Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 04, 2009

Patronising dismissal earns Laws rebuke

One of the Otaki kura kaupapa pupils who wrote to Wanganui mayor Michael Laws says the correct spelling and pronunciation of te reo maori is important to her class.

Mr Laws has escalated the row with tamariki, accusing them of being abused by adults with a political agenda.

But 13 year old Amokura Rangiheuea says spelt with an H, Whanganui means big harbour - without an H it is meaningless.

She says the class was angry at the way Mr Laws championed bad spelling.

“They were all our ideas. They came from us and nobody helped us. We saw it on the news and we thought it would be a good idea to wqrite him a letter about how we think about putting the H back into Whanganui. He thinks we can’t think but we are the eyes and ears for ourselves,” Amokura says.

Her class won't take up Mr Laws' invitation to afternoon tea in his mayoral office, but want him to travel down to their school where he would get more than a cup of tea.


Maori lawyers are looking forward to the promised review of New Zealand's constitution.

Nga Roia Maori, the Maori lawyers' association, is holding its 21st annual conference at Owai Marae in Waitara.

Co-president Damien Stone from Ngati Kahungunu says it's a useful forum to network, share ideas and develop common views on issues of the day.

“As part of the confidence and supply agreement between the Maori Party and the National Party was that there will be some form of constitutional review occurring over the next year, and we want to use this opportunity when we’ve got pretty powerful legal minds from round the country gathered in one spot to have a wananga about this and develop a position for our organization,” Mr Stone says.

He says the roopu will hikoi to Parihaka tomorrow morning to learn more about the place where Maori developed a unique non-violent response to colonisation and land theft.


Tamariki Maori make up one in five of the boys dealt with by mentoring organisation Big Buddy, and numbers are rising.

Chief executive Richard Aston says Big Buddy has dubbed this Sunday 'Fatherless Day' to highlight the needs of thousands of boys being brought up by solo mums.

He says the number of Maori mothers and caregivers coming forward means Maori mentors are highly valued.

“It's quite different for us working with Maori families. All we are looking for is for a relationship to develop like a father figure. The mentor and the mum and the boy drive the relationship, and the relationships we help forge, we look for a lifelong relationship,” Mr Aston says.

Fatherless Day will be Big Buddy's first fundraising appeal, with supporters urged to text DAD to 883 to make a $3 donation.


Maori tertiary students go into their annual hui this at Lincoln University this weekend facing a proposed law change which will silence the voices of students on campus.

ACT MP Sir Roger Douglas's Voluntary Student Membership bill was drawn out of the ballot last week, which would mean students would no longer have to join and pay fees to their local student association.

Victor Manawatu, the president of Maori tertiary students association Te Mana Akonga, the National Maori Tertiary Students' Association, says it would weaken and probably wipe out student associations, with huge repercussions for Maori.
IN: That is a big take for us and it goes to its first reading next week so we’re meeting with MPs, trying to get them on our side, because it will just decimate all the student associations so the students won’t have a voice within the institutions any more,” Mr Manawatu says.

Student associations provide services such as financial advice and support, advocacy, magazines, foodbanks and arrange student discounts on goods and services.


The longest running Maori performing arts festival in the country happens this weekend in Tairawhiti.

Tamararo was started in 1953 by Anglican priest Brown Turei - now bishop Turei - as a parish fundraiser.

Organiser Willie Te Aho says seven kapa haka roopu line up tomorrow at the Gisborne Events Centre, including top guns Waihirere, Whangara Mai Tawhiti and Te Hokowhitu a Tu.

He says the annual competition helps the Tairawhiti groups keep on the top of their game, and the competition is always taken seriously.

Willie Te Aho says Maatatua are due in the morning to deliver the mauri from this year's Te Matatini national competitions in Tauranga, in preparation for the national primary school kapa haka competitions to be hosted by Tairawhiti in November.


A Maori rugby league great plays his last game on New Zealand soil this week.
Stacey Jones from Ngapuhi and Maniapoto will play his 261st game for the Warriors on Saturday against Melbourne.

He holds the club record for most games, tries, points and fieldgoals.
Peter Leitch, a New Zealand Rugby League ambassador and devout Warriors fan, says has inspired a generation of young players.

He says the little general had some big boots to fill, as his grandfather Manga Emory was a great player.

Peter Leitch says there should be a big crowd at Mt Smart Stadium tomorrow night to give the popular playmaker a rousing send-off.


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