Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Asthma afflicting one in three Maori children

An international survey has found nearly a third of Maori children have asthma.

Dr Lis Ellison-Loschmann from Massey University's Centre for Public Health Research, studied the health of 13,000 children between six and 14.

She says the overall number of asthma sufferers has not changed much in 10 years.

However, the number of Pakeha children with symptoms has decreased while the number of Maori with asthma has increased.

“It's a chronic condition and if you’re getting it as a child you’re going to need help obviously with managing your symptoms and all that. That’s where a whole whanau approach is required,” Dr Ellison-Loschman says.

Her research was part of an international survey of about a million children in more than 100 countries.


Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa has launched its commercial arm to help raise the number of Maori who own their own homes.

The trust's new Rezlab Steel Structures factory will make steel housing frames, alongside a gym to focus on family health, with the profits from each to go back to the community.

Iharaea Henare, a kaimahi at the runanga, says the vision was to create affordable housing for Maori.

“By providing affordable housing and by encouraging people to purchase their own housing, they can use the equity on that housing to purchase more housing or just to be self sufficient in terms of heir finances because with the recession prices at the moment, housing prices are quite up there and it’s always been a dream to see Maori in their own homes,” Mr Henare says.

The factory was opened last week by King Tuheitia.

The chief executive of the business arm, Mere Balzer, was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday honours.


A decision to take environmental matters into their own hands has earned a Far North group recognition from the Ministry of Environment.

Rueben Porter, on behalf of Nga Hapu o Ahipara received a Green Ribbon Award last week for its mahi caring for the environment in the Kaitaia rohe.

He says his group addressed the environmental issues in Ahipara and Te Oneroa A Tohe, 90 Mile Beach that had piled up over a decade.

“We were seeing a lot of things happening round here that were supposed to be the work of the Department of Conservation and Ministry of Fish and Police, but we didn’t feel they were targeting them properly, especially with regards to mana whenua and the respect of our culture, our history, our whakapapa to this rohe through our waka Tinana and our tupuna Te Moana,” Mr Porter says.

The Green Ribbon Awards are presented by the Minister for the Environment to recognise the outstanding contributions of individuals, organisations and businesses to sustaining, protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s environment.


The recession is threatening rescue plans for a far north Maori incorporation attempting to sell sections at the picturesque Matauri Bay.

An application to the Maori Land Court by the interim administrator of Matauri X incorporation, Kevin Gillespie to allow leases offered to the public to be doubled to 104 years in a bid to stave off bankruptcy, has been adjourned for a month so interested parties could make submissions.

Mr Gillespie, who was appointed by the court, says sales are slow.

“I mean the only way we are
OUT: ....keep trying.
DUR: 20 secs
Mr Gillespie says.

Strong opposition to the plan from some of the incorporation's 430 shareholders resulted in a police presence at the court.

The incorporation got into financial difficulties in 2001 when it borrowed money from finance company Bridgecorp to invest in a water bottling venture which failed.

The debt was refinanced before Bridgecorp collapsed, but new lender Strategic Finance is now wanting out because it too has its back against the wall.

Mr Gillespie says only 26 of the 81 sections in the first stage of the Matauri Bay subdivision had sold.

All the first stage sections need to be sold to break even, with any profits coming from the 58 stage two sections.


Kahungunu whanau are applauding a new scheme to rid one of their main waterways of algae and pollution.

The 8-million dollar scheme will see effluent presently flowing into the Tukituki river from oxidation ponds at Waipukurau and Waipawa in central Hawke's Bay piped to forests to be developed by Hawke's Bay Regional Council in the next few years.

Tamataea Taiwhenua chairman Johnny Nepe-Apitu says the river and its tributaries are invaluable to the iwi, and have been particularly vulnerable to pollution over the last ten years.

“The shift has been from fat lamb rearing in our marae area to cattle and cows and it’s been a huge impact on our waterways in the last 10 years so we’re focusing on making sure we’re still able to get our watercress, our tuna, our koura and our kakahi from those dsame waterways without any damage to their life style Mr Nepe-Apitu says.


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