Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, December 01, 2008

Rickards confirmed in Waipareira youth role

The head of the Waipareira Trust has confirmed that they'll be hiring the former assistant police commissioner to work with rangatahi in West Auckland.

Clint Rickards, who was found not guilty of the historic rape of Louise Nicholas last year, was admitted to the bar as a lawyer last week.

John Tamihere says he recognises hiring Mr Rickards is an unpopular move but says he makes no apologies for trying to tackle Maori criminal offending.

“Clint will be helping us over here. Anything that drops our youth offending rates and constant and reoccurring ofending has got to be good for us. Ngawha prison filled up overnight. Maryvale just down the road which is a Tainui prison, filled up overnight. The women’s prison in Wiri filled up overnight, and those two prisons, 90 percent full of Maori,” Mr Tamihere says.

READ THE EVIDENCE SAYS COP TURNED LAWYER

Meanwhile former assistant police commissioner Clint Rickards has told critics of his appointment to work with youth at the Waipareira Trust that before criticising his ability to do so they should read transcripts of the court case which found him not guilty of rape charges.

Clint Rickards says he won’t respond to organisations such as New Zealand Womens Refuge who have publicly spoken out against his working with young people but says his credentials to do so are vast.

“I am not going to criticise them. They’re entitled to their opinion. What I’ve said to anyone who does criticise is you have to sit down and actually read the evidence, if you weren’t at court, sit down and read the evidence and maybe you may change your view. If you don’t, kei te pai. But you need to come from a position of knowledge as opposed to one of ignorance,” Mr Rickards says.

He worked with youth over 28 years in the Police and many of the programmes he has developed have been highly successful in reducing crime. He says this is his CV for the job.

KAHUI STEAMS INTO MOST VALUABLE PLAYER CONTENTION

Rugby commentator Ken Laban is singing the praises of young Maori centre Richard Kahui after the All Blacks unbeaten end of season tour.

The Wainuiomata based broadcaster says Kahui will develop into a top line All Black in the years ahead.

He says the midfielder showed his potential two years ago, in a stunning individual performance for Waikato, when they beat Tana Umaga's Wellington team in the final of the NPC.

“2008 has been a wonderful season for him. There’s no doubt he was MVP or close to MVP tin the test match against Wales and for me he’s the outstanding back of the 2008 tour. He’s a tremendous talent looking ahead to the future,” Mr Laban says

Kahui was among the best in Graeme Henry's all conquering squad which wrapped up their UK tour with a 32 to 6 win over England last weekend.

TUREI CALLING OUT PARTIES FOR FORESHORE HYPOCRISY

The Greens are calling on the government to immediately repeal the controversial foreshore and seabed legislation.

Greens’ Maori issues spokesperson Metiria Turei says National, ACT, United and the Maori party all voted against the legislation and they should now take action.

“When their agreement came out I was really disappointed they hadn’t made more progress on the foreshore given that was the kaupapa of the Maori Party from its beginnings and nobody seemed to be saying there was a real problem here, that all of those parties that are in government all opposed it and not a single one is going to do anything to repeal it,” Ms Turei says.

She says the government's agreement to review the legislation down the line to see whether it has delivered to Maori does not go far enough and is not binding if they find it to be detrimental to Maori interests.

CONCERN OVER COMPLACENT APPROACH TO AIDS

Concern... not complacency... that's one Maori health advocate's response to Maori infection rates on World Aids Day.

Human Immuno-deficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) first gained global attention in the 1980s... since that time the worldwide pandemic has seen thirty three million people contract the disease.

In New Zealand three thousand people have been diagnosed with HIV... and on average one person is infected every five days. Maori infection rates sit around 7 percent... although they make up 15 percent of the population

Anton Blank a Maori health advocate... says those figures should raise red flags with health workers and the Maori community.

“In every other area of health we tend to track proportionately or disproportionately so we need to think about why are our rates so low, is it because we’re not reporting or presenting, are there other issues that we need to look at,” Mr Blank says.

MAORI PERSPECTIVE ON NATIONHOOD FOR EXPORT

Students at Washington DC's elite Georgetown University are to be given a Maori perspective on New Zealand's search for nationhood.

The paper will be taught by Victoria University associate professor Danny Keenan, who is in the United States capital for the next six months on a Fulbright Scholarship.

He will be introducing the Americans to some of the ideas sketched out by fellow historians James Belich and the late Keith Sinclair in their histories of New Zealand.

“What those two historians don’t do I think is take enough account of Kingitanga, Kotahitanga Maori nationalist movements, Maori desires for tino rangatiratanga and that’s almost like a subtext within the notion of nationhood as it’s traditionally been conceived of in New Zealand so I want to present to the students but at the same time think through what can we say about nationhood in New Zealand,” Dr Keenan says.

The main purpose of his trip is to research 19th century records in the Bureau of Indian Affairs and compare those with the way New Zealand's Native Affairs department operated during the same period,.

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