Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Iwi ready for child welfare role

Waikato-Tainui chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says iwi would welcome the chance to have a greater say in looking after Maori children.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett told last week's Iwi Leaders Forum at Hopuhopu that she was looking at ways to get more Maori children who are under the care of Child, youth and Family placed with whanau or iwi.

She says currently 56 percent of those Maori children under five are in the care of other whanau members, and another 16 percent are with Maori who are not whanau.

Mr Morgan says Maori have been calling for the change for a generation.

“Ultimately we see no role for government institutions, those places that used to hold our children. What iwi and hapu seek is the opportunity to draw the strands of whakapapa in relation to those children who are currently under the care of the state andf weave them back into the fabric of whanau, of hapu and iwi,” he says.

Mr Morgan says if children are moved from the care of the state to iwi, then the resources need to come with them.

ALAC HAPPY WITH ALCOHOL LAW REFORM

The Alcohol Advisory Council's Maori strategic advisor is praising proposed alcohol reforms.

The government says it will adopt in full or in part 126 of the 153 recommendations of the Law Commission's review of alcohol laws, including raising the age for off-licence alcohol sales to 20, cutting the alcohol content in ready to drink mixes and reducing the hours that premises can sell alcohol.

Tuari Potiki from Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Waitaha says it's the kind of change ALAC has called for.

“There's a whole lot in the package that is really good and will make a difference, particularly in Maori communities, reducing the availability through getting rid of alcohol form convenience stores and dairies. There’s some stuff around price looking at minimum price, if it is viable, and it seems to me round the world that is becoming more of an option,” he says.

Mr Potiki says with the emphasis on discouraging youth drinking will help Maori communities.

PRODUCTERS LOOKING FOR MAORI STORIES FOR SHORTS

A Maori production team is looking for stories with an iconic New Zealand flavour to be made into short films.

Tauihu Shorts has been appointed by the Film Commission as executive producer of two short films with a budget of $90,000 each.

Producer Brad Haami says they are looking for experienced writers/directors with the ability to tell stories in a distinctively original way.

“That's what we are looking for, people who have got good little stories, a moment in time, of an incident or something like that, that is iconic of what Maoridom is or what New Zealand is as a nation,” Mr Haami says.

The deadline for applications is the end of October.

MAORI VOICE NEEDED LOUD IN ALCOHOL DEBATE

New Zealand says Maori leaders needs to make their voices heard for more control of alcohol.

Doug Sellman, who is also director of the National Addiction Centre, says the Government's liquor law reform package fall well short of what Maori leaders have sought.

He says the select committee process may be the time for Maori to talk about the harm alcohol is doing in their communities.

“Maoridom has some terrific spokespeople in this area. I’ve heard Sir Mason Durie. I’ve heard Mark Solomon and I’ve heard others saying what needs to be said but we need more of it, and from the looks of this announcement, we are going to need a lot more,” Professor Sellman says.

He says the Law Commission's recommendations for price signals, stopping supermarket sales and curbing advertising and sponsorship have been ignored.

GLAVISH STILL WAITING OR MANA WHENUA SEATS

Ngati Whatua Runanga leader Nadia Glavish says she is not standing for a seat on the Auckland council because mana whenua should be on the super city's governing body by right.

Ms Glavish says that's an argument she put directly to the Select Committee examining the super city legislation.

She says the Prime Minister John Key, and the Minister for Government Minister, Rodney Hide instead chose to stomp over the the treaty rights of Auckland iwi.

“We've heard all the stories about ‘I believe in democracy,’ and only the majority would use statements like ‘I believe in democracy.’ It’s not as though we don’t believe in democracy but we do have a treaty right and that title ‘we believe in democracy’ is about the tyranny of the majority,” Ms Glavish says.

She is supporting Manukau mayor Len Brown to head the super city because he has shown more support for tangata whenua than his rival, Auckland city mayor John Banks.

TAKARUNGA RESIDENCY VALUABLE FOR HAAMI

The Michael King Writers Centre in Devonport is counting its first Maori residency a success.

Manager Karen Beanland says Brad Haami was at the cottage on the slopes of Taka-runga or Mt Victoria for two months.

She says it was a productive stay for both writer and host, with Haami making progress on his book of the cultural traditions around whales, plus giving some talks to the public.

Applications for next year's two month residence for established or emerging Maori writers closes in December.

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