Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Flavell expecting Auckland committee to fail

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell hopes Len Brown's decisive victory in the Auckland mayoral contest opens the way for dedicated Maori seats on the super city council.

Mr Brown has promised to address the issues of appropriate Maori representation as part of the three-yearly review all councils go through.

Mr Flavell says while the council will have a statutory Maori advisory board, direct representation is the ideal.

“There's still a lot of failings around the whole notion of committees and standing committees and advisory committees, it just doesn’t work. With Len Brown in Auckland I think hopefully if they are going towards implementing what he said, getting representation by mana whenua or otherwise, that might be a start for the rest of the country, just as the super city is,” Mr Flavell says.

He says the low number of Maori candidates returned in local body elections across the country shows why dedicated Maori seats are needed.

EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSOCIATION FEARS SECTOR REVIEW

The New Zealand Childcare Association - Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa - believes a new review of early childhood education could harm the interests of Maori children.

Its chief executive, Nancy Bell, says the taskforce appointed by Education Minister Anne Tolley will pave the way for further cuts to the sector.

She says while the government may be genuine in its desire to improve access for Maori to pre-schools, the way it is going about it will be at the expense of quality.

“If the funding rates are cut again or if the current access to free 20 hours is changed and I certainly think that will be on the table then there will be people that will find it harder to pay the fees and get their children into early childhood services,” Mr Bell says.

She believes Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa wasn't consulted about the setting up of the taskforce because of its criticism of the cuts in funding for trained teachers.

MAGPIES AIM FOR HEALTHY LIFESTYLES IN LEAGUE

A south Auckland rugby league club with a high percentage of Maori and Pacific Island players and supporters wants to tackle domestic violence.

Pania Wilson from Manukau Rugby League says club members have got behind the “It’s not okay” campaign and created a bilingual version of the song "Lean on Me" to encourage whanau to talk about issues before they get out of hand.

She says the 99-year old club is looking for ways to focus on whanau, such as downplaying the bar’s role in generating income and emphasising the bistro, gym and childcare facilities.

Manukau Rugby League will incorporate the “It’s not okay” logo into its playing strip for next season.

MAORI BROADCASTERS LOOK TO FUTURE

Maori broadcasters have established a futures group to explore where the sector should be heading.

John Bishara, the chief executive of funding agency Te Mangai Paho, says a weekend summit in Rotorua was looked at what was being done now and how things like programme distribution could be improved.

He says Maori radio and television broadcaster are doing a great job despite under-funding, but change is inevitable.

“It's not just a strategic approach to it but a future-looking approach and we were reminded by a couple of people there about the role of technology and how that is going to change us if we don’t change ourselves,” Mr Bishara says.

Maori broadcasters need to get a clear idea of audience needs.

WAAKA CALLS FOR ELIMINATION OF POKIES

Rotorua identity Maureen Waaka is lending her weight to the Maori Party's People before Pokies campaign.

The former Miss New Zealand, who has just been re-elected to the Rotorua District Council, led a successful anti-casino campaign to stop the sulphur city truly turning into Rotovegas.

She says gambling eats at the fabric of Maori whanau.

“ We are closet gamblers. We don’t like everybody to know our business. We don’t like to undermine the mana of our families so we try to hide it, and it just spreads and eats away at the family. It’s got to be brought out and to the counselors, get some help and get our people on the right road and at the same time control the growth of these polie machines in our communities and in fact reduce them and ultimately I think we are trying to eliminate them altogether,” Mrs Waaka says.

She says MPs of all parties should support Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell's Gambling Harm Reduction Bill.

EARLY MAORI DOCUMENTS IN ARCHIVES REVEALED

People attending this week's Waitangi Tribunal Northland claim hearing at Te Tii in the Bay of Islands will get a rare chance to see some of the earliest Maori documents.

The high quality reproductions include a map of the country drawn by the young Matauri Bay chief Tuki at Norfolk island in 1793, through to a copy of He Wakaputanga, the 1835 declaration of Independence, written out by Eruera Pare Hongi.

Alison Jones from Auckland University says the display in a marquee at Whitiora Marae came out of her research with Kuni Jenkins into New Zealand's first school at Rangihoua, further out on the Purerua Peninsula from Te Tii, where Hongi had been a pupil.

“In doing that research we found a lot of really beautiful drawings and handwriting by Maori that were done very early on, sort of 1818 into the 1820s and we found that these documents were so beautiful we wanted to display them and bring them to the descendants of the very people who actually drew them and wrote them.

Dr Jones says the exhibition shows the appetite Maori had for words in the early years of contact with European missionaries and traders.

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