Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Budget knives hitting Maori programmes

Pressure from the government to stay in budget has forced a South Auckland DHB to trim a million dollars off its Maori health programmes.

After reviewing contracts with non-government health providers, Counties Manukau district health board slashed funding for its Health Through the Marae contract, a smokefree health promotion and for social marketing for its Lets Beat Diabetes scheme.

It also cut internal staff and administration costs.

Maori services manager Bernard Te Paa says its priority is maintaining front line services like GPs, nursing services and community health workers.

“We're disappointed we’ve had to make cuts in services because we’ve been growing, particularly our Maori services, over the past few years, but when you get a directive or really clear messages about reining in budget and you don’t have the sort of resources that may have been available to us previously, so you have to cut the cloth to fit the economic times,” Mr Te Paa says.

He says Counties Manukau DHB can no longer afford Auckland University's annual evaluations of a scheme to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

IWI CAN GIVE ADVICE ON MEANING OF KAITIAKITANGA

Tourism operators are being urged to tap into their local iwi for advice on tikanga Maori.

Henare Johnson, a Maori development manager from Tourism New Zealand, says kaitiakiatanga and manaakitanga should be part of any successful tourism strategy.

He says tourism businesses need to understand what they mean.

“If people are looking to get an in depth understanding of what manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga are then the best people to talk to are their local iwi. We really encourage operators, whether they be Maori or non-Maori, to make contact with their local iwi or even the Maori regional tourism organization,” Mr Johnson says.

He held workshops at this week's Ecotourism New Zealand Conference in Nelson, on how kaitiakitanga can add value to a business.

OUT OF SCHOOL, OUT OF HOME, OUT OF LUCK

Taranaki youth organisations say many Maori high-school dropouts are becoming homeless.

Lynette West from the New Plymouth's Young People's Trust says because of dysfunctional family situations, many young people become disengaged from school.

She says schools try to follow up by sending letters which may go to parents who can't read, leading to a downhill spiral.

Ms West says many of the young people are concerned are about keeping warm and eating rather than education or jobs.

WHAKATOHEA GETS CONSENT FOR HARBOUR MOUTH WIDENING

Whakatohea's radical new mussel farm has come a step closer, with approval being granted to enlarge the channel into Opotiki Harbour.

Whakatohea Trust Board chairman Robert Edwards says larger boats now need to wait for almost full tide to come through.

The new channel at Te Ngaio Beach means boats will be able to service the 3800 ha marine farm 6km off the coast and bring back mussels for processing in the town.

“Without deepening the harbour mouth we would have to take everything over to Tauranga to be processed and that will not be economic. Not only that, we want to put a processing plant in Opotiki to create more work for our tangata o te kai,” Mr Edwards says.

Trial mussel lines will be set up by the end of the year.

Whakatohea Trust Board has a 54 percent stake in the farm.

BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS URGED TO JOIN BIG LATCH ON

Mangere's Turuki Maori health centre hopes Maori mothers will help break New Zealand's breastfeeding record.

The Big Latch On breastfeeding awareness campaign happens nationwide tomorrow at 10:30am.

Health promoter Mikaera Pau says the number of Maori mums who consistently breastfeed has plummeted.

“The rates are really low but times change. Mothers don’t want to be stuck at home breastfeeding baby. There’s so much pressure on our mums, our families to get out there, get a career, live a life,” Mr Pau says.

To counter that social pressure, mothers need reminding that breast milk is the best milk for babies.

The Women's Health Trust hopes to break last year's big latch on record of 1111.

MAORI OPERATORS SHOW THEIR WARES AT ECOTOURISM HUI

Maori operators have made a splash at the New Zealand Ecotourism conference in Nelson.

Maori Tourism Council chair John Barrett says the small group of operators was able to demonstrate manaakitanga or hospitality and kaitiakitanga or care for the natural environment in their products.

He says the cultural dynamic gives Maori operators an edge in the ecotourism market.

“I think it's made for us. It’s a sector of the business our guys excel in. The whole kaitiaki kaupapa, ecotourism fits into it naturally,” Mr Barrett says.

The Ecotourism conference brought together stakeholders including the operators, Qualmark, and officials from the Tourism and Environment Ministries and the Department of Conservation.

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