Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

2Degreees launches 3G network

Telecommunications spectrum set aside for purchase by Maori a decade ago in response to a Treaty of Waitangi claim is finally being used.

2Degrees chief executive Eric Herz says the 3G network launched today uses the block allocated to Te Huarahi Tika Maori spectrum trust and its subsidiary Hautaki, which owns about 12 percent of the mobile phone company.

He says customers will be able to connect to the Internet through their smartphone or USB modem at lower prices than competing network operators Vodafone or Telecom have offered so far.

“This spectrum of 2100 MHz we are using is very usable, in fact it’s the same spectrum as some of the competitors use, it’s used around the world so it’s brought great value to the business and the growth of the business will very much be in that space,” Mr Hertz says.

The 2Degrees network won't suffer the kind of problems experienced by Telecom XT users, because in the event of any outage the handsets will automatically switch back to the company's 2G network.


The Ministry of Health is warning people to prepare for a second wave of swine flu.

Mark Jacobs, the director of public health, says there's been a spike in the number of cases of the pandemic strain in the past couple of weeks, with more than 380 confirmed cases and 183 hospital admissions nationwide.

He says it seems to be hitting people in the 25 to 44 age range, but Maori rates of the illness seem lower than last year.

“Last year just over a quarter of all people being admitted to hospital were Maori. This year so far, although the numbers are still early, the number for Maori and Pacific is under 20 percent so far,” Mr Jacobs says.

He says those Maori hospitalised tend to have other significant health problem, or they are overweight or pregnant.

Those at high risk should try to get immunised this week, and people should also be vigilant about hand washing.


Children's book author Malcolm Patterson believes young readers will be fascinated by the rich history of Auckland's Maungakiekie or One Tree Hill.
Castles in Our backyard, which comes in both Maori and English versions, tell the story of how Tui and his cousin Jennifer are persuaded by their grandmother to set aside their video games and explore the maunga.

Mr Patterson, from Ngati Whatua ki Kaipara, says too many New Zealanders ignore the history under their feet,

“You know we’ve got a rich fascinating history, like my tribe has a fascinating history there, but so do others Various iwi have come and gone over the centuries, and in more recent years other people have come, there’s a rich Pakeha history and also a Chinese market gardening history on Maungakiekie,” he says.


The spokesman for workers poisoned during their mahi at the former Whakatane Board Mills is welcoming an initiative to use natural methods can be used to clean up the site.

The Health Research Council is funding a project led by Te Runanga o ngati Awa to investiigate whether a combination of mushroom planting and tree planting can draw contaminants from the soil.

Joe Harawira from Sawmill Workers Against Poison or SWAP says it's good news for those who have spent 20 years fighting for their plight to be acknowledged.

“We feel in order to get our health issues right, we need to heal papatuanuku first. That’s the matauranga Maori perspective,” Mr Harawira says.

SWAP is independently researching whether other interventions like seaweed and radio waves can be used to break down the molecular structure of poisons in the soil.


A former head of Womens Refuge says the welfare of tamariki Maori needs to be a community responsibility.

Merepeka Raukawa Tait says the death of 6-month old Cezar Taylor last week, which has led to charges against his mother's partner, should be of concern to all whanau.

She says Maori must make it their business to know all they can about those responsible for the care and protection of tamariki, and be prepared to intervene.

She says usually when someone comes to the attention of authorities, there were may opportunities over the years to have intervened.


A pioneer of kaupapa Maori music has decried the Americanisation of many contemporary Maori performers.

Ngahiwi Apanui took waiata Maori to the charts, first with his band Aotearoa in the 1980s and then as a solo performer.

He says while support from Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai Paho has made it easier for performers to record songs in te reo Maori and get their work played on iwi radio, the results often seem to miss the point.

“A lot of Maori musicians are preoccupied with the American R ‘n’ B stuff so you get the old acoustic stuff going with the Beyonce wannabe squawking away and for me it’s about saying to these artists, what’s wrong with sounding like a Maori voice, what’s wrong with sounding like you're from here,” Mr Apanui says.


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