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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 03, 2010

Iwi cash for social programmes limited

The head of Canterbury University's school of Maori and ethnic studies says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has shown a lack of understanding of both the Maori world and the Treaty of Waitangi with her call for iwi to bear some of the cost of child welfare programmes.

Ms Bennett last month challenged the Iwi Leaders Forum to take some responsibility for fighting what she said was a disproportionate amount of child abuse among maori, and suggested some programmes for them to fund.

Rawiri Taonui says even post-settlement iwi don't have the money to spare.

“What cash they have is either reinvested for future generations or is already, a significant amount of it, spent by tribes on the cultural redevelopment of their people, the welfare of their people and so on and so forth,” he says.

Mr Taonui says article three of the treaty entitles Maori to the same government services as other New Zealanders.


The instigator of protests which led to a wide-ranging commitment to clean up the Manawatu River has slammed Federated Farmers for refusing to sign the accord.

Malcolm Mulholland who farmers are among the biggest contributors of pollution into the river.

He says the Tararua branch of the farmers' lobby had attended meetings of the Manawatu River Leaders Forum, but was not among the 27 industry, council, environmental and iwi groups that signed the accord.

“There's a bit of suspicion that word came from high in Federated Farmers to the local level to say don’t sign up to this because farmers are going to have to fork out left right and centre in order for the various waterways throughout the country not to be polluted,” Mr Mulholland says.

He says Federated farmers may be misreading the community mood about river pollution.


A show at Te Pataka museum in Porirua is demonstrating how students from Tairawhiti Polytech's Toihoukura school of visual art and design use computers and multi-media installations to take Maori arts into new territories.

Steve Gibbs, the school's principal tutor, says while the students also learn to use traditional materials like paint, fibre, clay and wood, there is also a basis in tradition for embracing new technologies.

“For Taiarawhiti you can go back to Raharuhi Rukapo who picked up a steel nail and in that process transformed carving. If he was alive today he wouldn’t be using steel chisels still. He’d be using laser cutter, plastics, whatever tools are around. They weren’t simply carvers, they were creative thinking people,” Mr Gibbs says.

The Toihoukura exhibition closes next week


The founding chief executive of Te Kohanga Reo says Maori language revival can't be separated from the overall development of Maori families.

Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi says this week's national language conference at Parliament was a good opportunity to look at whether the money going to Maori language programmes was being well spent.

She says people get caught in a fix it mentality, rather than seeing how the family as a whole can grow.

“We're all running round trying to fix what is going on with families, whether it is education, health, Maori language or what have you, and I think there is a lot of very earnest effort and a lot of investment but megabucks are going in and surely it is time to ask, are we operating in a system that is ineffective? That is a rhetorical question because in fact we are,” Dame Iritana says.

She says part of the reason for kohanga reo's success was the way it harnessed the energy of the whole whanau in raising children in te reo.


The producer of a Maori Television documentary about kura kaupapa students in South Africa says it's a way to put te reo Maori on the international stage.

George Andrews says the six students have cameras to record their experiences in a predominantly black township near East London in Cape province, and there is also a camera crew on location.

He says the six were chosen because of their fluency in te reo Maori and their kapa haka skills, with a concert for their hosts being part of the package.
“The wonderful thing for me has been to realise how fluent they are in te reo, how much they re at home in speaking it and how the language they speak is not a formal or high church Maori but what they are talking and what they are giving us is the new era Maori they have learned to speak themselves,” Mr Andrews says.

The documentary will follow a similar format to ones made by Maori students in China and Chile.


In the Hawkes Bay settlement of Bridge Pa they simply call her Nanny Tata but across the rest of Aotearoa they are calling her a legend.

91-year-old Tata Wairukuruku Maere brought the house down at the Waka Toi Awards in Wellington at the weekend.

After accepting a Ta Kingi Ihaka Award for her contribution to te reo maori and culture, the Radio Kahungunu host picked up her ukulele and showed the talent that took her on numerous tours to the United States during the 1960s with Te Arohanui Group.

Nanny Tata says while a hip replacement has slowed her up a little, she is looking forward to getting back on her jet ski when she next visits Hawaii.


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