Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Smoking not protected

Maori anti-smoking campaigner Shane Bradbrook says Maori need to realise their job prospects could be affected if they keep lighting up.

The European Commission has backed a firm which refused to hire smokers, and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission has confirmed that refusing to give a job to a person because they smoke does not violate human rights.

Mr Bradbook says the ruling is likely to disproportionally affect Maori because almost 50 percent of Maori adults smoke, but they can't claim discrimination if that is why they are refused a job.


School boards need to ensure they're implementing the Treaty of Waitangi into classes, even if the draft curriculum doesn't spell it out for them.

That's the view of new School Trustees Association president Lorraine Kerr.

Ms Kerr says as a Maori member of school boards, she understands the struggle boards have to work out the right things to do.

Lorraine Kerr says Maori parents should become more involved with school boards so they can ensure there is a treaty partnership.


Te Papa's director of Matauranga Maori, Arapata Hakiwai, is welcoming the passing of the Protected Objects Amendment Bill.

The new law will set up a register of taonga that can't be removed from the country, and includes stiff penalties for people who smuggle artefacts out.

While it can't be used to go after objects which have been removed in the past , it will help New Zealand authorities with future fights.

Mr Hakiwai says the bill is long overdue, and brings New Zaland into line with international conventions,


The Prime Minister says Maori is so entrenched in the New Zealand school system, making references to the treaty of Waitangi in the draft curriculum for school is unnecessary.

The dropping of a specific reference has alarmed educationalists and the Maori Party, which says it it part of a pattern by Labour to roll back Maori gains in the treaty area.

But Helen Clarke says the Treaty is still included in the Education Act and in the National Education Goals, and that Maori reference groups were involved in the preparation of the draft curriculum.


Labour MP Shane Jones says it's not government's job to make young people interested in politics.

Mr Jones says the relatively poor response to the Maori Electoral Option suggests rangatahi are indifferent to politics.

But he says given the relative youth of the Maori population, Maori organisations would be wise to find ways to get rangatahi engaged in the process.


Child phone helplines say young Maori are increasingly using their services, rather than seeking kanohi ki te kanohi or face to face counselling.

Helplines say they are facing an increase in calls overall, and report worrying levels of self harm including cutting, burning and binge drinking.

John, a Maori counsellor with Auckland-based What's Up, says conventional counselling methods are too confrontational to Maori youth, so they seek out phone services.

John says more funding is needed for youth counselling services to cope with whjat seems to be a growing social problem.


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