Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whanau key to gambling help

Problem gambling expert Max Abbott believes a whanau-based approach helps indigenous people fight problem gambling.

The AUT University pro-chancellor Max Abbott is hosting a think tank of experts on the topic from around the world.

He says New Zealand is a leader with its family approach to fighting problem gambling among Maori.

“It’s very much a whanau issue. It’s a ripple effect. For every individual that develops a problem, it ripples out and affects family and children and that’s one of the things that makes it so toxic. But therein likes the solution also because those forces can be used to assist and make changes in people’s lives,” Professor Abbott says.

The two-day problem gambling think tank will be followed by a three-day International Gambling Conference which has attracted 200 delegates to the city.


Phil Goff says the Maori Party's push to have some types of food exempted from GST won't work.

The Labour leader today set off on a nationwide bus campaign to protest the Government's proposed 20 percent jump in the goods and services tax.

He says the Maori party's idea creates major compliance and collection problems.

“Is a chicken bought from a takeaway still paying gst but not a cooked chicken bought from a supermarket. There are all those sorts of things And then you cay maybe we shouldn’t have gst on rates and maybe we shouldn’t have gst on kids’ clothing and by the time you exempt everything that is a basic necessity you are left with hardly anything and therefore no revenue, so it probably won’t work to do it that way,” Mr Goff says.

Few Maori will be among the 8 percent of the population earning over $70,000 who will benefit from National's tax cuts, which are being promised to offset the rise in GST.


The work of historian Judith Binney is the focus of a special panel during next month's International Arts Festival in Wellington.

Convenor Paul Diamond says as part of Readers and Writers Week, Claudia
Orange, Wayne Te Kaawa, and Rawinia Higgins will discuss the Auckland University professor books on missionary Thomas Kendall, prophets Rua Kenana and Te Kooti Rikirangi, and her massive study of Te Urewera, Encircled Lands.

Professor Binney herself is recovering after a life threatening accident late last year.

The Lost Histories panel is at the Embassy theatre on March 12.


The Waikato District Council has scrapped a plan to erect at giant bronze statue of a Maori warrior at the gateway to Ngaruawahia.

The council spent $10,000 on designs for the fearsome warrior, but the completed work would have cost $2 million.

Tini Tukere, who rallied opposition to the plan, says the statue got the universal thumbs down from residents.

“The majority of people, Maori and Pakeha, didn’t like the ugliness of the work and its warrior stance, it wasn’t a dignified, peaceful Maori, it was that looked like he wanted to have a fight,” Mrs Tukere says.

It was not the impression the people of Ngaruawahia and the Waikato wanted to present to visitors.


A Canterbury University researcher says the Government better value for money by looking at Maori success rather than Maori failure.

Janinka Greenwood along with Lynne-Harata Te Aika has written Hei Tauira, which identifies the principles behind successful tertiary programmes the Te Wananga o Raukawa's distance learning programme and the Toihoukura art course in Gisborne.

She says what they have in common is commitment by iwi and institution, integration of tikanga Maori, strong leadership including Maori role models, and a constant process of identifying and removing barriers to learning.

Hei Tauira is available through Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.


The chair of Te Waka Toi, Darrin Haimona, says the Maori arm of Creative New Zealand has had its time.

Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson plans to ax the Maori and Pacific arts funding boards and go back to a single arts council.

This is expected to save at least $200,000 a year in members' fees alone.

Mr Haimona, who was appointed last year, says change is needed.

“The current structure separates the strategy and policy development, which is the domain of council. Te Waka Toi and the arts boards mostly function around arts funding decisions. So the merger will provide Maori the opportunity to participate in the whole strategy, policy and funding that will happen in the future,” Mr Haimona says.

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