Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Seven seats the first focus

Former Alliance president Matt McCarten says the Maori Party needs to focus on winning all seven Maori seats rather than make a play for the party vote.

The party came out of its annual hui last weekend with its leadership intact, with co-leader Tariana Turia confirming she will see another term and founding president Whatarangi Winiata staying on with no sign of a suitable successor.

Professor Winiata whipped up the faithful with an eight years pl00an to get the party vote up to the Maori share of the population, which would give it 18 seats.
But Mr McCarten says the former accounting professor's skill with numbers seems to disappear when it comes to counting votes.

“Organisationally the party has struggled to put the strategy in place in the seats so when they talk this weekend about 18 seats by 2017, why not 20? Why not 15? It’s just a number drown from out of a hat. The first thing is to win the seven seats,” Mr McCarten says.

He says the 75-year-old president is not able drive the organisational effort the party needs to improve its prospects at the next election.


A Waikato University Maori development lecturer has won international recognition for her work promoting adult education in the Third world.

Sandy Morrison of Tainui and Te Arawa will be inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame at next month's conference of the Association for Continuing Higher Education in Philadelphia.

She says working in marginalised and illiterate communities in Asia and the Pacific, she saw how a little learning could be a dangerous thing.

“Through being in a village helping promote literacy programmes you can make a difference in some people’s lives but more than that. You can start to hold their governments accountable for what they are doing in adult education or for what they’re not doing,” Ms Morrison says.

She’s the first New Zealander to be inducted into the hall of fame.


What New Zealand is doing to help young Maori into work will be highlighted at the International Careers Conference in Wellington next month.

A capacity crowd of 800 delegates from around the world has booked for the event.

Linnae Pohatu, the general manager Maori of government agency Careers Services, says innovations like including whanau in career decisions has sparked widespread interest.

“The rest of the world views New Zealand as real leaders in terms of indigenous development. We might think we’re not going as quickly as we could but certainly from the perspective of other career practitioners across the world, the look to us for leadership in terms of indigenous development,” Ms Pohatu says.

University of Waikato pro vice chancellor Maori Linda Tuhiwai Smith will deliver a keynote speech to the conference.


A Murupara leader says a rahui on gang activity round the central North Island forestry township has little chance of success, but the gangs need to know their actions are unacceptable to Maori society.

Pem Bird says kaumatua last week ordered gang members to take off their patches before coming onto a marae because they were fed up with escalating conflicts between the Tribesmen and Mongrel Mob which have resulted in two deaths.

He says going back to tikanga or customs could offer a way forward.

“We use this tikanga based on knowing our chances of pulling it off are pretty remote but giving it a go anyway. The law doesn’t appear to be working so we’re going to complement that with our law. We’re taking back the turf we’ve got mana over. We’re bold enough to say mana whenua is a bit more than this abstract thing, we want to exercise it,” Mr Bird says.

Ngati Manawa will work towards a truce between the gangs.


One of the developers of the Google translation toolkit says it will greatly help those who want to use te reo Maori.

Waikato University computer science lecturer Te Taka Keegan has spent six months at Google’s California headquarters working on how the translation technology can help minority languages.

Dr Keegan says the company's original focus was on the world's top 10 languages, but the technology is readily adaptable to smaller languages.

“It will allow people to start sharing and using each other’s translations and right across our country, right across our language, we will start getting a uniformity of our terms and it’s going to make our language simpler, easier and move it forward into the next generation of tools,” Dr Keegan says.
Maori was one of 284 languages added to the Goodle translation toolkit last week.


If your workmates seem to be starting their Labour weekend early, it could be because they're Maniapoto.

The King Country iwi starts its six-day festival in Te Kuiti today.

Taonui Campbell, the chair of Te Kawau Maro o Maniapoto, says the programme includes wananga, sporting contests, tree planting, kapa haka, a hikoi round the marae in the rohe and a kaumatua ball.

He says the festival, now in its 16th year, is a positive way to bring iwi members back home, rather than just seeing them at tangi.
For those Maniapoto unable to make it to Te Kuiti for the festival, some events will be streamed online at the tribe's website.


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