Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, October 12, 2009

Please explain to associate minister

Labour MP Shane Jones says associate Maori Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu needs to explain why she didn't keep senior colleagues informed of Maori Television's bid for free to air broadcast rights to the 2011 Rugby world cup.

Mr Jones says Pita Sharples should not have to apologise for using his budget to bankroll the bid, by having Te Puni Kokiri buy $3 million of programming on the channel.

But he says more experienced colleagues have been trying to turn the situation to their own ends.

“The person who has been furtive in this whole deal and I’ll have more to say about that in the House this week, has been Georgina te Heuheu. Pita deliberately delegated to her the governance role as minister for Maori TV. She’s never put her head up once. She deliberately misled Bill English,” Mr Jones says.

He says Maori Television was set up by Labour to foster the revival of Maori language and cultural identity, not to be a populist sports broadcaster.


There's international interest in how New Zealand is tackling the tobacco industry.

Shane Bradbrook from anti-smoking lobby group Te Reo Marama says people at the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference in Darwin last week were keen to hear his presentation on the schedules Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry into the tobacco industry.

He says there is a similar inquiry going on in Western Australia, but it lacks the kind of forthright rhetoric coming from Maori Party MP Hone Harawira.

“One of the advocates here wanted those quotes from Hone Harawira because he wanted to impress on politicians that they needed to be passionate about getting rid of tobacco. All eyes are now focused on New Zealand. They believe that Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry shows massive leadership and of course it’s indigenous leadership,” Mr Bradbrook says.

Written submissions to the Maori Affairs Select Committee enquiry close at the end of January


Maori bodybuilders were to the fore at the New Zealand Federation of Bodybuilders national championships in Auckland over the weekend.

Maureen O'Connell picked up the Open Women's figure tall title ... and the pairs title with Johnson Reihana.

She says there's a lot of talented Maori bodybuilders coming through.

“The sport's growing amongst Maori but we still need to promote it because it’s such a healthy lifestyle and it gets the whole family involved in active living. It’s a mean as sport,” Ms O'Connell says.

She says the federation is looking at taking a Maori bodybuilding team to compete in the South Pacific championships next year, if the international body approves.


The head of one of the country's largest social service providers is confident Maori will do well in a major shake up of the primary health sector.

Bids to provide regional primary care services close on Wednesday.

John Tamihere, the chair of Waiora Health PHO in West Auckland, says it's one of the biggest ever reorganisations of the health sector.

He says reducing the number of public health organisations set up by the last government should channel more money into care rather than administration.

“I am reasonably certain Maori will do OK in this change process for one reason only. We are some of the best providers of primary healthcare to our communities that are working and working at good dollar value,” Mr Tamihere says.

If Maori health providers miss out on contracts they are likely to challenge the decision in court.


Meanwhile, Waiora Health is finding prevention is about doing simple things well.

Community worker Katherine Tipene says by providing transport and child care so women can get to appointments, it has halved the number of Maori women in west Auckland missing tests for cervical cancer.

The service follows up with supportive phone calls.

“A lot of it comes down to the upbringing and about our body, how whakama our wahine are and so forth, and not knowing what a colposcopy is. When a lot of wahine hear colposocopy, automatically they think it’s cancer, but I just educate them and say no, it is preventable,” Ms Tipene says.

Getting women to tests has a positive effect on early diagnosis and treatment.


A TV3 reporter under fire for spoofing Maori Television's rugby world cup coverage says young Maori need to develop a sense of humour.

Ali Ikram says his Night Line item was his idea of a redneck's nightmare if MTS wins its bid for free to air broadcast rights.

It included using the Waitangi Tribunal as a video ref, and a dig at the number of programmes presenter Julian Wilcox fronts.

Mr Ikram says his job on Night Line is to send up the news, but it has drawn a complaint from Auckland university Maori students.

“One of the things this has uncovered, there are sections of young Maori who don’t have a sense of humour or a sense of irony about race relations in this country. I know what racist humour is and I know what racial vilification is all about. I didn’t go anywhere near that because I know that is completely wrong,” Mr Ikram says.

He says it would be more racist to declare Maori topics off limits.

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