Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More disciple needed at violence courses

The head of Women's Refuge wants action taken against offenders who drop out of court-ordered anti-violence programmes.

Heather Henare says often providers don't report drop-outs, and even if they do, police don't follow up all reports.

About a quarter of those subject to protection orders are Maori.
She says the moment offenders feels they are off the hook, they stop attending.

“The greater issue is the consequence to the family by not attending and the consequence of losing your partner and your children by not attending, because even she doesn’t leave this time, the reality is if he continues to beat her, she will leave and she will take the children,” Ms Henare says.

Although attempts have been made to tighten the system, the results are yet to be seen.

DRUGS POLICY GROUP WANTING INPUT FROM MAORI

The director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation says Maori need a bigger voice on drug policy.

An international symposium on Healthy Drug Law is being held in Wellington this week in preparation for next month's meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, which will set the direction of global drug policy for the next 10 years.

Ross Bell says Maori communities have been hard hit by the impact of drugs, but they don't have a seat at the table where decisions are made.

“When we're making decisions about where health resources go or the way the police do their jobs or all of these bigger issues, Maori need to be at the policy table so that’s why we’ve ensured at this symposium that the Maori voice is here so we are talking about global issues, we are talking about national issues and we are talking about things that are of direct relevance to whanau across the country,” Mr Bell says.

He says Maori aren't getting the drug treatment services they need at the grassroots level.

NEW WEBSITE TO SHARE INDIGENOUS VIDEO

Indigenous television broadcasters have a new way of sharing their stories.

Maori Television has joined other nine other broadcasters to create a website.

Chief executive Jim Mather says the site is one of the first major projects put together by the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network, which includes members in Australia, Canada, Britain, Norway, South Africa and Taiwan.

“We wanted to give those that may be interested confidence that this was going to be a network that was going to do some positive things and provide some tangible benefits to its members, so we thought it was important to have a professional web site and one that was easy to use, simple but also was functional and focused on holding a lot of information and video content as well,” Mr Mather says.

All the broadcasters have similar histories and face similar challenges, so they are able to work together effectively.

SCHOLARSHIPS ON OFFER FOR JAPANESE FISHING EXPERIENCE

Te Ohu Kaimoana is looking for young Maori who want to turbocharge their careers in the fishing industry with a year in Japan.

Peter Douglas, the chair of the fisheries settlement trust, says the global fisheries training programme offered by Sealord shareholder Nippon Suisan Kaisha is building up the pool of young Maori who will lead the industry in the future.

He says it gives them a rare perspective on the industry, and on the needs of a major export destination.

“Fish is a bigger part of the diet in Japan than it is in New Zealand so they have a far more comprehensive approach to how they manage their fish catches, how they manage their marketing and what they do with all the waste, because they waste very little. Those sorts of things are valuable insights into how we can improve the way we do things in years to come,” Mr Douglas says.

If candidates can't afford to take a year away from their jobs or whanau, the Global Fisheries Training Programme can be compressed into a more compact form.

PRISONS BAD PLACE FOR IWI INVESTMENT SAYS GREEN

The Greens' Maori spokesperson says Maori organisations should stay clear of any investment in the prison system.

Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says his iwi is keen to join public-private partnerships to build or run prisons, if the government goes down that track.

Meteria Turei says the proposal adds an unhealth profit motive into the corrections system, and does nothing to address the disproportionate number of Maori in custody.

“We know that international corporations are just interested in profits and those profits grow because you have more bodies in the jail so our people become a kind of profit motive for corporations who are running these prisons,” Ms Turei says.

She is surprised any iwi would seek to profit from locking up its own people.

BRISBANE FLU THREAT TO WINTER HEALTH

The Northland District Health Board is concerned Maori in the region could be particularly vulnerable to the new Brisbane flu virus.

Medical officer of health Loek Henneveld says the virus has already killed six children in Australia.

He says Maori are susceptible to respiratory disease, so they need to get immunised before winter.

“If you look at past epidemics Maori have certainly suffered worse than other community groups so in that sense immunization is not a bad idea. It gives quite a good protection and reduces the risk,” Dr Henneveld says.

The vaccine available this year will contain three different strains, including one to combat the Brisbane flu.

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