Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Patrol car police station a threat

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says Maori will be the big losers if police are allowed to issue summary judgments for minor offences.

A police strategy document, Fit for the future, calls for patrol cars to be equipped with mobile fingerprinting devices and digital recording equipment which would enable officers to process and punish people on the spot for crimes such as disorderly behaviour and vandalism.

Ms Turei says given the way police have treated Maori in the past, the court in a car concept is not on.

“Difficult enough dealing with some police who discriminate against Maori, particularly young Maori boys It’s a real and serious problem. We already have discrimination all through the policing and the legal system. The more discretion that is given to a police officer to act as the judiciary, the more likely that discrimination will impact on us,” Ms Turei says.

She says the police should be looking for more effective ways to engage with communities to make them safer, rather than lobbying for more power for individual officers.


Maori farmers face massive cost increases as councils around the country start rating them based on valuations done at the peak of the property boom.

A Federated Farmers survey has found Maori coastal land is being particularly hard, with two Maori farms now having to pay over $100,000 in rates.

Rangi Mitchelson, the manager of a Kaipara dairy farm on Te Pouto Topu A Trust land, says the farm's rates have doubled.

He says the valuation was influenced by other properties in the region which have been subdivided, which is not an option for the trust's 476 shareholders.

“Our trust order does not allow the land to be sold. Maori land cannot be sold. This is formed into a trust and that’s how it stays. It’s there for the owners and the revenue we get out of that is farming," Mr Mitchelson says.

The farm is already struggling in the current economic climate.


A Maori historian is exploring Maori links to Norfolk Island.

Manuka Henare, the dean of Maori and Pacific Studies at Auckland University's Business School has just returned from Australian territory between New Zealand and New Caledonia.

He says adzes and waka unearthed by archaeologists indicate the island was settled at some time by Eastern Polynesians, including some who came via Aotearoa.

Dr Henare says that early history is of interest to Norfolk kaumatua, who have whakapapa connections to Tahiti via Pitcairn Island.

“The settlements weren't the English or the English living in New South Wales, Australia, so there’s a lot of interest about the first settlement period so I’m hoping now we might get a focus from some of the archaeologists and anthropologists and historians here in New Zealand,” he says.

Maori have a significant role in Norfolk's history, because northern chiefs Tukutahua and Huru, were taken there by force from the Cavelli Islands in 1793 to teach convicts to dress flax.


People have gathered at Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt this morning to remember the exhibition that changed forever the way museums relate to indigenous artifacts.

Co-curator Hirini Moko Mead says when Te Maori opened at Chicago's Field Museum 25 years ago, it had already rewritten the rulebook.

Kara Puketapu, the head of the Department of Maori Affairs, had insisted iwi give their approval for their taonga to travel overseas, and introducted the notion of cultural ownership running alongside legal ownership.

Professor Mead says the show was the first to insist that taonga needed to be kept warm through human contact.

“The idea that elders should accompany Te Maori overseas, that we should have proper tohunga officiating at every opening ceremony overseas, I mean these were entirely new ideas as far as the American museums were concerned. They had never heard of that sort of thing,” Professor Mead says.

Te Maori gave hundreds of Maori kai arahi a crash course in their own culture, and it opened the doors of museums worldwide to indigenous people.


Maori suicide rates are on the agenda at a symposium in Wellington today and tomorrow.

Merryn Stratham, the director of the Suicide Prevention Foundation, says more than 250 health professionals, community workers and academics are expected at Pipitea Marae to discuss Culture and Suicide Prevention in Aotearoa.

She says suicide is viewed differently across cultures, and clinicians need to understand when cultural interventions could be useful.

“Across the two days there is going to be a very strong focus on what it is that helps Maori to be healthy and strong and what are those principles that contribute to whanau ora and what we need to be taking more attention of in our communities and whanau to ensure the risk of suicide is diminished,” Ms Stratham says.

It's important to build up knowledge about what works for Maori.


An Opotiki man is making his 20th korowai, which he will gift to the organisation that taught him te reo Maori.

Ruka Hudson started making cloaks more than a decade ago after setting up a community class to teach both men and women to work with harakeke.

Mr Hudson, who lost his legs as a result of stepping on a landmine during the Vietnam War, used to paint but now prefers making korowai for his whanau and people who help him, including Te Atarangi.

He says korowai take him 12 to 18 months to make.


Blogger marshallhayek said...

I do not agree with finger printing in a police car on the spot. That is why we have police stations and judicial courts. Patrol cars should be limited to their area of expertise and that is prevention and intervention.
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