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Friday, May 14, 2010

Kahungunu wants tobacco free zone

Tuesday May 11

The country's third largest iwi, Ngati Kahungunu, is working towards declaring its rohe a tobacco-free zone.

Under the plan the East Coast iwi runs from the Wharerata ranges in the Wairoa District down to Cape Palliser in South Wairarapa, hopes to reduce smoking rates over ten years before totally eliminating tobacco use.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook from smoking cessation group Te Reo Marama is welcoming the move

“They're recognising that there’s a role to play for iwi in terms of caring for and protecting people so they’re the first out of the blocks really so it’s a massive change in the way Maori perceive themselves as leaders on public health issues like tobacco,” Mr Bradbrook says.

He hopes other iwi will follow Ngati Kahungunu's lead.


The government's announcement that UN special rapporteur on indigenous freedoms James Anaya is coming to New Zealand in July to review human rights has sparked criticism of UN officials from Labour leader Phil Goff.

Mr Goff who was part of the Labour government roundly criticised in 2005 by his predessor Rodolfo Stavenhagen over its foreshore and seabed act says Mr Anaya, an international lawyer of the Apache nation, should be welcomed and criticism listened to.

“But I think what sometimes annoys New Zealanders and annoys me to is when a UN body starts to criticise New Zealand for its inadequacies, some of the people who are critics are actually responsible for significantly worse human rights situation in their own countries,” Mr Goff says.

He says New Zealanders resent hypocrisy from UN officials and New Zealand doesn't need to agree with their assessment.


The executive director of nursing at the Auckland District Health Board says Maori nurses can learn a lot from Florence Nightingale.

It's International Nurses Day on Wednesday which celebrates 100 years since the death of the founder of modern nursing.

Taima Campbell says the famous Crimean war nurse was remembered for many things, but she was also really god at looking at the data and makingchjanges base on the data, something Maori nurses can also do.

She says says a recruitment programme is trying to attract rangatahi into the health workforce.


Maori prison reform advocate Kim Workman is supporting the privitisiation of prisons.

Yesterday the Government announced that the joint Mt Eden-Auckland Central Remand prison will be run by private interests providing opportunities for Maori as either advisors, business partners or sub-contractors.

Mr Workman, a former Corrections department manager who now heads the prison reform lobby group Rethinking Crime and Punishment says with half the prison muster Maori and recidivism rates high, its obvious the current system needs to change.

“I'm looking at this as an opportunity for Maori. If the minister is seeking innovation, Maori can run things well. They’ve proved that in the health sector. This may be an opportunity to have a Maori policy in those prisons that makes a difference and is an improvement on what we currently have,” Mr Workman says.

A number of Maori groups including urban Maori authorities have expressed interest in running culturally focused rehabilitation programmes within prisons.


Labour leader Phil Goff is predicting growing tensions between the Maori party and National following the failed Tuhoe treaty negotiations.

He says in the face of opposition from within its ranks the government has broken an undertaken to take the iwi's claim for ownership of the Urewera National Park to cabinet.

“This is the difficulty the National Party has at every time, they raise expectations because they like to do things that look good and please the Maori Party but then they back down, and you can’t raise expectations and then dash them without disaffecting the people you are dealing with. You should be straight with them right from the start,” Mr Goff says.

He says it is not surprising that the Maori Party is accusing National of betrayal, bad faith and being dishonourable in breaking off negotiations with Tuhoe.

In announcing the decision yesterday Prime Minister John Key said National was coming under pressure from rank and file over concessions to the Maori party including its endorsement of the declaration of the Rights of Indigenous people, Whanau Ora and tobacco taxes.


A farming sector leader says dairy farming has many work opportunities for Maori women.

The General Manager of the Women in Dairying, Linda Clarke, says it’s a multi-million dollar industry with a long history of Maori involvement.

Professional development is a key focus of the organisation’s annual conference that begins in New Plymouth on Wednesday.


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