Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Maori exodus from Otautahi under the radar

Christchurch-based social scientist Rawiri Taonui says more people, including more Maori, appear to be leaving Christchurch than is being officially acknowledged.

The Government will today reveal which parts of the city may not be rebuilt.

Mr Taonui says not enough has been done to support the city's Maori population, and the rolls at kura kaupapa have more than halved.

“People who have less money invested in Christchurch have less that they are attached to and where people don’t own their homes and they have whaanau in the north, a lot of them have uprooted and moved on and will continue to do so. The numbers kind of dwindle by the day,” he says.

Mr Taonui says people are questioning how they can invest in a city where it could be up to a decade before things can be expected to return to normal.


The Greens aren't contesting the Te Tai Tokerau by-election, but co-leader Metiria Turei is keen to see Mana's Hone Harawira back in Parliament.

Ms Turei says the only candidates the party endorses are its own.

But she says Mr Harawira has been strong on environmental issues, including his opposition to deep sea oil drilling.

“From a kaupapa point of view I have a lot in common with Hone and his views and his campaigns and the way he goes about his campaigning so having another voice like that in parliament is critical for the kaupapa we are fighting for which is Maori and the environment and taking care of people who need us the most,” she says.

Ms Turei says the political establishment, including some iwi leaders, is frightened of Mr Harawira being an independent Maori voice in parliament.


People are gathering about now in Tokoroa to open a new Maori-themed supermarket.

Countdown operating manager Dave Chambers says the chain likes to reflect the communities it serves ... and in the south Waikato that includes a large Maori content.

He says as well as the store's internal signage being in both Maori and English, local master carver Lionel Matenga has created a 5 metre long carving for the store entrance.

Mr Chambers says the carving has been donated to the community.

Countdown will again mark Maori language week this year with special events and publications.


Former Labour MP John Tamihere says Saturday's Te Tai Tokerau by-election is about one candidate ... Hone Harawira.

He says the by-election has concentrated opposition against the veteran protest leader, with the leaders of National and New Zealand First virtually telling their members to get out and vote against him, and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia having to apologise for ruling her candidate out.

He says it's unprecedented in New Zealand political history.

“Now does that mean Hones doing things good, or does it mean he’s so polarized people he’s doing things bad. That’s what the electors in Tai Tokerau have to come to terms with. I think it’s an amazing tribute to him that he’s brought this convergence on,” Mr Tamihere says.

He won't be endorsing Hone Harawira or anyone else in the by-election.


A Hutt Valley marae is among nine community providers who will share $730,000 set aside to find new ways to help youth offenders.

Spokesperson Henrietta Gemmell says Koraunui Marae Association has run alternative education, training and wrap-around services since the 1970s, and 90 per cent of the rangatahi it works with are Maori.

She says the Fresh Start Innovation Fund will allow the marae to reach more rangatahi with its tikanga Maori-based approach.

“Once they get a feel and a sense of belonging, because a lot of children come here without whakapapa, our children start to want to learn and they want to move on,” Mrs Gemmell says.

Offenders are getting younger, with some seen by the marae as young as 8 years old.


Te Arawa wahine will be out in force tonight to celebrate their women artists and musicians.

Veteran musicians Ardijah and friends will headline the Matariki concert, while Maisey Rika, Ria Hall, Te Matatini star Miriama Hare will be up for awards.

Organiser Te Ringahuia Hata says the event was driven by the concept of the Matariki star constellation, which to Maori represents a mother and her six daughters.

Te Arawa mothers will present taonga to six Te Arawa daughters excelling in kapa haka, arts and the music industry.


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