Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Frequencies irk iwi radio leader

A Northland iwi radio station says Maori radio is still being treated as second class by the Ministry for Economic Development's radio spectrum management division.

Ngati Hine Radio is being forced to switch from its 96.4 and 96.5 FM frequencies to 99.1 and 99.6 as part of a rearrangement of spectrum in advance of the shift to digital broadcasting.

Station manager Mike Kake says even though Maori won their case in the Privy Council for radio spectrum to help the promotion of Maori language and culture, they were dealt a bad hand by the ministry.

“The frequencies that were given to iwi radio were what I call the rats and mices – frequencies that are low powered, that are nowhere near the power of the mainstream commercial stations, so we’ve got that battle, and we’re continuing to have that battle,” Mr Kake says.

Radio Ngati Hine was top iwi station in the 2010 Radio Awards.


A Maori psychiatrist says campaigns aimed at destigmatising mental health are helping many Maori sufferers.

Rhys Tapsell says having high profile people like footballer John Kirwan talking about their battles with depression has opened up conversations and allowed people to seek treatment.

He says Maori often need that sort of outside stimulus to seek treatment.

“Depression affects at least as many Maori people as non-Maori and possibly more. It is a big problem for us. It causes lots of disability, it causes lots of difficulty for people who suffer depression and often of course people who become depressed don’t know where to get help,” Dr Tapsell says.

A new series of ads will be premiered at this week's conference in Auckland of the Australasian College of Psychiatrists.


The head of Te Wananga o Aotearoa says he's a beneficiary of his father's belief that education can bring multi-generational benefits.

Bentham Ohia will today accept on behalf of the whanau the PhD his late father Monte Ohia earned from Auckland University.

At the time of his death in 2008, Dr Ohia was running as the Maori Party candidate in Te Tai Tonga, and the university was examining his thesis on whanau transformation through education.

Mr Ohia says his father devoted his life to Maori education.

“He's put all those elements as the thrust and the foundational platform for the PhD programme he completed and it’s his position in terms iof Maori leadership and the importance of education and the positive effects education has in transforming our families,” Mr Ohia says.

After the university graduation, the whanau plans a celebration on its Tauranga marae.


Ngati Manawa will today lay to rest the rangatira who brought home its treaty claim.

Bill Bird died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer.

Kaumatua Maanu Paul says the former teacher and forestry worker put in a huge effort not only to negotiate the deed of settlement signed in December, but to repair relations with neighbouring tribes in the eastern Bay of Plenty with potentially overlapping claims.

He says with the settlement still waiting enactment, there are parallels with Tainui's lead negotiator, the late Sir Robert Mahuta.

“The pain everybody felt while they hadn’t quite completed things, that same pain is felt here. The reverence with which people work with him and the government departments that worked against him, the respect and the mana is the same that they gave to Bob,” Mr Paul says.

The funeral service for Bill Bird at Ngati Rangitahi Marae in Murupara starts at 11 this morning.


Maori Television's use of Maori journalists is proving an inspiration to other indigenous broadcasters.

Te Anga Nathan, the channel's manager of news and current affairs, was a featured speaker at a World Press Freedom Day forum at Queensland University attended by 150 indigenous journalists from round the world.

Organiser Heather Stewart says finding and training staff is a challenge for most indigenous broadcasters.

“Te Anga Nathan’s model is fantastic. To have an all-indigenous staff is stunning. In Australia, the federal government has asked the public broadcasters to meet a quota of indigenous broadcasters in its workforce by 2015,” Ms Stewart says.


The author of a biography of one of the most colouful of the Pakeha Maori says it's fitting no one knows the location of Cannibal Jack's grave.

Trevor Bentley says Jacky Marmon was an Irishman who jumped ship in the Bay of Islands in the early 19th century, and ended up fighting for both Hongi Hika and Hone Heke.

He says when Marmon died in the 1880s, he was accorded the respect shown to rangatira and buried secretly in a cave overlooking the Hokianga.

“He had known and advised many of the great chiefs and fought beside them including Hongi Hika and Muriwai, Hone Kingi Raumati, Patuone, Tamati Waka Nene, but he’d always shown an unusual, an enormous amount of respect and enthusiasm for Maori customs and religious practices,” he says

Marmon had five wives during his lifetime, and Mr Bentley will go to Tauranga next week to give copies of the book to some of his descendants.

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