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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Filipaina seconded on to Maori board

A member of the Auckland super city's statutory Maori Board says it's determined to work closely with the council.

The board has three months to draw up a list of its priorities, but its relationship with the council is not fully defined in the legislation.

Former MP John Tamihere, who is one of two mataawaka members representing Maori from iwi outside Tamaki Makaurau, says at its first meeting this week it asked councillor Alf Filipaina to sit in on meetings, despite him having no formal entitlement to do so.

“We've issued an open ended invitation to him and to obtain all our documentation and minutes so we’ve shown an ability to be absolutely open with this council by actually co-opting one of the councilors that the mayor asked to be the relationship manager with us. What more can Maori do,” Mr Tamihere says.

David Taipari from Ngati Maru was elected to chair the nine-member board, with Patience Te Ao from Waikato and ngati Wai taking the deputy slot.

WORKMAN DEFENDS IWI LIAISON WITH GANGS

The head of prison reform group Rethinking Crime and Punishment says police iwi liaison officers working with gangs face pressure from colleagues who want to turn the clock back.

Kim Workman says international data shows the most effective way to get people out of gang lifestyles is education and employment, rather than tougher law enforcement.

But the former police sergeant and Corrections head says many in the force side with Police Minister Judith Collins, who has a policy of never engaging with gangs.

“Police officers have a range of views about that stuff and our iwi liaison officers in particular are quite conflicted about having to deal with a spectrum of views within the police service,” Mr Workman says.

SMALLER PORTIONS TO COUNTER DIABETES

Diabetes New Zealand says Maori need to start eating less and exercising more if they want to live longer.

President Chris Baty says 25,000 Maori need help to manage their diabetes, and that number is set to double over the next 20 years.

She says type two diabetes is three times more common among Maori and Pacific islanders than other New Zealanders, and some of that comes down to diet and lifestyle, starting with putting less food on the plate and eating more vegetables and fruit.

Stopping smoking also helps lower the risk of diabetes.

WAIPAREIRA SEEKS TO BREAK DRUNKEN CRIME CYCLE

Te Whanau o Waipareira wants to set up a detox centre in West Auckland to keep Maori youths out of the hands of the law.

John Tamihere, the urban Maori authority's chief executive, says the secure centre in a Henderson industrial area would have medical staff.

He says about 80 percent of the young Maori who come to the attention of the criminal justice system end up in a decade-long cycle of offending, so the centre is a way to intervene early and stop early acts of drunken foolishness escalating into more serious behaviour.

“The commissioner of police, Howard Broad, in a very good speech he made about nine months ago raised the idea and so I had a look at it with a number of others in planning it out west and we are now marshalling resources to have it away by September of next year,” Mr Tamihere says.

Waipareira will fund the detox centre itself, because it can't wait for government to address the fact seven out of 10 Maori boys come to the attention of the criminal justice system.

MAORI PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT MODEL RELEASED

Massey University's Te Mata o Te Tau academy for Maori research and scholarship is launching a new to test Maori mental health.

Te Kani Kingi, the academy's director, developed the Hua Oranga Maori mental health measure as part of his PhD thesis, and has spent a decade testing and refining it.

He says it gives health providers a way to put into practice the Whare Tapa wha model for Maori, devised by Professor Sir Mason Durie.

“So not just looking at their psychological functioning, well being, but also making a considered assessment as to whether or not the treatment or therapy has enhanced their physical well being, whether or not it enhanced their ability to communicate with whanau for example, and whether spiritual needs have been considered,” Dr Kingi says

Non-Maori clinicians are also showing interest in the tool because it is able to measure factors of well-being that conventional tools can't capture.

DeRonde Tarawera

Te Arawa Lakes Trust is backing a study of Lake Rotomahana that hopes to solve the mystery of the Pink and White Terraces.

Project leader Cornel De Ronde from GNS Science says the lake will be mapped in January using unmanned submersibles from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in the United States.

He says they will search for geothermal vents and for any remains of the famed silica terraces, destroyed when Mount Tarawera erupted of 1886.

“Local iwi are interested too because it does just perhaps give a bit of closure as to exactly what did happen because there were a number of deaths in that explosion and also a strong interest from overseas. There’s not a lot of lakes in the world that have hydrothermal systems on the bottom and none of them to our knowledge went through this transition from sub-aerial to submarine, so there’s a strong interest across the board really,” Dr De Ronde says.

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