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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Key blames TVNZ for Henry slur

The Prime Minister says state broadcaster Television New Zealand must share some of the blame for breakfast broadcaster Paul Henry's comments about the Governor General, Sir Anand Satyanand.

Mr Henry has been suspended for two weeks for asking John Key whether Ponsonby-born Sir Anand, who has Fijian Indian whakapapa, was a New Zealander, and whether the next governor general would look and sound like a New Zealander.

Mr Key told Radio Waatea that he didn't object to the question because he was caught by surprise - but the host was doing the job he's paid to do.

“Look, y'know there's no question the comments are totally inappropriate and over the line. To a certain degree though he’s encouraged by Television New Zealand so it’s not all fault on Paul’s side but he should know like anyone knows that someone’s a New Zealander because they have love of New Zealand,” he says.

Mr Key says the next governor general will be chosen for their ability to do the job and represent New Zealand well.


The manager of the New Zealand Education Institute's Maori section, Laures Park, says the government has the capacity to improve Maori education, but it won't put the resources where they are needed.

The Education Review Office says most schools aren't doing enough for their Maori students, and in future it won't regard schools as high performing unless their Maori students are showing progress.

Mrs Park says Te Kotahitanga, a professional development programme for teachers, has shown what can be done, but it has only been implemented in selected secondary schools with high Maori rolls,

“When they started that whole exercise of scoping Te Kotahitanga for primary schools, the whole project was called ff, lack of money, the usual stuff, so if it’s so successful, why isn’t it a nationwide thing,” Mrs Park says.

Money spent on professional development and classroom resources will do far more for Maori achievement than the government's national standards push.


A Maori standing for the Auckland super city says electronic voting should have been available this election.

Waina Emery says her experience door-knocking in the Papakura – Manurewa ward is that large numbers of voters haven't received their papers even if they have been living at the address for a long time.

She says the city of the future is being built on antiquated voting system that is clearly failing.

If voting papers aren't in the mail by today, people need to deliver them to council offices before Saturday to ensure they are counted.

Prime minister John Key is not ruling out radical action in response to an Education Review Office finding that schools are failing to meet the needs of Maori students.

In his report Promoting Success for Maori Students, Graham Stoop, the ERO's chief review officer, said few schools use the Ka-hikitia framework which was designed to lift achievement, and many schools don't monitor how their Maori students are doing.

Mr Key says he's concerned too many Maori students leaving school without qualifications.

“Basically Graham Stoop is a good fellow. I think he is on the right track here and we need to lift that overall performance even if we have to break a few eggs to make an omelet,” Mr Key says


Greens co - leader Meteria Turei says Television New Zealand needs to be held to account for broadcaster Paul Henry's attack of Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand.

Ms Turei it's not enough just to suspend the Breakfast Show host for asking Prime Minister John Key whether Ponsonby-born Sir Anand was a New Zealander ... and whether the next governor general would look and sound like a New Zealander.

She's been inundated by complaints from people who found the questions racist and TVNZ's reaction inadequate.

“TVNZ has really gone way beyond the realms of sense and as a public broadcaster they need to take responsibility, not just for Paul Henry, reining him in, and potentially looking at whether they should still employ him but actually their own culpability in allowing him to get away with it for so long and then blaming the New Zealand community for those racist comments,” Ms Turei says.


The head of the largest Maori tertiary institution says the conclusion of the wananga capitalisation settlements means wananga are now in a better position to compete for Maori and other students.

Bentham Ohia from Te Wananga o Aotearoa says this week's $14.5 million settlement with Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi is a tribute to Sir Hirini Mead, Joe Mason and others in ngati Awa who set up the Whakatane-based institution.

He says all three wananga struggled in their early years because of a funding formula that pushed them into a second class status with no money for buildings or capital assets.

The other parts of the tertiary sector has been supported by capital grants over a long period.

Mr Ohia says now they are all on a firmer financial footing, the three wananga are working closely together on strategies for growth.


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