Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rankin appointment rankles Greens

The Greens’ Maori spokesperson says newly appointed families commissioner Christine Rankin has a long record of attacking families.

Meteria Turei says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has made a huge mistake in putting the former Work and Income boss on the commission.

She says Ms Rankin developed a culture of executive excess in WINZ, while at the same time riding roughshod over the rights of beneficiaries and pushing many families into poverty.

“At the heart of this is families and particularly Maori families who are the ones who are going to suffer the most from government policy and we can’t expect Christine Rankin to, after her experience and her reputation in WINZ, to have the concern of Maori families firmly in her mind when she is doing her work,” Ms Turei says.

Christine Rankin is demanding change at the Families Commission despite admitting she does not know what the organisation does.

HEALERS QUIZZED ON MAORI WELLNESS MEASURES

Researchers are seeking support from traditional healers to develop guidelines to measure Maori wellness.

Maui Hudson from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research has a $70,000 grant from the health Research Council for the Nga Tohu o te Ora project.

He says an initial hui at Waipahihi Marae in Taupo last night drew a positive response, with healers keen to become involved in coming up with a framework of outcomes.

Maui Hudson says Nga Tohu o te Ora could help with the integration of traditional rongoa practice into mainstream healthcare.

MAORI MENTORS CREDITED WITH ACADEMIC FOUNDATION

The newest member of the American National Academy of Sciences says much of her education came from her Maori mentors.

Auckland University Anthropology Professor Dame Anne Salmond has been made a foreign associate of the academy, one of the highest international honours for academics, in recognition of the excellence of her scientific research.

Dame Anne says in her first years at university she was fortunate to meet Dr Merimeri Penfold from Ngati Kuri and the late Eruera and Amiria Stirling from Te Whanau-a-Apanui, who became her teachers and whanau.

“I had a parallel education outside the university when Eruera Stirling in particular decided to start teaching me partly the reo but also he talked to me about tribal histories and after a while we began to go to marae together and spent two years at one point just going from one marae to another attending hui and that was my other university and a really important one for me,” Professor Salmond says.

MAORI SEEKING SAY IN EMISSIONS SCHEME CHANGES

Maori leaders are seeking a direct voice in any rewrite of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Iwi and land incorporations have made strong submissions to the select committee reviewing the ETS.

Roger Pikia, the chair of the Maori Reference Group which has been working with officials, says Maori are particularly vulnerable to the scheme's downside because most of their forests were planted before 1990.

“For a mature pinus radiata forest the liability is around $15,000 a hectare so that potentially locks you into a specific land use in perpetuity. The point we’re making to the Crown is we don’t want to be disproportionately impacted. Yes, happy about making out contribution along with the rest of the nation, but not wanting to be disproportionately prejudiced,” Mr Pikia says.

Maori leaders met with ministers today to emphasise their concerns and seek further resources to inform Maori of any amendments.

ANTI VIOLENCE EFFORTS GETTING INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

Northland iwi health providers are celebrating their involvement in a prize winning anti-violence programme.

In March the Amokura Family Violence Prevention Initiative, a collaboration by seven Tai Tokerau iwi, was given the human rights prize awarded each year by the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, part of New York's Fordham Law School.

Executive director Di Grennell, who was flown to New York to accept the award, says this morning's ceremony at the Ngati Hine Health Trust recognised the commitment of providers, community and iwi to the kaupapa.

“The beauty of it is we are able to focus on what we have in common and what we have in common is care for our whanau and wanting better lives for our mokopuna so as long as we stay focused there there’s no disagreements and we can get on with the job of doing good things in our communities,” Ms Grenell says.

The New York trip allowed her and Amokura advocacy head Ani Pitman to share learnings with indigenous and other groups involved in tackling domestic violence.

KAWHIA KEEN TO RESTORE OLD METHODIST CHURCH

Kawhia residents want to restore their dilapidated Methodist church in time for its 75th anniversary in November.

Hinga Ormsby, who got married in the church in 1972, says it was built by Pikohaua Hikuroa, Inia Te Wiata and Maharaia Winiata.

Its foundation stone was laid by King Koroki, and it was opened by Princess Te Puea Heranga.

Mrs Ormsby says the church needs new pews, flooring, rewiring and a general overhaul.

She says outsiders have tried to buy the café to turn into a restaurant or residence, but this was rejected by the community.

Once the reburbishments are complete, including a new hall, with a kitchen and toilets built by Te Taha Maori Division of the Methodist Church, a minister will be arranged to visit once a month for services.

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