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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tertiary trashing limits chances for Maori

The Tertiary Education Union says the government is bailing out of the tertiary sector at a time when Maori need it most.

The union's president, Tom Ryan says pressure from the Tertiary Education Commission is behind the University of Waikato's move to scrap its Te Timatanga Hou foundation programme, which has readied many Maori for university study.

He says the government's cutbacks in sub-degree areas like certificate and diploma courses shows its unwillingness to invest in tertiary education.

“President Obama in the United States and Kevin Rudd in Australia are investing literally billions extra in higher education. In New Zealand it’s the opposite. There were major cuts that were announced in the recent budget, and now those cuts are coming into play, one of the groups that is going to be affected are Maori students,” Mr Ryan says.

He says the TEC's Tertiary Education Strategy and its statement of priorities is forcing institutions to focus on degree-level and postgraduate teaching.


The Maori Internet Society says a new top level domain for indigenous peoples would be a guarantee of authenticity.

The society is behind an initiative to create dot indigi as part of a review of the address system being undertaken by Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

Chairperson Karaitiana Taiuru says it will be moderated, meaning people wanting a domain name would need to be approved by their representative indigenous group.

That means Maori groups may go for an address ending dot maori dot indigi.

“We also see dot indigi as being the authoritative Internet space. We’ve seen examples of individuals creating web spaces claiming to be an indigenous group when they’re clearly not. With dot indigi it will be a guarantee it is 100 percent authentic and indigenous,” Mr Taiuru says.

Dot Indigi should reduce costs for indigenous groups who want their own corner of cyberspace.


Ngati Wai axeman Jason Wynard's 11th world lumberjack championship win came despite a battle with asthma.

The Maori sports personality of the year is just back from Hayward in Wisconsin, where the 35 year old picked up 5 more world titles to add to his impressive trophy cupboard.

His wife Karmyn won the women's single saw before combining with her husband to win the jack and jill world title - despite being almost six months pregnant.

She says Jason's asthma flared up during the springboard, standing and single events, making it was hard for him to breathe in any event which lasted over 40 seconds.

Karmyn Wynard says her husband’s performance should inspire others with asthma to not give up on their dreams in sport.


A leading marine law specialist says the settlement of South Island and Hauraki aquaculture claims should lead to fast tracking of other iwi claims round the country.

Justine Inns from Nelson-based Ocean Law told a Maori law hui in Wellington this week that the Aquaculture Amendment Bill now before Parliament will provide the formula for cash compensation equivalent to 20 percent of the value of the marine farming space created in those areas between 1992 and 2004.

She says while the settlement covers the bulk of existing aquaculture space, the work done on valuation methodology will help iwi in places like Northland, Kaipara and the Waikato harbours.

“That valuation methodology had the benefit of iwi with experience in the industry, the likes of Harry Mikaere, Fred Te Miha, John Morgan and others from the top of the south, so it’s been well tested, the tyres have been well kicked and that’s a big piece of work and intellectual property that’s available to other iwi now,” Ms Inns says.

The settlement should give iwi some start-up cash to get into the industry, using the 20 percent of new aquaculture space they are entitled to.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is unhappy with the government's loosening of immigration criteria for wealthy people.

Changes announced this week remove the age and language restrictions off people who bring in $10 million in investment capital over three years.

Mrs Tariana says bowing before wealth is not good for society.

“It doesn't surprise me at all that we think that people, by dint of the fact they are wealthy, can come here into this country and not have to meet the same requirements as anybody else. It does highlight what a sad country we’ve become where capitalism is far more important than the people,” Mrs Turia says.


Maori filmakers are well represented in this year's Women in Films Awards to be presented next week in Auckland.

Women in Film and Television board member Ella Henry says Korero Mai director Katie Wolf from Ngati Tama has been nominated for an achievement award.

Chelsea Winstanley from Ngati Ranginui, the director of Maori Television's Kaitiakitanga series, has been marked as a woman to watch.

Pukana producer Nicole Hoey from Ngati Kahu is in the enterpreneurs' section, and Rhonda Kite from Te Aupouri is nominated for the greening the screen award.

Ella Henry says Women in Film and Television was set up 15 years ago in reaction to what was seen as male domination of the industry.


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