Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Truancy crackdown a wast on mad mothers

A Taranaki youth worker says new funding to help schools prosecute the parents of persistent truants will be a waste of money.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has doubled anti-truancy funding to $8 million a year after a report that 30,000 children a day are skipping classes, with Maori and Pacific kids twice as likely to be absent.

While some of the money will fund more truancy officers, more is bound for prosecutions.

Lynette West from New Plymouth's Young People's Trust says prosecutions so far have been a waste of time in most cases, especially with Maori youth.

“The couple of cases in Taranaki have been a waste of time because the parents haven’t got the money to pay and sometimes they’re parents with addictions and mental health problems themselves and can’t cope, which is why the child is not going to school,” Ms West says.

MAORI KEEN ON GOFF STOP GST RISE MESSAGE

Phil Goff says Maori are among the strongest supporters of his campaign to stop a 20 percent rise in gst.

The Labour leader is on the third day of a bus trip around the country opposing the increase.

Speaking from Tauranga, he said people have not been shy about voicing their concern.

“The reaction from the Maori community has been at least if not more strong than the rest of the community and that’s because a lot of people in the Maori community, they’ve got kids, everything they buy they’re paying gst on, their kids’ school uniforms, their clothes, you even pay gst on your ACC levies and your rates,” Mr Goff says.

He says Prime Minister John Key's pre-election promise he would not raise GST will enter the annals of political infamy.

LEAGUE FEARS FOR FUTURE OF MINISTRY

The General Manager of the Maori Women's Welfare League, Jacqui Te Kani, says more resources, not less, need to go into the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

Labour MP Sue Moroney is sounding the alarm the ministry could be in for the chop as Finance Minister Bill English looks for savings in public sector spending.

Mrs Te Kani says the league struggled to get support from mainstream government agencies on issues like family violence until the ministry was created, and the two organisations have developed a good working relationship.

“Because they have a lack of funding they have always looked to the leaders of the league to represent women on issues that pertain to Maori women and other women,” she says.

Mrs Te Kani says the needs of women and especially Maori women are low on the Government's priorities.

MAORI KING ABDICATION THREAT DISMISSED AS INACCURATE

A spokesperson for the Maori king is denying reports he threatened abdication over challenges to how his office is funded.

Rahui Papa says King Tuheitia's speech to the tribal parliament Te Kauhanganui on Sunday was misreported.

He says the king was concerned at rifts that have emerged in Waikato-Tainui over the dismissal of chief executive Hemi Rau, which is currently before the Employment Court.

“He has watched the divisions and the rifts amongst the people, amongst some of the people, grow further and further, and he is very concerned that if it is allowed to continue in this fashion, that the people will be very split and divided, and so he’s asking Te Kauhanganui to come back to the principles of the Kingitanga, he’s showing leadership to bring the divisions back into one family where we can debate and discuss issues in a peaceful and calm manner,” Mr Papa says.

SUPER CITY MAORI COMMITTEE A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Labour's Auckland spokesperson says the super city saga will go down as a lost opportunity to have meaningful engagement with te ao Maori.

Phil Twyford says the new governance structure being considered by a select committee ignores the fact Auckland is the world's largest Polynesian city.

He says while it's understandable why iwi groups have reluctantly agreed to join a Maori advisory panel, there was a clear sense of disappointment when Ngati Whatua and Ngapuhi appeared before the committee.

“There was a real heavy-hearted feel to the submission they made where clearly a decision’s been made by Ngati Whatua where they’re going to engage with the process and I understand to change the world you have to fight and engage and I respect that but I feel it’s a terrible missed opportunity,” Mr Twyford.

ANCIENT URUPA FOUND UNDER HOTEL DEVELOPMENT

Residents fighting an apartment development on the site of Devonport's historic Masonic Hotel say the finding of koiwi will strengthen their campaign.

Claudia Page from the Masonic Friendly Society says at its first hearing the Environment Court refused on a technicality to hear archeological evidence against the plans.

She says the finding of human remains in one of two exploratory trenches supports the society's contention the site, which is where the Tainui canoe is believed to have landed, should not be touched.

She says digging out the building to create and underground car park would be to dig up an urupa and disturb more remains.

The Masonic Friendly Society's appeal against Redback Development Company is due to resume in the Environment Court at the end of the month.

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