Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bradford challenge on jobless stats

The Green's industrial relations spokesperson says the Government isn't doing enough to tackle unemployment on Maori communities.

Employment Minister Paula Bennett has told Parliament's social services select committee more than 15 thousand Maori were on the unemployment benefit to the end of May, and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research says a further 60 thousand people will lose their jobs over the next 12 months.

Sue Bradford, who was a leader in the unemployed rights movement that sprang up during the 1980s, says the government hasn't learned the lessons of the last major recession, including the fact disproportionately high numbers of Maori can be expected on the dole queues.

“We still have a lot of people affected by the fact they were unemployed or their parents were unemployed in the ‘80s and ‘90s, in that huge era of unemployment, and a lot of families in places like Rotorua and South Auckland and Taitokerau and Te Tairawhiti are still impacted by what happened back then, so this new unemployment is coming in over the top of that,” Ms Bradford says.

She says the government should invest in job creation areas such as planting riversides, building more state houses, and supporting recycling and energy efficiency.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is welcoming Waitakere City's decision to champion Maori representation.

The council this week agreed unanimously to include support for Maori seats in its submission on the Auckland super-city council, and to follow up by advocating through local government New Zealand that all councils create places for maori members.

Mrs Turia says Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey is showing the same sense of inclusiveness towards Maori he displayed when he was president of the Labour Party.

“Bob has been a mayor for some time. He’s looking to the future of this country. The Maori population is growing, as is Pacific, as is Asian. Councils should be reflective of that, and I’m really proud of him and his council,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the sky didn't fall down when Labour included Maori representatives on all district health boards, and all councils would benefit from Maori input.


A long time member of the New Zealand hockey squad says the national Maori team is a pathway to higher honours, but it needs more games.

David Kosoof from Ngati Porou has represented New Zealand at two Olympics and one Commonwealth games.
He says the Maori squad has a strong cultural focus, but it doesn't often get the competition players need to hone their skills for international play.

David Kosoof last night was acknowledged as one of New Zealand's one thousand Olympians at a ceremony at North Harbour stadium marking the centenary of the Olympic Movement.


The deputy chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana says an indigenous perspective could offer a way out of the bitter battles over whaling.

Ngahiwi Tomoana from Ngati Kahungunu yesterday addressed the World Whaling Commission meeting in Madiera, Portugal, an almost unprecedented honour for a non-government representative.

The commission has been divided by Japan's demands for whaling to continue under the guise of science or, in the case of its coastal waters, from tradition.

Mr Tomoana says Te Ohu Kaimoana supports indigenous and coastal whaling peoples throughout the world to continue their traditional and cultural practices of hunting whales for food.

He says that offers a middle way.

“You've got the these zealot conservationists and environmentalists just say absolutely no and you’ve got hard heads on the whaling side say absolutely yes and indigenous are caught in the middle trapped between western culture saying yes no. Indigenous people have never exploited or devastated the whaling stocks,” Mr Tomoana says.

He says if Japan was allowed to whale in its own coastal waters, the pressure could come off southern ocean whale populations.


An Historic Places Trust archaeologist says it's still too early to make conclusions about human remains uncovered during earthworks for Auckland Airport runway extensions.

A newspaper report based on a document obtained under the Official information Act said the 85 sets of koiwi reveal the people would have been generally healthy, with extremely worn teeth the most common ailment.

Bev Parslow says it was only an interim report, and the archaeologists aren't even sure yet about the age of the pre-European remains.

She says says the archaeologists need to consult with the Pukaki and Makaurau Marae communities before finalising their report.


A Ngati Kahungunu 15-year-old is making the leap from kura kaupapa to Yale.

Nga Rauira Puumanawawhiti is attending a six week summer session at the top United States university where he will study politics, philosophy and international relations.

Nga Rauira is doing NCEA level three at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kahungunu ki Heretaunga, and he's also in the third year of a Bachelor of Maori Development at Te Whare Wananga O Raukawa.

This month he won the regional He Manu Korero speech competition, and he's also fluent in French and Japanese.

Nga Rauira hopes to one day study full time at Yale.


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