Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Kura foundation for stellar career

A Maori scholarship winner says this year's Ngarimu VC and 28 Maori Battalion Awards demonstrate the value of kohanga reo and kura kaupapa.

Kahurangi Waititi from Te Whanau Apanaui, Ngati Porou and Kaitahu was honoured for her postgraduate work at Waikato University and her netball prowess with the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.

She says six of the eight award recipients went to Maori immersion schools.

Ms Waititi says as one of the first kohanga and kura kaupapa pupils, she remembers the skeptics who said it wouldn't prepare tamariki for the real world.

“You know your reo and tikanga gives you that identity to be able to move in any world you choose to move in and it definitely is a testament to the value of kohanga and kura kaupapa,” she says.

Kahurangi Waititi received the award at Parliament from her father, 28 Maori Battalion veteran Major John Waititi.

PM DEFENDS RACE RELATIONS RECORD FROM ACT HARPING

The Prime Minister is rejecting criticism from ACT that National's relationship with the Maori Party has damaged race relations.

ACT leader Rodney Hide has endorsed former MP Muriel Newman's speech to ACT's weekend conference that the Government was promoting Maori privilege and encouraging welfare dependency.

John Key says ACT is off the mark.

“One of the legacies of our government will be improved race relations and seeing more young Maori becoming successful in New Zealand and we have done a lot of things, whether it be advancing the treaty settlement process and hopefully getting to a more sensible outcome for the foreshore and seabed legislation to simple things like and not being afraid to raise a flag that shows on Waitangi Day Maori and the Crown are standing side by side like they did when they signed the treaty,” he says.

The Prime Minister says the government is getting overwhelming public support for its efforts to build a multi-cultural country based on a bi-cultural foundation.

YOUNG MAORI IN CONTENTION FOR SHEARING GOLD

There are some gun young Maori shearers vying for top honours at the 50th Golden Shears in Masterton this week.

Commentator Koro Mullins says John Kirkpatrick, Dion King, Cam Ferguson and Dean Ball represent the new generation, trying to match the Maori shearing dynasties of the past.

But they have some tough Pakeha to beat, including world champion Paul Avery and five time world champion David Fagan.

TRUNACY FINES ANOTHER HURDLE FOR FAMILIES ON BOTTOM

Green's co-leader Meteria Turia says the government's punitive approach to truancy will keep Maori families in poverty and their children out of the school system.

The Government plans to spend extra on school attendance, including prosecuting the parents of truants.

Ms Turei says one of the reasons Maori truancy levels are so high is that insecure housing means they keep moving and get little chance to settle down in a school.

“Fining families who are already on the lowest possible income, who don’t have the money for proper housing let alone to pay fines, is just a way of keeping those families in poverty and keeping them out of the schooling system. Why would a family commit to schooling when they know if there are any problems they could be hit with a huge fine,” she says.

FLAXMERE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMME WINS OSCAR PRIZE

The only registered kaupapa Maori after school programme has been honoured for service to the Hastings community.

The Te Aka Consultants won three awards from OSCAR, the Out of School Care and Recreation programme.

Alayna Hokianga and her husband established the After Kura Activities programme for 5 to 13 year olds in 2007 because Flaxmere children had nowhere to go after school.

She says the bilingual programme appeals to parents with children in mainstream schools who want to encourage the use of te reo.

“They have found their children have learned more in terms of te reo, tikanga Maori from our after school because we hammer it every day whereas in schools they might get a bit of Maori depending on what class they're in,” Mrs Hokianga says.

Te Aka won the region's Most Outstanding OSCAR Programme, Best Family and Individual Awards, and is a finalist in the National awards in May.

TOUCH ENTHUSIAST GERARD NGAWATI DIES

Maori touch rugby has lost its pou and rangatira.

Gerard Ngawati from Ngati Hine, Ngapuhi and Ngati Porou died on Tuesday aged 54.

As well as setting up Maori Touch in the 1990s with his wife Carol, Mr Ngawati worked as a Pouwhakataki for the Ministry of Education, and in Maori training and employment at the Hillary Commission and Skill New Zealand.

Teresa Hindle from Maori Touch says his enthusiasm for using sport as a vehicle for personal and Maori development was infectious, and many whanau benefited from his commitment.

Gerard Ngawati will be taken from his Titirangi home to Hoani Waititi marae this morning, before Ngati Hine takes him back to Te Rito Marae at Otiria.

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