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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, June 21, 2010

Turia promotes possum kill job scheme

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is advocating people power rather than poison to combat possums.

Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene is proposing a members bill to ban the use of 1080.

Mrs Turia says the Party doesn't believe government claims the poison is the most effective form of possum control, and it sides with rural people concerned at the damage aerial drops do to other species.

She says possum control can boost regional economies.

“We know how valuable possum fur is. This is something that those who live in the isolated areas, this is the kind of work they can do and will go given the opportunity and to be paid for it,” Mrs Turia says.

NURSING HISTORY OUTLINES TOUGH ROAD FOR MAORI

The author of centennial history of the Nurses Organisation says the profession's rigidity in its early years drove away prospective Maori nurses.

Freed to Care, Proud to Nurse was launched last week at Pipitea Marae in Wellington.

Mary Ellen O 'Connor says while many Maori were attracted to nursing, many found it a hostile environment to work in.

“The origins of nursing in New Zealand, it’s very empire and very military and very Christianity, that’s the origin, so it was never a profession that appealed to Maori. It was kind of rigid and a lot of Maori actually ended up going into psychiatric nursing rather than general nursing,” Ms O'Connor says.

FOOTBALL STAR REID SHOWED PROMISE EARLY

The father of All Whites defender Winston Reid says his son also excelled cricket and golf when he was a youngster.

The scorer of New Zealand's first goal in the 2010 Football World Cup was on hand again this morning to glance a header to striker Shane Smeltz, who slotted it into the net giving the All Whites a 1-all draw against world champions Italy.

Lyle James from Tainui says soccer was a family tradition for the Port Waikato-based whanau, and Winston was kicking accurately with both feet by the time he was 3.

Reid moved to Denmark when he was 10 and become a professional at 18 after rising through the Danish Age Group reps.

He says the whanau are pleased Reid, who moved to Denmark when he was 10 and rose through the Danish age group reps, chose to play for New Zealand rather than his adopted homeland.

“He could have gone over as a reserve but I don’t think he would have got much playing time. He would definitely have been going with the Danish under-21s to their world cup. I think he did the right thing. He hummed and hahed and rung me up twice and I was quite surprised he was thinking of coming back to his roots and playing for New Zealand,” Mr James says.

Winston Reid's mother Prue is from Ahipara.

WITNESS WILL UNSCRAMBLE TOBACCO INDUSTRY SPEAK

A star witness to this week's hearing of the Maori Affairs select committee inquiry into the tobacco industry is being described as a translator of industry double-speak.

Shane Bradbrook from Maori smokefree group Te Ao Marama says whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand was a key witness in anti-tobacco litigation in the United States,

He says the former tobacco executive will serve as a counter to British American Tobacco general manager Graeme Amey, who denied the company had a strategy to market smoking to young Maori.

“The industry are there to lie and deceive and that is just part and parcel and I think part of the frustration for people like Hone (Harawira) and other MPs is that they were not getting a straight answer. Ask Wigand and he will be able to tell you what that double speak actually means,” Mr Bradbrook says.

Dr Wigand, who has been brought to New Zealand by Action on Smoking and health, will also give public lectures.

STUDY RESTRICTIONS THREAT TO MAORI ADVANCE

The chair of the Public Education Coalition says Maori will miss out on opportunities for tertiary study if universities restrict entry.

Auckland, Massey, Victoria and Otago universities have indicate they are capping courses or raising enrolment thresholds to bring student numbers within government funding limits.

Former Labour MP Liz Gordon says Maori have been drawn to tertiary training in increasing numbers over the past decade, but that momentum could stall, with long term consequences.

“There's a huge Mari design out there which is creating huge wealth. If you cut off those opportunities, then you actually affect the economy of the nation. Those who are defending the reduced numbers in tertiary education are really short sighted,” Dr Gordon says.

She says the way the universities are approaching the problem smacks of educational elitism.

NECK ADORNMENTS SHOWN FOR MATARIKI

A Wellington Maori art gallery is getting it in the neck this week.

Hei at Iwi Art features neck ornaments by 10 artists, including Lewis Gardiner, Stacey Gordine and Whiu Waata.

Curator Tia Kirk of Ngati Porou and Ngati Awa says the artists have taken a range of approaches to the theme of adornment for Matariki, using traditional forms like reiputa and manaia and materials like pounamu, silver, concrete and bone.

Iwi Art is also holding an auction on Trade Me this week to raise funds for television personality Te Hamua Nikora.

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