Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Maori more exposed to international economy

The Prime Minister says the Maori economy stands to be hit twice as hard as the general economy by adverse overseas conditions.

John Key says the Maori economy is estimated to be worth about $25 billion dollars, compared with $180 million overall.

But almost 65 percent of the Maori economy is exposed to international markets, compared with just 30 percent of the general economy.

“Now the reason for that is there is a lot of exposure in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, you’ve got a big exposure, tourism all sitting in in there, so it’s important we get the summit right, come up with the right solutions, try to take the rough edges off the recession, particularly for Maori New Zealanders because they are more exposed than the overall economy," Mr Key says.

Several iwi leaders along with the Maori Party have been invited to next week's job summit.

WHANAU NEEDED FOR DRUG CURES

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says whanau need to take on the task of stopping drug abuse by members.

An International Drug Policy Symposium in Wellington has heard about problems throughout the world.

Mr Harawira says the symposium heard about the damage drugs are doing to some Maori communities.

He says it's an area politicians could find cross-party agreement on, but the hard part is finding the right resources to tackle the problem.

“The question is, is there the money to do it? And the answer is no, with the economic squeeze on, no there ain’t, so it’s about being clever, being focused, and being more innovative about how we address this problem. If at the end of the day the whanau don’t own the solution, nothing’s gonna change,” Mr Harawira says.

TE ARAWA WELCOMED BACK TO TE MATATINI

This morning's powhiri at Tauranga's Baypark Stadium for Te Matatini competitors had a special resonance for Te Arawa roopu.

The region boycotted the last two biannual kapa haka competitons because of policy differences with organisers.

Broadcaster Scotty Morrison, a member of Nga Uri o te Whanoa, says the return of four Te Arawa teams gives this year's competition a real national feel.

And after six months of intense rehearsals, he's ready to take to the stage.

Up to 30,000 performers and spectators are expected over the four day event.

TUWHARETOA TRIES TO RESCUE TURANGI PROJECT

Tuwharetoa shareholders are being reassured the shelving of a project for a 2000-home development adjoining Turangi does not spell the end of efforts to secure the land for the iwi.

Westpac has put a receiver into Te Whenua Ventures, a joint venture between several Tuwharetoa trusts, Auckland property investors Jon Spencer and Steve Hawkins, and former cabinet minister Richard Prebble.

Te Whenua director Dickson Chapman says the receivership is unusual, in that the bank is collecting the grazing rent on the former Landcorp farm, while allowing the company to remain in business.

He says the tribe's intent remains to find a commercial way to secure an interest in the land, which Landcorp sold behind its back to Mr Spencer.

“The reality is the full scale of commercial development originally envisaged cannot go ahead in today’s financial environment. It’s a done. So what’s happening consequently is looking at measures to restructure the financing of the project which might involve more financing or interests from within or without being involved in the project,” Mr Chapman says.

The block, on the eastern side of the Tongariro River, is of considerable historic and cultural value to Tuwharetoa hapu.

COMMUNITY PROVIDERS BETTER THAN MILITARY BOOT CAMPS

A former youth affairs minister says the government's boot camp scheme is the wrong approach for young Maori offenders.

Nanaia Mahuta, Labour's Hauraki-Waikato MP, says better results can be had by funding new and existing community programmes, especially those run by iwi and Maori trusts.

She is asking Social development Minister Paula Bennett to look at all options, including groups with drug and alcohol, parenting and mentoring programmes.

The bill providing for military-style "boot camps" for 40 of the country's worst youth offenders passed its first reading this week.

JUMP IN MAORI SIGNING UP FOR CHRISTCHURCH POLYTECHNIC

Rising unemployment and increased interest in higher education among Maori are boosting demand for Maori studies and trades training at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

Chief executive Neil Barns says enrolments at its Maori studies department, Te Puna Wanaka, has doubled this year.

The polytech is offering a Bachelors degree in Maori for the first time.

“What the drive is for us is to develop specialization in the language at the higher level. We really want to develop people who can get onto the paepae and speak fluently, and we think there’s quite a demand for that so what there is now is quite a large nase of people with a reasonable amount of reo and we are starting to see people now who want to take that further,” Mr Barns says.

Christchurch Polytechnic is trying to support Ngai Tahu's drive to get 10,000 speakers of Te Reo in homes.

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