Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Rugby Union stance gets prop Bush wild

Former All Black prop and Maori All Black captain Bill Bush says it may be time for Maori rugby to sever its ties with the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and go it alone.

Mr Bush says the union's refusal to respond to a call to apologise for excluding Maori from touring teams to South Africa for half a century is part of a pattern of prejudice against Maori.

He says it still comes up in team selections.

“Every time a player gets dropped out of the All Blacks, it has to be a Maori. Three were dropped out when we went to the World Cup in 2007, Piri Weepu, Rico Gear and (Troy) Flavell. Now we’ve got young Isaac Ross being dumped for no reason at all. It just annoys me and they favour the Samoans and Tongans more so than us,” Mr Bush says.

He says it now appears the NZRFU isn't going to organise a game for the Maori All Blacks next year, which would have been a consolation for Maori players who miss out on the World Cup squad.


A push by Maori men on the East Coast to improve their horticultural and hunting skills is providing a bonus for tamariki at Tikitiki's Rahui Marae.

Rob Thompson says a new mana tane roopu is allowing men in the region to share their skills, and they've gone on to establish community gardens in Rangitukia, Tikitiki and Te Puia Springs.

He says as part of a school holiday programme, today the roopu shared their knowledge of mahinga kai with tamariki.

Today the tamariki learn the basics of fishing and respect for Tangaroa, and on Thursday they'll be taken into the ngahere to learn bushcraft.


In a late season burst, Hawkes Bay Maori shearer Jonny Kirkpatrick took the open class honours at the Auckland Easter Show.

Commentator Koro Mullins says the win sets up a four-way battle at this weekend's New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti for a spot in the New Zealand World Cup team between Kirkpatrick, shearing icon David Fagan, Paul Avery and Dion King.

Kirkpatrick's Auckland win was his first since early February, but the King Country event has been good to him, as he won the previous two years.

Another Maori shearer, Cam Ferguson, already has his ticket to the World Cup in Wales booked because of his Golden Shears win.


Former Miss New Zealand Maureen Waaka is thrilled at Cody Yerkovich's Miss World New Zealand title win at the weekend.

The former Maureen Kingi last year called for beauty contest judges to look beyond skinny blondes when choosing contestants to represent Aotearoa on the international stage.

She says the Kaitaia 18-year-old of Maori and Croatian descent has that special M-factor.

“The way that Cody presents herself is typically the refinement and elegance of M women and even in the performances and kapa haka, our woman, no matter what their build they were always dainty always elegant in their style and they brought a lot of refinement in their personages and that’s what I’ve been looking for in the beauty pageants,” Mrs Waaka says.

As a judge it was great to see Cody was not the only Maori among the 14 finalists.


It's looking like a good harvest for Maori-owned wine company Tohu Wines.

James Wheeler, a board member of 50 percent shareholder Wakatu Incorporation, says the company expects to produce up to 90 thousand cases of wine this year to meet solid customer demand in New Zealand and overseas.

He says picking started this week of 700 tonnes of sauvignon blanc grapes from its Waihopai vineyard.

“It's looking very good. I was on the vineyard the other day and we’ve got very little botrytis, in fact I couldn’t see and the bunches are good so I think we’re going to have an exceptional year,” Mr Wheeler says.


Ngati Rangiwewehi elder Trevor Maxwell says Te Arawa values Don Stafford's recording of its stories.

The historian, who died on Monday in Rotorua, is to be honoured by lying in state in the house Tamatekaua before his funeral at St Faith's Church on Friday.

Mr Maxwell says Mr Stafford became a walking encyclopedia on tribal history, drawing on stories told to him as a young man in his father's Rotorua shop for his 23 books.

He says no tribal history can be definitive, and Te Arawa has to take responsibility for its own record.

“He really only printed what he was told and perhaps some might have bent the story a little but he wrote it down and if he didn’t, who would we be listening to in the present day. He’s been our district’s official historian and a man who bridged Maori and European worlds,” Mr Maxwell says.

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