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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, December 01, 2008

Maori nursing courses proliferate

Porirua’s Whitireia Community Polytechnic is to offer a Bachelor’s degree of Maori Nursing from next July.

It comes hard on the heels of Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi’s launch earlier this month of Te Ohanga Mataora Paetahi, a Bachelor of Health Sciences, Maori Nursing, which kicks off in February.

Hamilton’s Wintec offers a postgraduate diploma in nursing which focuses on Maori mental health).

Whitireia chief executive Don Campbell says the Porirua-based polytechnic already provides mainstream and Pacific nursing streams.

He says Maori nurses need a distinct skill set, and the course will allow graduates to work with equal competence in both worlds and make a significant contribution to not only Māori health but also New Zealand’s health systems.


A Maori historian is off to Washington DC to fossick in the files of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for comparisons with 19th century policies towards Maori.

Danny Keenan, an associate professor at Victoria University's Maori studies department, has been granted a six month scholarship to research and teach at Georgetown University.

He says while the scale of activities is different, there are similarities in the way the distrust native Americans had for the BIA and Maori had for the old Native Affairs Department.

“Well I used to work for Maori Affairs, and that’s why I’m always interested in native affairs in the 19th century. I’m interested in 19th century ways in which states governed native peoples and how they created policy or enacted policy at the bureaucratic level, and it just seemed to me a wonderful opportunity to go back to DC and work on this project for six months solid,” Dr Keenan says.

A bonus is that he will be in Washington for Barack Obama's inauguration as President on January the 20th - he was also in the city eight years ago for George W Bush's inauguration.


Maori trusts and incorporations are being urged to make worker safety a priority.

Craig Armitage from the Labour Department's workplace health and safety unit says a third of Maori work in labouring, manufacturing or agriculture, leading to a high rate of work related injuries.

He says a Treaty settlements bring even more Maori into primary sector jobs in farming, fishing or forestry, there needs to be a real focus on safety.

“Those Maori business entities, how would you set them up to look after their workers, to think about their workers, to plan, to recruit, and to look after their workforce, because that workforce is critical to the success of those Maori business ventures ,” Mr Armitage says.


Wintec is to establish a scholarship for Maori staff in memory of its kaumatua, Hare Puke, who died earlier this month.

Chief executive Mark Flowers says the Tainui kaumatua had a profound effect on the Hamilton-based polytechnic through his creative and sympathetic approach to cross cultural issues.

The annual scholarship will fund periods of overseas study which are likely to enhance recipients’ careers.

Mr Flowers says the objective is to develop Maori leadership in tertiary education in the region by providing more opportunities for advanced professional development.

It will be directed at staff who have actively encouraged indigenous students to participate in higher education and complete their studies.

Between 5 and 10 percent of Wintec’s 600 staff, and 15 percent of its 6000 students, are Maori.


Last year's police raid on Ruatoki has sparked some art ... and it's not from part time Tuhoe painter Tame Iti.

Brett Graham from Tainui plays on notions of Maori and militarism in his new show Campaign Rooms, at Auckland's Two Rooms Gallery.

It includes maps, plans, and a large model of a black stealth bomber, with a surface carved in whakairo style.

Dr Graham says he's been working with similar themes for several years, but the so called terror raids forced an aesthetic response.

“Especially after the raids in Ruatoki and all those associations with Maori and violence and how it was convenient for these governments, using that stick of the war on terror to sort of dump on indigenous groups and other dissidents and so on and throw them all under that same label, like Islamic extremists, that paranoia about brown people with guns, black people with guns, playing on that,” Dr Graham says.

Campaign Rooms will be at Two Rooms until December the 20th.


Meanwhile, the editor of book on the Ruatoki raids says the story still seems too hot to handle.

Danny Keenan says many bookstores seem wary of displaying Terror In Our Midst, which includes contributions from a range of Maori and Pakeha academics.

He says several mainstream media outlets spiked their planned launch coverage because of concerns over suppression orders associated with the depositions hearing for 18 of those arrested.

“I just don’t think the book’s well known. There are a lot of people who are really interested in getting consolidated comment on all aspects of the issue. I’m really happy with what we did because in a relatively short space of time we produced a snapshot of the issue covering all aspects of the issue, and the stuff we did is really good,” Dr Keenan says.

He is considering a follow up volume, once he's returned from a six month Fullbright scholarship to the United States.


Blogger Fairy said...

Thanks for the great post, I started my career in nursing after finishing a associate degree in nursing from associate degree nursing schools

1:21 AM  

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