Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sharples seen as Auckland Mayoral possible

A former Auckland mayoral candidate wants to see Tamaki Makaurau MP Pita Sharples lead the super city.

Unionist Matt McCarten says indications Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia may seek another term in Parliament opens the door for Dr Sharples to take up the challenge.

He says Auckland, with its large Maori and Polynesian population, needs a transformational mayor and Dr Sharples fits the bill nicely.

“Pita would be the ideal person bringing the community, both Pakeha and Maori, and with the right campaign he’d win. There’s no need for him to step down whilst he’s a minister. He could still be a minster and run and say if I got elected, I would consider it at that point. It would certainly thrown the race wide open that’s for sure,” Mr McCarten says.


A media researcher says Maori Television's Anzac Day coverage is changing the way many Pakeha see themselves as New Zealanders.

Sue Abel, a media studies senior lecturer at Auckland University, has analysed comments from the shows' viewers.

She says by focusing on a Maori perspective, Maori Television offered a marked contrast to conventional broadcasts of the day, which have tended to diminish the role of Maori in past wars.

Dr Abel says the comments show Maori Television is achieving a wider educational role in society that just its primary kaupapa of revitalizing the language.

“For Maori to really achieve equality in the country, Pakeha need to understand the Maori world better, and something like Maori Television, when it makes programmes that do educate non-Maori about the Maori world, I think that does play a really good role,” Dr Abel says.

She says the Anzac Day audience was prepared to accept large amounts of te reo through the broadcast, even if they did not speak Maori.


An Ashburton marae is growing a garden as a way to strengthen its links to the wider community.

A South Island marae is to get $10,000 a year for three years from Health Ministry’s Healthy Eating Healthy Action fund to develop a half acre of spare land.

Produce will go to the marae and the local foodbank.

Marae chair Trevor Simpson says Hakatere Marae has an important role to play in the south Canterbury town as the main facus for the Maori community, most of whom come from mata waka iwi.

Mr Simpson says rangatahi will be trained in horticulture, and the marae’s new kitchen will be used to run cooking courses.


A leading Maori academic says a Human Right’s Review Tribunal ruling that a probation officer’s human rights were breached when she was refused permission to speak during a powhiri was Eurocentrism gone mad.

In the latest edition of the MAI Review, the online journal of the centre for Maori research excellence, Gary Raumati Hook says in making its decision, the tribunal failed to call evidence from anyone with knowledge of Maori tradition.

The probabation officer, Josie Bullock, claimed she was discriminated against because of her gender when she tried to sit on the speaker’s bench during a formal welcome that preceded a graduation ceremony for offenders who had been doing courses.

Dr Hook says she might have had the right to speak during the Pakeha part of the event, but she had no qualifications to speak in the powhiri.

“For one she didn’t speak Maori. She didn’t understand the nature of the interaction. She was not trained in whaikorero. She lacked whakapapa. All of the things which a Maori needs in order to function as a speaker,” Dr Hook says.

He says following the Human Right’s Review Tribunal’s logic, the Catholic mass would be outlawed because it is conducted by people with gender-specific roles.


Maori designers have geared up for a strong showing at this week’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week.

A Thursday afternoon session at the main Auckland Viaduct venue will showcase eight designers who won through from the first MiroModa Fashion Design Awards earlier this year, including Wiremu Barriball, Kiri Nathan, Samara Vercoe, Keri Wanoa and Bianca Walford-Collier

MiraModa says it’s a chance for Maori designers to show they can compete with the best in the country.


A new life beckons for the winner of the Pikihuia award for best short screenplay.

Nathanial Hinde from Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Porou says in the week since his script Ten Cent Life wowed the judges, he’s been writing furiously as he attempts to flesh out his ideas into a full length horror script.

Mr Hinde says the acclamation is welcome after a decade of writing with little encouragement.

“I’ve basically been working as an accounts administrator my whole working life since I was 19 – I’m 34 now. I’ve always been like go to work, do the data entry, come home and forget about it, watch my movies and horror movies and try to jot down some ideas,” jhe says.

The Pikihuia prize included having his script considered by The New Zealand Film Commission, for development and film production.

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