Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Peters supported for Whakarewarewa help

A key person behind a Bill to return the world famous Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley to Maori is lending support to embattled New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

Willie Te Aho... who helped negotiate the Whakarewarewa deal... also acts as legal counsel for Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa.

He says Winston Peters has been rock solid in his support of their treaty settlements and done a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure its passage into law.

“It's important that not only Maori but the rest of our community understand the huge support that he’s provided to ensure that key results are achieved,” Mr Te Aho says.

The New Zealand First leader was also instrumental in promoting Maori cultural arts, securing $1 million a year to support kapa haka.


A Maori authority on the godwit or kuaka says global warming can't be discounted as a reason the birds, which migrate annually from Siberia, have arrived early this year.

Kingi Ihaka from Te Aupouri, who has made a television documentary on godwits, says Maori have traditionally watched the migration closely as kuaka was a rich source of food up until the mid 1950's when the harvest was banned.

“You can never predict what day they are going to leave. It depends on the temperature, the wind, they’re the elements that impacted on them arriving early here in the South Island and of course leaving earlier from their habitat in Siberia,” Mr Ihaka says.

Godwits were an important food source for his Te Aupouri people in the far north who traded them with other tribes.


A Maori Rheumatology worker says the foods Maori were brought up on is a key reason behind their high incidence of gout.

Vicki Harris says most people know that seafood and beer cause gout but many foods from the farm are also lead to the debilitating condition.

“They're kai that we’ve been brought up on, like offal, liver, kidney, tripe, tongue. I come from the Hokianga and I was brought up on the farm and that was what I was brought up on, and all those kai are high in purines, so we’ve got a double whammy of getting gout because fo genetics as well as the kai we’ve been brought up on,” Ms Harris says.

She will tell Maori with gout what foods they should eat at the hui at Whaiora Marae in Otara on the 20th of this month.


A Maori authority on the godwit or kuaka says kaumatua should be able to gather and eat the birds, which have returned to New Zealand in their thousands this week signaling an early spring.

Kingi Ihaka, who made a television documentary on godwit a few years ago, says until the middle of last century they were an important food source for his Te Aupouri people in the far north and the taste for them spread to other tribes.

“The reason the Department of Conservation has put a rahui, a ban on their hunting is because they’re an endangered species. Well not in the far north they’re not. They’re still there in their squillions. They come here to dine on the delicate substances they dine off on our shores and then they return and come back again. I think it’s about time they paid their dues, so to speak, and they should be allowed to be gathered,” he says.

Mr Ihaka says Maori gathering 10 or 20 kuaka would not have anything like the destructive effect that such things as airports built on their breeding grounds have had.


Maori men would appreciate the same sort of care taken with Maori women when it comes to their health.

Suzanna Pitama, the co-director of Maori Indigenous Health Institute, has done an in-depth study of the health of Wairoa community.

She says men are as embarrassed as woman when it comes to health check-ups but this is often overlooked.

For example, 70 percent of men chose to wear a specially designed gown when having an ECG or electrocardiogram rather than be topless.

“So often we do all this stuff about women’s self care and many men also wanted to have that same sort of service offered to them because we don’t often talk about men’s health,” Ms Pitama says.

A Men's Health Challenge was launched on Father's Day urging men to take better care of their health.


After four years of research a French anthropologist has reconstructed the perfected recipe for kokowai.

The red ochre paint was used by Maori on traditional artworks including cave paintings.

Yann-Pierre Montelle says recreating the process was a matter of trial, error, and shark oil.

“Now that the recipe is more or less reconstructed, now is the fascinating time of going into Maori communities to discuss this,” he says.

Dr Montelle, who presented his findings to last week’s Nga Kete A Rehua Research Conference in Christchurch, the process will be used by the Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Trust to conserve some older artworks, and the colour should remain vibrant for a hundred years.


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