Television's Anzac Day special, tells the story of Flying Officer Porokoru Patapu Pohe.

Director Julian Arahanga says the Ngati Rangi airman was one of the first Maori pilots of the RNZAF, and served in the RAF until his capture in 1943.
Mr Arahanga says people don't realise the role played by Maori pilots.

“Every time the war is mentioned in Maori terms, everyone is thinking about the 28 Maori Battalion, and I guess these guys have not really had their stories told as of yet, so maybe this story will trigger some more acknowledgement about the airmen who served,” Mr Arahanga says.

He is also working on a documentary on World War 1 pilot William Rhodes Moorhouse of Ngai Tahu.


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