Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, April 17, 2008


More testing of tots, free tech for teens.

That's the National Party's formula for changes in the education system.
Leader John Key says this week's Waipareira education summit shows the importance of addressing issues such as the fact more than half of Maori boys leave school with no qualifications.

He says all children from the age of five will be rested each year against national standards of reading, writing and maths.

National is also taking note of advice from Te Wananga o Aotearoa that 60 percent of its new enrolments have no previous qualifications.

“Now if they're 16 or 17 under National, they’re going to fit into what we call our youth guarantee so we’ll actually pay for all of their fees to go to the wananga or a private training establishment or any other kind of polytechnic they might want to go to,” Mr Key says.

He says wananga won't get special treatment, but they're seen as providing choice rather than being an example of race-based funding.


Maori are being told they can provide a unique set of skills to physiotherapy.

Matire Harwood, who will be speaking to this weekend's conference in Dunedin of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists, says Maori have a higher rate of injuries which require rehabilitation.

She says mainstream providers need to consider cultural training for staff, and there also needs to be support in the profession for training more Maori.

Dr Harwood says having some background in the Maori community can help in the development of effective treatments.

“You know who to talk to when that patient comes in because often they might not give you the whole story, you might need to seek it from other people, but also informing them and educating them as part of that person’s treatment plan I think is something also I think Maori physios will do which is unique to them,” Dr Harwood says.

She says Maori massage or mirimiri can be incorporated into rehabilitation programmes.


What started out as a live billboard is now part of the Waitangi legacy.

A carving of a waka commissioned by Maori Television and built outside its Auckland studios in the lead up to Waitangi Day will be handed over to the Waitangi National Trust tomorrow at the Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands.

British woodcarver Mike Davies, who worked on the five metre piece alongside designer Blaine Te Rito, says his background in antiques restoration did not prepare him for the rich storytelling in Maori carving.

“Each cut or each piece of decoration is symbolic of part of Maori culture and history, so while technically I was adept at carving, it was a tremendous learning experience, because Blaine was teaching me the history and culture of the carving whilst we were producing the actual piece,” he says.

Mr Davies is researching cultural carving traditions around the world.


Parekura Horomia says tackling problems with Maori education may require taking a fresh look at the classroom.

The Associate Education Minister told the Waipareira education summit today that education is a shared responsibility between whanau and the school system.

He says kohanga reo and kura kaupapa Maori, which have improved outcomes for many tamariki, came from outside the system, and that may be where people need to look for innovation.

“We have to be lateral enough to believe that the classroom will be different in the future. Whether there will be a need for classrooms. Is education just within the four walls. But what we do want to make sure is that up to 18 years of age people stay within an education forum when they are not working, And that is a challenge when the economy is high and there is plenty of work,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Labour has opened 14 new kura, taken on more than 5000 new teachers, and launched the Ka Hikitia Maori education strategy.


But the Green's education spokesperson is warning against too much innovation.

Metiria Turei says there has been a lot of research into what works for Maori students and what doesn't.

She says resources should go into effective interventions, such as Te Kotahitanga, which changes how teachers interact with Maori students.

“The key is not to keep looking for new and exciting ways of doing things but to focus on what works. And we know that kura works, we know that good relationships and good understandings by teachers work. We know that investment in resources, creating smaller classrooms sizes for example, that works. So invest in what works,” Ms Turei says.

She says the National Party is going off on totally the wrong track with its promise of more standardised testing, which can have a negative effect on children's learning.


A Black Power life member says the current anti-gang hysteria looks like thinly-masked Maori bashing.

Wanganui MP Chester Borrows' bill outlawing gang insignia in the river city passed its first reading last night and has been referred to a select committee.

Dennis O'Reilly, a long term community development activist, says gangs can range from the youth who puts his colours in his back pocket during church on Sunday morning and plays up on Sunday night, to organized criminals.

“And a lot of excitement seems to be around not gangs per se but Maori gangs, and I often wonder if it’s a sort of deep-seated settler apprehension about the Maori warrior coming to collect the rent as it were, because just like we’ve got didymo in our rivers now, coming in from abroad, we do have real international gangs, here, except they don’t look like our paradigm of what a gang member looks like,” Mr O'Reilly says.


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