Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, September 14, 2009

Turia reconsiders retirement plan

Tariana Turia is considering another run for Parliament.

The Maori party co-leader had indicated this term would be her last, but she says a change in family circumstances gives her more options, with husband George moving to Wellington with the eight year old granddaughter they look after.

Tariana Turia says she'd like to see through her whanau ora health reforms, giving Maori responsibility for their own health.

WILSON ISAAC GIVEN TRIBUNAL LEAD

The Government has once again brought together the roles of chief judge of
the Maori Land Court and chair of the Waitangi Tribunal.

New Zealand First tried to split the roles, unsuccessfully putting up a private members bill to the last parliament.

But now Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has confirmed Wilson Isaac, who was sworn in as chief judge last Friday, will chair the tribunal for the next five years.

Tracey Tangaere, the court's new national director, says chief judge Isaac had ample preparation for his twin roles, working for 17 years in a Gisborne law firm, Barnard and Bull, before being appointed to the court in 1994.

Chief Judge Isaac has whakapapa links to Ngati Porou, Tuhoe and Ngati Kahungunu.

SCREENWRITING CATEGORY KEENLY CON TESTED IN PIKIHUIA AWARDS

Maori publisher Robyn Bargh says the scripts are there if Maori filmmakers are given a chance to make movies.

Last weekend's Pikihuia awards brought forward a new crop of Maori writers hoping to follow previous winners like James George and Paula Morris into a successful career as published authors.

The Te Pakiwaitara i te Reo Maori Award for best short story in Maori went to Morehu Nikora of Gisborne for his message to an unborn child, He Reta ma Taku Huia Kamanawa.

Tina Makereti from Kapiti Coast won the English short story prize for Skin and Bones, a retelling of a classic Maori legend, while Porirua grandmother K-T Harrison took out the award for best novel extract with A Song for Jimmy.

Ms Bargh says there was also a high standard of entries in the short film script category, which was won by Wellingtonian Nathaniel Hinde with 10 Cent Life.

“That category is quite important because in the past some of those short film scripts have been made into films,” she says.

A previous winner of the script category, Warbrick by Meihana and Pere Durie, was released as a 12 minute short earlier this year.

MAORI TELEVISION SCORES INTERVIEW WITH COUP LEADER

Maori Television has scored a New Zealand coup - an extended interview with the military leader of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama.

Carmen Parahi from Native Affairs, says the opportunity came through the head of Fiji Broadcasting, who had been in New Zealand checking out the MTS operation.

At some stages in the interview she feared interviewer Julian Wilcox and his crew were about to be thrown out of the commodore's office ... and the country.

“When he was asked about poverty in the country, that things have gotten worse since the military took over, it became very personal. Whenever Julian quoted other Fijians opposing what the new military regime is doing, he would take it personally and get angry and raise his voce and stutter and throw things back at Julian so it was very good, it was very interesting to watch,” Ms Parahi says.

Native Affairs' interview with Fiji's interim prime minister Bainimaram will screen tonight at 8pm on Maori Television

REFORM PROCESS GENERATING UNHEALTHY FEATS

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says her plans to make Maori responsible for their own health is creating nervousness in the Wellington establishment.

The Maori Party co-leader says the chance to push through her whanau ora reforms will play a major part in any decision she makes about standing for another term in parliament.

She says it's seen as a major policy shift, rather than being a better way To ensure the huge sums going into Maori health are used effectively.

“What we're doing no is failing. Essentially you’ve still got the state prescribing what needs to be done with that money,”
Mrs Turia says.

She says trusting that communities know best will require a major shift in thinking by the bureaucracy.

MIT MAINSTREAMING MAORI COURSES

Manukau Institute of Technology is dropping its Maori department.

Acting Maori head Tony Spelman says while 20 percent of the South Auckland polytechnic's 20 thousand students are Maori, few of them are doing courses through the department.

He says after consultation with the community the decision was made to develop strategies to improve the way mainstream departments managed their Maori students.

Specialist Maori language and tikanga courses will in future be offered through a partnership with Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

“It is a bit of a challenge to the staff to te tari to take this course but this initiative is about the students and we have to address the question of the need for tertiary education amongst Maori communities,” Mr Spelman says.

Retention levels for Maori students at Manukau Institute of technology is consistently high.

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