Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 28, 2010

Aotearoa strong second in waka medal tally

Crews from Aotearoa are giving the Tahitians a scrap for the silverware at the Waka Ama World Championships in New Caledonia.

With a day of racing to go, New Zealand has four golds, five silvers and nine bronzes. compared with the Tahitian's 12 golds, 8 silvers and 3 bronze.
Australia has nine medals in total.

James Papali'i from the Mangere club, who is competing in his eighth world championship, says more than 200 of the 240 New Zealand paddlers in Noumea are Maori.

He says the results reflect how the sport is thriving here.


Maori Party MP Rahui Katene says Maori who want to see GST taken off healthy food need to put pressure on Finance Minister Bill English and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne.

Her private members bill proposing the change has the backing of Maori groups including the Maori Women's Welfare League.
Mrs Katene says she doesn't accept arguments that excluding some food items and not other would make the tax system too complex.

She says Australia, the United Kingdom and Australia have all found ways to exempt certain food types from sales tax.

Rahui Katene says the thrust of her bill is backed by research from Auckland University shows giving people nutritional information doesn't mean they make healthy choices, but lowering prices does.


One of the country's oldest kapa haka is celebrating the 30th birthday of its home marae this weekend.

Ngati Poneke was formed in 1937 out of a core of young Wellington-based Maori who were brought together by Apirana Ngata to work on tukutuku panels for Te Ikaroa-a-Maui, the meeting house at Manukorihi Pa in Waitara which stands as a memorial to Maui Pomare.

President Bill Nathan says it got its own marae in 1980 with the opening of Pipitea, which is shared with Taranaki Whanui.

He says the celebration concert on Sunday afternoon will feature many of the waiata the club has made its own.

The concert starts at two on Sunday afternoon.


Huntly Maori have signed a memorandum of understanding with Huntly Power Station owner Genesis Energy aimed at putting what has been a fractious relationship on a better footing.

Kaumatua Taitimu Maipi, representing the five marae in the Huntly area, says the difficulties went back to the building of the power station in 1973.

Today's agreement will see the parties working together on resource planning, educational scholarships, cultural activities, employment and marae development.

Mr Maipi says there are lessons for other companies.

“Any company going into any community should have a strong relationship with Maori to do a few things: One to look after the environment they’re living in; to understand the culture and tikanga around that community; learn a lot about what makes those people tick; and then work a relationship between the company and the communities they go into,” Mr Maipi says.

He believes Genesis Energy now better understands the community's concerns.


A Maori clinical psychologist says some simple techniques can make the widely used Cognitive Behaviour Therapy more effective for Maori.

Simon Bennett of Te Arawa, Nga Puhi and Ngai Tahu received his doctorate from Massey University this week for research on adapting the therapy for Maori tangata whaiora.

Dr Bennett, whose great-uncle Henry Rongomau Bennett was the first Maori psychiatrist, says introducing Maori concepts such as whanaungatanga into the therapy led to a decrease in depressive symptoms and negative thinking.

“Basically what the research has done is shown if you adapt CBT in an appropriate way to make it more palatable for Maori clients, it can be as effective as all the international literature tells us,” Dr Bennett says.

His work should help other clinical psychologists working with Maori patients.

Maori and commercial eeling interests say they will work together to protect threatened long and short finned eels.

Iwi, industry and scientists came together for the first time at a hui today at Awanuiarangi campus in Whakatane.

John Hohapata-Oke, the chair of Ngati Awa Fisheries, says Maori own more than 50 percent of eel quota, so there is a commitment across the industry to kaitiakitanga.

“The wild eel fishery isn’t in a good state. Coupled with that is the current state of the habitat so not only is the species in trouble but we have issues round habitat through reclamations, through discharges, diversions, culverts, structures, the whole lot that is really causing havoc for those species,” Mr Hohapata-Oke says.

There was unanimous support for setting up a national eel association and an industry strategy working party.


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