Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Children’s advocates must be everywhere

Maori must speak out to protect children.

That's the call from Hone Kaa of the child advocacy group Te Kahui Mana Ririki in the wake of the conviction of five people for the abuse and killing of Nia Glassie.

The jury heard the Rotorua three-year-old was pegged on a clothesline, spun in a tumble drier, and subjected to wrestling holds and head kicks by brothers Wiremu and Michael Curtis.

The abuse they carried out on Nia including swinging her on a clothesline, placing her in a tumble drier and kicking her in the head.

Dr Kaa says other people must have known what was going on and should have stepped in or called the police.

“You have to ask yourself if there were four or five others who actually witnessed and took part in it and did nothing about it, how many other adults were in that sphere, also knew about it and did nothing about it,” Dr Kaa says.

New Zealand's child abuse rates are unacceptably high, and more children will die if people continue to turn a blind eye.


Tauranga's new MP says the team-up between National and the Maori Party could be for the long term.

Simon Bridges from Ngati Maniapoto says National has changed in the three years since John Key replaced Don Brash as leader.

He says the size of National's Maori caucus, as well as its willingness to embrace the Maori Party, bodes well for the future.

“I do feel king of a sense we are at a historic point for Maori and that this National and Maori Party essentially coalition could really be the start of something long term. I hope it is,” Mr Bridges says.

He says the new Government can do a lot better to lift Maori achievement in areas like education and welfare than Labour.


Following in the footsteps of the ancestors has a literal meaning for the head of Canterbury University's school of Maori and Indigenous Studies.

Rawiri Taonui is about to walk from St Arnaud in Nelson to Christchurch.

The 10-day trek follows the trail of a significant South Island ancestor, Rakaihautu, who walked the island carving out the lakes until he finally thrust his ko digging stick into the ground at a place named Tuhiraki.

Mr Taonui says when his latest journey is complete, he'll have done about 1000 kilometres of Rakaihautu's trail.


Taupiri Mountain will today receive a man who laid many of the foundations for the modern Tainui iwi.

Hundreds of people have flowed through the gates of Hukanui Marae in Gordonton this week to pay tribute to Hare Puke, who died on Saturday at the age of 83.

As chair of the Tainui Maori Trust Board, Mr Puke was part of the team that secured the tribe's $170 million raupatu settlement.

Tainui kaumatua Tui Adams says he made an immeasurable contribution not just to the iwi but to other organisations like the Hamilton City Council, Wintec and Waikato University.

“You know he's the sort of person who will be sorely missed around our paepae here. He’s gone but he will never be forgotten,” Mr Adams says.

E te taumata okiokinga, tenei ra keo te okioki mutunga kore mai ra, haere, haere, haere.


Green MP Meteria Turei says the Maori Party is shortchanging its supporters by going soft on the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The confidence and supply agreement negotiated with National leader John Key only calls for a review of the legislation.

Ms Turei says that falls far short of what's needed to address a bad law that has never been used effectively.

“I know that National is wanting to pass a whole lot of legislation before Christmas and this could be one. We could repeal it so easily. Tariana has her member’s bill in the ballot on the order paper, it could be done so quickly and so simply if there was the political will and there doesn’t seem to be the will in this government, the National-Maori Party-Act government to repeal it,” Ms Turei says.


Two taonga puoro experts are combining with other indigenous musicians to create a unique sound.

Sing Sing brings together West Auckland-based Rewi Spraggon and Riki Bennet and musicians from West Papua, the Solomon and Torres Strait Islands and the Australian aboriginal community.

The 25 member group is one of the major drawcards at the Australasian World Music Expo starting today in Melbourne.

Mr Spraggon says there is a wide range of unusual acoustic instruments thrown into the mix.

Sing Sing is booked to play in Aotearoa at next year's Womad and AK 09 festivals.


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