Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, July 05, 2010

Sharples calls for advice from youth

The Minster of Maori Affairs is looking to rangatahi to come up with fresh ideas.

Pita Sharples says he’s concerned the views of under-25-year-olds who make up a large proportion of the Maori population aren’t being heard.

He’s called for nominations for a 15-member council to reflect the views of young Maori.

“We're being guided by iwi leaders. We’re being guided by urban needs, by our National Government policy, and wherever the Maori Party can work hard and get some gains it’s fine but at the end of the day we’ve got to be working for the future and I think it’s time I was informed by the youth,” Dr Sharples says.

He says irrespective of political allegiance, all Maori MPs will value feedback from a Maori youth council.


The Mental Health Foundation has been forced to close a programme it believes cut Maori suicide rates

Chief executive Judy Clements says the foundation was unable to find an alternate funder after Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Youth Development withdrew.

She says Manawa Ora o Nga Taiohi used cultural activities like marae visits, taiaha and kapa haka training to build confidence and cultural identity among rangatahi.

An evaluation by Te Rau Matatini, the mental health workforce development centre, said it was having a positive effect on the lives of young Maori men and women.

Canterbury and the West Coast have some of the highest suicide statistics in New Zealand, particularly for young Maori.


Fern fronds and tree fungus may get a burst of culinary popularity when a new cookbook hits the shelves later this year.

Chef Charles Royal from Te Arawa has just completed the manuscript for his book on how to source and prepare traditional Maori kai, to be published by Huia in October.

He’s collected the recipes over the years from kaumatua and from family.

Charles Royal says now is a good time to gather pikopiko fern tips from the bush.


Otago University researchers say infectious diseases caused by overcrowded living conditions, such as rheumatic fever, have reached extraordinarily high levels among Maori.

Phillipa Howden-Chapman, the deputy head of the university’s department of health, says while the rate of infection is falling among people of European descent, it is climbing at an alarming rate among Maori and Pacific island populations.

It has resulted in a 26 percent increase in acute hospitalisations for respiratory and infectious diseases over the past two decades.

She says the rate of rheumatic fever for Maori is 13 times that of European.

Professor Howden Chapman says the answer lies in improving the number and quality of houses.


Tuhoe scholar Rangi Mataamua says the way Matariki or the seven stars of the Pleiades constellation appeared in the dawn sky indicated a good year ahead.

Dr Mataamua, from Ruatahuna, is giving a public lecture on Maori astronomy at Massey University's Albany campus on Wednesday night.

He says while the European scientific worldview placed astronomy over astrology, for Maori the physical and metaphysical worlds are one.

If the stars were seen as spread apart and bright on first appearance, ra whitiwhiti, it would denote a good year. A hazy appearance would be he tau tupuhi, a lean year.

Dr Mataamua says Matariki was spread out this year, which he hopes augers well for the All Blacks in the World Cup.


Two new roopu are among the large contingent who will represent Tamaki Makarau at the national Te Matatini Maori performing arts festival in Gisborne next February.

Auckland’s Aotea Centre was packed over the weekend as 21 teams competed in the regional championships.

Four times national champion Te Waka Hui came out on top, followed by Nga Tumanako made up of former Hoani Waititi Kura Kaupapa schoolmates.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples led Te Roopu Manutake to third, followed by Te Manuhuia.

The final two spots to Te Matatini were taken by, Te Taha Tu, which has only been together for sixz months, and Te Tai Tonga, one of four Manurewa roopu competing.


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