Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hiring mystery job policy justification

The Prime Minister, John Key, has rejected Maori Party skepticism about the 90-day probation period for new employees.

The government wants to extend to policy to all workplaces.

But the Maori Party has indicated it won't back the move, because the existing policy hasn't created job opportunities in small firms for young Maori.

“I don't think you can make that claim. I certainly don’t think you can make that claim from a basis of fact. And the reason for that is firstly it is very difficult to know whether every person gets hired, we don’t know why they get hired,” Mr Key says.

He says a Department of Labour survey indicates the probation period has encouraged many small companies to take on staff.

BOOK AWARDS HIGHLIGHT OVERLOOKED BOOKS

The organiser of the Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards says many outstanding books of Maori interest get overlooked among the mass published each year.

Spencer Lilley, Massey University's Maori library services manager, says all 12 finalists merit further recognition.

They include biographies of pioneering ethnographer Elsdon Best, comedian Billy T James and Ned and Kataraina Nathan, histories of Te Urewera and the Taranaki Wars, essays on the Treaty of Waitangi claim process, a collection of proverbs, a report on the last Te Matatini national kapa haka competitions and Huia Publishers' eighth short story collection.

Mr Lilley says his favourites are the three finalists in the architecture and design section: Richard Sundt's study of early Maori church buildings, Nicholas Thomas and Mark Adams book on carver Tene Wairere and Julia Paama-Pengelly's young adults' guide to Maori weaving, painting, carving and architecture.

Voting can be done at Massey University libraries or online at tinyurl.com/ngakupuora


WANANGA TO GROOM TOMORROW’S SURF STARS

Sixteen young Maori surfers are better prepared for this summer's surfing competitions after a wanaga at Pukehina Marae in the eastern bay of Plenty.

Daniel Proctor, the Maori development coach for Surfing New Zealand, says Te Puni Kokiri-funded wananga will also be held in Gisborne and Raglan before the summer.

He says the grommets, aged between 8 and 16, were shown some of the techniques put Maori like Daniel Kereopa and Airini and Sarah Mason into the top ranks.

Daniel Proctor says Mount Maunganui primary schooler Kehu Butler stood out at the wananga as an outstanding surfer to watch.

LAND SALE LESSON IN POPULISM

Prime Minister John Key says selling productive land to foreigners can be detrimental to New Zealand's welfare ... but the zero sale policy proposed by Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira is a step too far.

He says the government is considering a review of the Overseas Investment Act to see whether the tests on land sales need to altered.

“We don't want to end up as tenants in our own country so you have got a situation where I think you do have to consider how much land is sold offshore in the productive base because that’s the bit that is ultimately going to pay for New Zealand’s wealth. One of the reasons our current account deficit is so bad is because so much foreign investment means all of that income flows offshore,” Mr Key says.

MAORI ADMINISTRATORS COULD IMPROVE OVERALL PERFORMANCE

The author of a study on sports administration says getting more Maori and Pacific Island people involved in coaching and management would boost the achievement of players from those groups on the playing field.

Ryan Holland talked with almost 100 sports organisations as part of his doctoral study on diversity in sports governance and leadership.

He found Maori and Pacifika peoples are hesitant to put their names forward, in part because of a traditional feeling that people are born into leadership roles.

“If you look at some of our main sports, the likes of rugby, rugby league, netball, touch, and volleyball, there’s a high percentage of playing numbers from those ethnic backgrounds but as you go up the ladder, coaching and management at board level, it’s sort of just drops away. I think it’s an important topic because there is more and more Pacific Island and Maori being involved in sport and for them to be even more successful there needs to be a presence at the management level as well, not just at the playing level,” Mr Holland says.

His next step is to hold focus groups and interviews with Maori and Pacific sports administrators to help develop a strategy to attract more into the sector.

AWARD FOR ARTS WORK AMONG MENTALLY ILL

Auckland's Toi Ora Live Arts Trust has won a prize for its work among people with mental health problems.

Manager Erwin Van Asbeck says the Arts Access Aotearoa Big "A" Award was a welcome recognition of its mahi.

The trust was established in the mid-1990s as a place where people, including significant numbers of Maori, could create art as part of their recovery, including everything from creative writing to fine arts, music and film.

He says it’s a non-judgmental environment where people can relax and be creative as part of their recovery.

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