Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, June 09, 2008

Two ticks to triple vote

The president of the Maori Party is counting on a tripling of the party vote in this year's election.

The party is a dust up with the Greens about where Maori should put their party vote.

Green MPs says there's no way the Maori party will pick up enough party votes to match its gains in the Maori electorates, so it might as well direct them to a supportive partner.

But Whatarangi Winiata says his target is all seven Maori seats and a matching six percent of the party vote.

He says before the last election the public did not know how Maori Party MPs would perform in Parliament.

“This time around is a very different scene. What was a major unknown is now not an unknown. We’ve seen how well the four members performed and how well the seven could perform and more,” Professor Winiata says.

He says the Green Party is not the Maori voice in Parliament, even if it often votes on similar lines.

OCCUPAITON HEALTH SUBJECT OF NEW STUDY

You may not want to hear this as you head into work this morning, but your job could kill you.

The Health Research Council is putting nearly $2 million into studies on occupational illnesses in Maori.

Lis Ellison-Loschmann from Massey University says it’s estimated that each year there are 20,000 new cases of work-related illness and up to 1000 premature deaths.

She says it’s an area of study that has been neglected in the past

“We don’t have any information at the moment about occupational exposures or the burden, how much disease related to occupation there is in Maori,” Dr Ellison-Loschmann says.

NGA PAE O TE MARAMATANGA PULLS TOGETHER ACADEMICS

Indigenous academics from around the Pacific are gathering at Auckland University to explore and celebrate indigenous knowledge.

Balanced relationships is the theme of the biannual forum hosted by Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga, the national institute of research excellence for Maori development.

Speakers include kamatua Huirangi Waikerepuru on non-violent resistance in Taranaki, Franciscan friar Paul Ojibway on Native American peace ceremonies, and Irene Watson from the Tanganekald and Meintangk peoples of South Australia on Aboriginal women’s law.

Institute spokesperson Joe Te Rito says the forum will also look at the family group conference system, which is a Maori way of conflict resolution adopted by the mainstream.

“We know it has taken off in other countries as a method and this is indigenous people promoting a means of dealing with conflict situations,” Mr Te Rito says.

The conference at Waipapa Marae runs until Wednesday.

HAWKES BAY COUPLE NIKORA FARMER OF THE YEAR

A Ngati Kahungunu leader says the annual Maori farming awards highlights the need to get more young Maori onto the land.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy was won by Dean and Kristen Nikora, who run Mangatewai Station near Takapau.

Runners up were Parekarangi trust from near Rotorua and Hauhungaroa Partnership’s Taupo dairu unit.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says it’s great a Hawkes Bay operation won the prestigious award, which will help encourage other young Maori to consider a life on the land.

“One of the concerns we have in most iwi is that we are getting land back through claims and through the retirement of leases and there are not many of our young people there to run them, to manage them or to do the forensic research, scientific research, so this event is a great model,” Mr Apanui says.

He says the dairy farming sector still has huge potential for Maori.

BACK OFF OUR WAKA GREENS SAYS WINIATA

The president of the Maori Party is telling the Greens to back off from Maori voters.

The Green’s co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons, and its Maori affairs spokesperson, Metiria Turei, have both made the case for Maori to give them their party vote because of their record of support for the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori.

But Whatarangi Winiata says the Greens are over-reaching.

“There is no doubt who is the Maori voice, and it’s not the Greens. You can’t rely on the greens. We shouldn’t rely on the Greens. We have to build that base ourselves and we have to control that base. We’ve said to out people, ‘vote for the waka, not for the individual paddler,’” Professor Winiata says.

The Maori Party is aiming to not only win all seven Maori seats but to get enough party votes for a list MP or two.

UTERINE CANCER THREAT SUBJECT OF STUDY

The life expectancy of Maori women with cancer of the womb is the subject of a new study.

The Health Research Council is giving Beverly Lawton from the University of Otago $700,000 to find out why Maori women are more likely to get uterine cancer than non-Maori, and are more likely to die from it.

Dr Lawton, from Ngati Porou, says uterine cancer has a pre-cancerous stage.

“If you're Maori you’re less likely to be investigated – this is the theory – and you’re less likely to end up with a hysterectomy and then you’re more likely to go on to cancer, so we’re looking at these pathways that might be preventing us getting detected early,” Dr Lawton says

The three year study will involve interviews with Maori and non-Maori women their access to specialist assessments and subsequent treatments.

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