Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Benefits seen in language agency merger

Former Maori language commissioner Patu Hohepa is backing his successor's call for Te Taura Whiri to be merged with funding agency Te Mangai Paho.

Erima Henare recommended the merger as a way to cut down administration costs and get more money to community and iwi language development initiatives.

Dr Hopeha says the combined organisation would have greater clout.

“By having the two working closer together, there will be a greater sharing of getting te reo Maori more and more into radio, television, schools and I hope it will also shift some of the thinking of Te Puni Kokiri,” Dr Hopeha says.


Rural Maori students are more prepared for university than their urban cohorts.

That's one of the findings of the Auckland University Starpath project, which looked at barriers to tertiary study for Maori.

Director Liz McKinley from Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Ngai Tahu preparation is the key to success as students make the transition from high school to tertiary study.

“The students from more rural areas do have to manage a lot of change at the same time. However they know that and I think the schools know that. I think they’re better prepared because they do the preparation before they come. They not only get their enrolment done from the school end, they organised all their accommodation,” Dr McKinley says.

Many students don't know about the Maori support centres in universities, and better communication is needed.


Sports commentator Te Kauhoe Wano says Aaron Heramaia is fast becoming the Warriors' ace in the hole.

The diminutive halfback turned hooker was outstanding as the Auckland-based team posted its biggest win over NRL powerhouse the Brisbane Broncos on Sunday.

Mr Wano says Heremaia showed promise as an 18 year old, winning a Bartercard championship with the Hibiscus Coaast Raiders before heading to Australia and England.

After a year in the Warriors' feeder club the Vulcans, Heremaia's trimmed down frame makes him a potent ruck runner.

“Little step in traffic he’s got and then he still has some pace to burn if he does make a gap, throwing good passes so it’s looking pretty good for the Warriors at the moment,” Mr Wano says.

The Warriors' other Maori players, Russel Packer, Lance Hohaia and Kevin Locke all shone in the 48-16 demolition of Brisbane


Maori fishing companies are looking to China and other offshore markets as they plot a course ahead.

Iwi and fishing interests are in Napier for the fifth Maori Fisheries Conference.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Peter Douglas says this year's Shanghai expo has focused attention on one of the largest markets for seafoods.

Speakers pointed out it was not one large market but a series of significant regional markets for particular products, which needed to be handled carefully.

“The idea that you might be able to have a small visit where you might be able to sell 50 cases of this or that isn’t the best way to go about your business in the Chinese market. The best way to do it is to do it in a collaborative sense, making use of people’s experience, connections,” Mr Douglas says.

The acrimony and conflict which marred the Maori fisheries sector in the past has gone, and iwi are now looking at ways they can do business together.

The hui finishes today.


Associate social welfare minister Tariana Turia says the Maori Party did not see details of the welfare reforms before they were announced last week.

Mrs Turia says with many Maori out of work and whanau struggling to cope, it's not the right time to be overhauling the system.

She had no chance to object to measures such as making solo parents look for part time work as soon as their youngest child turns six.

“They came out and then we asked to see them, they were sent over to us. We didn’t agree with the way they were couched,” Mrs Turia says.

She was upset by Welfare Minister Paula Bennett's statement the dream is over for many beneficiaries, as being on a benefit was anything but a dream.


The chief executive of the Wind Energy Association sees potential for Maori to be a growing part of a sector that will one day provide up to a fifth of the countrys electricity needs.

The organisation started its annual conference in Palmerston North yesterday, and Frazer Clarke says Maori landowners are well positioned to get involved.

One major land trust south of Kawhia has already got projects under way.

“Taharoa C are scratching the surface of potential opportunities that might exist; good land holdings in potentially good windy locations, good opportunity to diversity from farming and forestry, potential to take advantage of that wind resource and the land,” Mr Clarke says.

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