Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, February 08, 2010

History and blood counts against flag

The chair of the Waitangi National Trust is standing by his board's decision not to fly the tino rangitiratanga in the treaty grounds on Waitangi Day.

Pita Paraone from Ngati Hine says the board was unanimous in rejecting the flag chosen by the government as the official Maori flag.

Instead the New Zealand flag, the naval ensign and the flag chosen by the northern Confederation of Tribes in 1834 were flown on the navy's flagpole.

“One there's history. Two there are people who have spilled blood in the defence of democracy and they feel to do away with the flag and accept the tino rangatiratanga flag would be ignoring that sacrifice,” Mr Parone says.

The board will formally review its decision at its next meeting, as it starts planning for next year's commemorations.

Meanwhile, the last surviving paddler from the centennial celebrations at Waitangi says he became a kaihoe by chance.

Glass Murray of Te Kao was a 17-year-old St Stephens student in 1940 when the call went out on Waitangi Marae for extra paddlers for Ngatokimatawhaorua.

He remembers paddling with his iwi Te Aupouri alongside kai hoe from Ngati Kuri, Te Rarawa and Ngati Kahu, but not much more about the momentous event.

The smaller waka Ngatokimatawhaorua, which was back in the water at the weekend for the first time since 1940, was yesterday taken over to the Hokianga for next weekend's commemoration of the treaty signing at Mangungu.


The Wairoa Maori Film Festival has put out the call for young Maori film makers.

Festival director Leo Koziol says there's room on the programme for documentaries, short films, feature films and music videos.

He says it's a good opportunity for the many young Maori now at film schools around the country.

“We're really having a focus on dramatic films. There are seven short films we will take round the country to celebrate Matariki. We’ve selected three, so there is space for four more short films,” he says.

Entries close at the end of the month, and the festival will run over Queen's Birthday weekend in June.


Tears of joy have been shed as the Hokianga-built waka Ngatokimatawhorua returned to the west coast harbour for the first time in 62 years.

The waka, which has spent most of its life grounded on inland Otaua Marae, will be the star of a regatta at Mangungu later this week to commemorate Hokianga chiefs signing the treaty of Waitangi.

Event co-ordinator Mita Harris says yesterday's powhiri was greatly moving.

“Those old people at the powhiri at Horeke, the tears and cries were deep and tapu. The older women had their korowai and cloak on while it was coming in, so it was very emotional,” Mr Harris says.

Ngatokimatawhaorua was accompanied by four other waka and their crews, with more waka expected before the historic canoe returns to the water on Wednesday.


The Minister of Housing says he's already detecting a lot of interest for the new Kainga Whenua housing scheme.

Housing New Zealand is working with Kiwibank to overcome the security concerns over loans on multiply-owned land, and it's also willing to accept several occupiers sharing a mortgage.

Phil Heatley says it will take time before the interest turns into new homes.


As the health sector waits to see what whanau ora will look like, efforts continue to encourage more Maori into the wider health workforce.

Taima Campbell, a director of the national Maori nursing and midwifery workforce development programme, says the "Kia ora Hauora" campaign this year will show students and second-chance learners there's more to medicine than being a doctor.

Mrs Campbell, from Ngati Tamatera and Ngati Maru, says there's a persistent shortage.

“We don't have enough Maori entering into the health workforce, particularly into the regulated professions. We have always got the same people doing lots of work, so we have to address the fundamental problem which is about people looking at health as a career, taking up science, those kinds of things,” Mrs Campbell says.

As well as recruitment, the workforce development programme also looks at professional development and clinical leadership.


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