Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ngati Manu takes back Lady Raiha

Lady Raiha Mahuta has been laid to rest among her ancestors at at Karetu Marae in the Bay of Islands.

The Tainui claim negotiator and widow of the late Sir Robert Mahuta was returned to Ngati Manu after initially lying in state at Waahi Marae in Huntly.

Gravedigger and Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says about 400 people attended today's funeral service.

He says Ngati Maanu was proud of the achievements of Lady Raiha, but didn't realise the extent of her work for the Waikato iwi until Tainui brought her back to rest at the foot of her parents.

HOANI WAITITI KURA MARKS 25TH BIRTHDAY

The first kura kaupapa in the country is celebrating its 25th birthday this weekend.

To mark the event, Te Kura Kaupapa o Hoani Waititi in west Auckland is hosting a wananga with noted Maori educationalists Evelyn Tobin, Tom Roa, Katerina Mataira, Linda Tuhiwai Smith and the kura's co-founder, Pita Sharples.

Dr Sharples, who is now associate education minister, says there was great opposition to it being set up, including hate male and claims of apartheid and divisiveness.

He says the kura was established because of the negative reaction Maori speaking children were getting when they moved from kohanga reo to mainstream primary schools.

WELLINGTON KAPA HAKA PADDED FOR NATIONALS

One of the oldest Maori culture groups in the land will be a crowd favourite when it takes the stage at the Michael Fowler centre tomorrow.

Sandy Barr, the spokesperson for the Wellington kapa haka regional championships, says the 80-year old Ngati Poneke will vie for a place at next

February's nationals with reigning champion Tu Te Maungaroa, made up of Wellington based Tuhoe, Pukeahu and Taonga Mai Tawhiti.

Three new teams have emerged, which means the region will be able to send two teams to Te Matatini in Gisborne.

MAJOR GRANTS FOR INDIGENOUS HEALTH RESEARCH

The chief executive of the Health Research Council, Robin Olds, says three major Maori research projects could benefit indigenous people worldwide.

Sue Crengle from Auckland University's department of Maori and Pacific health is getting almost $1.5 million over three years to improve how heart disease patients and their families understand the disease and its treatment.

Rhys Jones from the university's school of population health gets $2 million over five years to look at how better training of health professionals can improve the standard of care Maori get, and John Broughton from Otago University's Ngai tahu Maori health research unit gets $2.3 million over five years to tackle chronic dental disease among indigenous children.

Dr Olds says the funding comes under from the International Collaborative indigenous Health Research Partnership, which also involves health research funders in Australia and Canada.

SHARPES SLAMMED FOR STANDARDS BACKTRACKING

Associate Education Minister Pita Sharples' backtracking on national standards has earned a D minus mark from Labour's Kelvin Davis.

Dr Sharples now says he's happy with the delayed roll out of standards in kura kaupapa, in contrast with his position in January when emails released to Radio New Zealand show him opposed to the overall policy.

Mr Davis, a former intermediate school principal, says while the minister may have improved things for the Maori immersion sector, he ignores the needs to the 95 percent of Maori students who attend mainstream schools.

“He's at sixes and sevens around National Standards. He really needs to front up, show some leadership, stand up for Maoridom and say he’s not prepared as associate minister of education to have these go ahead. But of course it just shows how the Maori Party don’t have any influence when it comes to the big issues,” Mr Davis says.

He says teachers need to be given the skills and conditions to raise student achievement, rather than waste time teaching to tests.

SINKING LID POLICY LOOSENED UP

The Problem Gambling foundation is upset at a loophole in Auckland City Council's new gambling venue policy which allows owners to shift venues.

Director Graeme Ramsey says the policy undermines the sinking lid approach taken by other councils in the region.

He says while the council claims the policy will allow gaming machines to be shifted out of vulnerable and over-represented areas of the city, that's not going to happen.

“Machines are not found in Remuera. They’re found in the poorest parts of the community. These machines are a real issue for Maori, particularly Maori women,” Mr Ramsey says.

The policy will create a headache for the new super city council, which will need to harmonise by-laws across the city.

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