Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 09, 2010

Sharples disappointed at government caution

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says the Maori Party didn't get as much as it wanted for Whanau Ora, but there is enough to start the new system for delivering health and welfare services to Maori families.

John Tamihere, the chief executive of Waipareira Trust which hope to deliver Whanau Ora in west Auckland, has slammed the Government's refusal to put new money in.

But Dr Sharples says money has been reallocated within the health, social development and Maori affairs budgets to set up the necessary infrastructure.

“We expected big biccies and what he is saying really is this programme has got to be properly embraced by government. What government is saying is, ‘Look it’s brand new, we’re not sure how it is going to go, we have to exercise caution.’ The two views are absolutely appropriate at this time but I agree with John that it would be good to have government come behind this full bore,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the Maori Party accepts the Government doesn't have spare money as the country climbs out of recession.


The latest crop of Maori PhD graduates from around the country are having their achievements acknowledged at a Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia tonight.

Graham Hingangaroa Smith, the chief executive of Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi, says the 25 graduates bring the total of Maori PhDs to well over the 500 he was aiming for when he launched the higher education strategy at the start of the decade.

He says the Maori economy and society needs highly-qualified people, especially as tribes move into post-settlement development.

Professor Smith says many of this year's recipients of Te Amorangi National Maori Excellence awards are scientists, which is a good sign for building Maori capacity.


Four double-hulled voyaging waka will be put through trials on the Waitemata Harbour this weekend.

The 22 metre fibreglass waka are being readied to sail to Tahiti to raise awareness of the environmental issues affecting Pacific communities.

Rob Hewitt, a former Navy diver, has been teaching water safety to the crews.

He says Hine Mona, Te Mataua A Maui, Maramaru Atua and Uto Ni Yalo will be quite a sight as they leave Westhaven Marina about 9.30 on Sunday morning to travel to Motuihe Island.

They will be beached on the island, before heading back across the harbour to Mission Bay.


An anthropologist who has studied Maori organ donation says incorporating powhiri and poroporoaki into the process could boost the number of Maori willing to donate body parts.

Dr Jennifer Ngahooro from Otago Medical School's Bioethics Centre says there is a long waiting list for Maori in need of kidneys and other organ transplants, but few allow their organs to be harvested after death ... reducing the chances of a compatible match.

She told this week's Future of Organ and Tissue Donation seminar in Wellington that creating a poroporoaki ceremony for the relatives of donors, and a powhiri when the organs are passed to the recipients, could overcome some cultural barriers to donation.

“On the one side u have the donor family and the other side u have the recipient and the recipient family. This divide between the two and also the anonymity between the donor and the recipient, this is what people are really struggling with. I was thinking about the gap and it occurred to me this is what happens during a powhiri,” Mrs Ngahooro says.


Labour's social development spokesperson Ruth Dyson says National has played the Maori Party for fools over its Whanau Ora policy.

A report advocating a new method for delivery of health and social services was made public yesterday, but operational details or funding won't be revealed until the May Budget.

Ms Dyson says the Maori Party promised far more for whanau ora than it has been able to deliver.

“Well I think the National Party are just making fools of them now and it doesn’t matter what party it is, I really resent that sort of behaviour. You can have a few jokes at your opposition’s expense but they signed up to a deal with the Maori Party and now they’re treating them as if they're foolish,” Ms Dyson says

She says because the Government isn't putting any new money into the scheme, it will mean cuts to other programmes which support families and communities.


Te Wananga O Raukawa kaumatua Iwikatea Nicholson is being honoured tonight for his contribution to Maori education.

Wananga founder Whatarangi Winiata says the tohu at Te Amorangi National Maori Excellence awards at Turangawaewae is well deserved.

He says Mr Nicholson has made significant contributions to Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Toa Rangatira, as well as to the King Movement which chose the recipient.

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