Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Smack act now accepted

The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson believes the failure of a petition to repeal the anti-smacking act shows the heat has gone out of the issue.

The petition organiser, Kiwi Party leader Larry Baldock, is giving himself another two months to come up with the extra 15,000 valid signatures needed to force a referendum on last year's changes to Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

Metiria Turei says the public has had a chance to see the law in action, and Mr Baldock's scare tactics aren't working any more.

“I think the hysteria that was whipped up by opponents to the law change, that parents would be hauled out of their homes and taken down to police stations and interrogated and prosecuted simply hasn’t happened because it was always untrue and ridiculous,” Ms Turei says.

She says the police are reporting the law is making it easier to deal with violence issues at a domestic level.

CRUSADE TO GET TOBACCO OFF MARAE

A Christchurch health worker is on a crusade to turn Maori places auahi kore.

Ted Te Hae from Hauora Matauraka has so far persuaded four Canterbury marae to ban smoking, and several others are working towards the goal.

He says the law banning smoking from public places like restaurants and pubs has shown marae committees they can contribute to cutting the high number of Maori smokers.

“More and more young people are frequenting the maraes now. They’re coming to tangis. They’re coming to huis and birthdays. And so if we can reduce the environment where they can smoke openly, it will have some effect on the smoking rates. I find it amusing that our people readily accept not smoking in public restaurants and hotels and yet have an issue about not being able to smoke on the maraes,” Mr Te Hae says.

Hauora Matauraka would also like to see a ban on smoking in Canterbury parks.

RAUPATU ARCHIVES COPIED TO TAINUI

A copy of the records relating to the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claim is being returned to the iwi.

Rahui Papa from the committee organising this week's celebration of 150 years of Kingitangi says Archives New Zealand will be at Turangawaewae tonight with a digital copy of the mountain of research and correspondence built up during negotiations.

He says the digitized documents and letter will be a valuable resource for iwi researchers in future.

Today Tainui whanau have been bringing their kawe mate or memories of their dead to Turangawaewae, as they ready themselves for the next four days of activites.

GOVERNMENT ACCEPTS CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND PLAN

The Government has accepted a proposal to settle historic Central North Island claims through the transfer of 90 percent of the region's Crown forests to an iwi collective.

It's now working through the details of the $500 million deal, which has been put together over the past four months by a group led by Tuwharetoa chief Tumu te Heuheu.

Shane Jones, the associate minister for Treaty Negotiations, says the speed it came together after years of false starts shows the importance of building momentum in the settlement process, and having achievable goals.

“Full marks to the role that te Heuheu of Tuwharetoa has played. Full marks as well to the various iwi facilitators who realise the is poss the best opportunity looking into the distance for not only therland and the resources to be managed economically but for the people to practise that well tried economic rule which is critical mass – people working in accord and not in dischord,” Mr Jones says.

The settlement will protect public access to the forest lands and maintain the rights of the Crown forest licensees who own the trees.

FOOD GST BAIT GETS NO BITES

The Prime Minister is giving short shrift to a Maori Party call to drop GST from food.

Maori Party co-leader Tairana Turia says social and income inequalities are damaging the country's children, and dropping the tax is a way to get more disposable income into the hands of poor families.

But Helen Clark says it's not the best way to support families under pressure.

“Where Labour's put its focus is on working for families, cheaper doctors’ fees, cutting the cost of having your child in early childhood education, getting the unemployment rate so people can earn their way and so on, and I think that’s a better way to deal with these issues rather than just say ‘Let’s drop the gst on food’ or something like that. I don’t think that kind of one-off response is the right one,” Ms Clark says.

Despite the noise about the increase in the international price for foods like milk and cheese, food prices only went up by 6 percent over the past year, similar to Australia, and the inflation rate of 3.4 percent is below Australia's.

PLAYERS PONDER WHEN THE GAME IS OVER

Maori sports people are being urged to think about how they can contribute to the team once their playing days are over.

Deb Hurdle from the Sport and Recreation Council's Push Play programme says the lack of Maori administrators can only be addressed by sportspeople themselves.

That means players taking a longer view of their careers.

“We get to the point in our lives where you get injured, you get a bit older, you get a bit slower, and so you drop out. And for a lot of people I think there’s a sense of loss that the things they really used to enjoy, they can’t do any more. One thing that would be really good for people to consider is maybe not getting back into the game to play but getting back into the game to support,” Ms Hurdle says.

There are training courses to prepare players for roles as umpires, managers and coaches.

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