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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, September 20, 2010

Big day for Dame Temuranga Jackson

Aotearoa’s newest dame says she felt overwhelmed by the honour bestowed on her in recognition of decades of community work.

Dame Temuranga Batley-Jackson was invested at the weekend by Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand at the south Auckland urban marae she helped establish, Nga Whare Waatea.

She told those who gathered in support, including Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and many knights both Maori and Pakeha, that her thoughts turned to her late parents in the King County.

“I tell you my father would be saying to our mother, ‘what’s that our daughter’s got?’ and mum would say ‘I don’t know dad, but it must be something to do with the government.’ My family were humble people, they were families, so I tell you as they look down they will be a wee bit puzzled and perplexed at what is happening to their daughter,” she said.

Dame Temuranga, who is better known as June, is the longest-serving member of the Parole Board, the founding chief executive of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority and a former member of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission, Te Ohu Kaimoana.


The Water Safety Council is seeking Maori input into new regional strategies to cut drowning deaths.

Its general manager, Matt Claridge, says Maori make up a third of drownings because of factors such as the number of Maori who collect seafood and the fact that too many Maori children aren't taught to swim.

He says those are the kinds of issues being addressed at regional hui, starting in Gisborne last week.

“There was a strong representation from Maori and we can understand what the existing initiatives are, what’s important and we’re going to develop a plan and come back to that region saying this is what we think you need, this is the resource we can help you with and then we’ll know what the gaps are,” Mr Claridge says.

Resources have been developed for kura and schools with high Maori rolls to help teachers teach the children to swim.


Things are looking up for Whanganui's Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tupoho, with its $2 million building programme now on track for completion in the new year.

Its tumuaki, Stuart Kawau, says the start of the project to build four new classrooms, a hall and netball court was delayed for more than two years by educational policy reviews and problems securing building consents.

He says the school can now offer a wide range of courses to its 120 students through alliances with other educational institutions such as the three wananga, UCOL and Ag Challenge.

“I suppose it's something we’ve talked about over the yeas, having a seamless education where they don’t have those interruptions where they are going off to intermediate, going off to secondary, so they feel really comfortable staying in the one area for education,” Mr Kawau says.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tupoho is also considering adding a boarding dormitary.


Actor and director Taika Waititi says it’s great to be recognised at home.

His film Boy collected seven awards at the Qantas Film and Television Awards including the best film, director, screenplay, and supporting actor tohu.

Mr Waititi says it means even more than the awards the film has picked up overseas.

“Well I made the film for New Zealanders first and foremost so to be recognized here in my homeland is a very special thing for me,” he says.

Other Maori winners included Maori Television’s kaumatua interview shoe E Tu Kahikatea, actor George Henare for his performance in Kaitangata Twitch, Entertainment Factual director Melanie Rakena, Simon Reira for his cinematography for The Cult and Tuhoe Isaac for the best performance in a short film.


The country’s newest Maori dame has been hailed as someone who has spoken up for those Maori without a voice.

In bestowing the honour of Dame on Temuranga “June” Batley-Jackson at her Nga Whare Waatea Marae in Mangere at the weekend, Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand cited her more than two decades of service on the Parole Board and in prison rehabilitation, her work in health, welfare, job creation and business development, and her advocacy for urban Maori.

Labour MP Shane Jones, who served with Dame June on Te Ohu Kaimoana during the period it finally resolved the allocation of Maori fisheries settlement assets, says her words carried weight.

“Before us sits a great warrior who spent a great deal of her time challenging the leadership of our tribes and her message will long outlive much of what we did in relation to treaty issues because she speaks for the children and the families that are so often forgotten or overlooked,” Mr Jones says.


A Wairoa tobacconist and hairdresser says he feels good about his decision to stop selling cigarettes, despite it costing his business $3000 a week in turnover.

Mike Bird says the call from Ngati Kahungunu for retailers in its rohe to drop tobacco was what he had been waiting for.

“I felt guilty selling cigarettes, I have done for many years, knowing that it’s no good for anyone, and I’m not a smoker myself and none of my family is smokers, we all like to keep ourselves fit and active, so in the end I decided I’ve had enough, so I just got rid of them,” he says.

Mr Bird, whose wife is Ngati Kahungunu, says he’s renamed the business Hair on Parade.


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