Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Champions sought for Whanau Ora governance

The Whanau Ora governance Group is on the look-out for local champions who can oversee the programme at the regional level and guide its future development.

Group chair Rob Cooper from Ngati Hine says the success of the new delivery model for health and welfare services depends on its responsiveness to local needs and conditions.

He says the members of the regional leadership groups, who will sit alongside officials from the Health and Social Development ministries and Te Puni Kokiri, will be chosen over the next month.

“We want people who understand what is going on in the current environment and can help to do something about it, people who have got strong community involvement, not merely to sustain if you like the food parcel programmes but to find ways the elimination of those can become central to government policy positions,” Mr Cooper says.

The nominations for the three year positions are being managed by Te Puni Kokiri.


Kaitiaki iwi are talking with Horizons Regional Council on how they can help manage and clean up the Manawatu River.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia the council needs to work with iwi now and not wait for settlement.

Danielle Harris from Rangitaane, which is part of the Manuwatu leaders forum alongside Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Kauwhata, says iwi are already talking with the council on river issues.

“The mauri is very much affected at the moment by the level of pollution in our river and we are working quite positively with the Horizons Regional Council to seek to redress some of the water quality issues assoc with the river and to ensure our cultural goals with regard to the river are catered for and looked after,” Ms Harris says.

Rangitane's current negotiations with the Office of Treaty Settlements also include questions of river management.

The Child Poverty Action Group says tamariki Maori would benefit from the establishment of a cabinet post with responsibility for children.

Spokesperson Innes Asher says New Zealand spends about half what it should on children under six.

She says the suggestion of a dedicated minister for children, which was included in a new report by the Public Health Advisory Committee, makes sense.

“It's of particularly relevance to Maori because proportionately more Maori kids could have improved health and well being than they currently have and if we look at child health statistics for example, diseases are on average at least twice the European rates and with some conditions more than twice higher than that,” Professor Asher says.

A Minister for Children could fight in Cabinet for more resources for children who can't speak for themselves.


A leading constitutional scholar says vesting the foreshore and seabed in the Treaty of Waitangi could be the way to resolve current dispute between Crown and Maori.

The Government and the Iwi Leaders Forum are at odds over how to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act, with Attorney General Chris Finlayson proposing the coastal zone be considered a public domain rather than being in Crown ownership, and the forum proposing the treaty partners share ownership.

Lawyer Alex Frame, a former director of the Treaty of Waitangi Policy Unit, says that's close to the idea he put in 2004 to the select committee considering the then-bill, where the treaty itself becomes the owner.

“It is not uncommon in common law for rights to be vested in, legal personality to be granted to things that aren’t people. For example which there is a series of Indian cases that recognise there is legal personality in Indian temple gods,” Dr Frame says.

Such legal fictions are the way bodies such as universities are given powers to enforce their rights, and they could allow balanced coastal management.


Maori and Pacific educators working in adult community education are looking at the unique cultural attributes they can bring to the profession.

Analiese Robertson, the chair of ACE Aotearoa, says the three day hui is looking at different ways of teaching and learning.

She says funding cuts mean new approaches are needed.

“When you've got no money you become really creative and we’ve had no money for a long time so it is about sharing some of the ways that we have been teaching and learning out in our communities specifically with adults but also looking at whanau methods, going to the people so it’s not necessarily they come to us. The learning environments might become their home,” Ms Robertson says.


Ticket sales are heavy for Saturday's opening of the Maori rugby centenary series in Whangarei.

New Zealand Maori take on a New Zealand Barbarians team at the new $18 million Northland Events Centre.

Northland Rugby Union chair Andrew Golightly says all covered seats are gone, but a few uncovered seats are still available.

“People are recognizing it’s a bit of a change to be part of Northland history and see it’s going to be a special game,” he says.

Mr Golightly predicts a crowd of around 25,000 if the weather in Whangarei is fine on Saturday as forecast.


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