Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Call for next Maori governor general

Maori Council member Maanu Paul is calling for the next governor general to be Maori.

The term of the current queen's representative, Sir Anand Satyanand, ends in a year.

Mr Paul says it has been 20 years since the country has a Maori governor general, Sir Paul Reeves.

He says major constitutional matters are in the wind, so an eminent Maori with experience in the law would be ideal for the role.

“Sir Eddie Durie, a retired High Court judge, has sufficient mana, has more than sufficient ability, and has the personality to carry out being a governor general for Aotearoa,” Mr Paul says.

He says Sir Eddie Taihakurei Durie would have the support of Maori throughout the country.


An increase in supervision of children while they are swimming is being credited for a 20-year low in Maori drownings.

Matt Claridge, the manager of Water Safety New Zealand, says only 7 Maori drowned in the first six months of this year compared with 13 in the same period of 2009.

He says the groups most at risk are older males and young children.

Generally the drownings are a result of diving, gathering kaimoana, fishing and boating, and also small children left unsupervised. There haven’t been many small children left unsupervised and drowning this year, which probably leads us to explaining the reason why there is a reduction in Maori-related drownings,” Mr Claridge says.

He says the fatalities could fall even more if more Maori took swimming lessons.


Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says his uncle Koro Dewes could be relied on for straight talking.

The Ngati Porou identity died this week at the age of 80, after a lifetime as a pioneering educationalist and an acknowledged expert in Maori language and history.

Mr Horomia says Dr Dewes kept him on his toes throughout his working life, and especially when he became minister of Maori affairs in the Labour Government.

“He would say “how come those Wellington people come up here, talk at 100 miles an hour, read off the paper, we don’t know what they’re saying but we nod our heads,’” Mr Horomia says.

Koro Dewes' funeral will be held tomorrow at Hinerupe Marae in Te Araroa.


Hundreds of people have been through Parihaka Marae today to pay final tributes to Te Miringa Hohaia.

The artist, activist and kaitiaki of Te Paepa o te Raukura died suddenly on Tuesday aged 58.

Former Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa, who served with Mr Hohaia on Parihaka trusts for more than 20 years, says his friend had been conducting wananga for members of Taranaki Tuturu on the iwi's treaty claims and on its traditions relating to te taiao, the environment, te moana, the sea, and Taranaki maunga.

“We were getting the benefit of knowledge that had almost been lost and now it’s lost again because he was the interpreter for us in terms of the really traditional stuff and relating it to our people and its implications,” Mr Okeroa says.


Northland's Ngati Rehia is getting strong interest from other hapu in its scheme to train its own rangatahi as kaitiaki or rangers doing pest management and conservation work.

Tutor Clinton Rameka says Takou Were-Te-Mokai in partnership with Northtec has trained 12 rangatahi to work around Takou Bay north of the Bay of Islands on projects like kiwi habitat restoration.

A second intake is now doing the five month course.

He says it's an idea that can work anywhere, and if any hapu wants help, they will show them how to do it.

Mr Rameka says the project has support from Community Max, but future funding could be a problem.


A guest appearance with a New Zealand Symphony Orchestra ensemble has 13-year-old Pukemiro Primary schoolboy Aaran Richards considering a career in music.

Aaron and schoolmate Harley Tumohe were among a number of north Waikato students who played with the ensemble at a charity concert in Huntly, put on to thank the area's major employer, Solid Energy, for its sponsorship.

The pair wielded their ukuleles for the theme music from the Blues Brothers and Tiki Taane's Always on my Mind, which was used for a BNZ advertisement.

“They were easy because we had practiced and practiced until we knew them off by heart,” Aaran says.

Pukemiro Primary's 18 students are now looking forward to joining an attempt to beat the world record for ukulele orchestras Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland later this year.


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