Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

C&R pair refused mandate to represent Maori

The chair of the group appointing the statutory Maori advisory board to the Auckland super city council, Tame Te Rangi, says there's no way two Citizens and Ratepayers councilors can represent Maori interests.

Jami-Lee Ross and Des Morrison say there is no need to revisit the issue of dedicated Maori seats, as Mayor Len Brown is promising, because they and councilor Alf Filipaina have Maori whakapapa.

Mr Te Rangi says Mr Ross and Mr Morrison don't have a mandate to represent Maori.

“I think it's part to have whakapapa, quite anther to say you are representing the interests of and the concerns and the matters that are significant to mana whenua. Good on them with their Maori whakapapa but we certainly haven’t seen either of those characters anywhere between Orakei and Waipoua Forest,” Mr te Rangi says.


Associate health minister Tariana Turia says she’s concerned doctors are not referring Maori for specialist treatment.

Research has shown Maori have higher mortality rates for many conditions including heart disease and stroke, even as their use of primary health services is increasing.

Mrs Turia says she knows of two recent cases where Maori were sent home with pain relief medication rather than referred to specialists, and died soon after.

“We need to make sure when we go to the doctor and you have got chest pain and the doctor gives you something and sends you home, we have to be vigilant and say to the doctor ‘No, we want to go to the hospital or to a specialist immediately,’” Mrs Turia says.


A Massey University lecturer is trying to measure the extent of cultural knowledge among social workers.

Fiona Te Momo from the school of health and social services is presenting her research to the annual bicultural seminar at the Albany campus.

She says social workers need to understand the different ethnic communities they will work among to provide effective services, whether to Maori whanau or to new migrants.

“Certain international cultures, very quiet and they wouldn’t say much, so a social worker may take that as sometimes they agree to everything you say, but they might just be doing because they are trying to be respectful but then a social or even a community worker may think they agreed to do all these things and then they find out they don't do them,” Dr Te Momo says.

The bicultural seminar is at the Albany study centre staff lounge from 1 to 3 this afternoon.


Nominations close today for two people to represent mataawaka or Maori not from the region’s iwi on the Auckland super city Maori advisory board.

Tama Te Rangi from Ngati Whatua, the chair of the selection panel, says the nominations, and those for the seven mana whenua seats, will be considered next Monday.

He says they need to be aware of the region, its key people and the organisations who are working in the communities, and have the advocacy skills to convince the council of the value of the board.

“I mean if it was a standing committee of council you would have a little more confidence but then when it’s an independent advisory body outside of council, you’re really relying on good luck, good faith of the councilors whether they take that advice or not,” Mr Te Rangi says.

He says it's likely the board members will be people with good understanding of how councils and governance works, rather than those with existing high public profiles.


Christchurch photographer Rob Brown has been left devastated by the theft from his home of computers containing artwork for Ngai Tahu's new Maori rock art centre in Timaru.

Mr Brown has been under contract to photograph many of the 300 or so South Island rock art sites, and says some of the images hadn't been backed up yet.

His Spreydon home came through the earthquake unscathed, but he says police have told him the city is being hit by a wave of burglaries.

Ngai Tahu has appealed for the return of the computer so it can keep its plans on track to open the Rock art centre by Christmas.


New Zealand on Air says a new daily morning show for preschoolers it is funding is a real breakthrough because it will use the country's three official languages - English, Maori and Sign Language.

Chief executive Jane Wrightson says TV2's Tiki Tour will feature experienced children's presenters Brent Chambers and Mary Phillips.

They will travel the country using animated characters and live presenters.

“It’s simply recognizing the state of play in this country so we talk to pre-school children, there are a million different kinds in this country, and we have three official languages so it’s time to recognise all three and they will be doing in it in a very gentle and preschool type way but recognising all three have a place in New Zealand,” Ms Wrightson says.

She says such programmes would not get to air without public funding because they are clearly not commercial.


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