Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Maori affairs committee takes on tobacco pushers

A Maori anti tobacco campaigner has welcomed news the Maori Affairs select committee will investigate the tobacco industry.

The inquiry is dues to start early next year.

Shane Bradbrook from Te Reo Marama says the inquiry needs to call to account an industry that kills 5000 New Zealanders each year, including more than 400 Maori.

He says it's fitting those responsible must answer to Maori.

“We are the ones who suffer the most. Maori are always the ones who are probed by researchers that Maori have the worst stats so why shouldn’t it be Maori leading on this. We should have some answers, particularly on the number one culprit, the tobacco industry,” Bradbrook says.

He says the inquiry is likely to expose the intergenerational damage done to Maori communities by tobacco.

SUMMIT TO LOOK AT ECONOMIC FORCES BEHIND TRIBAL HEALTH

Tainui leader Tuku Morgan says a summit at Hopuhopu tomorrow should silence critics who claim iwi are more interested in economic development than the welfare of their children.

Last week former Maori affairs minister Parekura Horomia noted that iwi were absent from a major gathering on child poverty.

Mr Morgan says growing tribal assets and looking after tribal members go hand in hand.

“As iwi grow their capacity there has bo be an expansive approach to begin to change the dependency of our families on the dole and all of those other benefits. Part of this economic summit is to deal with education, is to deal with models of social development,” Mr Morgan says

Tomorrow's hui will include iwi leaders, Maori business leaders and representatives of North American tribes with experience in managing tribal assets.

STRATEGIC PLAN FLUSHES OUT LIKELY SUPPORTERS

The chair of Ngati Rangi says publication of the tribe's strategic plan has flushed out organisations and businesses who want to work with the upper Whanganui River iwi.

Che Wilson says in the past government agencies and companies have tried to get Ngati Rangi to squeeze into their existing plans.

He says spelling out where the tribe wants to go and how it intends to get there has turned that around.

“Straight after the launch before we went into the hakari we had two organisations approach us and say ‘hey, we want to be up there next time,’ and since then another three organisations have congratulated us and asking that they would like to participate and work with Ngati Rangi,” Mr Wilson says.

HARAWIRA WINS TOBACCO INDUSTRY INQUISITION

Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says it's time for the tobacco Industry to front up and explain its role in the deaths of thousands of Maori smokers.

The Maori Party MP has convinced the Maori Affairs Select Committee, of which he is deputy chair, to host an inquiry into the industry early next year.

It will call on experts and testimonials from whanau who have lost members to smoking related illnesses.

He says the inquiry was cross party support.

“It’s been a long time coming. They have never had the spotlight put on them in this country. This is the opportunity to do it,” Mr Harawira says.

He says over the past 20 years tobacco has been a factor in for the deaths of more than 100,000 New Zealanders.

MANU KORERO SET TO LIFT DUNEDIN IN SPIRIT OF TE REO

A Kai Tahu educationalist says holding next year's Maori secondary schools speech competition in Dunedin will give the tribe's rangatahi a much-needed injection of Maori pride.

Hana O'Regan, the co-founder of Kai Tahu's language unit says, Maori are less visible in the South island than the North, and many young people lack confidence in their Maoritanga.

She says Nga Manu Korero can help turn that around by having the example of Maori who are proud of their reo and their identity.

Ms O'Regan hopes the event will raise awareness of the Kai Tahu dialect, whish she has published a series of instruction books on.

GRANT ALL WELLS' TO WRITE BIO OF TREATY PRINTER COLENSO

The life of an important witness to the Treaty of Waitangi will be reexamined with the help of a grant announced tonight.

Peter Wells has won a $35,000 CLL writer's award from the Copyright Licensing agency to complete a book on William Colenso, who arrived in New Zealand in 1834 to work for the Church Missionary Society as a missionary and printer.

Mr Wells says Colenso was an intellectual maverick who opposed the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and wrote a valuable eyewitness account of the event.

“I mean in a funny way he was a sort of a stirrer really before his time. He always had something contradictory to say. He was always saying things out of turn and it made him very unpopular with some people,” Mr Wells says.

The other CLL Writers award this year has gone to Gisborne writer Damian Skinner to work on a book about Customary Maori Carvers in the 20th Century.

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