Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Samuels says don’t rush to judge worth of MP

A former Maori Affairs Minister who lost his Cabinet seat because of allegations of historical sexual impropriety is defending embattled National MP Richard Worth.

Dover Samuels was eventually cleared by a police investigation, but never regained his place at the top table.

Mr Worth quit as a Minister outside cabinet yesterday as police revealed a criminal investigation against him, and Prime Minister John Key said he had lost all confidence in the list MP.

Mr Samuels says the Prime Minister should have waited for police to do their job.

“I have been through the same situation and I’m going to say that if it’s found out there is no justification for that, it is very difficult for those people who pointed the finger to be able to retract their words,” Mr Samuels says.

He's also unhappy Labour Leader Phil Goff is piling on with further allegations about Mr Worth.

TURIA HIGHLIGHTS TUNA SUPPLY PROBLEMS

Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia says Maori are being denied their traditional eel catch because of river management practices and commercial over-fishing.

She says commercial pressure has made it harder to get a feed from the sea.

Now they can't get river fish such as the long finned eel which have fed generations of tangata whenua.

“We mustn't allow councils and other to put into place these gateways to stop the eels coming through. We’ve got to say this is our traditional food, we must have access to it, and it is the same where we have huge commercial activity going on,” Mrs Turia says.

She says pressure on the Whanganui River tuna fishery has led to commercial eel nets being emptied in protest.

WOMEN SHARE IDEAS ON HOW TO BRING MORE TO BOARD TABLE

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs has asked Maori women directors and trustees for advice on how to bring other wahine Maori into governance roles.

The ministry's kaihautu, Sonya Rimene, says today's He Wahine Pumanawa forum looked at pathways to governance, strategies to influence decisions, and how women can add value at the board table.

She says many Maori women directors are also leaders in their community, hapu and iwi.

“They're managing huge putea and making decisions on behalf of their beneficiaries who in the main will be there own so they may have a competitive edge as not only are they performing at an iwi level but they are able to transfer those skills to a lot of our other private sector boards,” Ms Rimene says.

The Ministry is hosting a function this evening to profile the 21 Maori directors in front of nominated agencies, ministers, business leaders and iwi representatives who may be looking for wahine with governance experience.

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS VIOLENCE THREAT TO CHILDREN

The head of a Maori anti-violence group says research showing Maori children almost are six times more likely to suffer abuse than non Maori reinforces the need to vote yes in the smacking referendum.

A postal ballot will go out next month asking New Zealanders whether a smack as part of what the question calls "good parental correction" be a criminal offence.

Hone Kaa, the chair of Te Kahui Mana Ririki, says the report commissioned by the Office of the Children's Commissioner shows many parents and especially Maori parents need to change the way they care for their children.

“Some adults still feel it is their right to smack their kids. Well, it’s not a right any more. It’s an abuse of a child. It’s about time some people woke up that even the lightest smack can do damage. Our value about our children’s well being has to change. These statistics that come out in this report today make it imperative that we do change,” Dr Kaa says.

Te Kahui Mana Ririki has getting good responses from its workshops which include a six-step model showing whanau techniques for parenting without hitting.

ASSOCIATE MINISTER WANTS REVIEW OF ANTI VIOLENCE STRATEGIES

Meanwhile, associate Social Development Minister Tariana Turia wants a review to see if family anti violence strategies are working.

The Maori Party co-leader told a preventing family violence hui at Orongomai marae in Upper Hutt today there is a lot of money going into anti violence programmes and providers.

She says too many programmes see individuals in isolation, rather than bringing in the whole whanau.

“If somebody is a so called perpetrator, then they have to be able to account for it in front of their family so the family can see the change that’s happening and so that the whole family can grow and have great comfort from being able to be there, being able to see what’s going on,” Mrs Turia says.

PHOTOGRAPHY USED TO ENCOURAGE VIEW OF WHANAU

A Northland Maori health organisation is using photography as a way to get young people to engage with their families.

Hayley Rauahi from Hau Ora Hokianga says it's running a competition for pictures of how they like to spend time.

She says there has been a positive response from rangatahi in local schools.

The competition closes at the end of June and the photos will be exhibited at the hospital during July.

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