Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sharples keen to see Maori in prison management

Associate corrections minister Pita Sharples wants Maori be involved with private management of prisons.

Labour has attacked the Government's plan to allow private opertators to build and run a new 1000-bed men's prison in south Auckland.

But Dr Sharples says with one in two prisoners being Maori, it's important Maori organisations get involved in incarceration, management and rehabilitation.

“We know that some programmes that Maori offer do work and it’s sort of like Whanau Ora, that we’re gong to look at things form a Maori world view so that you make the person responsible to their community rather than just dealing with them as an individual,” he says.

Dr Sharples was impressed by the innovation he's seen in the seven privately run prisons in Australian he's visited.


Maori immersion high schools are developing a virtual high school so they can share specialist teachers.

Coordinator Tony Waho says Te Kura Ata Ata involves video-conferencing, Internet, off site wananga and teacher visits to individual students.

He says kura have been sharing senior maths classes since 2000, but it's now extending the service to offer New Zealand history at NCEA levels one and two and level one science, spread over years 10 and 11.

“The idea is to have this national virtual schools where teaching skills are able to be shared. We have had it for quite a while but it’s been a bid ad hoc so we’ve got to be smarter and more secure abOut what we’re doing with it.” Mr Waho says.

The kura are also keen to strengthen their relationship with the Correspondence School, including translating its resources into Maori.


Huia Publishers wants to improve the quality of picture books submitted to it.

Managing director Robyn Bargh says many manuscripts have potential but need tweaking to appeal to children.

The Maori publisher is running a workshop in Tauranga this weekend, where writers and illustrators will get tips on coming up with characters that children might respond to.

“A lot of the books we get, especially by Maori writers, are very serious and earnest and they’ve got morals … basically read this story and learn you’ve got to be a good little boy, whereas kids like stories like Where the Wild Things Are, which are ridiculous stories and over the top stories, but kids really like that,” Ms Bargh says.

Huia and technology company Kiwa Media has taken two of its popular children's books - Barnaby Bennett and Oh Hogwash Sweet Pea! - and made them available through Apple's iTunes store for the iPhone, iPod and the iPad.


Politics seems to be a factor in the latest round of appointments to Maori Television and the Maori language commission.

Maori Television gave the Government a headache last year when its bid to be the lead free to air broadcaster for the Rugby World Cup upset the plans of the broadcasting and sports ministers.

Now Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples has replaced two of the three Crown appointees on the Maori TV board.

Businessman Wayne Walden from Ngati Kahu stays on, but television veteran Rod Cornelius and broadcaster Wena Tait are out.

In their place are educationalist Donna Gardiner from Ngaiterangi and Ngati Ranginui and senior National party figure Sir Wira Gardiner from Ngati Awa.

Sir Wira, a former soldier and Te Puni Kokiri head, has been successive governments as a troubleshooter when Maori organisations cause political heat, and National will be hoping he can keep the ship stable during world cup year.

Over at Te Te Taura Whiri, Dr Sharples appointed two new commissioners, Evelyn Tobin and Te Awanuiarangi Black, who as well as contributing 8000 entries to the Maori language dictionary Te Matapuna, was number 18 on the Maori Party list last election.

A Pakistani teacher who has translated the Koran into Maori credits two prominent Tainui kaumatua for their help.

Shakil Monir says when he started working on the Islamic holy book 20 years ago, there was no one able to translate from Arabic to Maori, so he took lessons in te reo from Maurice Wilson and Tom Roa.

The pair noted similarities between the languages, including the way there are different terms for speaking to one, two or more people.

Shakil Monir's translation of the Koran translation will be launched in Auckland tomorrow morning.


Surfer and surf broadcaster Te Kauhoe Wano says the world has woken up to Sarah Mason.

The pint sized Taranaki 15 year old stunned the surf world yesterday by beating the world number one to advance to the quarterfinals of the Women's Surfing World Championships at Fitzroy beach in New Plymouth.

She beat fellow New Zealander Paige Hareb this morning, but lost to Hawaiian Carissa Moore in the semifinal.

Mr Wano says Sarah Mason is the first Maori surfer to feature in a world championship event, and proved she's a name to watch and the event will be a huge boost to her career.


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