Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hemi Rau puts name in for Waikato seat

A bitter employment row has spilled from tribal to parliamentary politics, with former Waikato Tainui chief executive Hemi Rau seeking the Maori Party nomination in Hauraki-Waikato.

Waikato-Tainui executive chair Tukoroirangi Morgan told the Maori Party leadership he'd be unhappy if Mr Rau was to become the candidate, given that he has sacked for allegedly bringing the tribe into disrepute by leaking information to the media.

But Mr Rau says the issues around his former job are completely different to who should take on incumbent MP Nanaia Mahuta for the seat.

“Currently the issue is before the employment courts and that is likely to be dealt with prior to the general elections of next year, if I’m successful in getting to that stage. The position that I had with Te Ara taura was that I was appointed through an employment process. The difference with this process is that it’s simply the people have a say, with democracy in place, whether they want you or not,” Mr Rau says.

The first two of five selection hui were held over the weekend, with Maori Party members asked to choose between Mr Rau, former electorate chair Bruce Mataki and Housing New Zealand regional manager Pia Searanke.


Alternative Welfare Working Group member Sue Bradford says Maori will be a top priority as the roopu of church and beneficiary rights groups challenges any radical rewrite of the welfare system.

Ms Bradford says the government group appointed in April to identify the best ways to reduce long-term welfare dependency is out of touch with beneficiaries ... especially the high number who are Maori.

She says the alternative group aims to provide realism and balance when the official report comes out in December.

“All of us are experienced people in different ways and we now damn well that Maori are and always have been disproportionately unemployed and disproportionately on benefits, suffering from mental illness, and also of course solo parents are going to be really affected by what the government is planning which is why the mandating groups, the church groups are very keen to have Maori on this group, which we do,” Ms Bradford says.

The six-member working group includes Bishop Muru Walter, who chairs the Anglican Church's Social Justice Commission, and Mamari Stephens, a lecturer in welfare law at Victoria University.


With South African towns and cities now cleaning up after the Soccer World Cup, Rotorua's 13 marae are looking to tap into next year's Rugby World Cup.

Monty Morrison, Te Arawa's events organiser, says with the sulphur city playing host to 3 international matches during the 6 week extravagaza, some of the thousands of visitors could be accomodated on marae.

He says as well as being an affordable sleeping place for the night, the marae also offers a chance for cultural interaction.

“We're trying to create an environment down here that will not only create excitement but five them an experience. It’s about things we do well as Maori, manaakitanga, tiakitanga,” Mr Morrison says.

Marae representatives will meet next weekend to discuss their plans.


One the eve of announcing who will deliver services under Whanau Ora, the minister in charge says some in the community believe the Social Development Ministry is stifling the programme.

Tariana Turia says the enthusiastic response from packed out hui shows there is an appetite among Maori for new ways to deliver integrated health, welfare, justice and education services.

But the programme will be limited to 20 providers, because that's how many contracts the ministry says it can handle.

“It kind of feels like this is our biggest opportunity ever we’re being stifled really, that’s what our people are telling me,” Mrs Turia says.

She says many Maori providers who have had 20 years experience delivering government services and say they're ready to move if whanau ora contracts are available.

CLARIFICATION: In response to a question about the quality of those who have applied to be Whanau Ora providers, the Minister responded:
“I haven’t seen any of the applications at all but I’ve got no doubt that this is an exceptional opportunity for our people to take back responsibility ourselves, and I know that in Maori and Pacific communities they are so looking forward to this.
“I’m only sad that we can only have 20 sites. It kind of feels that this is our biggest opportunity ever and we’re being stifled, really, that’s what our people are telling me, that they feel there are many that could go.
“We’ve had providers that have been around since the beginning of the ‘90s so they’ve had 20 years of being engaged in each of these social and health sectors, some in education as well as in justice and they’re all ready to move.
“Of course I knew that right from the beginning but part of the problem is the integration of the contracts which is a critical way forward for Whanau Ora and the Ministry of Social Development is saying that they can only do 20 a year. I’m hoping to encourage them to do more than that and see where we get to in the long term but this is our first year. Next year of course we’ll be looking to roll out more."


Otago University researchers say prescription charges are discouraging Maori from picking up medicines, creating long term health effects.

Lead researcher Santosh Jatrana says 14 percent of Maori don't pick up their prescriptions, three times the rate of Pakeha.

She says that defeats other key aims of the health system.

“Without addressing the cost barriers to collecting prescription medication, achieving equal accss to services may not be realized so we need effective information programmes to deduce disparityes in health outcomes for Maori and Pacific, so we need to reduce the cost barriers to buying prescriptions,” Dr Jatrana says.

If people don't take the medicine they are prescribed or take a smaller dose to save money, there health could suffer, leading to more hospitalisaion and increased cost for the health system.


Former All Black and Maori rugby hardman Bill Bush says Buck Shelford would make a great ambassador for next year's Rugby World Cup in place of Andy Haden ... if the Rugby Union can get over its mysterious grudge against him.

Mr Bush says the union has never explained why it dropped the national team's only unbeaten captain, or why he's never coached a national squad.

But even is the Ngapuhi number 8 stepped on some toes at home, he's known around the world.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home