Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Three strikes and out for Ngatu Whatua

Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua says the third Auckland super city bill fails yet again to give Maori a real voice.

Culture and heritage manager Ngarimu Blair says the select committee has ignored Ngati Whatua's submissions on the design of the Maori advisory board.

The iwi wanted the seven mana whenua places on the nine member board to be evenly distributed among the main tribal groupings, to avoid jostling for mana.

Mr Blair says the bill ignores work Auckland iwi have done over the past year on settling regional treaty claims.

“Where we have joined together to manage our volcanic cones and where we have an easily distributed mana amongst the main iwi groupings, to us that’s the model because it’s come from the earth, from the people themselves rather than what we have in the super city Maori advisory board which has come straight out of Wellington,” Mr Blair says.


Labour leader Phil Goff wants Maori leaders to stand up against state asset sales.

He says spirited opposition from the Maori Council and other Maori groups forced governments to change tack during the last major privatisation push of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

This time round some some iwi are indicating they're in the market if the government is selling.

Mr Goff says finance minister Bill English plans to sell off the family silver to pay for tax cuts.

“That's wrong, it’s shortsighted, it’s stupid, it’s not what New Zealand wants. So we will work with the Maori Council, we will work with every sector in New Zealand to make sure the National Party can’t get away with its privatisation agenda,” he says.

Mr Goff says it's clear future privatisation of assets like the Ports company is a factor in the way Auckland is being restructured into a super city.


South Waikato iwi Ngati Raukawa are mourning the death of tribal stalwart Emare (Emily Rose) Nikora,

Mrs Nikora helped start Tokoroa's first kohanga reo in 1986, and was also a founder of the Raukawa Trust Board and the iwi's radio station.

She was awarded a Queens Service Medal for services to Maori.

Homai Uerata, a kaipapaho at the radio station, says Mrs Nikora was involved in all aspects of Maori development, but the reo held a special place in her heart.

“Emare, her dreams ands aspirations and the doorways and gateways she opened was to have the reo sustain its journey to its fullest,” he says.

Emare Nikora is lying at Maungatautari marae.


The Education Review Office says early childhood services need to lift their game when it comes to catering for Maori students.

A new report says nearly two-thirds of early childhood teachers and principals are not focused on helping Maori become competent and confident learners, and more than half the services aren't responding adequately to the expectations of whanau.

Diana Anderson, the ERO's evaluation services national manager, says 76 percent of Maori children attend mainstream early childhood services such as kindergarten or Playcentre, and parents have every right to expect their children will be given the best start in education.

“The system has to fit the student rather than the student fitting the system and this is really what’s come out in this evaluation, that the services that are doing really well are responding to the children and the families that are attending, not saying this is how we do things in our centre, you fit in,” Ms Anderson says.

The report shows many mainstream centres do work well with Maori whanau in helping their tamariki reach their education potential.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei wants the government to limit advertising of junk food as a way of tackling obesity among Maori children.

Ms Turei says a new Advertising Standards Authority code on food advertising is likely to be as unsuccessful as the voluntary code it replaces, because the same people are behind it.

She says a complete ban on advertising unhealthy food to children is a way to address what is turning into a crisis of childhood obesity.

Ms Turei says the most accessible food for low income Maori is often unhealthy food.


A Taranaki iwi says a new public statue in Hawera is its way to mark the completion of its treaty settlement process and look to the future.

Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui has placed the 3 metre high bronze statue of the ancestor Ruaputahanga at the entrance of the TSB Hub events centre.

Iwi member Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, the deputy mayor of South Taranaki, says their tupuna was known for her integrity and love for her people.


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