Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Raids expose size of illegal paua market

Maori fishing interests are looking closely at what emerges from the Operation Paid paua poaching crackdown.

Over the past year an undercover fisheries officer has bought more than 9 tonnes of paua and on-sold it to buyers within illegal networks, resulting in dozens of arrests over the past two days.

Peter Douglas, the chief executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana, says paua is the most valuable quota species, and the size of the total allowable commercial catch is a constant source of concern.

He says while estimates of the illegal catch are taken into account when quota is set, it's good to have hard data.

“The sort of impact these poachers are having on it is quite significant and up until now it has been difficult to quantify what the damage has been in terms of how much paua was being taken by these poachers week to week,” Mr Douglas says.

Operation Paid has revealed the huge scale and sophistication of the illegal market.

GOVERNMENT NEGLECTING KAUPAPA MAORI EDUCATION

A Maori Party co-leader is accusing the government of neglecting the Maori education initiatives it has taken over.

Before entering Parliament, Pita Sharples helped spearhead the development of kura kaupapa Maori and developed plans for a wananga.

He says the budget failed to address many problems in Maori medium education, particularly the shortage of trained Maori-speaking teachers.

“All those Maori initiatives that we broke our backs to establish, stayed outside the system to establish and gone poor to establish and have had to do it through the back door, then got legislated for, now government owns it, they don't back it,” Dr Sharples says.

Money is also needed for wananga development.

MOKO GOING ON OLD MASTERS FOR NEW MARKET

A Flaxmere artist is putting ta moko on the old masters.

Pita Kire has just finished his first solo exhibition at the Clearview Estate Winery in the Hawkes Bay.

Past and Present featured biblical figures done in the style of masters like Picasso, Monet, Caravagio and Leonardo Da Vinci.

He says the work came out of his studies for a bachelor of arts from Eastern Institute of Technology.

“I did a lot of research on the renaissance and I just love the emotional outtake you can get from just looking at that kind of work and I thought if I could produce that but take it from a Maori angle, there would be a good market there. I’m finding out now that yeah there is,” Mr Kire says.

He is planning to exhibit in New York later this year.

YOUTH GANG PLAN BEST PUBLIC SERVICE HAS TO OFFER

A programme to tackle youth gangs in south Auckland has won the supreme prize in the first Institute of Public Administration awards for public sector excellence.

The four-year, $10 million dollar action plan led by the Ministry of Social Development pulls together youth workers, social workers, government agencies and community services.

One of those services is Mangere's Tamaki Ki Raro Trust, which tries to keep rangatahi out of gangs by giving them classroom support or apprenticeships.

Sharon Wilson, the trust's chief executive, says many children in the region feel they have limited options.

“Many of them come from broken homes, all sorts of homes, and it’s no wonder why many of our kids are in the raruraru they’re in today. Now you work with them, you pull back the layers, and you build trust and respect and let them know that they’re valued and they all have something to offer and you get a whole different attitude and aahua in these kids,” she says.

Ms Wilson says young people need to feel they are valued.

AUSTRALIAN TRIP WILL BE OF BENEFIT SAYS HENARE

National's Maori affairs spokesperson says this week's select committee trip to Australia will benefit Maori.

National MPs boycotted a justice committee trip across the Tasman last year because he says there wasn't enough value in it.

But Tau Henare says the Maori affairs committee has a full workload, and it's keen to see how the government there, and Aboriginals themselves, are dealing with Aboriginal problems.

“I think it benefits us by just having a look and seeing what people are up to. I mean you never know. You might see something over here we had never even thought about. So it’s always good to make not too much of a comparison, I don’t like the word comparison, but just have a look what the neighbours are doing,” Mr Henare says.

The Aboriginal health organisation the MPs visited this week during the Cairns leg of the trip seemed to be working on a similar model to New Zealand's public health organisations.

SMOKEFREE REGION AN AIM FOR AMSTER

An East Coast kaumatua wants to see the whole region become smokefree.

Amster Reedy, and expert in tikanga Maori, says he's trying to spread the message in advance of World Smokefree Day on Saturday.

He says it's one clean breath at a time.

“We've put a sign up in our neck of the woods inviting the whole valley to go smoke free, rather than just marae. So from marae to valleys to farms, we’d like to see the smoke free philosophy take hold but also become practical,” Says Mr Reedy, a kaumatua for the Maori smokefree coalition Te Reo Marama.

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