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 08, 2009

Warden independence wanted

The New Zealand Maori Council which is in-charge of the country's Maori Wardens says Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples should back up his call for the wardens to show more independence by freeing them from the clutches of Te Puni Kokori.

Spokesman Maanu Paul says the last Labour government made a huge mistake in putting the Wardens under the management of the Ministry of Maori Development.

“The wardens didn’t want management by TPK, they wanted management themselves, so the minister’s words are correct in a sense, but he needs more than word. He needs to instruct TPK because they’re his department. He should say to them take your hands off the money that should be going to the wardens, stop trying to manage them, they can manage themselves,” Mr Paul says.

He says the Labour government tried to circumvent the New Zealand Maori Council which is responsible for the Maori wardens under the 1962 Community Development Act.

CHILDREN’S COMMISSIONER DENIES VIOLENCE A MAORI PROBLEM

New Children’s Commissioner, John Angus, says the perception that domestic violence is a predominantly Maori problem is incorrect.

Mr Angus says the commission's Deaths and Serious Injury from Assault report, shows domestic violence occurs in many cultures, not just Maori.

He says the report has also shown the contributing factors which create violence in Maori homes.

“The number of Maori children who die or a physically injured really reflect the families who have this range of problems that seem to be associated with physical abuse. Poverty, young parenthood, often alienated and unsupported, alcohol and drug problems, and other violence in the family. If you take those into account, ethnicity isn’t such a big factor at all,” Mr Angus says.

He says the government is committed to creating more programmes like the "It's not OK" campaign to help curb domestic violence.

PLUNKET SEEKING MORE MAORI VOLUNTEERS FOR NEW REGIME

Plunket are calling for more Maori volunteers at the front line to help lift flagging numbers.

The organisation is holding its 59th national conference in Rotorua this week, involving staff and volunteers taking part in professional development , networking and looking to the future.

Daniel Hauraki, Plunket's Maori cultural advisor says recruiting and retaining Maori volunteers is crucial to running community programmes and helping connect whanau to relevant services.

“It’s about teaching people how to connect with their hearts and their minds and their souls and if you look at the needs of Maori, most Maori needs are holistic. Plunket, over the years, we have seen how they cater for the physical so the challenge is to make our work apply to the heart and the mind too,” Mr Hauraki says.

KAPA HAKA INNOVATOR TAINI MORRISON DIES

One of the great leaders of the kapa haka renaissance Taini Morrison of Te Arawa passed away this morning.

He cousin Monty Morrison says that along with her aunt Atareta Maxwell, who died two and a half years ago, Ms Morrison reshaped kapa haka right across the motu.

“Her contribution to kapa haka was huge. She will be missed by many. Latterly with the group Te Matarae i Orehu. She has change the whole dynamic around female leadership of kapa haka, just by the sheer way she performed with such passion.

Ms Morrison says there is a whole family history of performers behind her behind including her brother Tem Morrison and uncle Sir Howard Morrison.

Taini will lie in state at Te Arawa's paramount marae at Ohinemutu with a burial services being planned for Thursday.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHILD CARE IN THE HOME

Interim children’s commissioner, John Angus, says Maori as individuals and whanau need to take responsibility for getting rid of violence in the home.

He says government programmes like the "It's not OK" campaign are a start.

However the entrenched patterns of violent behaviour which have fatal consequences for tamariki needs to be addressed by everyone.

“We as individuals need to take some responsibility to. It’s an adult problem we visit on the children so I think as adults, as members of families and whanau, as people in marae, we should be thinking about the circumstances of the families that are part of the marae, we need to think about how our young children are being brought up, think about the circumstances that might put them at risk,” Mr Angus says.

The veteran social worker and policy strategist joined the Children’s Commission last month alongside the widely criticised appointment of former Work and Income head Christine Rankin.

CANADIAN EDUCATOR TOUTING EMPATHY PROGRAMME FOR SUCCESS

A Canadian educator visiting the country says there is potential for her programme to have success for Maori.

Mary Gordon is the founder of Roots of Empathy, a classroom programme to reduce the levels of aggression among school children by raising social and emotional competence and increasing empathy.

She says indigenous people around the world commonly find a synergy with the programme, in its third year in New Zealand, because it centres around the whanau.

“The head of Maori education when I was here two years ago said this approach, the philosophy completely embraced a Maori approach to education, one of respect and pride and building from the family out and including the ancestors as a way to understand the present and build ahead,” Ms Gordon says.

She is the founder of Canada's largest school based Parenting and Family Literacy Centre and she is speaking at Plunket's national conference in Rotorua this week.

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