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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, October 09, 2010

TVNZ host gets manners lesson

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says heads need to roll at Television New Zealand - and not just Breakfast host Paul Henry.

Mrs Turia's says the state owned broadcaster is making light of Mr Henry's suggestion the Governor General, Sir Anand Satyanand, did not look and sound like a New Zealander because of his Fijian Indian whakapapa, and his earlier deliberate mispronunciation of the name of Delhi's chief minister, Sheila Dikshit, pronounced Dixit.

Mr Henry was stood down for two weeks, but Mrs Turia says it's clear some people in the organisation aren't taking the issue as seriously as they should.

“Anybody who is involved with Television New Zealand needs to be held to account. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable. It doesn’t matter who does it. The fact is being disrespectful and thinking you can treat people in the way that they believe is fine because it is funny is not funny at all,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the state broadcaster needs to uphold standards of respect.


Hundreds of Maori language advocates are in Rotorua for the two day Huia Te Reo expo.

Glenis Philip-Barbara, the chief executive of Te Taura Whiri i te reo Maori, says the excitement has been palpable since this morning's powhiri.

She says there's a sense of common purpose.

“This is a gathering of all the lovers of te reo Maor across the motu to come and share stories, swap ideas, check out the latet and the greatest in the field of learning, teaching and sharing te reo Maori and just to be re-inspired and re-energised. It’s important. It’s hard mahi and in the context of New Zealand it’s often lonely mahi so it’s important we hang together and make this time for each other,” Mrs Phillip-Barbara says.

Huia Te Reo will climax with the language commission's Maori Language Awards tomorrow night.


Labour list Mp Shane Jones is being congratulated for letting himself be roasted.

Organiser Waihoroi Shortland says tonight's roast in Auckland is to raise money for Maori language group Te Ataarangi.

He says Mr Jones is showing great fortitude to get up and eyeball Maoridom, and the roasters, including fisheries commission member Naida Glavish, and televison producer Claudette Hauiti, have been digging up some interesting observations on his career.

Whanau also have a chance to get a shot in.

The event at Te Mahurehure Maori Cultural Centre also includes a celebrity concert and auction.


Prison reform advocates are calling for a radical review of the prison system.
A combined conference in Lower Hutt has brought together non-government agencies and trusts who work with prisoners.

Robin Gunston, the executive director of Prison Fellowship, says with more than half the prison muster being Maori, there needs to be a look at the way they are managed.

He says delegates were inspired by a presentation from the governor of a new open prison in Norway.

“People are taught to respect their surroundings, follow very similar value systems that Maori would have around land sea, water and air, they’re living a lifestyle around learning new skills, they’re looking after the care of their forests and their water and their land while they are there. People have said to me coming out of that session ‘this is the kind of area Maori would feel quite comfortable about working in. That’s a very different approach to the sort of prisons we are building in New Zealand,” Mr Gunston says.

He says it's time the government looked at addressing the drivers of crime and tackled social deprivation rather than building new prisons.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is backing a call for Maori families to ignore school zones to find the best school for their children.

Responding to an Education Review Office than many schools failed to address the needs of their Maori students, Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and ethnic studies at Canterbury University, said schools need to be rated on their success with Maori students.

Mrs Turia says that would give Maori parents the information they need.

“I don't believe in school zoning. I believe that families should be able to choose the school where their children attend,” Mrs Turia says.


The only Maori member on a ministerial task force on early childhood education says she wants it to consider the role of the whole whanau.

The taskforce will report to Education Minister Anne Tolley on what the government is getting for its $1.3 billion spend on the sector.

It has also been asked for ideas on improving education for Maori and Pacific pre-schoolers and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Aroaro Tamati says she will bring to the table what she has learned over the past 16 years running Te Kopae Piripono, an independent Maori immersion pre-school in Taranaki which is regarded as a centre for innovation.

“We did a three year research project and really looked at whanau participation, whanau development abnd te reo Maori me ona tikanga and there was some really interesting findings. Those are some of the things I will be able to bring to the table,” Ms Tamati says.

Early childhood is when children can develop the sense of identity and self worth that provides the foundation for the rest of their education.


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