Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Snapshot of Maori tertiary participation

The chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission, Roy Sharp, says increasing participation by Maori at post-secondary level is a good sign.

The commission has published performance indicators for the sector showing 9 percent of university students and 20 percent of those at Polytechnics are Maori.

In the wananga sector, the student population at both Raukawa and Awanuiarangi is more than 90 percent Maori, but only 51 percent of Te Wananga o Aotearoa's 36,000 students are Maori.

Dr Sharp says as the Maori population is on average younger, higher Maori participation levels would be desirable.

He says it’s important that achievement rates are kept up, and that more Maori students are achieving at higher levels.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the new Marine and Coastal Area Bill will compound the injustices of the past when it comes to offshore mining and drilling.

Ms Turei says the bill confirms Crown ownership of gold, silver, platinum and petroleum.

That means Maori have no say over the issue of exploration or drilling licences, even if resource extraction affects areas they can prove customary title to.

“That new bill provides for some minerals but not oil or gold and it’s petroleum that is going to be the big resource in the ocean, that’s where all of the oil drilling applications are about, there’s still no recognition of the Maori right to be involved in decision making in their own area,” Ms Turei says.

She says the Maori Party has been forced to go along with the changes rather than admit it has failed to get a true retraction of Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.


Tauranga could be closer to having a place to house its 30,000 taonga with the appointment of the first trustees to its planned museum.

One of the eight, Colin Bidois from Ngaiterangi, says with strong iwi representation on the trust the museum should be capable of reflecting the area's rich Maori and Pakeha history.

He says plans for an ambitious harbourside building have been scaled back, and the $10 million project may now be more politically and financially feasible.

“We've got confidence we are able to build it within a reasonable time and also at not that excessive cost of #24 million. We’re fairly hopeful of being able to raise the money without relying n the ratepayers or the council for the major funding,” Mr Bidois says.


National's candidate for the Mana by-election believes she has a good chance of wresting the seat from Labour.

List MP Hekia Parata from Ngati Porou came more than 6000 votes behind Winnie Laban in 2008, but says the departure of the popular local MP gives her confidence Labour's 70-year hold could be broken.

She says the seat includes a fascinating network of communites and villages from Linden in the south to Paraparaumu in the north, and it's tilting more National's way than when it was the smaller Porirua seat.

“We have on average nationwide the fourth highest GDP income per household. We have a significant business community in Mana and the labour productivity, employment and general economic growth of the electorate has been the strongest in the Wellington region and has been on average higher than New Zealand nationally,” Ms Parata says.

The election date has still to be set.


Meanwhile, a contender for local government office in the region says a planned formal welcome should open up a new era of co-operation between Maori and Pacific Island people.

Porirua mayoral candidate Liz Kelly from Ngati Toa says while people of Pasifika origin now slightly outnumber Maori, they have never been formally welcomed by the mana whenua.

She says Ngati Toa's kaumatua kaunihera has backed the idea, and the powhiri will be held in November at Takapuwahia marae.

“This could be something that could be replicated around New Zealand because it will be, if it is successful, a mechanism where they can talk about what the challenges are for Maori and Pacific, because we do have a lot of similarities,” Mrs Kelly says.

She says in the 60 years since Pacific island people started settling in the region strong links have developed through intermarriage.


A Maori music expo is under way in Hastings in the build up to the third Waiata Maori awards on Saturday night.

Convenor Tama Huata says it's a chance for aspiring recording artists to share ideas and learn from established musicians.

He says the annual expo is open to all Maori musicians irrespective of style.


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