Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, May 24, 2010

Budget thumbs down from community health workers

The head of Maori community health workers collective Te Whiringa believes last week’s budget will hit low income Maori hard.

Riripeti Haretuku says while the government says no one will be worse off, the reality is that retailers are already starting to increase the price of basic commodities in preparation for October’s GST increase.

She says increases in property taxes are likely to be passed on to tenants.

“The impact it will have on people whop are currently renting is they are likely to have to absorb rent costs as well on top of that. This is a population that is already hard pressed with what they are trying to cope with now,” Ms Haretuku says.

Te Whiringa will try to make the Maori Party aware of the negative impact the budget has on low income whanau.


The Maori Tourism Council is praising a $4.5 million investment into the sector.

Its chief executive, Pania Tyson-Nathan, says the money in last week’s Budget will be available on a contestable basis to operators promote to promote Maori tourism.

She says the industry is poised for growth and the extra fund will allow Maori to show themselves to the world as never before.

“Maori are absolutely elated to see a budget as recognition there is room for Maori tourism in the wider New Zealand tourism space,” she says.


Maori schools in Tai Tokerau are picking up on the ancient Maori game of kiorahi.

Resource teacher Paulette Lewis says it can be confusing at first, but the game is similar to Australian Rules football, and most students pick it up quickly.

She's now planning a kiorahi carnival to coincide with matariki or the Maori new year, inviting all the schools which have learned the game.


Development of a unique Maori brand is well advanced.

Funding for a brand which will help Maori producers get premium prices for their goods and services was included in the Budget.

Maori tourism council chief executive Pania Tyson-Nathan says work has been going on behind the scenes on the project, and it will be available to operators for future activities.

“A key strategy for us is to look at tourism and trade as a package so it is an opportunity to showcase the best we have to offer whether it’s produce, whether it’s tourism product, music, whatever,” Mrs Tyson-Nathan says.


A major study into aging in New Zealand has changed the age requirements for Maori subjects because it can’t find enough Maori in the older age group.

Professor Ngaire Kerse from Auckland University's school of population health says the initial aim was to interview 1200 85-year-olds in the Bay of Plenty about what life is like for the elderly.

However there were few Maori of that age, the requirement was changed.

“To be able to look at issues that are important for Maori, look at them in Maori only, we really need 600 Maori, and looking how far afield we would have to go to gather 600 Maori who are just 85, the area would be very large, so it was a pragmatic to widen that to an 80 to 90 band so we can find those people in the Bay of Plenty region,” Professor Kerse says.

The study will be used by government and non government agencies to plan future care for the aged.


Tauranga Maori are backing plans for a museum to be set up in the city as part of a historical trail.

Colin Bidois, the tangata whenua representative on the project evaluation committee, says Tauranga is the only city in New Zealand without a museum.

At the last elections the incoming council scrapped plans for a harbourside museum, but it has now decided to look at alternate locations.

Mr Bidois says Maori want the museum sited in Cliff Road, which has views over to Muauo and Mount Maunganui.

“Maoridom have unanimously chose a particular spot which is of particular significance to Tauranga Maori, and has a beautiful outlook,” Mr Bidois says.

Maori are keen for the Council to agree on a site before the next election so work can start.


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