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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sharples rules out 90 day trial support

Pita Sharples says his Maori Party is implacably opposed to probation periods for new employees.

The government has signaled it will extend the 90-day trial to all workplaces as part of a package of industrial law changes.

Dr Sharples says his party opposed the original fire at will bill in 2008 which applied to workplaces with under 20 people, and it doesn't want see it extended to larger sites where most of New Zealand's workforce is employed.

“It is based an unfair idea that you can (say) ‘come work for me for 90 days, we’ll see how we go, if I want you I’ll keep you. If I don’t you go and I don’t have to tell you why.’ That cannot ever be fair so while it does have economic advantages for the employer, I do not consider it to be fair and the Maori Party will never support that,” he says.

Dr Sharples says the Government has failed to prove the existing bill has created job opportunities for young Maori.


Te Atiawa has removed the outer part of the Tory Channel from its application for a mataitai customary fisheries reserve in the busy Marlborough Sounds waterway.

Kaitiaki Sharon Gemmell says at the request of commerical fishers, several bays at the entrance of the channel were dropped from the area the iwi wants to control.

“Fishermen were saying that when they come in from being out in the Cook Strait they need to be able to come in, they’re still doing a few of the commercial activities like cleaning out their boats, rigging their boats again, they needed somewhere to do that and it’s the safety aspect more than anything else,” Mrs Gemmell says.

Te Atiawa hopes the concessions will allow the Mataitai reserve, which was first applied for in 2005, to finally win approval from the Ministry of Fisheries.


The mayor of Gisborne, Meng Foon, says the fact only 5 percent of council representatives are Maori is an issue of concern at this week's Local Government New Zealand hui.

Hai taa te koromatua o Tuuranga a Meng Foon he maaharahara nui te ruarua o nga kanohi Maori:


A leading education researcher has backed a call by a ministry official for schools to embrace the Ka Hikitea Maori strategy.

Apryll Parata, the deputy secretary for Maori education, told a School Trustees Association conference this month that the strategy, along with national standards, was part of the tool kit schools should be using to lift Maori achievement.

Stuart McNaughton from Auckland University's Woolf Fisher Education Research Centre says his team has been studying how the strategy does help raise achievement levels.

He says of critical importance is its mantra of Maori succeeding as Maori.

“Sometimes it's like us being fish in the aquarium and not being able to see what we’re swimming in. Internationally there is a huge amount of interest in that policy because it put the cultural aspiration to the forefront of the educational achievement, so if we can get it right and get it working well and the resources as part of this, we could be a world leader,” Professor McNaughton says.

He says schools need help to analyse the mass of data they get about their students so they can understand which programmes or interventions best suit their students.


Taki Rua Theatre is on the road for the next 10 weeks taking Maori language drama to schools around the motu.

Director Ngapaka Emery says the new production, Te Matapihi O Te Ao, draws on stories from the 15 years the Wellington-based company has made the hikoi.

She says it's not just kohanga and kura who are taking the opportunity to see actors Nepia Takuira-Mita, Karl Teariki, Paulette Hansen and Tiki Daniela tread the boards, with many mainstream schools with immersion units signing up.

As well as the performance, the actors will run workshops to encourage participation in the performing arts..


The Maori Language Commissioner, Erima Henare, says the road toward the total revitalisation of the Maori language will be a long one.

Hai taa te tiamana o te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori a Erima Henare...
he roa tonu te hiikoi kei mua i te Maori:


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