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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, May 03, 2010

Wahine toa cited as smoking models

Hone Harawira wants prominent Maori to spread the message about being smoke free.

The Maori Party MP says the tax hike on tobacco pushed through last week will put a financial burden on low income Maori families if they keep smoking ... so people need help to quit as soon as possible.

He says young Maori women are particularly likely to smoke, but there are wahine toa they can look up to.

The more we promote these people and say to young women in particularly, if you really want to get to the top of the world like June Jackson, like Jacqui Te Kani, like Naida Glavish, then knock it off now,” Mr Harawira says.

He wants to eventually limit places cigarettes and tobacco can be sold.


Four generations of the Ohia Whanau will gather at Auckland University this week to accept a doctorate for the late Monte Ohia.

The educator and Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tonga died two years ago, while his thesis on Maori values and how they could be used in development was being examined.

His son Bentham, the pouhere or chief executive Te Wananga O Aotearoa, says Dr Ohia's mother Tutekawa, widow Linda, children and grandchildren will be the ceremony.

The whanau also intends to celebrate the achievement at Monte Ohia's home marae in Tauranga.


Still on education, the principal of Rotorua's Waiariki Institute of Technology is seeing the effects of improved Maori achievement at secondary school through the increased number of rangatahi coming through to tertiary level.

Pim Borren says the number of Maori in level four to seven courses at Waiariki is up 20 percent on last year.

He says teacher development programmes like Te Rangatahi as well as the increased flexibility of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement are making a dent in what looked like intractable problems.

“We've been trying to close this gap and what we’re really seeing is both a greater focus on achievement by Maori themselves but also an improved teaching style in terms of the way we are teaching our Maori students so that they are succeeding much more closely to Pakeha,” Dr Borren says.

Young Maori increasingly understand that better education can open the door to a better quality of life.


Maori in film and television, Nga Aho Whakaari, is getting ready for the next broadcasting frontier.

Along with Script to Screen and CoLab, it's planning a workshop next month in digital media.

Executive director Pita Turei says up to nine teams will spend a weekend producing a 2-minute story-based project for the mobile phone or

He says the cellphone could be the television of the future, and the media allows people to say what they want to say to a wider audience, with no one controlling what is said.

Applicants need to submit a project outline to Nga Oho Whakaari by May 14.


Papakura High School is finding improved relationships are lifting academic performance by Maori and Polynesian students.

The school is one of eight in the region involved in Pathways, an Auckland University research project involving academic counseling and mentoring for students.

Project manager Di Corban says in the past secondary school life has been disconnected from tertiary study, and many Maori students have discovered they have no transition path.

She says everyone in the school needs to be involved.

“To do really specific subject targets to ensure that the students are meeting their goals, so they have a goal of what they want to get out of the school, but we have to link it in to what they do on a day to day basis,” Ms Corban says.

Papakura High has a high Maori and Pasifika roll.


Boosting Maori research is on the agenda for the new head of the Maori department at Unitec Institute of Technology.

Te Karere presenter Scotty Morrison from Te Arawa has been an adjunct professor at the Auckland polytechnic for the past three years, and he's looking forward to replacing Tui Ah Loo of Ngai Tuhoe, who now heads up Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi's Auckland campus.

He says even though Unitec was denied university status, he's keen to encourage research in matauranga Maori.

“To really build the reputation of our lecturers through postgraduate study, through getting them to present at high profile conferences, submitting papers, writing papers, all of those kinds of professional development areas I am looking at to build the reputation of our lecturers so they become leaders in their field and that in effect will lead to us becoming a leader in our field of Maori education,” Mr Morrison says.

He's keen to work with other universities, polytechs and wananga so educational resources are used most effectively.

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