Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Traditional healers form paepae

Maori traditional healers are looking at how best they can police their ranks and protect their knowledge.

The healers met at Tolaga Bay yesterday to pick members for a new national organisation, Te Paepae Matua mo te Rongoa, and to set its direction.

Mita Ririnui, the associate minister of health, says there are now 16 regional groups delivering rongoa Maori services, and the number is expected to grow.

He says healers are keen to maintain the integrity of their practices.

“The Paepae Rongoa will look at how the knowledge is transferred into practice, and ensure there is a tikanga base surrounding the practice as well and also that those who contribute their knowledge have the right of protection of that knowledge,” Mr Ririnui says.

He says rongoa Maori practitioners shouldn't need to compromise to fit in with other Maori health services.

GOOD NEWS IN KAHAWAI DECISION

A Maori fisheries commissioner says the Court of Appeal decision on kahawai quota is positive for Maori.

The court quashed a High Court decision that the Fisheries Minister reconsider the total allowable catch set by his predecessor in 2005.

Instead, the minister needs to consider changing recreational bag limits next time he changes the TAC for the fish, which is popular among Maori and amateur anglers.

Sonny Tau from Ngapuhi says it's good to get some clarity over what has been a long-running issue.

“I'm satisfied the decisions of the court do not change the customary side of our fishing rights but it does alter our recreational side. I think the decision for us is not too bad,” he says.

Mr Tau says Maori commercial interests will also benefit.

YOUNG PLAYER SERIOUS ABOUT MODEL ROLE

A rising indoor netball star is taking her role as a mentor seriously.

Utility player Ashley Timoko has just returned from the World Championships on the Gold Coast, where New Zealand trounced England, South Africa and Australia.

She says she's always aware of younger players coming through, and how she needs to set an example to them of good behaviour and dedication to her sport.

Timoko's next goal is making the national team for the Transtasman under 21 tournament in October.

KAPA HAKA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN WELLINGTON

The country's top secondary school kapa haka teams have hit Wellington for the national championships.

The 36 teams will each have half an hour to prove they're worthy of the top honours.

Te Awanuiarangi Black, who tutors the Otaki Te Rahui kura, says it's not just an arts event.

He says the compositions typically make political points.

“I guess it's what gives kapa haka such an edge to it and it’s such a wonderful vehicle for expressing one’s perspective and feelings about the issues of the time and also the solutions or whatever else there might be and I have no doubt the elections this year will be a hot topic,” Mr Black says.

The secondary school national competition runs until Thursday at the TSB Stadium on Queens Wharf.

ORDINARY WOMEN ACKNOWLEDGED FOR MAHI

Eight Maori women who are the mainstay of their communities were honoured at Parliament tonight.

The kuia, who are aged between 60 and 90, have more than 300 years of combined service with the Maori Women's Welfare League.

Sonia Rimene, from the Ministry of Women's Affairs, says many of the women singled out for the annual He Wahine Pumanawa celebration may not be recognised outside their rohe, but they’re the ones at the back of the house doing the work day in and day out in their communities

PARALLELS FOUND IN INDIGENOUS THEATRE

A celebration of indigenous dramatic talent kicked off in Rotorua last night.

The Honouring Theatre Festival beings together the work of three indigenous companies - Native Earth from Canada, Yirra Yaakin from Australia and Tawata Productions from Aotearoa.

Miria George, who co-wrote Tawata's contribution He Reo Aroha, says audiences will be able to draw the links from the stories.

The Canadian play, Annie May's Movement. Is about FFBI raids on American Indian reservations in the 1970s, and may remind audiences of the police raid on Ruatoki last year.

Miria George hopes the festival will inspire rangatahi to consider a life on the stage.

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