Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cancer forum brings together Maori carers

A leading cancer specialist says a national cancer hui should lead to improvements in the way Maori with cancer are treated.

Jonathan Koea from Ngati Tama and Te Atiawa says Maori have higher rates of cancer, particularly those associated with hepatitis, and higher rates of mortality.

He says this week's Revolution of Cancer Care forum in Rotorua is allowing all Maori working in the field to have some input, and it's offering a way to bridge the gulf between hospitals and the primary health carers.

“There's a huge Maori health provider workforce, Maori health workers, volunteers, researchers and other people and for someone like me who’s locked up in hospitals most of the time it’s great to be in the same space as them, see what they are doing, see what their needs are and how I can help them and how we can do things better, configure services better,” Dr Koea says.


Ngati Kahungunu will be in Dunedin today to reach out to younger tribe members in the south.

Kym Hamilton, the Hawkes Bay runanga's research and policy manager, says the hui at the Otago University School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies is for tauira who have come from the North Island to study, or whose parents may have moved south.

She says the students are the people who will have the expertise in disciplines which are crucial for iwi development.

“The purpose of this is to address succession planning because we’ve identified three priorities for iwi development: ICT, environmental science and te reo and tikanga and so we are trying to make contact with those coming through universities and wananga to help them think about how they can contribute to iwi development,” Ms Hamilton says.

The students may also consider standing for election to the runanga, which will next year include two seats representing members outside the rohe.


The link between Fiji and Maori news is about to get stronger.

Television New Zealand's Maori and Pacific programmes section has taken on Fiji Television journalist Rachna Nath, as part of her prize as the Young Pacific Television Journalist of the year given at the Pacific Media Summit Awards in Vanuatu last month.

Manager Paora Maxwell says Ms Nath will spend time with the Te Karere Team, in what he expects to be a mutually beneficial relationship.

“The benefit to her is working in a large news organisation and the benefits to us is we continue to foster good journalism and good journalists in the Pacific Islands,” Mr Maxwell says.

TVNZ has also started satellite broadcasting a subtitled edition of Maori language new programme Te Karere to 14 Pacific island countries.


An Auckland University historian says the seeds of the Maori renaissance can be seen in the way Maori found ways to maintain their culture and communities when they moved to the cities.

As part of the university's Winter Lecture series, Aroha Harris this week offered a fresh look at Maori leadership during the 1950s and 60s.

She says they fought an official policy of assimilation by setting up their own churches and urban marae, such as the Anglican Tatai Te Hono and Catholic Te Unga waka complexes in Auckland.

“One of the families I spoke to who were involved with Te Unga Waka started out having services in their home and it was about having the miha Maori so people look at that and think it’s about faith and Catholicism and it is partly but it’s also about a particular kind of Catholicism which is a Maori Catholicism,” Dr Harris says.
The leadership of the era has unfairly been characterised as conservative and ineffective, when in fact it was devising creative solutions to new problems.


A former head of the Corrections Service believes Maori community justice programmes can reduce offending and benefit Mari and non Maori alike.

Kim Workman from Rethinking Crime and Punishment says Aotearoa is at a crossroads when it comes to sentencing, rehabilitation and even the housing of inmates.

He says rather than following international trends such as double-bunking, the country needs to find ways to address the needs of Maori, who make up half the prison population.

“Perhaps marae based approaches where marae are funded to take on Maori to do community work, where Maori providers are initially supported with sufficient investment so they can do a decent job, and where the correction system starts to realise it can't do everything,” Mr Workman says.

He says the government's push for double bunking and portable prison cells will lead to the sort of overcrowding and violence experienced in the Californian penal system, which went down that path 20 years ago.


Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane

Clem Huriwaka, leading figure in the Wellington Maori community, has died at the age of 69.

Mr Huriwaka, from Ngati Rangitihi and Ngapuhi, worked as a bus driver for many years, and also involved himself with unions, trusts and cultural groups, including Ngati Poneke.

Kaumatua Henare Kingi says he was known for the passion he brought to Maori causes.

“Clem got into a lot of arguments about some of the things he said here but Clem was expressing his whole feeling and those feelings were for the betterment of his Maori people and his outlook was that the Maori people set an example for the generation to come,” Mr Kingi says.

There will be a service for Clem Huriwaka at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Hataitai at 10 this morning, after which he will be taken to Rangitihi Marae in Matata, with the funeral at 11am on Sunday.


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