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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, March 29, 2010

Turia defends whanau ora from Peters’ race attack

Tariana Turia is accusing New Zealand First leader Winston Peters of playing the race card with his weekend attack on her whanau ora policy.

At a public meeting in Tauranga, Mr Peters said using Maori providers to deliver social services was separatist and opened the door to back-handers and nepotism.

Mrs Turia, the associate minister of social development, says as a former minister Mr Peters knows Maori health providers have received government funding since 1993 ... and whanau ora merely streamlines the process.

“For Winston to turn around and make out that what’s going on is somehow denial of everybody else, he misses completely the point and whanau ora will provide a new way forward, and if Winston gets back into Parliament, he better get used to it,” Mrs Turia says.

She says most New Zealanders want better results from the billions in health and social spending, and whanau ora can provide those results.


Hauraki iwi says their treaty settlement must include not only conservation land on the Coromandel peninsula but all the minerals underneath that land.

Paul Majurey from the Marutauhu confederation says the government's plans to open up parts of the peninsula to mining can't be divorced from the settlement negotiations.

He says recent Crown agreements in principle with other iwi have shown conservation land is not off the table as far as settlements are concerned.

“Our people have called for the land to come back, so if the land comes back then all those resources that go with it are what is being sought as well,” Mr Majurey says.

He is looking forward to talking with the government on this subject.


The latest findings from Auckland University's long running Starpath research project shows most Maori students from low decile schools aren't properly prepared for university.

Director Liz McKinley says as a result their chances of success are lower than non-Maori.

She says many stumble with external exams, because at high school they tended to choose internal assessment.

“Many students who did not have the experience of have a lot of experience in sitting external exams at school suddenly found the external exams they were made to sit at university quite difficult to manage, almost as if they weren’t practised or skilled enough in approaching examination type conditions,” Dr McKinley says.

Maori students need good advice from early on about which subjects will better prepare them for university.


Salmon rather than shellfish are likely to be the focus of future Maori investment in aquaculture.

Parliament last week passed the Maori Commercial Aquaculture settlement, under which South Island and Hauraki iwi share $97 million.

Richard Bradley from Marlborough based Rangitane says the negotiation process involved a thorough analysis of the state of the industry, and it's clear from the price difference in water space that the future is in finfish rather than mussels.

“NIWA's been doing a lot of research around finfish and of course a lot of people are telling us it’s too early yet. When I hear that I know they’re in there and don’t necessarily want us there. The key part now is Maori are cashed up and want to invest in the top part of aquaculture, not just in contract gangs to open shellfish,” Mr Bradley says.

Aquaculture was on the agenda at today's Treaty Tribes Coalition Maori Fisheries Conference in Napier, along with a presentation on whaling by Dan Goodman from the Cetacian Research Institute in Tokyo.


The lead researcher for a 5-year study on how caries in early childhood affect long term Maori health patterns says his aim is to eliminate dental decay.

John Broughton from the Ngai Tahu Maori Health Unit at Otago University will work with Te Raukura Hauora O Tainui to track pregnant women and their offspring and monitor their dental health.

He says the $2 million project, funded through the International Collaborative Indigenous Health Research Partnership, should make a difference.

“The thing about oral disease, it’s all preventable, and there’s no reason with young children, why as they grow and develop and maybe get secondary teeth, they can go right through life without getting a filling in their mouth, and that’s the aim,” Dr Broughton says.


The head of the Wellington Maori Cultural Society says kapa haka from the region are disadvantaged by entry rules for the national Te Matatini competition.

Hema Temara says Pukeahu, which placed third at the Whanganui a Tara regionals on Saturday, was of national standard.

But because only seven teams competed, only winners Tu Te Maungaroa and runners up Nga Taonga Mai Tawhiti are off to Gisborne.

Mrs Temara says more rangatahi want to join roopu than there are places, and the region needs experienced tutors of the calibre of Auckland's Bub Wehi and Pita Sharples to form new groups.

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