Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, October 08, 2010

Call to taihoa on mining changes

South Taranaki's Ngaruahine iwi says the Government is jumping the gun by changing the Crown Minerals Act before the Waitangi Tribunal has reported on its oil and gas claims.

Claimant Daisy Noble says there are precedents in the state owned enterprises and broadcasting claims that the Crown should not change laws while relevant claims are between the hearing and reporting stages.

She says a hearing in April considered Ngaruahine's claims to have a say in how the region's mineral resources are managed, but the ground rules are now being changed.

“We've been promised a report before Christmas. I would hope the Crown would wait until then, see what that report contains and hopefully move from there,” Mrs Noble says.

She says the changes the Government is considering will brush Maori treaty interests aside in the rush to develop oil and gas deposits on conservation land.

HOROMIA KEEN ON ELECTRONIC VOTING

Labour's Maori affairs spokesman Parekura Horomia says he'd like to see trials of electronic voting.

The Ikaroa Rawhiti MP says Te Runanga o Ngati Porou is investigating using text and Internet voting to encourage wider participating in tribal decision-making.

He says anything that draws people into the democratic process is worth considering.

Mr Horomia says young Maori have been fast to take up electronic technology.

TASKFORCE TO REVIEW EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

The only Maori on a new taskforce looking at early childhood education says giving tamariki Maori pride in their culture is the foundation for the rest of their education.

Aroaro Tamati was one of the founders of Te Kopae Piripono, a Taranaki Maori language immersion pre-school.

She says her work there has convinced her of the importance of children forming a sense of identity and self worth at an early stage, rather than seeing education as only about learning reading and writing.

“All of those things will happen if the foundation is there. When we see our children standing proudly Maori, we know that their future is set, that they are not only citizens of Aotearoa but of the world,” Mrs Tamati says.

The task force will review the effectiveness of spending on early childhood education and report to Education Minister Anne Tolley in March.

EDUCATION UNIONS SCRUTINE NEW RULES

Education unions have welcomed new requirements for teacher training out today from the Teachers Council the regulatory body which oversees teachers.

Both the New Zealand Education Institute and the Post Primary Teachers’ Association say they are pleased to see more emphasis on ensuring all teachers can address the needs of Maori students.

NZEI president Frances Nelson says measures to get consistency across all training organisations are very important.

“We know that in schools and early childhood centres today, teachers need certain attributes and abilities and skills to be able to work with a whole range of different students and in particular Maori and Pasifika students because they are the children who are most at risk of not achieving in our current system,” Ms Nelson says.

She says the linking of training organisations, schools and teachers will allow schools and teachers needing help to develop the appropriate skills is an excellent initiative.

SCHOOL CHOICE WAYS TO IMPROVE EDUCATION STANDARDS

Meanwhile a prominent Maori academic says while he applauds a ERO report calling for more scrutiny of schools failing their Maori students, it doesn't go far enough.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and Indigenous studies at Canterbury University, says Maori parents should have the right to send their tamariki to schools that are doing well by their Maori students.

The Education Review office says too many schools are not even monitoring the performance of their Maori students, let alone putting in strategies to improve achievement.

Mr Taonui says he’d like to see schools rated on their success with Maori students.

“If you’re not happy with the rating of the school, then parents are given free choice to cross zones and go to schools where they know there is going to be a good outcome for their children. It would seem to me that would be a fundamental human right,” he says.

GROUNDWORK PRODUCES STRONG LEAGUE SQUAD

The chairman of Maori Rugby League says the calibre of players chosen in the squad to meet England in Auckland in a fortnight is a refection of the groundwork put in over recent years.

The Maori squad to be coached by former Kiwis Mark Horo and Ritchie Blackmore is full of rising stars and established NRL first graders.

Howie Tamati says two years ago the foundations were laid to encourage players like Timana Tahu and Clinton Toopi to team up with NRL newcomers like the Warriors Russel Packer and Kevin Locke to give added mana to the Maori jersey.

“It was very important in 2008 when we played two games, one against the All Golds and also played against the Australian Dreamtime team which has gone on to establish itself as a regular fixture in Australia now, so the big picture is trying to do everything professionally right, make them look good, dress them well, so they would talk to the other boy and say ‘I am very keen to play for New Zealand Maori,’” Mr Tamati says

League professional turned Maori Television sports host Wairangi Koopu will be the kaiako for the team, while Sammy Stewart has been drafted in to train the squad.

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