Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chance to normalize reo through sport lost

A Maori broadcaster and development expert says by undermining Maori Television's bid for rugby world cup broadcast rights, the Government is throwing away a major opportunity to encourage the uptake of te reo Maori.

AUT lecturer Ella Henry, a former member of Maori Television's Aunties panel, says by promising TVNZ financial support to up its bid, Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman has pitted the state broadcaster against the Crown's treaty partner.

She says the Maori channel's plans for a moderate amount of Maori in its commentaries was in line with a strategy which is proven internationally.

“They've certainly found in Ireland where the language has been introduced as part of sporting broadcasts it has had really positive outcomes in terms of normalizing the Irish language and extending the vocabulary of people so we knows it should work for Maori language revitalization. Now we want to see what the government will do now it has painted itself into this deep dark corner,” Ms Henry says.

She says the Government's advisors should have foreseen that free to air broadcast rights could become a contentious issue.


An advocate for Maori organic farming says marae should take advantage of programme to re-establish gardens or mara kai.

Pita Tipene from growers' group Te Waka Kaiora, says Te Puni Kokiri's offer of a $2000 grant for marae gardens is a chance for Maori to reconnect with the land.

He says it doesn't matter if conventional or organic farming practices are used, as long as people learn the benefits of growing their own kai.

“The initiative is a good one. We have to start somewhere and if this is the way we can motivate our people to get back on the whenua and work the land, I totally support that,” Mr Tipene says.


Maori sports fans are learning to support players on both sides of the Tasman.

Commentator Karl Te Nana says halfback Richard Kingi's inclusion in the Wallaby squad for the tour of Japan and the United Kingdom is a sign of the impact Polynesian players are having on Australian rugby.

The 20-year-old father of 3 moved from Te Puke with his whanau five years ago, and has impressed with his showings with the Aussie junior squad and 7's, and with the Queensland Reds in the Super 14.

Mr Te Nana says Kingi's selection is also a sign of where coach Robbie Deans sees the game going.

“He's a smart operator and can see in the past couple of seasons he’s been in the top job that there’s more opportunities there for our Poynesian and hopefully Maori players with this young kid leading the way so it’s great to see and good luck to them,” Mr Te Nana says.


The chair of Maori radio collective Whakaruruhau says the National Government's last minute boost for TVNZ's rugby world cup broadcasting rights bid is a disgrace.

Willie Jackson says Maori Television followed the rules set out by the International Rugby Board to tender for the free to air rights.

He says Broadcasting Minister Jonathon Coleman has come from offside to offer extra funding for TVNZ.

“Fancy coming to the support of TVNZ just because the Maoris got the jump on the big boys, TVNZ and TV3. The Government should hang their heads in shame. We’re trying to be innovative. We’re trying to be creative, and now we’ve got this ridiculous thing happening with government coming to the support of TVNZ,” Mr Jackson says.

He says those who are crying foul over Te Puni Kokiri's help in funding the Maori television bid ignore the generations of tax-payer funded support TVNZ has benefited from.


Maori men in west Auckland are being encouraged to have free health checks.

Waiora Health is setting up a mobile clinic at Hoani Waititi Marae this afternoon under the One Heart, Many Lives cardiovascular disease prevention programme.

Lead nurse Brenda Close says it's for Maori men aged over 35 years, who seldom visit health services unless they have a crisis.

She says as well as giving free health assessments, heart and blood pressure checks and professional advice, the clinic will allow Waiora to discuss health delivery strategies with whanau and find what people want.

The clinic is at Hoani Waititi Marae starts at 2 pm.


People wanting to support the 17 people arrested in the so called Tuhoe terror are being given the chance to buy artworks inspired by the events of October 2007.

The Explosive Expression exhibition opened last night at Thistle Hall Gallery in Wellington.

The 50 plus artworks, including a work incorporating a police flag and a self-portrait by Tuhoe activist Tame Iti, will be auctioned on Saturday night by former Green MP Nandor Tanczos.

Iti, who faces firearms charges in connection with what police claim were paramilitary training camps in the Urewera ranges, says it's been a tough two years for all those involved, and support is welcome.

“As time goes by the police case is dwindling down, almost coming to a halt and coming to nothing, but that’s still a lot of time and work for us just going through that other than what the community in Ruatoki and round the country been affected by that,” Mr Iti says.

The defendants can't plan ahead too far because of the case, and their free speech rights are also hampered by suppression orders.


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