Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Maori nurse training accelerated in Manukau

The head of south Auckland Maori primary health organisation Te Kupenga o Hoturoa, Neil Woodhams, says the region can't wait for existing channels to produce the Maori health workers needed to service its population.

The PHO is behind Pu Ora Matatini, which is training 89 Maori nurses and midwives.

Mr Woodhams told the launch or Counties Manukau District Health Board's Grow Your Own initiative, which also includes health and science academies at three south Auckland high schools, that innovation is the key.

“We were determined that this programme would not repeat what had already been done because it fails for Maori students. The particular difference I think is that we treat our students as a whanau and they go through the various stages of their foundation course and degree course as a whanau,” Mr Woodhams says.

The course, which is taught through AUT University and Manukau Institute of Technology, is structured so students graduate with minimal student loans.

IWI PATIENT WAITING FOR JOINT RESOURCE COMMITTEE

The chair of the Hawkes Bay Regional Council has thanked Ngati Pahauwera and other iwi for their patience while plans for a joint iwi-council planning committee were developed.

Alan Dick says Cabinet's approval for the 50-50 co-management plan for the region's resources means stalled treaty settlements covering the Mohaka and Tukituki rivers can be taken to the next step.

“Ngati Pahauwera is the first of the block and they’ve been waiting really now for 10 months I suppose for this impasse to be resolved. They’ve been very patient about it which is commendable,” Mr Dick says.

He is confident his council will ratify the scheme covering 12 iwi at its September meeting.

NEW CHOICE FORCES MAORI TO MARGINS

An Auckland University media and Maori studies lecturer says the mainstream media continues to chose and present news in ways that discriminate against Maori.

In the 1990s Sue Abel conducted an in-depth study into media coverage of Waitangi Day, and she is now part of an $800,000 Health Research Council study into the effect on Maori health of negative media depictions.

As part of the university's Winter Lecture Series on the ends of journalism, Dr Abel questioned how the media frames Maori perspectives.

“When Maori do get to say ‘we look at it this way,’ it is framed very much as an alternate point of view and there will be a Pakeha view up against it, whereas that never happens the other way round. A Pakeha voice is seen as common sense,” Dr Abel says.

IWI LANDLORDS SOUGHT FOR CELL TOWERS

The chief executive of 2 Degrees says the upstart mobile phone company is keen to work with iwi to extend its network.

The company yesterday launched its 3G network, which uses spectrum allocated to Maori a decade ago as a consequence of treaty claims.

Eric Hertz says it will allow customers to get mobile broadband on 2 Degrees own network, which is limited to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

He says the company, which has a Maori shareholding of about 12 percent, has been talking to iwi and other landowners around in other centres.

“We've had a lot of interest in trying to find creative ways if bringing coverage out into areas we not get to right away, particularly where there is a need for towers, so if there’s an interest out there particularly to help us get towers out there, we’re trying to find creative ways to help that happen. So early days in those conversations but if we can find landlords to help us expand faster, then we’re really intrigued by that,” Mr Hertz says.

He says 2Degrees has spent $280 million so far.

REGIONAL COUNCIL TOLD TO STAY IN WHAKATANE

A Ngati Awa representative on Whakatane District Council's iwi liaison committeee has welcomed news the Bay of Plenty Regional Council won't be shifting to Tauranga.

Ending a four-year battle, the Court of Appeal upheld a Whakatane District Council appeal against the High Court's decision to allow the regional council to relocate its head office, which employs 100 people.

Joe Mason says it would have had a severe impact on the economy of the eastern bay, where the percentage of the population that is Maori is far higher.

FAMILY GIFT PROPELS GRACE TO AWARD

Patricia Grace says she is thankful of the trust placed in her by a whanau who wanted their parents' story told.

Her book Ned and Katina, which tells the story of how 28 Maori Battalion member Ned Nathan returned home from the second world war with a bride from Crete, has won the biography section of the Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards.

The Plimmerton-based writer says the Nathan whanau shared stories and produced their parents' old photos and letters.

“The reading public, people come up to me and say how much they enjoyed the book but it was a wonderful story and I think I was given a gift when the Nathan family asked me to write their parents story, so I’ve very please to see it’s won the biography award,” Mrs Grace says.

Her first non fiction effort is now in reprint, and she's back in more familiar territory working on a novel

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