Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Circular language at Waitangi

Activity in the Bay of Islands will be picking up through the day, as manuhiri arrive for Waitangi Day commemorations.

Among them is an ope of Pacific Islanders organised by Ngati Maniapoto man Gerard Otimi ... who is facing charges for allegedly selling phony immigration documents.

A Waitangi Marae kaumatua, Kingi Taurua, says Mr Otimi told him the group is coming north to learn about the Treaty of Waitangi.

He says claims they are expecting help getting permanent residency by adoption into a Maori tribe may be based on a cultural misunderstanding.

“Maori is a circular way of speaking rather than a straight way of speaking. My way of speaking, I speak circular, and if I say whanau, it doesn’t mean I am going to put them in my house, If I say to 20 Tongans come and be my whanau, it doesn’t mean I am going to put them all in my house,” Mr Taurua says.


ACT's Maori Affairs spokesperson, Sir Roger Douglas, says the superannuation system is broken for Maori.

The architect of Rogernomics says instead of spending their energy on Treaty settlements, Maori leaders should focus on contemporary issues like education, health and superannuation.

He says Maori spend a lifetime paying tax for other people's superannuation, but because they are likely to die younger, few get to benefit themselves.

“If they were allowed to put it into their own personalised superannuation account they would probably retiree, many of them, with $1 million plus. How much better would that be than the sort of system that gives them $230, $250 a week for a few months or a few years,” Sir Roger says.

He also wants to see individual health insurance accounts.


The New Zealand Radio Awards are finally acknowledging Maori radio.

This year there will be a new award for Best Iwi Radio Station.

Past awards' judge Stacey Morrison it's a great way to get Maori stations to enter.

She says they'll be judged on broadcast quality, Maori language delivery, and on how they meet the needs of their target audiences.

Nominations are open until March, with the winners announced on May 6.


Former Maori affairs minister Parekura Horomia is congratulating the government for its new Maori housing initiative.

Under the under the Kainga Whenua scheme, Housing New Zealand will guarantee non-deposit Kiwibank loans of up to $350 thousand so people can build relocatable houses on ancestral land.

Mr Horomia says it's positive, but there are always risks in people taking on such large investments.

“Without being negative, I want to be sure our people get into housing, to own houses if that’s what they want to do but at the same time be realistic we don’t set them up to fail,” Mr Horomia says.


The kaumatua of a Hamilton-based offender rehabilitation programme says it proved combining Maori principles with modern psychological methods was the way to beat youth crime.

The government has axed funding for Te Hurihanga because it says it is too expensive.

Pita Ngaru says the programme taught 14 to 17 year olds who have been serious offenders to understand the values of their ancestors and live by them.

“Those usual Maori values that we have, aroha, manaakitanga, wairuatanga and whanaungatanga, those values that were held so close by our ancestors, our tupuna, have been handed down and so these values have been instilled into young men,” Mr Ngaru says.

He says over time the programme would save the taxpayer money as it has a positive effect not just on the offender but his whanau, friends and wider communtiy.


A pharmacy providing free and low cost medicine to Maori opens its doors in South Auckland this morning.

It's a joint venture between Raukura Hauora o Tainui charitable trust and new medicine services company Tihi Pharmaceuticals.

The operations manager, Wiremu Walmsley, says there will be no prescription charge for people under 18, and there will also be a free blister packs and delivery for elderly Maori.

He says the service at Raukura Hauora's Manurewa clinic will benefit a community hard hit by recession.

“A lot of our people can’t afford to get their scripts out because of low income and a lot of times the scripts stay thee in the chemist not getting picked up,” Mr Walmsley says.

Raukura Hauora hopes to open more pharmacies along the same lines.

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