Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Strategy for China trade starts small

The chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana says Maori need to stick together and take small steps to develop their trade with China.

Ngahiwi Tomoana was part of a Maori business delegation which accompanied Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples to Shanghai and Beijing this month.

He says the delegation's official status meant it met some of the most powerful people in the country and some of the poorest ... and there was lessons to be learned from both.

“A lot of people go up to China, they get seduces by the glitz and the hiss and the road of Shanghai and Beijing and Guanzhou and Hong Kong but I think the Maori pathway is in through whanaungatanga, especially through the ethnic people,” Mr Tomoana says.

He says the world marketplace is too big for individual tribal brands, and a Maori brand needs to be put out there.


Central North Island Maori farmers are looking to microbes to allow them to expand dairy faming without polluting waterways.

Gifford McFadden from Rotorua Land and Lakes Trust, a joint venture between Rotorua/Taupo Federated Farmers and Te Arawa Federation of Maori Authorities, says the trust is working with Scion forest research institute to determine whether specific microbes can speed up nutrient recycling.

The Reperoa dairy farmer says the regional council's answer to effluent run-off into the region's lakes and rivers is to replace cows with trees, but that will penalise many Maori landowners.

“Something like 75 percent of land in the catchment is Maori owned and the y want to develop it. Federated Farmers is sympathetic to that because we don’t see any difference between our land and their land and how it is going to be treated and we don’t see that locking land up or putting it in pine trees is a reasonable thing to do as a solution,” Mr McFadden says.

The microbes will be trialed over three years on at least two farms in Edgecumbe and Reporoa.


Taranaki Maori health collective Tui Ora has won a grant from the government's Health Innovation Fund to design services which fit in with Whanau Ora.

Project manager Ali Hamlin says Tui Ora has taken a holistic approach to health care for more than decade, so it has a lot to contribute to the way the new model of model of health delivery develops.

“This particular model of care that we are aiming to achieve provides a good foundation for the implementation of Whanau Ora in its wider capacity,” Ms Hamlin says.

Thirty other Maori health, disability and social service providers also secured grants from the $20 million Health Innovation fund.


The head of the Council of Trade Union's runanga says the public is clearly unhappy with the Government's fire at will policies.

A survey of 750 New Zealanders by UMR Research found four in five opposed employers having the right to dismiss workers with the first 90 days without any right of appeal.

Syd Keepa says the policy hasn't helped Maori get jobs in smaller companies as National claimed it would, and extending it to all companies will make things worse.

“The people it will affect the most are those people out in the margins and obviously in the low paid, low skilled areas and it will have a huge effect on both Maori and Pacific Islanders,” says Mr Keepa, who is from the National Distribution Union


Pharmac says Maori will benefit for its decision to increase the availability of drugs which reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

The health funding agency has removed restrictions on who can get the cholesterol lowering drug Atorvastatin, and from next month it will halve the cost of the cost of another cholesterol inhibitor, Ezetimibe.

Medical director Peter Moodie says the Maori rate of heart attacks and strokes is above average.

“What we know about these drugs is they really do reduce heart attacks and the risk of heart attack so by widening access, making it easier for them to be used and accessed, Maori will greatly benefit,” Dr Moodie says.

Drugs aren't the whole story, and people at risk also need to exercise and watch their diet.


Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Maori has postponed this year's language symposium because of concerns it could clash with a ministerial review panel's investigation of Maori language strategy.

Glenis Philip-Barbara, the language commission's chief executive, says the symposium is a keenly anticipated feature of the annual Huia Te Reo, which will be held in Rotorua next month.

But she says there will be plenty of other activities at the hui, including the presentation of the Maori Language awards and an expo of products and initiatives which support language learning and use.

“Our people get annoyed if they get two different groups from Poneke going out and asking the same sets of questions around the same kaupapa. So we thought in order to enhance and support the mahi of the panel that we would reformat our hui and refocus instead on simply engaging the Maori language speaker communities,” Ms Phillip Barbara says.


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