Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Elective election surgery not good enough

A Hawkes Bay Maori health provider says a $160 million boost for elective surgery will be of little benefit to Maori.

Jean Te Huia from Choices says the promised injection in this week's Budget is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

She says although Maori had a great need for health treatment, they get surgical care less often, and would get more from more preventative healthcare.

“Maori do not have the same level of surgical treatments that our counterparts in society have. We generally seem to have a greater number of heart diseases. However, Pharmac can support the notion that Maori are the lesser recipients of medication as well in that area,” Ms Te Huia says.

She says the community needs to question why expensive health services like surgery are provided by the taxpayer for people whose conditions may have resulted from unhealthy lifestyle decisions like smoking.

FOX CHALLENGES HARDLINE REO STANCE

A veteran Maori broadcaster is questioning Te Mangai Paho's single-minded push for Maori language broadcasting.

Derek Fox says this week's celebration of half a million hours of te reo on radio and television is a sign of worthy but misdirected ideals.

He says the aim of the pioneer Maori broadcasters was the normalisation of the language and to get Maori news and views onto the airwaves, regardless of language.

The Maori broadcast funding agency turned it into an education scheme.

“I don't believe it‘s the job of broadcasters to revitalize the language. I don’t think it’s something that you say to a radio station ‘it’s your job is to revitalize the language.’ That’s not The radio station’s job at all. The radio station’s job is to adequately inform our people on what is happening around the world as it affect them, around the country and around the world,” Mr Fox says.

He says with a few exceptions, most broadcasters brought into the system by the increased funding don't have journalism skills to match their expertise in te reo Maori.

PM REMEMBERS MULDOONS BASTION POINT BASH

It's 30 years ago this week, but for some people the memories are still fresh of the end of the occupation of Takaparawha-Bastion Point.

It's when 700 police arrested 222 people who were trying to stop the then National government developing land taken from Ngati Whatua o Orakei at the gateway to Auckland's eastern suburbs.

The hapu is marking the event with exhibitions, seminars, and on Sunday a ceremony of reconciliation at Orakei Marae.

The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, says it's something she won't forget.

“Who can forget Robert Muldoon trying to sell Ngati Whatua land. It was horrible. Everything that happened up there was horrible. There was a small child who tragically died. It was a bleak period of our history. But hey, we’ve managed to settle. Ngati Whatua is getting on with all sorts of things, their head is high, they’re well respected,” she says.

Ms Clark says it's hard for people who weren't there to appreciate how bleak life was under Robert Muldoon's National Government.

TUREI GETS BUDGET BACKING FOR PLANING PROGRAMMES

The Green's Maori affairs spokesperson has won Budget funding which will can be used for biodiversity projects on Maori land.

Metiria Turei says in the past Maori have struggled to get support from the existing biodiversity fund, because their land did not qualify as private land for funding purposes.

But they should be able to tap into a new $4 million dollar National Community Biodiversity Fund to support restoration projects on public land.

“There's heaps of Maori groups for example doing restoration work on dune lands. It might not be Maori land. It’s council own land. But they can’t get the support for the planting of pukawa and other native duneland plants that will help protect those dunelands and act as a climate change mitigation for ocean level rise and that sort of stuff. Maori have an entitlement to access these funds as well,” Ms Turei says.

She also won her bid for $8 million over four years for five major research projects on climate change on conservation land.

MARAE CRITICAL FOR DISASTER PLANNING IN FLOOD PLAIN

Civil defence planners in the Hutt Valley are making marae a focal point of their planning.

Paul Nichols, Hutt City's emergency management controller, says the area is particularly prone to floods and it's also in a high risk earthquake zone.

He says Maori communities are being targeted to increase their disaster preparations, after a survey found few Maori households had set aside the recommended three day supply of food and water.

But he says Maori have other forms of disaster preparation which can help the wider community.

“Each marae has excellent cooking facilities. They have people who really know how to cater for big crowds, who know how to look after people and give them that love and care that people do need when they are out of their homes and stressed. Those things are the things that iwi are able to give the rest of the community as a great example,” Mr Nichols says.

Hutt Valley marae provided invaluable assistance during the last big floods in 2004.

PLACE MORE IMPORTANT THAN RACE IN GANG MAKEUP

A police expert on youth gangs says emerging groups are based more on neighbourhood than ethnicity.

Jason Hewitt says a lot of the work around countering gang culture is understanding what drives it and who is involved.

After a spate of youth gang-related homicides in Auckland in 2005 and 2006, the police in south Auckland have been working with other government agencies to take an integrated case management approach to gang members and prospects.

He says while the gang members are predominantly Maori or Pacific Island youth, it's not a membership criteria.

“What we are seeing is they are more locality based. In fact some of the gangs name themselves after the streets or the towns where they live, and we will have a mix of ethnic backgrounds in one gang. I’ve seen groups that will have Pacific, Maori and even Africans as well as Pakeha involved in that same group because of where they come from,” Mr Hewitt says.

The multi agency approach and an increase in youth workers has led to a drop in gang numbers in south Auckland.

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