Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 10, 2009

Consultation on river clean up

All iwi and and hapu along the Waikato River are being consulted on what a clean river means to them.

Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says legislation creating a co-management system for the river seems to be on hold in the Maori affairs select committee, as the government works out whether it can simplify the governance structure negotiated between Tainui and the previous Labour government.

Meanwhile the National Institute for Water and Atmosphere is talking with iwi from Taupo to Port Waikato on what people expect and how water quality can be improved.

Her own Waahi Marae was known for its eels, and wants that to be restored.

She says the Government wants to see whether the Waikato river settlement can be used as a model for other areas.


A Rotorua Maori tourism operator says the whole community will benefit when Air New Zealand starts twice weekly direct flights from Sydney.

Wetini Mitai Ngatai is behind the Mitai Experience, which welcomes vistors into a purpose built pa to hear Maori stories and take part in kapa haka before enjoying a hangi.

He says half their manuhiri come from across the Tasman, and the direct flights may also bring visitors from further afield such as the United States.


A Kawhia hapu says the government's refusal to toughen protections for marine animals signs the death knell for the Maui's dolphin.

Just over 100 of the dolphins remain in their natural range along the North Island west coast.

National MPs voted down the Green Party's Marine Animals Protection Law Reform Bill, which would have required population management plans for endangered mammals and birds.

Davis Apiti from Ngati Te Wehi is now resigned to losing the precious dolphin within the next 15 years.

He wants a complete ban on gill netting in Aotea Harbour to offer some sanctuary to the Maui dolphin.


The chair of the Maori Medical Practitioners' Association says Maori parents can't be blamed for their tamariki not getting vaccinations.

Public health specialists are concerned low immunisation rates are fuelling a measles epidemic in Christchurch and Auckland.

Only about 80 percent of children are vaccinated by the time they get to school, and the Maori take-up is up to 15 per cent behind that.

David Jansen says Maori turn up as often at health providers, but are less likely to be offered or take up immunisation.

“That really goes to the interface issue of Maori patients and families interfacing with health professions and we now have a very clear picture that at that point Maori are getting less,” Dr Jansen says.

The solution lies in improving the way medical professionals interact with Maori, and in Maori feeling entitled to an adequate health system.


Waitara's Otaraua Hapu has won a long battle for recognition of a significant north Taranaki waahi tapu.

New Plymouth District Council has resolved to include Tikorangi Pa in its District Plan, subject to public consultation.

Its environmental policy manager, Colin Comber, says the pa was not recognised by the council or the Historic Places Trust because there are no physical remains.

But it features prominently in the oral history of the Otaraua Hapu.

“The pa did exist but it was destroyed by the military in September 1860. In 1865 the military built a redoubt on the same site, so it’s been a dual occupation,” Mr Comber says.

Inclusion in the plan should stop a repeat of this year's protests, when members of Otaraua Hapu occupied the site to prevent Greymouth Petroleum running a pipeline through it.


The Wairarapa Archive has acquired some of the country’s earliest literary Maori treasures.

Descendants of Irish missionary and scholar Robert Maunsell have donated copies of his work to the Masterton-based archive, including his 1862 Grammar of the New Zealand Language, translations from Hebrew into Maori of the New Testament and Psalms, and a manuscript on the Organisation of Maori Social Life and Customs.

Maunsell arrived in New Zealand in 1835, and worked with Maori until his death in 1894.

Archivist Gareth Winter says Maunsell's work included some of the earliest missionary grammars and translations of the Bible.

The gift also includes Robert Maunsell's 1872 textbook to help Maori speakers learn English.


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