Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Solo parent job push will shrink labour market

A beneficiaries’ advocate believes government moves announced yesterday will make it even harder for unemployed young Maori to find jobs.

Yesterday Prime Minister John Key and Social Welfare minister Paula Bennett introduced a new plan which will push around 43,000 solo parents with children aged six or more onto the labour market.

Kay Brereton from the Wellington People's Centre says the move to make solo parents seek part time work will mean a double hit for the one in three young Maori currently unemployed.

“This is creating extra competition because now they’re competing against those solo parents who may be perceived by some employers as more stable and reliable than a young person, and I also think it is going to have a negative effect on wages and push wages down because it is increasing competition in that Labour market.” Ms Brereton says.

She says it's unfair to expect beneficiaries to find work when there's clearly none available.


Tributes are pouring in for Waikato - Tainui leader Lady Raiha Mahuta who died early yesterday aged 67 years.

Prime Minister John Key who will attend her tangi at Huntly's waaihi marae today says Lady Raiha made a huge contribution as she continued the work of her late husband Sir Robert Mahuta in fighting for the river to be returned to Maori ownership and management.

Labour leader Phil Goff passed his deepest sympathy to all her whanau particularly her daughter Labour MP Nanaia whose home she died at in the early hours of Tuesday morning after suffering from a rare type of bone cancer for seven years.

Maori party leader Tariana Turia says Maori throughout the country are in awe of her courage and tenacity while Green's leader Meteria Turei says her commitment to the environment was an inspiration to all.

Waikato River settlement co-negotiator Tukoroirangi Morgan who has spent the past five years working on the deed in its final stages through parliament sums up the sense of loss across Maoridom.

Lady Raiha's body was taken to Turangawaewae marae yesterday where she lay in state briefly before being taken to Tainui's endowed college at Hopuhopu where Sir Robert is buried and then on to Waahi Marae where her tangi is being held over the next two days before she is taken to her home marae, Karetu, near Russell on Friday morning for burial.


A ta moko expert says the Maori tattoo are becoming increasingly popular across the ditch.

Mark Kopua has regular work in Australia where one in seven Maori are now estimated to be living.

He says they grasp at any opportunity to embrace their Maoritanga.


An expert on addiction says alcohol should be put under the spotlight in a similar way to the tobacco.

Professor Doug Sellman who has headed the national addiction centre in Christchurch for 25 years says alcohol like tobacco is having a devastating effect on the Maori community.

He told a hui on alcohol and violence in Auckland yesterday that nearly 750,000 New Zealanders are regarded as heavy drinkers with over 70,000 cases of alcohol fueled violence reported annually.

Professor Sellman, who heads Alcohol Healthwatch, says the inquiry being conducted by the Maori affairs select committee should move onto alcohol after its has dealt with the tobacco industry.


Improving Maori health will be a key focus of Massey University's new school of public health being launched in Wellington today.

Associate professor Cindy Kiro of Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu and Ngati Hine, who will head the school says it will be taking a multi-disciplinary approach bringing together five existing research centres to work both internationally and with local communities.

“We don’t want to keep describing the problem. We want to focus on whjat we can do, particularly those things we can do in conjunction with other disciplines, so it’s not just about medicine but about how all the professions can work together,” Professor Kiro says.

The centre will involve environmental scientists, occupational health specialists, mental health workers, nurses, and Maori health experts.


Young Maori politicians... and emerging academics will be under the spotlight as the Stout research centre hosts a series of discussions the current political landscape and whether there really is a 'new generation' in politics.

Metiria Turei from the Greens and Maria Bargh from Victoria University's Te Kawa a Maui, will kick off the series in Wellington tonight.

Dr Bargh... who affiliates to Te Arawa, Ngati Kearoa, Ngati Tuara, Ngati Awa... says the demographics of the country are changing, and political parties need to recognise that to stay relevant and appealing to younger voters.

“Appointing Metiria Turei as co-leader of the Greens was part of that. Trying to attract the slightly younger vote and obviously a Maori vote there for the Greens, but I’m not sure how successful some of he other parties have been in that regard. You need to put forward younger candidates for young people to see themselves reflected and see their issues reflected and cared about,” Dr Bargh says.


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