Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Schools have role in fight against violence

A campaigner against domestic violence says schools can do more to fight abuse of women and children.

Hone Kaa, the chair of Te Kahui Mana Ririki trust, says many children aren't taught appropriate behaviour in the home.

He says anti-violence education should become a formal part of the curriculum.

“It's certainly what I would ask off the kohanga and the kura kaupapa because of the high incidence of abuse amidst our iwi Maori. It’s not just them of course. Across all sectors of primary and secondary education, because I do believe we can start this from primary school level,” Dr Kaa says.

He says anti-violence programmes in Maori communities are starting to work.

Te Kahui Mana Ririki held a breakfast in Auckland today to mark White Ribbon Day, which raises awareness of violence against women.

PARTY NEEDS TO TAKE STOCK OF INTERNAL SYSTEMS

A Maori academic says the Maori Party has a big fix up job to do if rebel MP Hone Harawira returns to the fold.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and ethnic studies at Canturbury University, says the blow up between Mr Harawira and the party leadership was a dispute waiting to happen.

He says despite the lessons of history such as the failure of the New Zealand First-National coalition, the Maori Party didn't seem ready for the internal strains which come from being in an alliance.

“Hone Harawira's remarks aside, I think there’s really a reflection about some internal tensions within the party about the cost of working with National and they need to focus on that and get the waka back on track,” Mr Taonui says.

He says keeping Mr Harawira in the party is the right way forward.

Mr Harawira will meet party members in west Auckland tonight as part of his consultation over his future.

WIDER SCOPE SOUGHT FOR CARBON FOREST OFFSET PLAN

Iwi leaders have their eyes on 200,000 hectares of conservation land for afforestation to offset the effects of the emissions trading scheme on land with pre-1990 forests.

Willie Te Aho, an advisor to the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group, says the group has until February to come up with a mechanism under which forest landowners can plant carbon sink forests on DoC land.

He says the Department has been asked to identify suitable land with low conservation value, on top of the 35,000 hectares already earmarked for five iwi whose 10-year-old treaty settlements will be affected by the ETS.

“To really make it worthwhile, we’d be looking at 200,000 hectares and access to that 200,000 hectares but I understand that work is still being undertaken,” Mr Te Aho says.

Maori forest owners could use the New Zealand Unit carbon credits they receive from existing forests to fund the planting, which is estimated to cost between $1000 and $2000 a hectare.

WAITANGI TRIBUNAL TAKE URGENCY ON EAST COAST DEAL

The chair of an East Coast iwi is celebrating the Waitangi Tribunal's decision to look into the proposed settlement between the Crown and Te Runanga o Ngati Porou.

Tui Marino says the Crown and the runanga have been riding roughshod over his Te Aitanga a Hauiti people, as well as Ruawaipu and Ngati Uepohatu.

He says Ngati Porou's traditional rohe is around the Waiau River and Ruatioria, but it has used its favoured status to take the rights and interests of the other three tipuna groups.

“It's an out and rip off and we’ve got to do something about it, otherwise our young people, the generation to morrow, will be called Ngati Porou and we really don’t want that. That’s alright for Ngati Porou but we are Aitangi a Ahuiti and we need to and we wish to maintain that mana,” Mr Marino says.

The urgent hearing in Wellington the week of December 14 will give the other three iwi the chance to show how they have separate and distinct identities.

LEAGUE HARDMAN TALKS AGAINST VIOLENCE TOWARDS WOMEN

Former rugby league hardman Ruben Wiki says his experience allows him to be brutally honest when talking about the need for men to stop violence.

The Otara raised community worker is the ambassador for white ribbon day, which draws international attention to violence by men against women.

Mr Wiki, who gained a formidable reputation in the NRL and as New Zealand's most capped international player, says he's proud to stand up for women today.

“I've spread my story, growing up with violence, watching mum get beaten up by her partner, so it’s not acceptable. Women bring life into this world, our kids, and they shouldn’t be treated like that so just trying to get a message out and hopefully all the men can get behind and support the white ribbon campaign,” Mr Wiki says.

SENTIMENT OUTWEIGHS HISTORY IN FLAG CHOICE

A Ngapuhi academic is overcoming personal loyalty to endorse the tino rangatiratanga flag as the official Maori flag.

Rawiri Taonui from Canturbury University says his preference was for the Confederation of United Tribes flag which came out of relations between northern Maori and Europeans in the lead up to the Treaty of Waitangi.

But the more modern tino rangatiratanga flag which Cabinet is expected to endorse on the recommendation of Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples may have wider appeal for today.

“It has Maori mythology embedded within it, it reflects that whole struggle of the 80s and 90s that led to the renaissance and it’s widely recognised, particularly by young people,” Mr Taonui says.

He's looking forward to seeing a Maori flag alongside the New Zealand ensign next Waitangi Day.

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