Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Truancy moves part of wider education reform

The Prime Minister John Key says measures are needed to address why half the 30,000 kids wagging classes each day are Maori or Pacific Islanders.

Yesterday the budget for fighting truancy was boosted to $8 million a year.

John Key says that's on top of investment in curriculum and national standards, so kids have the basics and don't describe themselves as dumb.

He says school won't be the best place for every student, which is why alternatives are being developed.

“Our youth guarantee scheme is basically aimed at all of that. Instead of saying to a child that’s probably in year 10 or year 11, year 12, look stay at school, do the three Rs, and that will be the thing you need to do, why don’t we say we can pass this back to a polytech or wananga or whatever it might be that have those courses that may be more interesting,” Mr Key says.

He says education in a relevant manner is a top priority for the government.


Labour leader Phil Goff says ACT's claim the Maori Party is damaging race relations and promoting Maori privilege is a bit rich coming from a party that blocks Maori aspirations at every turn.

The claims were made in a speech by former MP Muriel Newman to ACT's annual conference, and endorsed by leader Rodney Hide.

Mr Goff says in one breath ACT blocked Maori representation on the Auckland super city, and in the next it criticises the other government support party for promoting Maori issues.

“The Act Party is the ones that wanted to implement Don Brash’s report for the National Government to cut the statutory minimum wage by $100 a week and pay more money to their very wealthy mates. Well sorry. The Act Party doesn’t represent the New Zealand that I believe in. I don’t put much store on its words on anything,” Mr Goff says.


Getting a Ngarimu VC and 28 Maori Battalion Memorial Scholarship has a special meaning for Kahurangi Waititi.

The Te Kaha 27-year-old from Te Whanau Apanaui, Ngati Porou and Kaitahu was one of the eight winners from a field of 57.

She felt proud to pick up the tohu at Parliament this week alongside her 88 year old father, who served in C company alongside second Lieutenant Moananui a Kiwa Ngarimu.

“There is that connection with the 28 Maori Battalion. I’ve grown up with stories of the Maori Battalion. My father was one of those soldiers, Major John Waititi. I think he was really happy because I’m sure he’s aware of how competitive these scholarships are,” she says.

Kahurangi Waititi has completed a Master's degree from Waikato University where she researched applying kaupapa Maori processes to documentary film making, and she also plays netball for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.


Maori Television is celebrating the final deal on free-to-air television rights deal for next year's Rugby World Cup, which allows it to broadcast all 48 games of the tournament, 16 of them live.

Television One and TV3 will each simulcast seven key games live.

Chief executive Jim Mather says the channel's objectives were met.

“We're very pleased that we’ve been able to secure the rights for our te reo channel because that means that those 16 key live games will be broadcast 100 percent in te reo and on our Maori Television channel we have agreed the Maori language content can be up to 10 percent so we think we are gong to have the language and cultural bases very well covered under this arrangement,” he says.

Mr Mather says Maori Television is still planning for complementary programming around the tournament, even though it lost the Te Puni kokiri subsidy originally intended to allow this to happen.


Three eastern Bay of Plenty iwi have signed an agreement with the operators of the Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill to work together to improve the quality of the Tarawera River and surrounding land.

Ngati Awa, Ngati Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau and Ngati Rangitihi objected to Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper and Norske Skog Tasman getting a 25-year resource consent.

But Graham Pryor from Ngati Rangitihi says now the consent is through, subject to appeals to the Environment Court, the iwi want a less adversarial way to engage with the companies.

“The consent process that we went through, pretty much everything that was requested by the individual iwi was met, so we haven’t got any issues right now with the consent process. There are review periods and there are things that have to be done over certain time periods. There are some people who are not happy with that but I think a lot of those issues will be addressed in future as we work through this,” Mr Pryor says.

About 100 people were at Umutahi Marae in Matata today to witness the agreement.


There was a big turn out at Te Wharekura O Manurewa today to hear the Minster of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, officially grant the Maori immersion secondary school stand alone status.

Since it started a decade ago the kura has operated under the umbrella of kura kaupapa from Kaitaia and Mangere, but the agreement with the Ministry of Education means it can operate autonomously from the beginning of April.

Tumuaki Mahia Nathan says staff, students and Manurewa Maori appreciated Dr Sharples' personal touch, rather than just sending a letter.

The kura will soon move from relocatable classrooms behind Manurewa Marae to a new site in Brown's Road next to Homai College.

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