Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Maori war memorial shedding shells

One of the country's only Maori war memorials is in a race against time.

The shellrock obelisk at Wanganui's Moutoa reserve was built in 1925 to acknowledge Whanganui Maori who died in World War 1.

It's topped by an Italian marble statue of local man Herewini Wakarua, and soil from four World War 1 battlefields is buried below it.

Rangi Wills, the chair of the Pakaitore Historic Reserve Board, says experts say it will cost more than $300,000 to repair cracks to the obelisk to heritage standards, and it will take a while for the board to raise the money.

He says it might collapse in a moderate earthquake, which could damage the marble statue.

The Pakaitore board is considering fencing the memorial so stonework doesn't fall on the public.

TACTICAL VOTING NEEDED FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS

Waikato Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says Maori candidates in local body elections should stop cutting each other's throats.

She says Maori need to vote tactically in next year's local body elections for Maori candidates to have any chance of success.

Ms Mahuta says in her own rohe Maori candidates have brought each other down in past elections.

“The experience in Hamilton is that while we have good Maori candidates stand, two or three stand in the same ward. We’ve got to be tactical. People have to talk first and throw their weight behind and make sure they vote at the local body elections next year,” Ms Mahuta says.

MAORI NURSES KEY TO CERVICAL SMEAR PROGRAMME

A shortage of Maori nurses in Counties Manukau is being blamed for disappointing numbers of Maori woman getting regular cervical smears.

Ruth Davy from WONS Nursing Education and Health Promotion Services says new cultural training for nurses has resulted in more Pacific women getting smears, but it wasn't proving as effective for Maori women.

She says more training is needed across the primary health sector.

“Maori PHOs are doing a fantastic job. However the majority of Maori women in Counties Manukau are not in Maori PHOs so we’ve got to address the other workforces as well to make sure they are culturally competent,” Ms Davy says.

She says 20 years ago the Maori Women's Welfare League called for cervical screening to be part of a wider well woman focus, but the recommendation wasn't taken up and screening is still treated as an isolated procedure.

LAW ON WRONG TRACK BLAMING MAORI FOR ABUSE

A Maori academic says Wanganui mayor Michael Laws should look to his own back yard before attacking Maori children for high rates of child abuse within Maori society.

Mr Laws told tamariki from an Otaki kura kaupapa that he wouldn't take their views on the spelling of Whanganui seriously until the class started addressing the real issues affecting Maoridom, such as child murder.

Rawiri Taonui from Canterbury University's school of Maori and indigenous studies says while the incidence of violence against Maori children is much higher than in the Pakeha world, OECD figures show it is trending down.

“Abuse and violence against Pakeha children is actually increasing and it’s increasing at a rate faster than any other country in the OECD, still not as much as Maori, but Maori are trending down and Pakeha trending up and that has a lot to do with the positives that are coming out of the Maori renaissance,” Mr Taonui says.

He will present his research on traditional Maori child rearing practices to a conference in Italy next week.

MAORI HEALTHCARE OVERSIGHT BODY SOUGHT

Maori health providers are advocating a national body to oversee delivery of primary healthcare services to Maori.

Simon Royal, the chief executive of the National Maori PHO Coalition, says the kaupapa will be raised at a series of hui aimed at informing Maori provider about changes in health policies under the new government.

He says while growth in the sector is strong, the way providers are funded needs to change.

“Our Maori providers end up being contracted for what they do rather than what they achieve. The idea we’ve been advocating is moving to more outcomes based purchasing arrangements with the government and a more investment strategy approach rather than an auditing and compliance approach of contracting,” Mr Royal says.

The new body could also be responsible for Maori workforce development and coming up with better ways to target resources to achieve the greatest gains.

PAKURANGA KOHANGA GUTTED IN BLAZE

Whanau of an east Auckland kohanga reo gutted by fire last night are making sure their tamariki don't miss out on their reo.

Missy Blackmore from Waikaremoana Kohanga Reo rang parents last night asking them not to bring their tamariki today because she didn't want them seeing the devastation.

The National Kohanga Reo Trust has offered assistance, and whanau met this afternoon for a karakia at the site.

Missy Blackmore says the Pakuranga community is rallying round the kohanga reo, which has been open for 17 years.

“Riverhills Primary School has given us a classroom and we have asked for resources to set it up next eek and open the Monday after so we keep our tamariki and parents together, we don’t want them away for too long,” Ms Blackmore says.

There's still no word on what caused the fire.

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