Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

MPs put into the frame by new children’s trust

The chair of a new trust set up to tackle Maori child abuse says the first stop will be the Beehive.

Hone Kaa says Te Mana Ririki Trust came out of last year's summit on abuse held in Auckland.

It will be asking Maori organisations to help fund its advocacy and research, but he's also expecting Maori MPs to help.

“We’re meeting with the Maori members of Parliament to sit down and see where we can go together her because this is election year and it’s too good an opportunity not to strike while the moment is there to see exactly where the various Maori politicians at least see their parties heading on this particular issue,” Dr Kaa says.

MAORI ON HOUSING NZ AGENDA

Housing New Zealand is tackling some long-standing problems with Maori housing.

The minister, Maryan Street, says the ministry intends building more than 250 houses in south Auckland over the next two years.

It has also upgraded more than 8000 properties as part of a healthier homes initiative.

Ms Street says it is boosting its ability to respond to Maori need.

“Housing New Zealand board has a Maori capability committee looking at Maori hosing issues, and they’ve recently seconded people to help focus Housing New Zealand’s efforts, so they’ve got Eddie Durie, Waaka Vercoe, Rau Hoskins to help that subcommittee,” Ms Street says.

Housing New Zealand is looking to strengthen its relationships with iwi.

TANGI TRAINING OFFERED BY KAEO MARAE

A far north marae is holding a tupapaku wananaga so it can teach whanau what to do when someone dies.

Coordinator Sarly Shepard says many whanau who come back to Te Aroha Otangaroa Marae in Kaeo don't know basic tikanga, and wander round the marae in a bewildered state.

The first session this weekend will cover the first few hours leading up to a tangi.

“We are starting from the moment we get the phone call, identifying who they may be, in case there’s more than one, how the hau kainga gets ready for the mate coming home, the wero and if anyone’s going to be challenging to take them somewhere else, and putting these things to a whanau who don’t come home often so they don’t feel out of place,” Ms Shepard says.

The wananga will be held in Kaeo and at Whaiora Marae in Otara.

VIOLENCE INCREASE TIP OF ICEBERG

Women's Refuge says a reported increase in family violence crimes last year is the tip of the iceberg.

Police say violent crime was up 12.3 per cent, almost of of it because of more reporting of family violence.

Heather Henare, the chief executive of the National Collective of Independent Womens Refuges, says the jump reflects the 65 percent increase in referrals experienced by refuges over the past five years.

While the trend is alarming, it shows anti-violence campaigns like It's Not Ok are getting through.

“I think it's about the systems linking up. I think it’s about there being a new awareness within whanau round recognising violence, challenging it, responding to it, referring it on and the message is getting out there really clearly that it's unacceptable,” Ms Henare says.

More resources need to be put into addressing the epidemic of family violence in New Zealand.

TOUR GUIDE BOOSTS TANGATA WHENUA BUSINESS

A new tool to promote Maori tourism is being launched at Parliament today.

The New Zealand Maori Tourism Trade Manual will tell travel wholesalers and tour operators which Maori businesses are Qualmark accredited or export ready.

It includes almost 100 ventures including accommodation, tours, cultural performances, dining and art galleries.

John Barrett from the Maori Tourism Council says it's the first time a comprehensive collection of Maori operators has been pulled together.

“It's designed for tourism operators in different parts of the world to use to recommend to their clients in the USA or Europe or wherever they happen to be a range of Maori tour options that are avail here. They will be doing the selling on behalf of the Maori tourism people here in Aotearoa,” Mr Barrett says.

TEACHERS SOUGHT FOR TRANS-TASMAN TE REO

Sydney Maori are trying to attract more teachers of te reo to cross the Tasman.

Tarewa Paringatai made the move four years ago to teach by the ataarangi method, which uses coloured rods to generate conversations in the language.

His kura, Te Reo Maioha ki Poihakena, now runs four classes a week for more than a hundred students.

He says there's huge demand among Maori who want to keep up with the language revival back in Aotearoa, but there's not enough teachers to go round.

“We're working on training up a few now as kaiawhina and then if they want to go to the next level we’ll have to fly them home to get trained or, depending on the numbers, we may look at flying some kaiako from over there to train us over here,” Mr Paringatai says.

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