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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Roia Jolene Patuawa dies at 33

Te Roroa and Ngati Whatua as well as the Maori legal fraternity are mourning former Maori Law Society president Jolene Patuawa--Tuilave, who died of cancer this morning in Tauranga.

Ms Patuawa graduated from Otago University in 2000 and quickly achieved distinction as a lawyer specialising in treaty, environmental and Maori law, first with Tauranga firm Holland Beckett and then as a senior associate with Kensington Swan.

She returned to her home town last year, but was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer while she was carrying her second child.
Her stepmother, Jackie Patuawa, says Jolene made a significant contribution to Maori through her work.

“She rose up very very quickly, and I think that’s just her passion for her work and for Maori people in general She was very very proud of her Maori heritage and just wanted to do everything she could to help her people,” Mrs Patuawa says.

Jolene Pautuawa-Tuilave is survived by her husband Rob and children Rob, Vitolia and 10-week-old Lui.

She will be taken to Taita marae at Mamaranui near Dargaville, with the funeral at 11 on Monday morning.


The head of the Sawmill Workers Against Poison, Joe Harawira says a health support package offered yesterday is only the start of what former mill workers need.

Ministry of Health officials were in Whakatane yesterday to outline how workers affected by tanalising processes used at a former board mill could get services including a comprehensive health test each year.
Mr Harawira says it's better to have a little bit of something than a whole lot of nothing, but at least the workers are finally being listened to after more than two decades of campaigning.

“The biggest part for us is they’ve got my group there part and parcel of the decision making on all these issues. For a government agency to offer that to us, it has to be a big plus,” Mr Harawira says.


The coach of the Maori All Blacks puts last night's historic win over England in Napier down to the team's sense of collective responsibility rather than the many acts of personal brilliance.

Jamie Joseph says since the centenary squad was brought together earlier this month, its members have walked with a sense of pride in the achievements of past teams.

He says while wing Hosea Gear has won accolades for his hat trick of tries, it came on the back of a concerted team effort.

“You know in professional rugby a lot of it’s about the individual and the guys get contracted, they make money but in a Maori environment there’s something bigger than themselves, they’re actually playing representing and responsible for something a lot bigger than the individual. It was about our people. It was about 100 years. It was about those who had gone before and the guys really embraced that and played accordingly,” Mr Joseph says.


There was an impressive display of legal firepower in the Bay of Islands today to witness the elevation of the country's newest Maori judge to the bench of the district court.

About 20 judges from the district and Maori land courts, as well as Northland and Maori MPs, were on the Ngati Manu Marae at Karetu as District Court chief Judge Russell Johnson swore in Greg Davis.

They included brothers Kelvin, a Labour list MP, and Patrick, a Kawakawa police sergeant.

Judge Davis is the first Maori alumni of the Waikato University law school to sit on the district court bench.

His last job was leading the legal team for Ngapuhi’s historic claims before the Waitangi Tribunal panel headed by Maori Land Court judge Craig Coxhead, who was on hand to welcome Judge Davis to the Maori bench.


The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging the use of culture to counter low self-esteem.

Chief executive Judy Clements says today is International Self Day, when it's okay to think good thoughts about yourself.

She says low self esteem can lead to other problems, and many Maori have been helped by by programmes like the foundation's Manawa ora o nga Taiohi youth programme that focus on positive aspects of culture as an antidote to negative media images.

“To actually learn about their own history, to understand tikanga made a huge difference to their self esteem. It was a really good set of results from exposure to their own culture, their history, and to leaders that respected them,” Ms Clements says.


And a leading Maori artist says rugby is Art when it's played well.

Darcy Nicholas from Te Atiawa is planning for next year's Maori Art Market in Porirua, which will co-incide with the Rugby World Cup.

He says the market could be an opportunity to promote Maori artistic expression to rugby fans - who may have an appreciation of the finer things in life, such as the flair displayed in the New Zealand's Maori team's 35-28 rousting of England at Napier.

“Sport at its best is art and that’s when emotions, intelligence, physicality, everything is moving in harmony with itself and we saw some of that last night. That’s what I loved about the game,” Mr Nicholas says.


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