Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, February 01, 2010

More tests not the answer to under-achievement

School principal turned Labour MP Kelvin Davis says national education standards aren't the solution to Maori educational under achievement.

Associate education Minister Pita Sharples has expressed misgivings about the new testing regime, which is due to be implemented from tomorrow.

Mr Davis says the Maori Party leader is right to baulk.

“No principal, no teacher disagrees with setting high standards or disagrees with the fact that parents have a right to good information about their kid’s achievement. It’s just that national standards aren’t backed by any research to make any difference whatsoever to achievement.
Mr Davis says.

He says the money for the standards policy would be better spent on teacher education and attracting excellent teachers to low decile schools.


A Waikato University law lecturer says a written constitution for New Zealand could be good for Maori.

Linda Te Aho from Ngati Koroki Kahukura makes her case for a constitution in a chapter in the book Weeping Waters, which will be launched at Waitangi this week.

She says because there is no written constitution, lawmakers have been able to take away rights guaranteed to Maori under the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Whilst there might have been perceived to be victories or wins in the courts, the reality is quite different. For example, the legislation might include in it some kind of safeguard for Maori but what we have seen at ground level is the Crown has still found ways to bypass those safeguards,” Mrs Te Aho says.

The issue of a written constitution will loom large in the constitutional review the government has promised will be held this year.


A man who grew up on Te Poho o Rawiri is devastated by the vandalism of the historic Gisborne marae.

Windows were broken, ponga fences smashed, and graffiti scrawled on external walls.

In other attacks, vandals smashed a plaque on a statue on nearby Titirangi Hill commemorating Captain Cook and a monument halfway down the hill for freezing workers killed in World War 1.

Jim Perry, whose family donated the land for the marae, says the whole community wants the perpetrators found and punished.

The Ngati Oneone marae is one of the largest in the country.


Associate education minister Pita Sharples believes it is inevitable the national standards policy will lead to league tables - to the detriment of many low decile primary schools.

The new testing regime for literacy and numeracy is due to start tomorrow, with Education Minister Anne Tolley still locked in battle with the primary teachers' union the NZEI over the issue.

She has promised to make it as difficult as possible for the media to make public comparisons of the data collected.

But Dr Sharples says that's impossible.

“Schools are a competitive business. People already look at their school c results and the various academic credits gained by the various schools and they compare already so you cant tell me this isn’t going to produce big lists and the media will use it to emphasise something here or there. It's automatic,” Dr Sharples says.

He says publishing school results could lead to lower community support and problems recruiting teachers and students.


An itinerary is shaping up for a northern hemisphere tour to mark the centennial year of Maori rugby.

Commentator Ken Laban says it's likely the Maori All-Blacks will play England, Ireland and Wales.

He says it will be a wonderful tribute for what has been an important contributor to New Zealand's rugby traditions.

“They'll get the chance the Millennium Stadium they’ll get a chance to play in Ireland and they’ll get to play at Twickenham,” Mr Laban says.

The New Zealand Rugby Union is yet to confirm the tour.


He achieved worldwide fame as the frontman of the Otara Millionaires Club, but the Taranaki iwi is proud to claim Pauly Fuemana as one of their own.

The hip hop singer died yesterday aged 40, after being ill for several months.

His sister, Christina Fuemana, says while Pauly and his siblings were raised in the tough South Auckland suburb by their Niuean father, their mother was a member of the Hohaia and Wetere whanau of Taranaki.

She says the family was passionate about music, but Paul was pushed forward into the limelight.

She says her brother enjoyed his life.


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