Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Food or pre-school choice for parents

Labour’s associate education spokesperson says early childhood education is becoming an issue of real concern in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

Kelvin Davis, who is seeking to wrest the seat from Hone Harawira, says Education Minister Anne Tolley’s tinkering is raising the costs to whanau.

He says that’s on top of other policies which are hitting lower income Maori households.

“Parents are having to make the choice between actually having to put food on their kids table and sending them off to early childhood education and they are compromising the future well being of Maoridom by their short sighted and short term cuts,” Mr Davis says.

He says Maori in the north fear for their jobs under current conditions.

CO-GOVERNANCE RECOMMENDED FOR ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

The Environmental Defence Society says a co-governance model would have offered more environmental protection than the new Environmental Protection Agency.

Chairperson Gary Taylor says having just two people with Maori backgrounds on the board, former Ngai Tahu chief executive Anake Goodall and Taria Tahana from Ngati Pikiao, isn’t adequate Maori representation.

“Rather than having one or two Maori, I’d prefer to see these sorts of bards established on a co-governance model with equal Maori representation, but that hasn’t happened,” Mr Taylor says.

ANTHOLOGY OFFERS POETS CHANCE TO PUBLISH

An anthology of Polynesian poetry has made the finals of the New Zealand Book Awards.

Co-editor Reina Whaitiri says Mauriola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English features established poets like Hone Tuwhare, Albert Wendt, Roma Potiki and Tracey Tawhiao.

It also allows people to pick up on emerging voices.

“Anthologies such as this give our poets the opportunity to be published. They may not have enough work of their own to publish a whole collection, but they can get into an anthology like this. If they only have one or two poems they think are good enough to publish, they can offer them,” she says.

Reina Whaitiri and co-editor Robert Sullivan are working on another anthology of just Maori poets.

MAORI UNDER-REPRESENTED IN EPA

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says Maori are under-represented on the new Environmental Protection Agency.

She says the agency’s eight-member board headed by former Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast has a clear pro-development bias.

The board includes consultant Taria Tahana from Ngati Pikiao and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu chief executive Anake Goodall.

“There’s only two Maori on the Environmental Protection Agency. I don’t think that’s enough. I don’t think that’s a properly representative board. Therefore Maori issues will be too easily sidelined by the board and I think it will be difficult for Maori to be decision-makers in this process,” Ms Turei says.

Priorities for the Maori would be for the EPA to step up monitoring of the marine environment and land-based mining.

BUDGET CUTS PUT MAORI HEALTH AT RISK

An economist for the Council of Trade Union is warning cuts to Maori health spending in the Budget will soon show up in worsening health statistics.

Bill Rosenberg says the health vote didn’t include the extra $127 million needed to keep up with rising costs and population increase.

“Maori will be affected because in every area Maori do rely on the district health boards to provide services and it’s the people on lowest incomes who are most reliant on public health services for their healthcare. If the cuts are coming from that, it is most likely to be the people on lowest incomes who will be affected,” Mr Rosenberg says.

TRADITIONAL FOODS FOR MATARIKI BOIL UP

It may be the Maori new year, but Rewi Spraggon is celebrating Matariki by cooking up some old food.

The chef and artist will be at Auckland War Memorial Museum tonight and tomorrow night demonstrating ways of preparing and preserving traditional Maori kai.

He says the foods and the stories around them offer a glimpse into the lifestyles of those who have gone before.

“Pirihawhea which is preserving fish and preserving toroi, puha and mussels and delicascies that our tupuna ate, ti kouka, all that sort of stuff, mamaku, and a lot of food our people aren’t eating these days,” Mr Spraggon says.

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