Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hundreds expected at Kaiwai tangi

Hundreds of mourners are expected in Ruatoria over the next few days to pay their respects to Mate Kaiwai who died yesterday aged 94.

Writer Keri Kaa, who was taught by Mrs Kaiwai at Rangitukia Primary school, says Aunty Mate was known for her deep knowledge of te reo Maori, and her willingness to help those seeking proficiency in their native tongue.

The youngest daughter of Ngati Porou leader Sir Apirana Ngata was an accomplished writer, poet and composer and recorded many waiata for East Coast iwi station Te reo Irirango O Ngati Porou in Ruatoria.

“Most beautiful simple elegant prose, all in Maori, and you didn’t dare ask for an explanation of her songs, you had to work it out for yourself so she provoked people into thinking of the language,” Ms Kaa says.

Mate Kaiwai is lying in state at Mangahanea marae just out of Ruatoria.

SEASONAL WORKERS AT RISK UNDER ACC CUTS

Labour leader Phil Goff says proposed ACC changes will hit Maori seasonal workers hard.

The government yesterday gained the support of the Maori Party to introduce a bill which will cut some entitlements and extend the time before ACC must be fully funded.

Mr Goff says the changes will be a blow for people who are struggling in the recession.

“It all looks pretty unfair. If you’re a seasonal worker in the freezing works, you have a serious accident, they base your pay not on what you were getting at the time of the accident but if you average that out over the full year, including when you weren’t able to work because those works were closed. All of those things are tremendously unfair. They’ll impact on Maori,” Mr Goff says.

He says National’s handling of the issue is a shambles, and there is no need to make any cuts if the move to forward funding is pushed out five years.

ELLISON SHOULD SHOW LEADERSHIP CLASS IN ALL BLACK TUSSLE

Commentator Ken Laban says new Bll Black recruit Tamati Ellison can go all the way.

He says the utility back has shown his class in the Wellington and Hurricanes teams, the New Zealand Sevens and the Maori squad.

Like his great great uncle Thomas Rangiwahia Ellison, who captained the New Zealand team to Australia in 1893, Ellison has the right pedigree and attitude to eventually fill the All Blacks top job.

“He's fluent in the reo. He’s doing science up at Victoria. He was head prefect at Mana College so he’s got leadership and captaincy written all over him. The only problem is that jostle of players in midfield but I have no doubt he’s a potential All Black captain in the making,” Mr Laban says.

OPTIMISM IN DRUG FIGHT

Gang liaison worker Dennis O'Reilly is confident New Zealand can beat the P epidemic.

The veteran Black Power member says the community based approach promoted by Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples is working.

Dr Sharples is under fire for meeting gang leaders to ask for their support in the fight against amphetamines.

Mr O’Reilly says New Zealand appears to be moving from an epidemic where more people are using P to an endemic stage where those already addicted are using more.

“I gave the keynote address to the Australian drug conference a couple of weeks ago and they really have a problem and they’d give their eye teeth for the sort of community-based approach we’re taking in Aotearoa,” Mr O'Reilly says.

Reasons for optimism include the Mongrel Mob and the Salvation Army working together on a P recovery centre.

ACC CHANGES WILL HIT MAORI WORKING CLASS

Labour Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia says the Maori Party’s support for the Government’s ACC reforms will hurt Maori.

The Maori Party will support the first reading of the bill cutting Accident Compensation entitlements.

Mr Horomia says the changes will Maori families hard, because they include savage cuts to what’s paid to casual and seasonal workers if they get injured.

“It just seems to be a continuum of supporting things that will hurt our people and you don’t have top be a rocket scientist to understand what the implications are in relation to the large number of Maori who are working class and how this will affect them,” Mr Horomia says.

He says the ACC changes go against what the Maori Party’s whanau ora health and welfare policy is supposed to achieve.

REFERENDUM COULD VOTE MAORI OUT OF POLITICAL PROCESS

Former Labour MP John Tamihere says a referendum on MMP carries a high risk for Maori.

Justice Minister Simon Power yesterday announced the referendum will be held alongside the 2011 general election.

Mr Tamihere, who represented the seats of Hauraki and Tamaki Makaurau, says mixed member proportional voting has increased Maori representation, not just through the emergence of the Maori Party but in the mainstream parties.

“MMP has meant the Maori constituency has some significant leverage and significant opportunities so in the event people were disinclined to support the referendum, that’s a risk,” Mr Tamihere says.

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