Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Financial literacy lacking among Maori

The dean of Maori and Pacific studies at Auckland University's business school says finance is the new literacy problem for Maori.

Manuka Henare says a survey done by the Young Enterprise Trust showing secondary school students don't understand basic financial concepts such as credit, interest rates and investment should be a wake up call.

He says generations of Maori have missed out on learning about the financial sector, creating ongoing problems.

“Why aren't Maori involved in Kiwisaver? Why aren’t we banking? Why aren’t we buying shares and why aren’t we budgeting better and prioritisng our financial resources better, in whanau,hapu, iwi and right across the board, so we’ve got ourselves a major challenge and it’s also very urgent,” Dr Henare says.

With the Maori economy tipped to top 30 billion dollars over the next decade, the need for financial literacy has never been greater.


A science exhibit presented in te reo Maori has set a high benchmark for students.

Meremaihi Jackson and Mereana Makea from Otari School in Wilton made a project for the NIWA Science and Technology Fair at Victoria University about the science of hot air balloons, posing questions in Maori.

Judge Ocean Mercier, a lecturer at Victoria's School of Maori studies with a PhD in Physics, says it was the first ever te reo Maori entry in the annual competition.

She says it wasn’t just good Maori, it was gret physics which set a high benchmark for future exhibits.

Dr Mercier says the physics lexicon in te Reo had only been developed over the past decade


Renowned British botanist David Bellamy has praised the contribution of a central North Island iwi to a world class environmental success story.

The 76 year old is in New Zealand to revisit Wirininaki, the forest he brought to world attention 25 years ago by describing its podocarps as the tree equivalent of dinosaurs.

He says the decision to reject even selective logging in favour of total restoration was an environmental victory of international significance by mana whenua iwi Ngati Whare and its supporters.

“It is really good news for the whole world and the whole world now knows that Whirinaki is in the hands of the local marae and DoC and some very good greenies and it’s going to be stitched back into working order,” Dr Bellamy says.

He says traditional Maori understanding of the environment, such as that shown by the Ngati Whare at Whirinaki, sets New Zealand apart.


Ngai Tahu is quitting its nationwide fish retail chain.

Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation's new chairperson, Trevor Burt, says its Pacific Catch store in Christchurch has closed, its Auckland waterfront store has sold, and the sale of its Wellington operation is pending.

He says the company will concentrate on ownership and management of quota and direct operations in areas where it has the experience to add value, such as paua, lobster and Bluff oysters.

“It's not a competence that we had running retail fish businesses and as part of our strategy of let’s focus in on species where we do have a competence, where we do believe we can add value, where we can leverage and focus on a core operation, it made sense to exit that wetfish business,” Mr Burt says.

For the first time a separate board has been appointed for Ngai Tahu Seafoods, chaired by former Sealord chief executive Brian Rhoades, Robert Pooley and Colin Topi have been appointed as Directors on Ngai Tahu Seafoods Ltd, with Dr Rhoades appointed as Chair.

Trevor Burt says while Ngati Tahu's seafood operations were affected by currency movements, good performance in its property and tourism businesses mean the 2009 results will show a profit despite the tough economic conditions.


The chair of the Auckland Regional Authority says the return of kokako to the Waitakere ranges is the realisation of a long-held dream.

Two of the endangered wattlebirds were released to the Cascades section of the regional park yesterday by Conservation Department kokako specialist Hazel Speed.

On hand were iwi from the Pureora Forest, where the birds were caught, and Waitakere mana whenua Kawerau a Maki.

Mike Lee says the Authority took the lead in saving the Hunua kokako population 15 years ago, but the bird's distinctive call has not been heard in the city's western forest for half a century.

“The Waitakere forests are vast, relatively speaking, but they’ve always been very quie. A lot of us have thought why can’t we have birds back in the Waitakeres. Why the birds disappeared from our forests and from the Waitakeres is because of the exotic pests, especially ship rats, stoats, cats and so on, and by removing them and suppressing them we’ve recreated a safe habitat,” Mr Lee says.

The kokako release would have been impossible without the work of volunteers from the Ark in the Park project, who spent thousands of hours trapping predators.


A Maori stroke survivor says brooding is pointless, and stroke victims need to get into rehabilitation early.

When Ricky Te Whare from Maniapoto had a stroke eight years ago that paralysed his left side, he was a healthy 41 year old unaware he had high blood pressure.

He told the guests at the launch of National Stroke Awareness week he was initially angry, but with the support of his whanau, he began the long road to recovery.

Ricky Te Whare says stroke awareness week is a reminder for all Maori to have their blood pressure checked regularly.

About 800 Maori are admitted to hospital each year with a stroke, and 140 die from the condition.


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