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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, August 02, 2010

Reedy review needed as revival plateaus

The chair of a team to review the strategy and infrastructure of the Maori Language sector, Tamati Reedy, says a change is needed to reinvigorate revival of the language.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says a more coordinated approach is needed for the $226 million plus spent each year by Government agencies or though community projects.

Dr Reedy, who with wife Tilly wrote the original curriculum for immersion schools, says the government is right to question whether it’s getting value for money.

“We are going to have a fresh look at it and if some drastic measures have to be suggested to government, I hope we will come back, make suggestions that might help to accelerate and improve the statistical data that is currently there because it’s kind of plateaued,” Dr Reedy says.

Dr Reedy is joined on the review panel by Toni Waho, Hana O’Regan, Cathy
Dewes, Pem Bird, Pania Papa and Rahera Shortland


Massey University researchers say a scheme encouraging Maori secondary school students to seek jobs in the health sector is effective.

The Incubator scheme was started four years ago by Hawkes Bay District Health Board, and it's now being extended to other areas.

It brings health professionals into low-decile schools to share with senior students stories about how they built their careers.

Sociologist Paul Spoonley, who headed the evaluation team, says there is a huge need for Maori health workers but many Maori Year 12 and 13 students don't know how to open the door.

“The thing is that if they haven’t had any contact with health careers, this is their first chance to really see what the possibilities are and so you get them really enthusiastic. The next step is to get them through to a tertiary institution and get the funding or keep them in that tertiary institution,” Professor Spoonley says.

He says more schools and district health boards should adopt the scheme nationwide to inspire more school leavers to work in health.


Former Maori All Black Bill Bush says sporting careers could be the way out of disadvantage for many young Maori.

Mr Bush has been critical of what he sees as a lack of support by the New Zealand Rugby Football Union for Maori rugby, and he's backing the creation of a new body to lead Maori sporting endeavours across a number of codes.

He says it's a vision iwi could buy in to with tautoko and cash ... and the depth of talent is there.

“As far as I'm concerned I’d be quite happy to let the Maori All Blacks say with the New Zealand All Black side, take our top players, and we will pick other players who are round the country who are unemployed, in lower socioeconomic areas and pick them up, try to put them in academies in any sport they want to be in,” Mr Bush says.


The company prospecting for ironsands off the south Taranaki - Whanganui coast expects a lot of interest from Maori miners if the resource is exploited.

Bill Bissett, the chair of Trans Tasman Resources, says an offshore mining operation employing 150 people directly and 500 indirectly could be up and running within four years.

The 5 to 10 million tonnes of ironsand produced a year could either be exported or provide raw material for a New Zealand steel mill.

He says it will attract many of those now working at Trans Tasman’s operations in Western Australia.

“We’ve got a lot a lot of New Zealanders and a lot of those guys are Maori and some of the best workers because they’re there for a purpose, they’re away from home, they’re dedicated, they’re there to make their money, often many are sending it home and wanting to get home so we’ve had a lot of unsolicited inquiries as to what potential might exist,” Mr Bissett says.

He says meetings with iwi groups in the region have received a positive response.


Denying Maori designated seats on the Auckland super city has prompted a Maori television programme maker to seek a community board seat.

Claudette Hauiti from Front of the Box Promotions has nominated for the Owairaka seat on the Albert/Eden/Roskill ward.

She says the focus on the main council seats has overshadowed the amount of work that gets done at local level.

“I just want to show Maori that that wasn’t the only way to influence council. Times are changing and people are listening and wanting the Maori perspective and the Maori influence. It’s not all lost for Maori in the new Auckland city,” Ms Hauiti says.

Nominations close on August 20, with 170 positions up for grabs across Tamaki Makaurau.


The agency that collects song royalties wants to hear from Maori composers and musicians who are not yet members.

Kristen Bowman, the managing director of Phonographic Performances New Zealand, say a deal reached last week with Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai Paho means musicians will get paid when their songs are played on the 21-station iwi network.

Information collection for royalty payments will also allow a top 10 Maori playlist to be published.


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