Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 04, 2008

Key skeptical on CNI plan success

National leader John Key is skeptical of the Government's ability to pull together a central North Island settlement before the election.

A collective of Central North Island iwi will tomorrow present the Treaty Negotiations Minister, Michael Cullen, with a plan for how $400 million in Crown forest assets can be shared out to settle historic claims in the region.

Mr Key says Labour is scrambling to get some treaty deals so the Maori Party can't knock it about in the election campaign, but there are doubts the settlements will stick.

“My understanding is Michael Cullen is gluing them together with these agreement in principles and while that might all flow though and might all be okay, there’s actually quite a lot of stuff that’s unresolved under this top headline. Cullen’s printing the headlines if you like and that all looks good and Maori feel a bit of confidence from that but what happens if under it all there is so much work that needs to be done and so much time needs to elapse,” Mr Key says.


The lives of Maori children will be tracked for the first time in a study being launched tomorrow by Auckland University.

Growing Up in New Zealand will follow almost 8000 children from before birth to adulthood.

Te Kani Kingi, the director of Massey University's academy for Maori research and scholarship, and says it will look at health, education, family, social and environmental impacts.

He says the sample, which will include children born in the Auckland, Counties-Manukau and Waikato District health board catchments over the next two years, is large enough to be reflective of all of New Zealand society, including Maori.

“It's the first time that a study’s had a sample of Maori that is statistically significant enough to draw accurate conclusions form, there’s other studies that have been done in the country but they haven’t had a large number of Maori participating in the research. Therefore, we were unsure as to the extent the results would be applicable to Maori,” Mr Kingi says.

The study should improve future policy development.


The head of arts promotion group Toi Maori Aotearoa says Maori art needs to keep looking ahead.

Garry Nicholas says high auction prices for Maori subjects by colonial artists like Goldie and Lindauer reflect a conservative market.

He says the work has limited application to what artists do now.

“If our art is alive and well, we can create art that can resonate form those earlier pieces. And that’s our gift to the world. We share in the bounty of other cultures that share their art and their thinking. So no, I don’t lament when those works go into private hands. It’s our ability to create the new line, the new wave, is what will maintain us as a relevant culture,” Mr Nicholas says.


Maori wardens are helping to head off trouble in Hamilton pubs.
The wardens have stepped up their monitoring of licenced premises in the city, and they've managed to neutralise almost 80 percent of incidents they attended.

Ted Breach, an Injury Prevention Consultant for ACC says the ready response pilot project aims to get to potential hotspots early and head off trouble... and injury.

He says the training Maori wardens got in recent months from the police has given them new skills, but the people skills they have are more important.

“In certain circumstances they can be v effective in dealing with peolle who are potentially violent, so they have special skills in that area as well,” Mr Breach says.

Rotorua is keen to pick up the ready response project, and it could eventually be rolled out by Maori Wardens nationwide.


The Warriors are tackling a major problem in south Auckland schools.
Eight schools in South Auckland are piloting Warriors Against Bullying, which was launched at Leabank Primary in Manurewa today.

It is based on a programme developed by former Warriors and Kiwi captain Dean Bell when he was playing professional league in north England for Wigan.

Mr Bell says a lot of the Warriors are parents themselves, and they were keen to get involved.

“I think one of the key things that we ask the children to do is actually to talk to an adult. That’s the only way they can get over some of these problems. But we give them tactics and rules, just like rugby league players have, so everything is associated with rugby league,” Mr Bell says.

The club will work with schools to put in place support services and strategies, and players will attend special assemblies to drive home the messages from the programme.


The Equal Employment Opportunities commissioner says the contributions of Maori women aren't being recognised.

Judy McGregor says the Human Rights Commission had a struggle including Maori women in its census of women's participation, because government agencies don't collect enough information on ethnicity and gender.

By surveying organisations like the Maori Women's Welfare League and the Federation of Maori Authorities, the commission found relatively high levels of participation by wahine Maori in the governance and management of Maoridom - but it's still not clear how they are represented in wider society.

Dr McGregor says other surveys of voluntary activity have shown the value of Maori women to communities.

“Maori are more likely than non-Maori to be involved in unpaid work and activities outside the household, and even then, Maori women undertake more unpaid work outside the home than Maori men, and their participation rate is over 90 percent, so there’s huge mahi aroha,” Dr McGregor says.


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