Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, March 08, 2010

Customer insight needed for forest investment

The manager of Tuwharetoa's largest forestry businesses says Maori need to understand the needs of the global timber customer so they can know where best to invest.

George Asher says Lake Taupo Forest Trust and Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust have a policy of buying out leases as trees are harvested, so they have total ownership of the next crop.

The policy has also been adopted by the Central North Island forestry coalition, which Ngati Tuwharetoa is part of.

Mr Asher says Maori need to invest in other parts of the industry, and his preference would be to buy into the marketing and distribution end of the chain

“We want to understand what our customers want. Understanding that determines what sort of product creates the best value, what sort of trees are best suited to creating those products and that’s the sort of stuff we need to know before investing in any part of that value chain,” Mr Asher says.


Marae trustees in the Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa will be given a crash course over the next few weeks on how they can do their jobs better.

Roger Arana, the Takitimu regional manager for Te Puni Kokiri, says the Internal Affairs-led marae planning and funding workshops will give trustees a chance to hear what agencies like Inland Revenue, the Fire Service, Historic Places Trust and the Maori Land Court have to offer them.

He says it's protection for kaitiaki.

“A lot of our people do things from their heart, he Maori tena, but there are also responsibilities that come from being a trustee and there’s liabilities for trustees too so you’ve really got to understand what that's all about,” Mr Arana says.


A former curator of Maori taonga at Auckland War Memorial Museum says treating the Oldman Collection as a single unit may help people identify where individual items came from.

The collection of Maori and Pacific Island artefacts was put together by William Oldman in England in the first half of last century.

The New Zealand Government bought it in 1948 and split it between museums in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, who have now agreed to coordinate guardianship.

Paul Tapsell says it's a significant collection with many fine objects, but the specific tribal or geographic origins of most of the pieces are unknown.

“A lot of these things were probably collected by early visitors, be they whalers or missionaries, early settlers, collecting them perhaps for aesthetic, curiosity reasons that had nothing to do with their ancestral connections to landscapes and expressions of mana. That korero is no longer available,” Professor Tapsell says.

There could be clues about some of the items in early writings by missionaries or travelers, or in tribal records, but it will require diligent research to track them back.


One of the architects of Whanau Ora says the new way of delivering services to Maori is consistent with other changes the Government is making in the health sector.

Lorna Dyall from Te Kupenga Hauora Maori in Auckland University's School of Population Health says rather than services being developed to suit health professionals, they are now being designed to give consumers and whanau what they want.

She says whanau ora also includes development, which is important for the wider society which is trying to grapple with the needs of an aging population.

“You can only look after an older population and a young population if you work as a whanau so actually helping skills in the whanau to be able to care for each other both now and plan for the future so it’s actually moving from just focusing on me, what’s important for me, to actually how do I contribute to a whanau because a whanau only exists if you all work together,” Dr Dyall says.

The whanau ora idea has upset some people because of the way Maori people make their culture explicit, but the principles can apply to any group.


It"s Kidney Awareness Week, and Maori are being urged to get a check up which can pick up problems like undiagnosed diabetes.

Kelvin Lynn, the medical director of Kidney Health New Zealand, says the disease can be beaten if detected early through a simple test, but left undiagnosed it can lead to kidney failure and other conditions.

He says Maori are twice as likely to have diabetes than Pakeha, and community-based programes are the best way to detect it and treat it.

Professor Lynn says if people know they have diabetes, they can make the lifestyle changes which are the key to beating both diabetes and kidney failure.


The principal of Titahi Bay North School says a group of year 8 language learners are inspiring younger students by sitting level 1 NCEA Maori before they head to High School.

Stephen Caldwell says Te Whanau o te Kakano reo immersion programme complements the mainstream teaching programmes at the school, which has a 75 percent Maori roll.

He says the teachers believe the second formers can pass level 1 NCEA Maori.

“The kids were needing to be extended. They were very fluent. We’re confident they can handle it. We’ve got four kids sitting it this year and we expect it to continue,” Mr Caldwell says.

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