Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tertiary hierarchy will undermine wananga

A Maori academic is warning the Government's plans for tertiary education announced could restrict opportunities for Maori.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says the plan announced last week creates a hierarchy with research-driven universities at the top, polytechnics focusing on vocational training and wananga left at the bottom to do things like getting adults back into education.

He says wananga have already shown they can beat the universities in some areas, including research.

“The universities in terms of their internal cultural barriers are just really slow at addressing things like racism and having teaching staff that know and understand Maori people and if this policy becomes entrenched it is likely to close down opportunities for Maori by closing down and restricting the wananga,” Mr Taonui says.

Whakatane-based Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi already has more PhD students than Waikato University.


The chair of the Maori Tourism Council says Maori companies will welcome a review of the adventure tour sector.

The review, which is due to be completed by March, follows the death of an English tourist in a river rafting accident.

John Barrett says Maori have been moving into the sector, and the number is likely to grow as iwi look to promote economic development in their hau kainga.

He says tourists need to be confident all safety measures are in place.

“Any of the Maori participants in the adventure tourism sector you can be sure will have already developed and implemented safety pans, contingency plans, all of those things are prerequisites before getting into operation anywhere across the motu,” Mr Barrett says.


A bi-lingual school in Otara is one of the winners of the Public Architecture section of the Auckland Architecture Awards.

The judges said architects Jasmax had successfully woven Maori design elements into the spaces they created for Te Whanau o Tupuranga and their sophisticated use of traditional colour.

Judith Riki, an associate principal at the charter school, says staff, students and parents worked with the architects on the final design.

“We had a huge input into the way we wanted our buildings designed because of the way we deliver our curriculum. It is different form any other traditional secondary school in the country,” Ms Riki says.

The new spaces are flexible enough to be used for individual projects or group work, depending on what the students needed.


Tuhoe leader Tamati Kruger says the police have got a lot more to do before they atone for the so called terror raid on Ruatoki two years ago.

Yesterday was the second anniversary of the day police locked down the small Eastern Bay of Plenty settlement as they searched for individuals and weapons connected with alleged military style training camps deep in the Urewera ranges.

The trial 17 of those arrested still hasn't started, with lawyers due back in the High Court next week to continue arguments about the legitimacy of the evidence the police want to introduce.

Mr Kruger says while tensions with local police have diminished, it will be a long time before the cordiality of the past is restored.

“Relationships between Tuhoe people and local police here, I would call it cool to cold but by no means can we say that the issue has disappeared. We are far away from that point,” Mr Kruger says.

He says the police should enter a process with Tuhoe to resolve the incident.


Maori Television is excited at the prospect David Tua could fight former world champion Hasim Rahman in New Zealand before Christmas.

The channel has rights to broadcast Tua's next three fights in a deal struck before his bout with mountain warrior Shane Cameron.

Rahmin was set to fight fellow American Ray Mercer next month, but the usually reliable Eastsideboxing.com website says Mercer is pulling out because the purse is too low.

MTS communications manager Sonia Haggie says the Tua-Rahman rematch would have similar benefits for the channel as broadcasting the Rugby World Cup.

“There's going to be huge interest in the next David Tua fight no matter who he fights so for Maori Television the benefits are going to include a big audience coming to the channel one to watch the fight but also to find out more about Maori Television, what we have to offer, and to be exposed to language and culture,” Ms Haggie says.

Maori Television is confident it can provide a world class broadcast.


A major work by Ngapuhi artist Ralph Hotere has gone on show in Kohukohu, just down the road from his birthplace.

Curator Marg Morrow says works by the reclusive artist have been rarely sighted north of Whangarei, and people have been coming from miles around to see the 14-panel Song of Solomon at the Village Arts Gallery.

The work was done in 1991, in response to the first Gulf War.

“At the time his partner was Cilla McQueen and he chose a lot of her poetry o go with it and some pieces from Song of Solomon from the Bible itself, so it’s a piece about redemption and the power of redemption really,” Ms Morrow says.

Hotere Country, which also includes supporting work from five other artists with links to the Hokianga harbour, will be on show every day until November 5.


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