Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Whanau Ora whakapapa points to autonomy

Maori Party president Whatarangi Winiata says the Whanau Ora model for government service delivery is a belated expression of the reforms recommended in Puao Te Ata Tu.

He say the recommendations for Maori autonomy in the late John Rangihau's groundbreaking 1986 review of the Department of Social Welfare fell on deaf ears at the time.

But party co-leader Tariana Turia, who was a Maori Affairs community welfare officer at the time, has never forgotten the message.

“It's not going to go away, that is the aspirations to determine our own future, to have Maori management of matters Maori, to have those who know the culture prescribing for the culture, and that is what Whanau Ora is going to do,” Professor Winiata says.

KAHUNGUNU BOOSTING HEALTH WORKFORCE OPTION

Hawkes Bay Maori health and social service provider Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga is holding seminars to encourage Maori into the health workforce.

Chief executive Alayna Watene says the Whakamahi Atu series is aimed at students and workers who may doubt they have the skills needed.

Some of Taiwhenua's 160 staff are sharing their experiences of career development.

“Many of the vocations or career opportunities available aren’t easy for them to aspire to because they think it’s unattainable. Having workers that can fit into any job setting around the country, as part of their commitment to the kaupapa was giving back to the whanau by sharing their personal stories,” Ms Watene says.

Whanau Ora will create opportunities for more Maori health workers.

NICHE SPECIALISATION AND AROHA WORKING FOR TIME

An award-winning tourism company says being small and specialised can work for Maori operators.

TIME Unlimited Tours in Auckland has won a global award for its website from eco-tourism magazine Planeta.com and the secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Director Ceillhe Sperath from Ngapuhi says the website is part of a company philosophy to give visitors the information they are looking for to make their stay in Aotearoa one to remember.

“They really want to meet the locals. They want to ask us the questions that they wouldn’t ask in a bigger group and you become friends. We keep getting told it’s like being shown around by a family friend. That’s probably one of the success elements, we don’t do large groups and we like to learn as much about them as they learn about us,” Ceillhe Sperath says.

Just over 48 percent of contributors to the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award voted for the TIME Unlimited site, compared with just 21 percent for the second placegetter.

CLUB MED IWI FORESHORE TOO FAR FOR JONES

Labour's economic development spokesperson, Shane Jones, has slammed a suggestion by the Attorney General that customary title means Maori could partner with foreign companies to develop Club Med style resorts along the coast.

Chris Finlayson made the suggestion on TV3's The Nation show on the weekend.

Mr Jones says that's not what the public expects to come out of the consultation on a replacement for Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“Well the implication of what Chris Finlayson was saying is that he envisages a situation where foreign interests will have substantial opportunities to create major enterprises along with some hapu or something like that in the seabed and foreshore. That’s a very new and almost sinister turn to this whole process,” Mr Jones says.

He says after criticising Labour for leaving it to the High Court to determine customary title, Mr Finlayson now says he will grant rights through negotiation with individual iwi.

Foreshore and Seabed consultation hui will be held today at Puatahi Marae on the Kaipara Harbour at noon and Butterfly Creek near Auckland Airport at six.

MERIDIAN GIVES WHY FOR NGATI WAEWAE PAY-OFF

Meridian Energy is welcoming Ngai Tahu support for its plans to build a giant hydro dam on the Mokihinui River north of Westport.

A weekend hui by the Ngati Waewae hapu endorsed a decision to withdraw opposition to the $300 million project, which has just got planning consent from the West Coast regional and Buller district councils.

Meridian spokesperson Alan Seay says it's undeniable the dam and its associated infrastructure will have an impact on the river, so it made sense to offer Te Runanaga o Ngati Waewae compensation to fund cultural initiatives.

“We obviously understand that the local iwi is going to have a very particular point of view, that this is a landscape that’s very important to them and we want top do the very best we can to take those interests into account and we’re very happy we’ve come to an agreement,” Mr Seay says.

Details of the mitigation agreement are confidential, but the money will only be paid if the project goes ahead.

BISHOP DEMANDS APOLOGY BEFORE FORGIVENESS

One of the greats of Maori rugby says New Zealand government should apologise for its past complicity in Maori being excluded from teams touring South Africa.

Muru Walters, who probably missed selection from the 1960 All Blacks because of the ban, says the Rugby Union had the full backing of the government of the time.

That extended to the minister of Maori affairs, Ernest Corbett, visiting the dressing room before the Maori game on the 1956 Springbok tour of New Zealand and telling the team that for the good of rugby it must not win.

“We had never had an apology from the South African government, neither have we had one from the New Zealand government, both of whom took a strong measure of direct political interference not to include Maori,” Bishop Walters says.

He will ask Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples to seek a joint apology to Maori Rugby from both governments.

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