Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Boot camps can work says Boxer

The organiser of boot camps which have had a 58 percent success rate in reducing reoffending is supportive of a bill the government is introducing to parliament tomorrow to deal with serious young repeat offenders.

Former soldier Steve Boxer says the 20 week Auckland boot camp programme works with 14 to 17 year old males who are typically Maori or Pacific Islanders with convictions for crimes from burglary and tagging to wounding with intent to injure and grievous bodily harm.

He rejects criticism of boot camps because of their hard discipline.

“It does work as long as it’s resourced properly and you have the right staff with the right skill sets and experience. We were one of the first to put it together and we learnt a lot through collaboration with the different services like police, Child Youth and Family since 2002,” Mr Boxer says.

He says hard discipline is only one part of the programme with mentoring and counseling also being highly important.


The group behind an application to the Geographic Board to have the letter 'h' included in the name of the city of Wanganui says governments for more than 100 years have neglected Maori desires.

Ken Mair of Te Runanga o Tupoho hopes the board will this time rectify the grievance despite a referendum in 2006 which showed the majority of residents in the city opposed the change.

“Its very clear the spelling of our name should be corrected. Without the ‘h’ it doesn’t mean anything. It’s an attack on our language, it’s an attack on our name, and it’s an attack on our people and therefore it needs to be corrected. It’s been going on far too long and the Crown and the Government have allowed this to happen over the last 100 or so years,” Mr Mair says.

He says the 2006 referendum was a political stunt by the mayor Michael Laws allowing the enforcement of cultural dominance.


The man who led two-time Te Matatini champion group Ngati Rangiwewehi says he is pleased with the management changes which have led his group to return to the kapa haka festival in Tauranga after a five year boycott.

Te Arawa's Trevor Maxwell says they opposed the way Te Matatini was run, including the large amount of hip hop entertainment at past events.

“Were very pleased the new chair Selwyn Parata and new organisation being so welcoming and gone back to the core values we believe in,” Mr Maxwell says.

More than 30,000 are expected at the four-day Tauranga festival, which starts on Thursday.


Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says Tainui will put its hat into the ring to run private prisons.

Tuku Morgan says the government's announcement to allow private companies to run prisons will offer Maori opportunities to invest, manage and own infrustructural development.

He says this is something Tainui believes is critical for long term sustainability and a matter he has personally taken up with prime minister John Key.

“At Waitangi I was part of the presentation to the Prime Minister including the deputy PM pushing the issue of public private developments. We think it is an intelligent approach by iwi to get involved in important infrastructural development,” Mr Morgan says.


Former Maori MP now broadcaster Willie Jackson says the decision to sell Auckland based George FM to Mediaworks Radio is a positive one for Auckland's Urban Maori Authorities.

The Manukau Urban Maori Authority chief executive admits the dance music station had been struggling financially for sometime.

Willie Jackson says he and longtime associate Waipareira Trust CEO John Tamihere joined forces in 1998 to successfully tender for the George FM frequency, becoming the first group to win a radio frequency outside of traditional Maori iwi.

“We still hold the frequency rights but we lease it to them and see if we can get some real gains for us as Maori so the commercial deal really supports what Waipareira and MUMA are doing. The real gains are for us,” Mr Jackson says.

The undisclosed price includes transmission equipment for a number of low powered FM frequencies throughout the motu and will take effect on 28 February.

Mediaworks Radio purchased the Ngati Whatua hip hop music station Mai FM last year.


Maori and Pacific island literacy workers have spent the past two days at a hui at Manurewa Marae developing strategies to improve literacy among adults.

Tumuaki of literacy Aotearoa Bronwyn Yates says they have been looking at the ways literacy is taught with an emphasis on seeing content is relevant to the needs of individuals.

“What we know is that literacy issues can be intergenerational and so if we can work with parents to improve their literacy skills and equally they are in a position where they can support their children’s learning then we are going to be working on a different kind of basis. We will have parents more actively involved in their children’s learning,” Ms Yates says.


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