Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sharples upbeat after China junket

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has high hopes his business delegation to China will lead to a boost in trade and jobs for the Maori export sector.

Dr Sharples led a group of about 20 business people to the Shanghai world trade expo and to Beijing.

He says the group was able to make cultural as well as business connections.

“The people sort of received us as teina, younger brothers or whatever, and were able to relate, and it had the corresponding effect on our delegates who went over there, had been involved in the commercial activities for the last 20, 30 years and this revived their opportunity to be Maori in a commercial sense,” Dr Sharples says.

Sub-committees have been set up to explore further opportunities across different sectors of the economy.


Ngati Kahungunu is approaching retailers in the Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa and asking retailers not to sell cigarettes.

Campaign organiser Jenny Smith says the iwi can't wait for politicians to ban smoking when the habit is doing so much damage to its people.

She says one hairdresser in Wairoa has already dropped his tobacco business.

“Kahungunu congratulated him and we provide to manaaki back certificates acknowledging what he has done. We’re promoting retailers that tautoko this karanga through the panui ki te iwi, local newspaper opportunities, that’s how we tatau back,” Ms Smith says.

The campaign will target supermarkets, dairies and service stations.


The Water Safety Council wants to bring down the number of Maori drownings.
General manager Matt Claridge says Maori make up a third of deaths in the water, and they have been a priority for the organisation.

He says a new initiative is to been up support for people such as kura kaupapa teachers in high risk areas such as Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and the East Coast so they can teach more Maori children to swim.

“We're going to make Teaching the Teacher available in reo and then we’ve got classroom resources that back up and support the information,” Mr Claridge says.

The Water Safety Council hopes Maori will back the strategy because the council gets little funding for its work at regional level.


The organiser of a Ngati Kahungunu campaign to discourage tobacco sales says the tribe wants Maori to live longer.

Jenny Smith says the iwi has written to newpapers from Wairoa to Wairarapa to get the word out, and it will be asking supermarkets, dairies and service stations to stop carrying tobacco products.

She says the tribe sees its future at stake.

“It reduces your life by 15 years. It’s encroached on our whakapapa, our marae. The question at our hui a iwi that was brought up is what would our paepae and our marae look like if we all live 15 years longer,” Ms Smith says.


A veteran Pakeha treaty educator is looking forward to exporting his techniques across the Tasman.

Robert Consedine has been invited to Perth to run workshops on Aboriginal rights.

He'll use what he's learned over the past 20 years teaching government agencies and corporate clients about the Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand history.

“Australia inherited the same legal system that New Zealand inherited and so common law rights, aboriginal common law rights, customary title, issues to do with land, the foreshore and seabed, sovereignty issues are all relevant to the Australian debate.
Mr Consedine says.

His workshops for the Committee of Perth, an organisation of Perth business and community leaders, will be run jointly with a West Australian aboriginal leader.


Te Huringa Rumaki Reo at Finlayson Park School in Manurewa, one of the first total immersion units in Auckland, is celebrating its 21st birthday.

Rewana Walker, one of the unit's pouarahi, says the school has also developed bi-lingual Maori and Samoan units.

She says considerable expertise has been built up in the school, including high quality English literacy teaching with techniques that translate well into te reo Maori.

She says the unit’s association with a mainstream school means it has been able to avoid some of the difficulties other kura have faced.


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