Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Maori perspective needed for private prisons

A former Corrections Service manager says it should be compulsory for privately-run prisons to involve Maori in their operation.

Runanga o Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi says it's a disgrace a bill reported back to parliament this week simply requires contractors to consult with Maori where they consider it appropriate.

Mr Piripi, who oversaw the Maori involvement in Auckland Central Remand Prison when it was under private management in the late 1990s, says the government is missing an opportunity to make a real impact on Maori reoffending.

“We’ve got systems here in place, we’ve got people in place, whanau in place, marae in place, and still the Department of Corrections insists on incarcerating these people in a barbed wire fence stuck in the middle of nowhere and making visits from their families very very difficult. It is a failed system and it needs to be renewed and reviewed,” Mr Piripi says,

He says nobody wants to reduce Maori offending more than Maori.

DIABETES WAITING TO STRIKE 20 PERCENT

It's diabetes awareness week, and a long-time sufferer is warning fellow Maori the good life could catch up with them.

Sonny Samuels of Tainui lost his ability to walk 15 years ago.

He says like many Maori and Pacific Islanders he ate and drank too much until he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Now he's a prisoner of the disease, watching everything he eats and hooking up to a dialysis machine for hours at a time.

Sonny Samuels says there is a wealth of information now available on diabetes, and Maori who are over-weight or feeling unwell should get tested to see if they are among the one in five Maori with diabetes or a pre-diabetic condition.

MANY STRANDS TO GENIUS OF TAWHAO TIOKE

Tuhoe kaumatua Tawhao Tioke is being remembered as man of religion, a healer, a gifted musician and a man steeped in his tribe's language and culture.

Mr Tioke died on Tuesday in North Shore Hospital at the age of 89.

Relative Hemana Waaka says he was widely known for his encylopaedic knowledge of the ngahere or forest and of rongoa or traditional healing plants.

Before giving up farming and moving to Auckland, the Presbyterian minister was also an accomplished dance band musician.

Tawhao Tioke is lying in state at Papakura Marae until Friday.

LAST LINK WITH PIONEER BATTALION LOST

Also this week, Te Aupouri has laid to rest Jeanie Subritzky, the last link with the Maori contribution to World War One.

Mrs Subritzky's late husband Corporal Robert Subritzky enlisted in the Pioneer Batallion 1915, and fought at the Somme and Messines where he was seriously wounded.

Mrs Subritzky worked as a teacher in the north, and was known for the depth of her knowledge about her husband's companions in arms and about his Maori and Polish heritage.

CHASM SEEN IN MAORI PARTY HANDLING OF HARAWIRA

The first representative of a Maori party to hold a general seat in Parliament says forcing Hone Harawira to be come an independent would create an irreparable chasm in the Maori Party.

Sandra Lee, a former Mana Motuhake leader and Alliance deputy leader, says Maori Party leaders need to try harder to work through the problems they have with the Taitokerau MP.

She says a forced or voluntary expulsion would be a betrayal of the Maori who voted for Mr Harawira.

“They also voted for him the person as a candidate for the Maori Party. It would be a sad day if people in the north who have put their stake in the ground in support of having a Maori party in Parliament were disenfranchised,” Ms Lee says.

She says Hone Harawira's transgressions are relatively minor compared with what other politicians have done in the past.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IN CLENDON WHAKAPAPA

Parliament's newest Maori MP has revealed a Pakeha whakapapa that reaches back to before the Treaty of Waitangi.

In his maiden speech this week, the Greens' Dave Clendon talked of his tupuna James Clendon, who was a witness on both the 1835 He Whakaputanga or Declaration of Independence and the 1840 treaty.

After the death of his first wife, James Clendon married Jane Kerenene, the daughter of Takotowi te Whata of Mangamuka.

Mr Clendon says that history gives him a unique perspective on the oath of allegiance to the Crown.

“We do recognise the monarchy here as having a legitimate right as sovereign so I had no discomfort with that but in my maiden speech I opened by also reaffirming my commitment to te tiriti as our founding document, our constitutional base,” he says.

Mr Clendon was a lecturer in resource management and small business advisor before being called into Parliament to replace Sue Bradford.

CNI IWI HONOURED FOR STRATEGIC EFFORT

The eight central North island iwi have been acknowledged for their strategic planning in the wake of their giant forestry settlement.

Tuwharetoa chair Tumu te Heuheu received the tohu on behalf of the iwi at the Auckland University Business School's Maori Business Awards last night.

Manuka Henare, the school's associate dean for Maori and Pacific development says past winners of the award have included hapu groups and land trusts.

He says the multi-iwi group stood out because it achieved unity after 20 years of division.

“Finally they reached a point where they could all sign off on one settlement but secondly, now how do we commercialise our assets and they were able to in very quick time reach in broad strategic terms what they want to do over the next 50 years in forestry, energy and carbon emissions,” Dr Henare says.

Opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was named Maori business leader of the year, and there were also awards for past students who have succeeded in business or management.

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