Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maori seeking general seats on Labour ticket

Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says expect more Maori to put their names forward as Labour candidates in general seats.

Labour's kaunihera Maori has endorsed former unionist Shane Te Pou for the nomination in the Manurewa seat being vacated by George Hawkins, with former list MP Louisa Wall also among the contenders.

Ms Mahuta says the party is changing, and it is encouraging to see more Maori seeking general seats.


A new charity to help youngsters from under-privileged backgrounds develop sporting interests has had a $16,000 kick-start.

The money was raised at a charity dinner in the Hawkes Bay on Saturday night to honour the late Rob Guildford, who died of a heart attack in the stands last year while watching his son Zac Guildford win the Under 20's rugby world cup.

Organiser Daren Guildford says the trust aims to continue his brother's work supporting Hawkes Bay youngsters in a range of sports.

Daren Guildford says bidders on the night competed hard for a lunch with All Blacks Zac Guildford and Israel Dagg, but an England jersey donated by nephew Ricky Flutey will be sold on Trade Me.


The operations manager for arts promotion group Toi Maori says the handing over of a ceremonial waka in the early hours of yesterday morning was the culmination of years of sustained effort.

Te Hono ki Aotearoa was built at Aurere in the far north by waka tohunga Hekenukumai Busby, who traveled to Leiden in Holland to bless the waka.

Tamahou Temara says it will be housed at the Volkenkunde Museum at Leiden, but ownership stays with Toi Maori, so it can be used for events in Europe.


The new vice-president Maori of the Council of Trade Unions says he'll be pushing for economic development to create more jobs ... and more union members.

Syd Keepa from Ngati Awa, Ngati Maru and Ngai Tuhoe has been working as a wood sector organiser for the National Distribution Union.

He says priorities are fighting back on the Government's plan to make the 90-day probation period for new employees apply to all workplaces, and creating an environment for businesses to start hiring.

“The government reckons there’s plenty of jobs out there but there’s not, and I’d like to try to motivate them into creating jobs, particularly for those people out in the regions. I’ve got a few ideas pertaining to that. That’s what I will be pushing for and of course the rights of the Maori workers,” Mr Keepa says.

He replaces Sharon Clair, who resigned to make an unsuccessful run for the South Waikato mayoralty.


Poverty Bay Maori are working with the courts department to manage human remains being dug up during the extension of the Gisborne District Courthouse.

Ronald Nepe from Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa says it's likely the courthouse was built on top of a pre-European urupa.

One partial skeleton was found during an initial archeological investigation, and six full skeletons and 12 other koiwi have been found so far as the foundations are being excavated.

“We have actually got a site on there where we have interned previous koiwi we’ve found along our river front, so it’s not new for our pakeke to be dealing with. The number of remains we’ve found throws up a whole lot of possibilities,” Mr Nepe says.

The skeletons were laid out in an orderly fashion.


A Maori ceramic artist says there is growing interest in traditional ways of returning placenta, known in Maori as whenua, to the land, also known as whenua.

Manos Nathan from Te Roroa says he's regularly asked how to make clay vessels for holding the placenta, which are called waka taurahere tangata or ipu whenua.

He encourages parents and grandparents to craft the unfired vessels that will break down in the ground, and says young Maori are keen to learn about the birthing traditions of their ancestors.

“It's a wonderful process to get to that discussion because you need to involve whanau and sometimes iwi, you’ve got to have that dialogue, because in some cases we are reviving it because it’s been forgotten but whenever you have the opportunity to create situations where people talk about it, it has to be a good thing,” Mr Nathan says.


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