Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ngati Whatua Nui Tonu upset at Graham offer

A spokesperson for the Ngati Whatua iwi says the $180.5 million proposal put forward by Sir Douglas to settle completing treaty claims in the Tamaki area disregards the position of the iwi.

Sir Douglas's proposal put to put Maori last week involves dividing up the $180 million between five tribal groupings of which Ngati Whatua o Orakei which had a previous agreement with the crown, is one.

Tame Te Rangi speaking for the Ngati Whatua iwi of which Ngati Whatua o Orakei is a part says the proposal is flawed.

“Well firstly there’s total disregard for the position of Ngati Whatua as an iwi. The proposal refers to the creation of four more new entities in the midst of the tribal rohe,” he says.

Mr Te Rangi says the proposal repeats the total disregard over 169 years of where ngati whatua sits in the area.


A Tainui kaumatua says Gerrard Otimi does not have a clear understanding of whangai, which is to adopt those in need out of aroha and charity, not to receive money for it.

Tui Adams says whangai is a traditional Maori custom and Mr Otimi charging Paicific Island overstayers $500 to belong to his whanau is making a mockery of a very genuine Maori pracitce.

“We've always looked after people. In my own family we’ve got more whangai brothers and sisters than I’ve got real ones. Our old people were like that. If they saw somebody orphaned, they would grab that young one and take them,” Dr Adams says.

Gerrard Otimi was charged with three counts of deception last Tuesday, it is expected police will lay more charges.


Kapa haka and waiata will be exchanged when Papakura primary teacher Julie Paerau leaves for Zambia this week.

Ms Paerau, from Nga Puhi, says she is excited to be part of the Child fund Global Schools programme.

She says nine teachers from Aotearoa will be partnered with a local teacher to share their teaching knowledge and techniques, and in turn learn about their cultures.

The group leaves for the 15 day exchange to Zambia this weekend.


Housing minister Phil Heatley says Maori will benefit from the government's proposal to sell state houses to existing tenants.

The government has announced that tenants who are paying market rents for their state houses will be able to buy them and the government will use the money to build more state houses for the needy.

“When the Labour Party bagged this policy on ideological grounds they didn’t actually realise a third of the households who are paying full rent who might very much like to buy their state house are actually Maori families,” Mr Heatley says.

He says the government has high aspirations for Maori and does not assume those in a state house are poor and don't want to own their own homes.


A new tissue bank at Middlemore Hospital is being set up to help design cancer treatments which could specifically help Maori patients.

Clinical director Samar Issa says samples from consenting patients at Auckland hospitals will be begin to be stored next year to help determine genetic abnormalities that cause cancer and how to design targeted therapies to attack certain cancer cells.

She says cancer behaved differently in different ethic groups and, with access to a large selection of samples, researchers could help answer the many unanswered questions around the prevalence of certain types of cancers in Maori.

“Ultimately the goal is to look at patients’ tissues and look at the genetic abnormalities that have caused that specific cancer and tell the patients up front you have these abnormalities. We are going to give you this drug because it suits you better,” Dr Issa says.

The tissue bank is being set up by the Centre for Clinical Research and Effective Practice, a charitable trust that is associated with the Counties Manukau District Health Board.


New Zealand musical icon Sir Howard Morrison says Michael Jackson had a great natural affinity with Maori.

Sir Howard welcomed Michael Jackson at the airport when he toured New Zealand and explained the significance of the hongi to the super star.

“He was fascinated by the greeting and asked what it was about and I said it was symbolic of Maori custom of breathing one’s life force into the other person as a sign of welcome and be safe,” Sir Howard says.

He says Michael Jackson was the complete package as far as an entertainer and the greatest performer since Sammy Davis Junior.


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