Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Changes planned for disability sector

The Minister for Disabilities, Tariana Turia, says major changes planned for the sector will benefit many Maori and their whanau.

They include appointing a disabilities commissioner in the Human Rights Commisssion and a disabilities ombudsman, as well as creating local area coordinators to connect people all available services in their communities.

Mrs Turia says the ministry is also planning for individualised funding to allow the disabled person or their family to make decisions about how the money for their care is spent.

“In the past we've had the state or organisations doing that and I believe that it’s very important for people with disabilities to make decisions for themselves.
Mrs Turia says.

A group of people with disabilities is being set up to advise the government on issues affecting the sector.


The New Zealand Childcare Association - Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa - believes its criticism of funding cuts is behind its exclusion from a sector review.

Education Minister Anne Tolley has appointed a taskforce to review what the government gets for the $1.3 Billion it spends on early childhood education.

Nancy Bell, the association's chief executive, says the taskforce should have been set up before the last budget.

“I guess we would have liked there to be a widely representative group of people brought together to talk about some of these issues but that didn’t happen. There were big cuts made. Those are going to be implemented and now we are seeing a group that is looking at public investment and focusing on efficiency and effectiveness of spend, and to us that sounds like funding cuts really,” Ms Bell says.

She says the Government's objective of increasing Maori participation in high quality early childhood education is at odds with its funding policies.


One of the most popular Maori radio broadcasters is happy with the way his format is translating to television.

Hori Bennett's Papa Ruru show ran for 18 years on iwi radio.

It has been revived as a nostalgia interview show on Maori Television, and the former Howard Morrison Quartet member says there is no lack of past celebrities available, such as tennis champion Ruia Morrison.

Hori Bennett recorded 13 episodes of the Papa Ruru Show over two weeks in the wharekai next to St Faiths Church at Ohinemutu, which was decked out to resemble a radio studio.


Diabetes New Zealand is predicting a tsumani of type 2 diabetes among Maori.
Its president, Chris Baty, says Ministry of Health projections that 10 percent of the population will have the disease by 2028 are already being exceeded.

Diabetes causes more than half the heart attacks in New Zealand, it's the single biggest cause of renal failure needing dialysis, and it often leads to lower limb amputation and blindness.

She says type 2 diabetes is increasing by 8 percent a year, and in Counties Manukau, which has a high Maori and Pacific population, it jumped 14 percent last year.

“Maori tend to get it at three times the rate of European New Zealanders. They tend to get it younger and unfortunately the awful part about is they often escalate towards developing complications a lot more quickly than other ethnicities,” Ms Baty says.

Lifestyle changes are the key to beating diabetes.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell wants the government to put more schools into Te Kotahitanga, a professional development programme that gives teachers guidance on interacting with Maori students.

The former school principal says Te Kotahitanga addresses many of the problems identified in an Education Review Office report on Maori education.

“It's all about the relationship between the teacher and the students and how they relate to one another and how much credence is given in the school to things that are Maori. That seems to have made sense to have made changes and borne the results of lifting academic achievement as well as a focus on acknowledging and utilising the potential of young Maori students in schools,” Mr Flavell.


Residents of part of the Auckland super city may have to get used to new – or rather old – names for some of their neighbourhoods.

The Puketapapa community board covers Mr Roskill, and one of its candidates stirred up a controversy by suggesting the name also be applied to the main shopping precinct at the junction of Mt Albert and Dominion Roads.

Kaumauta Sonny Rauwhero says the idea would need the approval of tangata whenua, but he has no sympathy with objectors who say they can’t pronounce the name.

"When I went to school I had to learn Pakeha to a degree. I used to speak my language too, I had to, so I suppose that’s reciprocal. I had to, so do they,” Mr Rauwhero says.


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