Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Henare says no to state trains

A Maori National Party MP is taking personally the buy-back of the country's trains.

Tau Henare says the $655 million paid for Toll's rail and ferry business represents a $235 million on book value, giving the Australian company a massive windfall from the New Zealand taxpayer.

He says there were other ways to improve rail services.

“I've come from a longstanding railway family. And quite frankly, government doesn’t know how to run a railway. It doesn’t know how to, it never has, and it never will. And I’m disappointed that we haven’t told Toll ‘run it properly or hey, we’ll make you run it properly,” Mr Henare says.

He says Maori workers were most affected when New Zealand Rail was privatised, but buying back the company won't bring those jobs back.

BUST WILL STIGMATISE GANG SAYS DEVIL BATTLER

A Maori drug educator is defending gangs caught up in drug raids yesterday.

Several members and associates of the Tribesmen and the Killer Beez appeared in Manukau District Court today on a charges stemming from raids in south Auckland and Waikato, which netted more than $200,000 cash, weapons and half a million dollars worth of methamphetamine.

Shane White, from Patua Te Ngangara or battling the devil, a Maori community drug education programme, says there are people in the gangs trying to tackle drugs.

“Every group of people, whether it be a gang or whether it be the army or the police, or even Rotary have a good side and a bad side, and it’s about whether you just throw people away or whether you concentrate on trying to accentuate the positive. There are people in there who are trying to good things and they all have been tarred now with ‘oh yous is the P dealers.’ This could be just one person’s personal stash and now that whole gang has been considered the main players in the P trade,” Mr White says.

He says many Maori are lured into manufacturing P by easy financial gains.

BEAUTY SEES PAGEANTS AS INPIRING OCCUPATION

Miss World New Zealand hopes her win will encourage other aspiring Maori beauties.

Seventeen year old Kahurangi Taylor, from Ngati Te Ata, Waiohua and Te Waiariki will represent this country at the Miss World finals in the Ukraine in November.

The staunch Maori Party member is a former Miss Teen New Zealand, and she competed at last year's Model of the World pageant in China.

She says being the first Maori to win the title brings mixed feelings.

“Proud, extremely proud, but at the same time I’m kind of sad that I’m the first. This pageant has been round for years and I’m the first Maori so it’s kind of sad and I want to encourage more Maori to get into pageants and express themselves,” she says.

Kahurangi Taylor is a seventh former at Auckland Girls Grammar, and previously attended Pukekohe's Te Rumaki Reo and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Waiuku.

MORNING AFTER PILL MEANS BLIND EYE TO NIGHT BEFORE

A Maori health researcher says plan to give teenage girls free emergency contraceptives ignores major issue round teen pregnancy.

The Auckland District Health Board is considering offering the Levonelle 1 morning after pill through community pharmacies.

Marewa Glover from Auckland University's School of Population Health says it's the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, and there needs to be more education on informed consent.

“What's being done about looking at why these girls are getting pregnant in the first place. Who is sexually abusing young girls under the age of 16? Not all of them are resulting from consenting sex or informed consent on the part of the child. It’s still illegal to have sex with a child, isn’t it?” Dr Glover says.

About 16 percent of Maori babies are born to mothers aged between 16 and 19, while 0.8 percent are born to mothers under 16.

BASEMENT NIGHTCLUB PLAN FOR WAITOMO CAVES

A plan for a nightclub near the Waitomo Caves is splitting the small King Country Village.

Developers have won planning permission for a three storey restaurant and bar complex near the Maori-owned tourist attraction, but locals are objecting to their application for a 21 hour liquor license.

Dan Te Kanawa, whose property borders the planned development, says row highlights the need for the Waitomo District Council to come up with a proper development strategy.

“Well looking 50 years down the track, driving into Waitomo you’re either going to have a lot of buildings crammed in like other places have, or it’ll still have its current character. That’s the kind of debate and discussion I think should be the focus of people’s minds rather than reacting to each development as it seems to pop up,” Mr Te Kanawa says.

At the moment the Waitomo caves area is vulnerable to disruptive ad hoc developments.

TOO EARLY TO WORRY ABOUT VOTER AWARENESS

Lack of awareness of election year isn't fazing one of the key players.

A survey conducted by the Electoral Enrolment Centre found 41 percent of Maori, 55 percent of Pacific people and 53 percent of young people don't know there's an election this year.

But Prime Minister Helen Clark says it's still early days.

“Right now there's not an election campaign. We’re in the first half of the third year of the Parliamentary term. Later in the second half everyone’s minds will turn to the election and I’m confident that Maori, Pacific people, new Asian settlers and New Zealand young people will start to focus on the campaign, when they're ready,” Ms Clark says.

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