Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 07, 2010

Teachers needing lessons on smoking

A Maori tobacco researcher wants smoking cessation resources put in to help teachers who smoke to quit.

Marewa Glover from Auckland University's school of population health says a survey of more than 2000 teachers found Maori figured prominently in the 9 percent of teachers who still smoke.

She says 88 percent of teachers agreed they can influence students' attitudes to smoking, and 79 percent believe teachers should set a good example by not smoking.

Dr Glover says quit services are most needed for staff at low decile schools and those with large Maori and Pasifika rolls.

“They don't have time to get out during the day because they’re there at school teaching and if services are only operating 9 to 5 a lot of people working like that can’t get to them so we need to find ways of getting the cessation support to workplaces and schools and to staff and teachers that need it,” she says.

More than 60 percent of teachers supported last week's tobacco price hike.


The Public Service Association is concerned the allocation of only $37 million a year to Whanau Ora will mean job losses and poorer quality.

National secretary Richard Wagstaff says Whanau Ora needs to be a new way of delivering social services, not just privatisation with a Maori name.

He says in the past when when programmes such as disability services have gone from state providers to non-government organisations, under-funding meant wage cuts, high staff turnover and casualised workforces.

“Nobody wants Whanau Ora to fail but unless we have real commitment to decent quality jobs, decent training, decent conditions of work, that’s a real risk and we don’t want to see that happen,” Mr Wagstaff says.

The PSA has been unable to get answers from a departmental or ministerial level about which services will be cut to fund whanau ora.


Maori playwrights are being given a chance to hone their craft at next month's Taonga Whakaari Festival in Papakura.

Organiser Graeme Bennett, the manager of the Hawkins Theatre, says the inaugural festival includes play new and old by Albert Belz, Briar Grace Smith and newcomer Whiti Hereaka.

He says young Maori youth in the area are passionate about performing arts, and the festival provides an opportunity for them to see some of the top Maori writers, directors and actors at work.

“We're trying to provide employment opportunities and this is also a great way to get Maori involved in theatre at all levels. We’ve seen great opportunities, we see great story lines, and they haven’t reached their full potential,” Mr Bennett says.

The Taonga Whakaari Maori Playwrights Festival also includes a 24 hour challenge, in which five teams of Maori playwrights, directors and actors will be given 24 hours to write, rehearse and perfom 15-minute plays.


The head of a west Auckland Maori social service provider says the new Whanau Ora delivery model will shake up the welfare sector.

John Tamihere says Te Whanau o Waipareira wants to be one of the 20 Whanau Ora providers, and it has been training its staff to be community navigators under the new model.

He says Whanau Ora has built in outcomes-based reporting, so people will no longer be paid just to manage problems.

“You got to be paid and resourced to fix the problem and so Whanau Ora for the first time allows that assessment so you know the quality of your spend, you know the bang for your buck for a change. Mainstream organisations don’t have it, nor do mainstream government department. They have an input output compliance but wouldn’t know after all those inputs and outputs whether it was really working among the tougher parts of their clients,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says the $37 million a year set aside for Whanau Ora is enough to start changing the system.


A research project looking at young Maori families in the Wairarapa has challenged previous reports on working class fathers.

Doctoral candidate Gareth Rouch from Massey University's school of psychology says academic literature on working class fathers was based on studies of African-American men.

His research involved lengthy interviews with 23 Wairarapa fathers, either Maori or with a Maori partner.

He says the fathers valued their home and family more than possessions, and believed being a father gives them more respect in the community.

“Becoming a dad meant these men were able to have a legitimate emotional relationship, they were about to talk about aroha, they were able to talk about compassion, they had a reason for doing that, and they truly enjoyed that,” Mr Rouch says.

The research was an extension of his earlier work which led to the book Boys Raising babies; Adolescent Fatherhood in New Zealand.


One of Maori TV's most popular shows is back on air tonight.

Homai Te Pakipaki producer Erina Tamepo says the weekly live to air talent quests succeed because it's great fun and it's accessible for singers and audience alike.

Entry is not restricted to Maori and anyone wanting to participate should turn up at Maori Telelvison's newmarket studios by 4 PM for auditions.

Erina Tamepo says the show going into its fourth season attracts many non-Maori viewers who love its spontaneity and Maori kaupapa.


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