Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tagging law legal graffiti

The Children's Commissioner says there's no need for a new anti-tagging law.

Cindy Kiro has told the select committee looking at the Summary Offences (Tagging and Graffiti Vandalism) Amendment Bill, it should look for long-term, rather than short-term solutions to the problem of rangatahi marking their environment.

She says a distinction needs to be drawn between bombing... which is an art form and a reflection of youth culture ... and tagging... which even young people recognise as nuisance vandalism.

“Tagging is a symptom of a problem, and we’ve got to deal with the cause of the problem, not the symptom of the problem,” Dr Kiro says.

She says there is evidence community policing and council initiatives which acknowledge young people's creativity and engage them in public spaces have a much greater effect on behaviour than measures such as restricting spray paint sales.


The Minister of Fisheries is rejecting charges from Maori commercial fishing interests that he's ignoring their input.

Jim Anderton fronted up to this week's Treaty Tribes fisheries conference in Napier to tackle criticism of his policies, including his drive for more power to cut quotas if he has doubts about the sustainability of a species.

He says Maori should share his concerns about fisheries like orange roughy, but the commercial ambitions of iwi seem to overshadow traditional principles.

“The way they fish from a recreational, customary point of view is conservation minded, I know that, but when it comes to the commercial fishery, you hire chartered vessels, Maori do, and you put them into areas, and you plunder the fish until there’s none left, what’s the treaty worth then, what’s the quota rights left then?” Mr Anderton says.

He says his door was always open to Maori fishers, but most of his critics had made no effort to meet with him.


The new trans-Tasman netball league is providing opportunities for more Maori talent to emerge.

Joline Henry, who plays defence for the highly-favoured Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, says the semi-professional competition gives more time for training.

She says the 69-game season - all televised - will showcase new Maori players.

“Down south you’ve got the likes of Liana Barrett-Chase, who is been part of the New Zealand squad for a year now and who is just coming along in leaps and bounds, and her flair and athleticism will be something to look forward to. Jamilah Gupwell in the Wellington area. As you move north we’ve got a wealth of Maori talent in the likes of Laura Langman, a lot of our Maori and Polynesian youngsters in Auckland sides, so we're just everywhere,” Joline Henry says.

The Magic takes on the Northern Mystics at Rotorua on Sunday.


The Green's Maori spokesperson says New Zealand First's opposition to the free trade agreement with China comes too late to make a difference.

Metiria Turei says the Greens have consistently opposed the deal because of concerns about China's record on human rights, Tibetan independence and its effect on manufacturing jobs.

She says it doesn't send a strong signal to oppose the deal only after it was signed.

“We've been really strong on our opposition. I’m glad that New Zealand First has joined us, but we needed them to be really staunch before it was signed, because that’s when the pressure was most on the Government to change their position or reconsider the contents or the way they were negotiating with China,” Ms Turei says.

She says the deal might help some Maori in fishing, dairying and forestry, but manufacturing workers will be hit hard, with a ripple effect across lower income whanau.


There are new rules on organ donation, highlighting the need for people to talk with their whanau about what they want done with their tupapaku.

The Human Tissue Act passed yesterday, giving the immediate family a say in consent for organ donation if an individual has not left instructions.

Naida Glavish, tikanga advisor for the Auckland District Health Board, says it's a complex issue for Maori.

There are implications for tikanga, as well as people's psychological and emotional well being, so it's important individuals have the discussion with whanau.

“I think it is something that they should be thinking about, considering, talking about now, don’t wait until the time comes, and if anyone has ticked that driver’s licence, they should actually have spoken about it with their whanau. They should not just pick it and so sad too bad, and let them find out after the fact,” Ms Glavish says.


A Black Power life member wants to use his new Masters in Social Practice in his fight against P.

Denis O'Reilly graduated today from Unitec.

The Napier father of six says policy makers in Wellington tend to cite North American and English models for dealing with New Zealand's problems.

He believes Maori communities can generate their own answers to the problems they face, and he wants to provide the sort of research and academic literature agencies like Te Puni Kokiri can use.

“If people have got a goal, and they’re clear about what they want as their whanau future, and we call that whanau ora, they can self-identify the things that are getting in the road, and they might be P for pokies, P for piss, P for P, whatever it might be, and then how do you back that up so it’s got sort of rigour and so it stacks up when you have a policy argument,” Mr O'Reilly says.

He says policymakers are still failing to understand many Maori social problems.


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