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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 30, 2010

Praise for student health scheme

The director of a scheme to increase the number of Maori entering the health workforce says it works because students get the real oil from health workers.

Incubator, which targets about 30 low decile schools in Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and Northland with high Maori rolls, has won praise from a Massey University evaluation team.

Wynn Schollum from the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board says Incubator differs from typical career talks in the way the workers are able to share job stories.

“They don't (normally) speak to people about what they do at work. In this environment they can. The experience is brought from the health sector right into the classroom where they learn abut what it’s like to work in health, who you work with, what your opportunities are,” Mr Schollum says.

A marae-based version of Incubator will be rolled out in the coming months.

INDIGENOUS SKIPPERS NEEDED FOR OCEAN GOING WAKA

The trainier of crews for a fleet of double-hulled waka aims to put indigenous skippers at the helm as soon as possible.

Rob Hewitt, a former navy diver who survived three days in the sea off Porirua, has just returned from a four month journey which took in French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.

He says while all the Maori crew on the six waka had day skipper's tickets issued by the New Zealand Coastguard, they didn't have the ocean-going qualifications to take full control.

“Here we are on indigenous wakas with indigenous peoples so why not have indigenous leaders and skippers on board. A the moment we have skippers from Sweden, France, America, around the world except where they are born and bred from,” Mr Hewitt says.

The waka voyage aims to highlight the environmental degradation of the Pacific.

FARMERS NEED NOT FEAR RIVER COMANAGEMENT AUTHORITY

The chief executive of south Waikato iwi Ngati Raukawa is welcoming the introduction of a bill which will give Raukawa, Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa a say in the management of the Waikato River.

Chris McKenzie says Ngati Raukawa hopes to work with farmers along the river, including many Maori land trusts, to clean up the river.

MAORI MORE LIKELY TASER TARGET

An Auckland University sociologist says police are more likely to taser Maori than other New Zealanders.

Dr Bruce Cohen says in Britain and the United States minority groups have been far more likely to be zapped during relatively minor incidents.

He says when the New Zealand police trialed the weapon in 2006 and 2007, 29 percent of those tasered were Maori despite making up just 15 percent of the population.

“I've no doubt that Maori are likely to be targeted in the future with tasers so we take taser out of the equation, we all know about Maori being over-represented in the prison population, also those coming before the courts,” Dr Cohen says

He says more than 300 deaths in the United States have been directly attributed to taser use, and it is only a matter of time before a Maori dies as a result of a police taser.

IWI RADIO BROUGHT INTO ROYALTIES SCHEME

Maori singer-songwriter Hinewehi Mohi has welcomed a deal between Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai Paho and the Phonographic Performers Association of New Zealand for iwi stations to pay Maori composers and musicians royalties for use of their material.

The data collected will allow an independant iwi radio chart to be published, which could create wider interest in the most popular waiata.

Ms Mohi says contemporay reo Maori musicians struggle to get wider airplay, but the chance to get some income from iwi radio play could encourage the production of more material.

“It's a fantastic boost for Maori artists particularly those performing in te reo Maori which doesn’t get a lot of mainstream airplay and a certain kind of person writing, composing, recording music for kaupapa Maori and the kinds of sounds that iwi radio are playing so this is really great,” says Ms Mohi from Ngati Kahungunu.

QUALITY PROBLEMS WITH EARLY LANGUAGE LEARNING

Waikato University reo professor Pou Temara, who is in Hawaii gauging language revitalisation projects, says Hawaiian and te reo Maori face similar challenges of finding enough competent teachers, particularly at the early childhood level.

Hei taa Temara...ko te mohiotanga o nga kaiako tetahi o nga tino aarai ki te tupu o nga reo.

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