Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, June 15, 2009

Plans for bigger Maori bank

The Maori economic development taskforce is looking at creating a development fund with investment from government, iwi and private sector sources.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says a proposal by the previous government to create a $75 million dollar business support fund wasn’t big enough to be a going concern.

He says many Maori organisations need an alternative to the traditional trading and investment banks.

“A lot of Pakeha banks frightened Maori assets might not be able to be used as security because it’s multiple ownership, or that it might be sold, but a Maori bank will know that land will certainly not be sold and will know their way round multiple ownership and so on, so it might be a very very good idea,” Dr Sharples says.


Maori can now see the tracks of their ancestors as a record of New Zealands archaeological sites go online.

The New Zealand Archaeological Association is digitizing 50 years of paper records of sites around the country

The association’s president, Matthew Schmidt, says convenient access to the data on the more than 60,000 sites should help with site management, education, and fostering an appreciation of Maori heritage.

The site is at archsite.org.nz.


Australian viewers could soon get te reo Maori on their television screens.

Sydney based Maori speaker Jasmine Pearson says plans are well advanced for Maori language programmes to air on SBS, the channel that caters to Australia’s diverse ethnic communities.

She says while few of the Maori living across the Tasman are fluent speakers, those negotiating the deal are still pushing for a high Maori language content.


An Auckland University researcher has won a grant to study whether school breakfast programmes improve learning.

Delvina Gorton from the university’s clinical trial research unit says the $810,000 study will take two years to complete, using schools that are part of the Red Cross and Countdown breakfast programme.

She says the study is of particular importance for Maori and Pacific Island children.

“We know that people not being able to afford enough to eat is a really big issue in this country and that’s more so for Maori and Pacific kids and we really don’t want kids going hungry so if this programme is successful we think it is something that chould be in all schools and that will really reach Maori kids,” Ms Gorton says.

Anecdotal reports from schools who provide breakfast is that concentration levels and attendance improve, but those reports need to be backed by hard evidence.


Green co-leader Metiria Turei is backing Tariana Turia’s call for a moratorium on commercial eel fishing.

Ms Turei last year mounted a nationwide Tuna Tour to heighten awareness of the damage being done to eel habitats through pollution and modification of waterways.

She says tuna are an important food source for Maori, and the Maori Party co-leader correct that the needs of families and communities should take priority over short term profits

“She’s absolutely right to be focused on peoples’ need for kai and how to protect those natural resources we have had for generations and we are entitled to continue to have them for generations as well,”
Ms Turei says.


A Maori health promoter says the tobacco industry is threatening the cultural and language revival.

Janine Tamati- Ellife, from Action on Smoking and Health, says Maori are keen to maintain their culture, but many aren’t doing enough to maintain their own health.

She says disproportionately high Maori rates of smoking need to tackled as part of the wider cultural revival.

“What's the point of putting in effort for revitalizing our culture, our reo if the tobacco industry are killing 15 of our whanau off every week. It’s just ludicrous. We spend thousands of dollars on tangihanga and mourning over our loved ones and losing all that wonderful knowledge, and it’s something we can all make a stand against, against the tobacco industry,” Ms Tamati Ellife says.


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