Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Concern Te Kotahitanga capturing mindshare and budget

Labour's associate education spokesperson says the government's boosting of the teacher development system Te Kotahitanga could be at the expense of more effective strategies to improve Maori performance.

The government last week announced it was spending $20 million over four years to allow another 17 secondary schools to join Te Kotahitanga, which trains teachers to create culturally responsive learning environments.

Kelvin Davis, who was principal of Kaitaia intermediate before entering Parliament, says new research by Auckland University professor John Hattie has identified other strategies which are more effective.

“We need to be making sure we are focusing on what are the most effective strategies and Te Kotahitanga oer teacher-student relationships is the 11th most effective strategy according to Hattie’s research, so why haven’t we got equal amounts of resource and support going in to those top ten strategies,” Mr Davis says.

He says Te Kotahitanga is effective with any ethnic group, but it's been picked up as the panacea for Maori education because the original research project was Maori-specific.

SHORT STORY HAS FINGER ON SOCIETY PULSE

A prize-winning short story has been praised for reflecting the major issues facing Maori society.

Morehu Nikora won with the Maori language section of this year's Pikihuia awards with He Reta Mo Taku Huia Kaimanawa, a letter by a father to his unborn child about the perils of the society he will be born into.

Judge Julian Wilcox says it comes at a time where Maori society and its child-rearing practices are being intensely discussed.

He Reta Mo Taku Huia Kaimanawa and the other entries are included in Huia Publisher's eighth collection of stories, which is out now.

BARRIBALL LOOKING FORWARD TO PLACE ON CATWALK

A Maori designer who's made the transition from moko to streetwear gets to measure himself against the big boys and girls this week.

Wiremu Barriball earned his place in New Zealand Fashion Week by winning the MiraModa Maori fashion awards earlier this year.

He says moving beyond T shirt production was been a struggle, but his Tu Ake line now includes everything from shoes to shades.\

“We aim to get ourselves out there, especially our Maori inspired designs, up with the big boys. We’re trying to get ourselves out there, but that requires big financial input,” Mr Barriball says.

The MiraModa team takes to the catwalk at Auckland's viaduct on Thursday afternoon.

PRESSURE GROWING FOR NGAPUHI TO NEGOTIATE

The chair of the Ngapuhi Runanga says pressure is growing for the country's largest iwi to go into direct negotiations over a treaty settlement, rather than continue with its Waitangi Tribunal claims.

Ngapuhi descendants have been invited to a series of hui over the next two weeks to discuss who should represent them in negotiations or in a post-settlement body.

Sonny Tau says the runanga isn't seeking the mandate for itself, but it does have a responsibilty to inform hapu.

He says the Waitangi Tribunal's decision to postpone hearings on Ngapuhi's claims until next year has woken people up to how long a full inquiry may take.

“Time is not on Ngapuhi’s side any more where we’ve got all this time to waste and I think we’ve got to cut to the chase and get on with it. There is a lot of hapu saying they want to go to direct negotiations rather than going to the tribunal and hearing their claims, they want to go direct to the direct negotiations and that wave of hapu is building more and more each day,” Mr Tau says.

The first consultation hui is this afternoon at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, followed by Wellington Wednesday, Nelson Thursday and Christchurch Friday.

EYE TESTS COULD PREVENT BLINDNESS AND OTHER DISEASES

Maori are going blind when they don't need to.

New Zealand Association of Optometrists says too many New Zealanders are losing their sight because treatable diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma aren't picked up.

Director Lesley Frederikson says an association survey found only 14 percent of Maori regularly have their eyes tested compared with 31 percent of Pakeha.

Most people are unaware eye testing can pick up sight threatening diabetes, which is twice as likely to attack Maori yet can be controlled if found early.

She says people are also unaware that eye testing, which is free under public health, can pick up hypertension, brain tumours, cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis.

MARATHON GOOD START FOR HAWAII BUILD UP

Runner Ady Ngawati says her win in the Legends Marathon was just the start of her build up to the Trail Running World Championship in Hawaii in December.

Last Saturday's run was over the infamous Waiatarua route in West Auckland where trainer Arthur Lydiard built up the fitness of athletes like Olympians Peter Snell and Murray Halberg in the 1950s and 60s.

She says runs like the 42 kilometre haul over the Waitakere ranges will set her up nicely for the 21 kilometre off trail race in Hawaii, because of its contribution to cardiovascular and anaerobic fitness.

Ngawati will use her trip to make contact with United States universites about their sports programmes, with the aim of creating opportunities for some of the Maori athletes she works with at Northland polytechnic.

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