Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 30, 2010

Manurewa Marae opens whare oranga with sadness

A kaumatua of Manurewa Marae says the opening of a new health clinic was tinged with sadness, but looked towards a brighter future.

Te Manu Aute Whare Oranga is a joint venture between the marae and Counties Manukau Health.

Alec Tairua says today's ceremony included unveiling memorials to two workers killed last year when a relocated house which was to serve as the clinic slipped from its supports.

More than 100 people have already registered with the health clinic, and the search is on to fully staff it.


The Maori Affairs Minister, Pita Sharples, is describing the extra tax on tobacco as tough love from the nanny state.

Dr Sharples says he knows many Maori addicts won't cut down, and the extra amount they spend on cigarettes could mean less food on the table for their children.

But he says smoking reduction is a kaupapa the Maori Party is making its own.

“It's very much an example of tough love. At the end of the day we are over-represented in the statistics of dying through smoking and we’re represented in the figures of smoking amongst our youth as well, so it is tough love,” Dr Sharples says.

He says there is always the nanny state factor when government pushes does what it believes is good for the people.


The Historic Places Trust's Maori heritage advisor would like to see more information made available to the public about prominent waahi tapu.

Helen Brown interviewed dozens of tangata whenua for an exhibition at Akaroa Museum on Takapuneke, the scene of the 1830 massacre where Ngai Tahu ariki Te Maiharanui was killed.

She combined those interviews with text and images to show why the area also known as Greens Point is considered sacred by Maori of Akaroa and Oonuku.

“A lot of our waahi tapu rest silently in the landscape. Their history isn’t evident. You look down into the bay and it’s a beautiful place but it just appears as paddocks so in future we’re looking at the development of a conservation plan and a management plan, making people have a connection with that place and its history,” Ms Brown says

Before the exhibition Nga Roimata o Takapuneke, which closes on Monday, many residents had no idea of the land's historical significance .


Five carvers from Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute are in Shanghai to put the finishing touches to a 10 metre waka mau mahara that will serve as the entrance to New Zealand's world Expo pavillion.

Te Puia visitor experience manager Karl Johnstone says about two thirds of the work on the 3500 year old kauri log has been done, and the carvers start tomorrow on the surface decoration and kowhaiwhai, under the eye of thousands of daily visitors.

He says yesterday's opening of the pavilion was awe-inspiring, particularly the unveiling of the 1800 kilo pounamu boulder which stands at the entrance.

“Chinese are very much a jade culture as well so strong connection to them with that but also with the carving because of the story and I guess with the values that go along with the gifting of this piece to the people of China. There’s a lot of synergies between the values of the Chinese and Maori so they understand the conceptual nature of the work,” Mr Johnstone says.

The Maori contribution should help the New Zealand pavilion stand out.


More input from parents is being credits with improving the achievement of Maori students.

Patrick Walsh, the president of the Secondary Principal's Association, Patrick Walsh, says there is a huge increase in the number of Maori staying on until year 13 and gaining the three levels of the National Certificate of Education Achievement.

Contributing factors include the way NCEA better addresses Maori needs, new approaches to management of Maori students such as Te Kotahitanga, and changes in parents' attitudes.

“We're getting more engagement from the whanau. We have whanau committees that have been established in schools, Maori parents have greater aspirations for their children. They’re prepared to sit on boards of trustees. They’re prepared to monitor the work of their children. They want them to go to university and achieve,” Mr Walsh says.

Improved performance by Maori is reflected in better behaviour both in and out of school.


A pioneer teacher of te reo Maori is launching another story books in Rotorua about now.

Aunty Bea Yates from Ngati Pikiao was the first itinerant teacher of Maori in the Waiariki rohe.

She hopes Hoha Te Taniwha will match the success of One Day a Taniwha, which she and daughter-in-law Gay Kingi self-published last year.

Aunty Bea says started writing her stories half a century ago on sheets of A3 paper because she discovered there were no resources in Maori.

She started publishing after her daughter in law found piles of her old A3 books at the back of a classroom

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