Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 28, 2008

Justice review scope for division

The associate minister of social development says the government needs to get Maori involved if it wants to cut the number of Maori in prison.

At a major hui on Maori Criminal Justice in Hastings this week, Tariana Turia made a call for community action in combating child abuse and crime.

She says her views on the issue may at times be at odds with those of the Maori Party's partners in government, National and Act, who campaigned on more punitive approaches to crime.

“There are differences in our views about how we carry these matters forward and that the majority of people they are talking about are in fact Maori people and we’re not saying that these aren’t issues that need to be addressed but I do believe that our people should have the opportunity and the right to have a say abput how we deal with these significant issues that are confronting us,” Mrs Turia says.


The Green Party's conservation spokesperson is warning the government against shifting from a polluter pays approach to greenhouse gas reduction.

An 18-strong New Zealand delegation is off next week to Poznan, Poland for a United Nations policy workshop, which is preparing for a major climate change hui in Copenhagen next year.

The new National government has indicated it wants to rethink this country's approach, and its junior partner ACT campaigned strongly against the emissions trading framework.

Metiria Turei says the danger is the Government will find ways to shift the burden off its friends in industry and on to the public.

“The Maori public, those who are just living their ordinary lives, should not bear the full cost of industry’s emissions, and the New Zealand government needs to protect them from those costs by making sure industry plays its part. I fear that this government is much more industry focused and not as keen to protect the public interest,” Ms Turei says.


The Department of Labour says Maori and Pacific Island workers have some of the highest workplace injury rates in the country.

Craig Armitage, the department's head of Workplace Health and Safety, says although Maori workers are spread throughout all sectors of the New Zealand workforce... they are over-represented in the injury statistics.

“Largely that's driven by the fact there are still a significant number of Maori workers in the industries where the accident rates are higher than in other parts of the economy. A third of Maori workers work in labouring work, in other manual work, in plant and machine work and operating and assembling and in agriculture and fisheries,” Mr Armitage says.

The department is working closely with industries and employees to reduce injuries.


Last year's anti-terror raids in Ruatoki have sparked a major set of works by Tainui artist Brett Graham.

Campaign Rooms opened at Two Rooms Gallery in Auckland this week.

It includes a white marble relief carving of Te Waipounamu, and a large black model of a stealth bomber with surface carvings drawn from the whakairo tradition.

Dr Graham says he wanted to look at the way the linking of Maori with violence and mistrust has been a sort of mistaken identity which has existed since Europeans first entered the Pacific.

He says Maori have a tradition of adapting weapons.

“It came from that long tradition Maori have of appropriating things from the British military, carving the rifle butts right through to being enamoured with flagpoles and a lot of that stuff came directly from the British military with all the power symbols which were appropriated by Maori and incorporated, because even though they were completely outnumbered and outgunned, somehow by appropriating these things they would have power over them,” Dr Graham says.

His marble map can be seen as a sort of campaign table, but it also relates to the carve-up of the South Island by Crown land buyers.

Maori social workers and community groups are gearing up for a busy Christmas.

Tau Huirama from Jigsaw ... an umbrella group for child abuse prevention and child protection services ... says there has been a great response to White Ribbon Day, as people expressed their opposition to violence against women and children.

But those good intentions could be threatened as Christmas puts pressure on whanau.

“This is one of the worst times of the year for us. We start to play advertisements on the radio wishing everyone a merry Christmas and have a good time and look after each other and awhi each other, not just on Christmas day but every day,” Mr Huirama says.

The 35 groups affiliated to Jigsaw can be reached through www.jigsaw.org.nz


A world champion Maori shearer will lead a team of relative new-comers against the Aussies in the annual trans-Tasman shearing and woolhandling test.

Jonny Kirkpatrick from Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu is the only one of the team that took all four machine-shearing and woolhandling titles at the world championships in Norway who will be fronting up tomorrow in Hay showground, New South Wales.

He'll be joined by shearers James Fagan from Te Kuiti and Nathan Stratford from Invercargill, and woolhandlers Kerryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) and Joel Henare from Gisborne.

The Australians are favoured to win because of their home-ground... and home sheep... advantage.

The event is part of the 2008 Australian National Shearing and Wool Handling Championships.


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