Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ring-ins used for cruise ship powhiri

An organisation promoting Maori arts is applauding port authorities in Tauranga for stopping a company welcoming cruise ships with fake presentations.

The port banned Discovery Heritage Group after complaints its performers included French and Israeli travelers wearing traditional Maori dress with moko scrawled on their faces.

Toi Maori chief executive Garry Nicholas says cultural experiences need to be authentic.

“What we have to show visitors to this country and they are visitors and they need to be treated as guests, is what they are presented with of a cultural nature, an artistic nature, it has to be as close as we can get to being a real and fair exchange of ideas from one culture to another,” Mr Nicolas says.

The story has been picked up by news organisations around the world, which could be extremely damaging to other tourism operations.

COMMUNITY BARBEQUE BRINGING COMMUNITY TOGETHER

A mobile community barbeque is giving Flaxmere residents a way to voice their concerns.

Henare O'Keefe, the Flaxmere ward councilor on the Hastings District Council, says the tunu tunu or grill proved such a popular feature of last year's Enough is Enough campaign against street crime, it's been extended.

He says councilors, police and social agencies have joined in the giant sausage sizzle, which has been held in difference streets every couple of days through the summer.

“This mobile narbeque is non threatening and it has that ability to straddle the racial divide with effortless ease. You give our whanau a bit of sauce, onion, the bread and the sausage, straight away the barriers go down. You build that relationship and next thing you know they’re opening up, they’re pouring their hearts out. It’s been very very successful,” Mr O'Keefe says.

MAORI SHEARERS TO BE RECOGNISED AT GOLDEN SHEARS

This year's Golden Shears competition will include a tribute to some of the great Maori shearers of yesteryear.

Commentator Koro Mullins says shearers such as Ray Alabaster, Samson Te Whata and Jack Dowd, the first Maori to hold the world ewe and lamb record, paved the way for today's young guns like Johnny Kirkpatrick and Dion Morrell from Ngati Kahungunu.

He says a huge amount of organisation is going into making the 50th Golden Shears in Masterton in March an event to remember, with 360 volunteers, 25 truck drivers, and judges coming from round the world.

The New Zealand team for the world champs in Wales will be named after the event.

HOROMIA LINES UP FOR OPENING OF HOSTILITIES

Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson says 2010 will be the year the incompatibility between National and Maori Party policy shines through.

Parekura Horomia says Labour's first caucus meeting in Auckland set the scene for what should be a combative year.

He says Maori Party co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples have made a lot of noise about their good working relationships within Government, but the social policies they are pushing like whanau ora and prison rehabilitation are poles apart from where National really wants to go.

“You saw just before Christmas, the set to between Tariana and Paula Bennett. You’ve seen the other tensions between Pita and the leadership in relation to the Maori seats in Auckland and that’s something you can’t readily fix when you’ve got one lot saying they want all the drop around Maoridom and the other lot saying we’ve got to head a lot of that off,” Mr Horomia says.

He says National's social and economic policies are already doing huge damage to Maori communities.

MAORI MERGED INTO MAIN BOOK AWARDS

One of the judges for the New Zealand Post Book awards believes a new system will give Maori books a better chance of taking out the top prizes.

Authors will now compete in just four categories: poetry, fiction, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction.

With fewer categories there will be more money on offer... with the book of the year picking up $15,000.

Writer and broadcaster Paul Diamond of Ngati Haua, Te Rarawa and Ngapuhi says there will still be a separate award for books in te reo Maori, but all other works by Maori authors or on Maori topics are in the general competition.

The finalists for the New Zealand Post Book Awards will be announced on June 22 with the awards themselves being presented in Auckland on August 27.

CHANGE OF COACH SUGGESTED FOR CAMBO CONFIDENCE CRISIS

One of Michael Campbell's early mentors thinks the golfer needs a new coach.

The one time US Open winner now struggles to make the cut in the few tournaments he turns out for, and says there are days he wonders whether it is time to quit.

Former coach Vic Pirihi says things seem to have gotten stale at the Campbell camp, and guidance from the likes of Kiwi men's coach James Kupa could help.

“Jamie's got a great way about him and I’m sure he and Michael would click it off and he would find some holes in his armour. Another guy, living in Sydney now, is Alec Mercer, who had a lot to do with Michael in his formative years. But he can make up his own mind,” Mr Pirihi says.

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