Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Parent rebellion over national standards

School principal turned Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says Education Minister Anne Tolley has a parent rebellion on her hands over national standards.

Mr Davis says the new measurement system should have been trialed to make sure it improved student achievement.

He says the boards represent their communities, and more than 80 percent of Maori students attend mainstream schools.

“It's one thing to go out and slam teachers and unions and principals for their opposition to the national standards. It’s another thing when 225 boards of trustees come out and say these national standard are fundamentally flawed, that they’re unworkable and they’re confusing and I think Anne Tolley needs to get off her high horse and sit at the table and listen to what people, board members, teachers, parents are all saying about the national standards,” Mr Davis says.

TOBACCO CONTROL RECOMMENDATIONS HARD TO IGNORE

The head of QUIT says MPs will find it hard to ignore the recommendations of the Maori Affairs select committee on the tobacco industry.

Paula Snowden from Te Rarawa says in the past year her organisation has helped 12,000 Maori who want to stop smoking.

She says a ban on shop displays, plain packaging and a staged reduction in the amount of tobacco let into the country can all help make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025.

But she says firstly politicians need to stop seeing smoking as a personal choice.

“Once you're addicted it’s no longer a choice. The first cigarette may be, it may be just silly, but after that you’re addicted, and when you have dangerous products in society you do have regulations for them to keep communities safe. Alcohol has regulations. Speed has regulations. What goes into our milk and butter has regulations. It’s all the keep our people safe, so I think the government has got to stop seeing smoking as a personal choice,” Ms Snowden says.

TANUI OPENS TE AWA STAGE TWO

The second stage of Tainui's $100 million Hamilton mall development opened its doors to customers this morning.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, the chair of Te Ara Taura executive, says Te Awa at The Base in Te Rapa was designed as an iconic investment, showing the tribe's commitment to the regional economy.

He says the architects were instructed to incorporate historic and cultural symbolism, and they have made extensive use of the nihoniho taniwha pattern of interlocking triangles, representing Tainui's determination to succeed.

“The nihotaniwha pattern was also a symbol of strength and even in hard and despairing times the tribe has always found its feet and moved forward in an attempt to succeed in whatever it wanted to do,” Mr Morgan says.

The third stage of Te Awa opens in the New year.

HIKURANGI KAITIAKITANGA A POINTER TO SETTLEMENT AHEAD

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Paraekura Horomia says Ngati Porou has shown it's more than ready for its treaty settlement.

The tribe has signed off on a $110 settlement which will give it the right to buy Crown properties, as well as give it a say in management of infrastructure and natural resources in its rohe.

Mr Horomia says in the 19 years since Mt Hikurangi was returned to the iwi, Ngati Porou has shown it is a good guardian of the land - despite initial misgivings from some Pakeha groups.

“There was a real reaction, about access to the Maunga, about Maoris, it should stay with DoC and all that, those are fleeting past moments now. They’ve done a great job. No one has been banned from it and I think Maoris are very good at looking after things that are dear to them” Mr Horomia says.

People on the Ngati Porou iwi register have until December 13 to vote to ratify the settlement.

DAME JUNE JACKSON STEPPING DOWN FROM PAROLE BOARD

The longest serving Parole Board member, Dame June Jackson, is retiring.

Dame June says in her 22 years on the Board she has had to make tough calls on the release of many Maori, who make up half the prison muster.

Her hope is that a new generation of Maori will find ways to stay out of the criminal justice system.

“We have choices now and I think a lot of our people are doing exactly that, ensuring that their homes are safe, ensuring that the kids are okay, all those kinds of things. Perhaps the dysfunction that permeated our people in the past will diminish. That’s what I hope anyway,” Dame June says.

She expects to continue counselling whanau with members inside.

INTERNSHIP ENTRY INTO DENTAL CAREER

Taranaki District Health Board has taken on its first Maori dental cadet as part of its Whakatipuranga Rima Rau initiative to get more Maori into health jobs.

19 year old Te Waikapoata Tamati will work for the next year at the Rangiatea Community Dental Clinic, while also taking courses related to dentistry.

Ngawaia Henare, the DHB's chief advisor for Maori Health, says there's a pressing need in the province for oral health professionals, as Maori have some of the worst oral health in the country.

“A good way of trying to improve Maori oral health status is to have more working in that field,” Ms Henare says.

She hopes Ms Tamati will pursue a degree in dentistry.

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