Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, July 20, 2009

Project to boost Maori planning input

Landcare Research has won a grant from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology to increase Maori involvement in urban planning.

Shaun Awatere, the leader of the Kaitiakitanga o nga Taone nui project, says the crown research institute is working with Ngati Whatua o Orakei in Auckland and Ngai Tahu in Christchurch.

He says despite best intentions, local government isn’t sure how matauranga Maori or Maori knowledge can be incorporated in its processes.

He says cities include streams, rivers, and indigenous vegetation which tangata whenua have guardianship responsibility for.

“There used to be mahinga kai and there used to be wahi tapu located in those areas so this project is aiming to develop an assessment framework and process so that planners in local government and iwi and hapu resource managers or kaitiaki can use to plan and evaluate the incorporation of matauranga Maori within local government decision making, policy and plans,” Mr Awatere says.

The Kaitiakitanga o nga Taone nui project will get $825,000 over three years.


Cultural awareness and pride is being tipped as the key to helping young Maori who are getting into trouble with drink and drugs.

Robert Steenhuisan, the manager of Waitemata District Health Board’s community drug and alcohol services, says 10 percent of 16 to 24 year olds have drug and alcohol issues, and it’s a factor in 80 percent of cases that come before the youth court.

He wants to see more Maori focused programmes in schools.

“People who feel secure in who they are as a Maori person or a Pacific person or European person and feel confident and feel supported by their family are much less likely to continue to or start abusing drugs than people who are not, so cultural identity is an important part of any kind of programme,” Mr Steenhuisan says.

In many households drug and alcohol use is seen as normal, giving vulnerable rangatahi the wrong signals.


Massey University believes Maori books don't get a fair crack at the main book awards ... so it has started its own.

Kaihautu Spencer Lilley says the Ngä Kupu Ora Awards are open to any book by a Maori or on a Maori topic published in 2008 or 2009.

The shortlist includes Monty Souter’s The Price of Citizenship and Paul Spoonley's biography of academic Ranginui Walker.

He says other book awards consistently failed to include Maori material, with Souter’s Maori Battalion history only slipping into the first book category of this year’s Montana New Zealand awards.

“When they come up against other books that are shortlisted for awards such as the Montana Book Awards, very hard for them to compete because of their limited appeal to the wider mass so they don’t tend to get shortlisted yet there are a number of Maori books out there that are absolutely wonderful,” Mr Lilley says.

Winners of the first Ngä Kupu Ora Awards will be announced at the end of the month.


London-based culture group Ngati Ranana celebrated its 50th birthday this weekend.

More than 100 former members gathered in Rotorua to swap stories about their OE and link by video with current members in London.

Maori Party co-leader and kapa haka expert says the roopu have been tremendous ambassadors for Maori and New Zealand for the past half century.

The club is a focal point for Maori living in Britain.

“We go to Britain and we immediately join up with them, because someone’s always got a relation in there, and they support groups that are going over, so Ngati Ranana, I’m so glad, I salute them, they’re us. They might be in London but they certainly are us,” Dr Sharples says.


When the Marist mission in Waitara shuts its doors next month, it will be the end of a 150 relationship between French missionaries and the Taranaki Maori community.

Priests Earl Crotty, Gordon Kerins and Frank Twiss are moving to Hawkes Bay and priests attached to the Catholic diocese are taking over their parishes.

Father Twiss says the Society of Mary arrived in Taranaki in 1860 as missionaries to work with Maori and European during the Land Wars.

He says they leave a legacy of good relationships with Maori.

“Bishop Viard who was the first bishop of Wellington in 1850, his instruction to his French priests were they had to learn English and indispensably Maori because otherwise they would only be half missioners,” Father Twiss says.

Yesterday the Marists presented a medal from Pope Benedict to Waitara kuia Anne Pratt for her support of the mission.


A group of Maori teachers have spent their holiday playing ancient Maori games.

Wiremu Mato from North Harbour Sports says the demand was so great that more than 40 people had to be turned away from the Nga Taonga Taakaro wananga at Hato Petera College in Northcote.

He says ball games like Ki-o-rahi and kite-making and flying have value as exercise, and they are also a way to open students’ eyes to ancient Maori life.

There is keen interest from Maori education and health sectors, with those attending the wananga in a position to pass on the games to others in their communities.

He says it would be good to see the Maori games incorporated into the wider New Zealand sports culture.


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