Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 07, 2006

Wairarapa flood fears

It's an anxious time for Maori who whakapapa to the Wairarapa as they worry whether their kainga and their marae could be affected by the floods covering large parts of the region.

Makuini Kerehi, one of the people behind the wairarapa maori dot com website, says the reaction to the site shows how keen people are to stay in touch with whanau.

Ms Kerehi says the floods are affecting everyone.


Maori health expert Mason Durie says health funding can be wasted if ethnicity isn't taken into account.

The National Party has pledged to end all race-based funding, but the current health minister, Pete Hodgson, says he takes ethnicity into account if it can be proven to improve outcomes, such as in the meningococcal meningitis vaccination campaign.

Professor Durie told the Public Health Associations' national conference this week that the evidence is clear that beliefs, and culture and environment all affect health, in addition to socioeconomic factors.

“There's quite a lot of studies done that show even when you compare people whose social circumstances are the same, that is they have the same income and the same level of education and the same sort of housing, there is still a difference between outcomes for Maori and outcomes for other New Zealanders. That suggests that race or ethnicity is itself a determinant of health,” Durie said.

Professor Durie says a long term study by his team at Massey University has found the overall health of Maori is improving.


Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, has created a new award for Maori immersion schools for this month's Maori language week.

Chief executive Haami Piripi, says the Maori language commission gives awards to acknowledge the work done by community groups, government departments and businesses promoting te reo Maori.

But he says kura kaupapa use the reo everyday, so a separate award has been created to recognise efforts that reach beyond the classroom.


Former top social worker Ossie Peri says Green MP Metiria Turei's proposed amendment to the Adoption Act will entrench a cultural practice which is not right for Maori.

The Adoption (Equity) Amendment Bill will allow same sex and unmarried couples to adopt children.

Mr Peri says there was no such thing as adoption in traditional Maori society, and what is needed is a revival of the Maatua Whangai scheme he ran during the 1980s.

Maatua Whangai provided funding and support for the traditional practice of whangai, where children are placed with relatives if their own birth parents can't raise them.

Mr Peri says it was far more appropriate for Maori children, because their whakapapa or geneology was protected.

“You can whakapapa to your beginnings, you can whakapapa to your support. When there is anything goes wrong, the person coming in those maatua whangai days, he looked to the whole whakapapa surrounding that child. When they look at the whole like that, they are not seeing what is going wrong but how they can help,” Peri said.


The chief executive of the Maori language commission says Maori Language Week later this month is still relevant.

Haami Piripi says he hears criticism that the week is tokenistic, and every week should be Maori language week.

He says while that is true for many Maori communitities, there are others who benefit from a special focus on te reo.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says an exhibition of taonga from Ngai Tahu is a reminder of the good things happening in Maoridom.

Hundreds of people are expected at Te Papa Tongarewa museum in Wellington at dawn tomorrow for the opening of the exhibition, which runs for the next two and a half years.

Mr Horomia says recent events may have have created a public perception Maori communities are in a state of turmoil, but the South Island iwi has shown how Maori are focussing on the future, while honouring the past.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Minister praises Atihau operation

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says a $3 million regional development grant for the Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation recognises the economic contribution the Maori landowner is making to its community.

The incorporation will use the money to buy back the lease on an Ohakune dairy farm and convert some of its neighbouring sheep and cattle blocks to dairying.

Mr Horomia says Atihau-Whanganui, which is the largest ratepayer in Ohakune, also runs farm cadetships and has plans for tourism development round the township.

“They’re just consolidating all their land activities and it’s a huge operation, it has a very smart team running it and a committee in my mind that’s very forward looking and will develop it into an enterprise that will sustain and develop employment for a lot of their people,” Horomia said,


National's welfare spokesperson Judith Collins says the party's plans to take over the payment of some beneficiaries’ bills isn't aimed solely at Maori.

National is floating a new get tough policy for beneficiairies, including paying some of the benefit on a smart card which can only be used for food.

Ms Collins says it will only apply to beneficiaries who are clearly not looking after their children - whatever their race.

“I've had just about a gutsful of people who would say that things like that would disempower Maori, because I am a lot more interested in making sure that children are protected, be looked after, fed, clothed,” Collins said.


New Waitangi Tribunal member Sir Paul Reeves says it is helpful to have a timeline to work to.

The Government has introduced legislation making 2008 as the deadline for lodging historical claims, and it wants settlements complete by 2020.

Sir Paul, a former governer general and Anglican bishop, says 3the timeline is achievable as long as the Waitangi Tribunal is adequately resourced.


Auckland tribe Ngati Paoa says conservation lands can't be excluded if the Crown expects to reach settlements with Hauraki tribes.

Ngati Paoa, along with the rest of Hauraki and Tainui, is upset at the proposed settlement of Ngati Whatua's claims which will give the Orakei-based hapu right of first refusal on most Crown land in Auckland.

Ngati Paoa Trust chairperson Joe Tupuhi says that deal leaves little left for other iwi who lived on the Auckland isthmus.

He says Ngati Paoa is unwilling to accept the precedent set by the Tainui Raupatu that conservation land can't be touched, because of the way it has been abused by other government agencies.

An example was defence land on Auckland’s North Shore which was handed to the Department of Conservation once it became surplus to the navy.


Former governor general Sir Paul Reeves has come out against the police trials of Taser stun guns.

The trials start in September in the Counties manukau, Waitakere, Rodney and Wellington police districts.

Sir Paul, from Te Atiawa, says too little is known about the detrimental effects of the 50 thousand volt blasts.

Sir Paul says Tasers would jeopardise New Zealand's proud tradition of not arming its police force.


A South Auckland community worker says National's plans to compulsorily deduct rent and other bills from benefits will make the underlying problems of beneficiaries worse.

National is also talking about putting some of the benfit onto a smart card, which can only be used to buy food.

Sharon Wilson from Tamaki ki Raro Trust says policies like that tell people they can't be trusted to run their own lives.

Sealord leads Indian Ocean trawl ban

Maori-owned fishing company Sealord has succeeded in getting the international industry to voluntarily close parts of the Indian Ocean to deepwater trawling.

Chief executive Doug McKay says it is the equivalent of creating national parks in the ocean, and it will preserve unique marine environments.

Mr McKay says it was a logical extension of the move to close a third of New Zealand's exclusive economic zone to bottom trawling.

“Now the international area is a little more difficult because there is no regulatory environment, there is no policing capacity, you are really relying on the moral persuasion and the good will of the participants, and in this case we have been able to get unanimity among those who do fish the area,” McKay said.

Doug McKay says Sealord's shareholders, the Maori-owned Aotearoa Fisheries and Japan's Nissui, are committed to sustainable fisheries.


Former governor general Sir Paul Reeves from Te Atiawa has been appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says Sir Paul's experience of decision-making at the highest levels will be an asset to the tribunal.

Also appointed for a three year term is East Coast lawyer Peter Brown, who has a background in social development, social work and ecology in the East Coast, eastern Bay of Plenty and Te Urewera regions.


Two Maori smokefree workers are off to Washington as part of the New Zealand delegation to the 13th world conference on Tobacco.

Skye Kimura from Taranaki, and Justin Gush from Wanganui will represent the Maori Smokefree Coalition, Te Reo Marama.

Ms Kimura says many indigenous communitities around the world see Maori as leading the struggle to advance their issues.

She says the fact targeted campaigns have helped reduce the Maori smoking rate by 5 percent in the past few years means a lot of people want to hear the Maori story.

Ms Kimura also wants to pick up some new ideas.


A new book launched this week should help Maori families understand the law a little better.

Know Your Rights was written by Catriona McLennan, a familiar figure in the Auckland courts for many years as a community lawyer.

Ms McLennan says the legal system can frighten many people if they don't understand what is going on.

She says just as families have medical books to refer to if one of them gets sick, her book can be used if one of the whanau get into trouble.


Recreational fishers from Houhora to the Hauraki Gulf can expect a bonus catch of kingfish over the next couple of years.

The Recreational Fisheries Council and fishing company Sanfords have bought most of the remaining stock from Parengarenga Fishfarms and will release them over the next few weeks.

The Parengarenga Incorporation is shutting down its kingfish farm because it failed to meet initial targets and was unlikely to ever become profitable.

Manager John Ellis says 25,000 fish were sold to the Kingfish Go Wild consortium for a rock bottom price, after the Fisheries Ministry cleared them for release into the ocean.

He says the company is still looking for a buyer for its facility north of Te Kao, but meanwhile it has to sell its remaining stock, which are between half a kilo and three kilos.

The first release will be in the Hauraki Gulf next Tuesday.


The Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation has received a $3 million regional development grant from the Government to buy out the lease of a 200 hectare dairy farm on its land near Ohakune.

Chairman Whatarangi Murphy-Peehi says that means the 35-year old incorporation has managed to buy back the leases of two thirds of its 20,000 hectares in the Whanganui and Waimarino areas.

He says the resumed block will give the incorporation a base to convert some of its adjoining 1000 hectares to dairying, which employs more people than existing sheep and cattle operations.

It also includes land which can contribute to Ohakune's tourism industry.


Giving Maori parents a say in the running of schools will be one of the topics on the agenda for school trustees at their annual conference in Christchurch this week.

School Trustees Association deputy president April Tauelangi says many schools serving Maori communities struggle to get parents onto their boards.

She says even if Maori aren't included at the governance level, trustees, still need to consider the Treaty of Waitangi and ensure Maori needs are met.

Mrs Tauelangi says Maori parents want the same commitment to quality as other parents, but they want that to include a taha Maori element as well as literacy and numeracy.

Taser trial further attack on brown men

A South Auckland criminal defence lawyer says Maori parents should be concerned at plans to trial tasers in the city.

Jenna Philson says the protocols justifying the use of the stun guns, which deliver a 50 thousand volt jolt, are too open to interpretation by police officers on the ground.

Ms Philson says the statistics show brown men aged 18 to 24 are more likely to be arrested than non Maori, so the fact Counties Manukau is one of four areas chosen for taser trials doesn't look good for young Maori.

“Go into any district court, the front part of the court is all white, it is the judges and the lawyers, and the back part of the court is all brown, it is our whanau, and you have to ask yourself, why are they trialing this here in Counties Manukau.”

Jenna Philson from Nga Turei Kaitiaki ki Waikato Community Law Centre in Manukau.


The chairman of the Kurahaupo claimants at the top of the South Island says his people are itching for a settlement.

Kurahaupo, which represents Ngati Apa, Ngati Kuia and Rangitane, is the only top of the South Island iwi which has so far got a mandate to negotiate.

Richard Bradley says Treaty Negotiations Minister Mark Burdon will come to Blenheim next month to kick off formal negotiations.

Neighbouring iwi say the total settlement could be up to $100 million, but Mr Bradley says claimants are unlikely to get more than a fraction of the value of the land taken off them.

He says the settlement package will be affected by what assets the Crown has in the region.

“Large cash components are not a favoured option. In some cases the ability to look at some of the Crown assets – one thing we always thought would be a good thing was to get the title to the police station and the court house, because they would be really good tenants, and they’re not likely to go out of business,” Bradley said.


The head of Maori Studies at Manukau Institute of Technology is defending the National Certificate of Educational Achievement.

A study done for the Ministry of Education says students lose motivation and do the minimum required to pass their NCEA levels.

But Wiremu Doherty says the system is good for Maori.

He says exam-based assessment systems such as the old School Certificate exam had a too narrow focus:

“When you look at assessment, when you look at external moderation, it is your chance to show and tell what it is you have learnt. It is not about finding out what you don’t know. It is an opportunity for you to put on paper what it is you have learnt and how you learnt it and draw from that vast experience of knowledge you have been exposed to in your classrooms,” Doherty said.


Ngamani on marina

Hauraki iwi are standing behind Conservation Minister Chris Carter's decision to block a 205 berth marina at Whangamata.

The High Court will next month hear the Whangamata Marina Society's application for a judicial review of the minister's decision.

Leanne Ngamani, the Hauraki Maori Trust Board's environmental manager Leanne Ngamani, says Mr Carter was acting in the best interests of the area.

“From what we know the way he made the decision is sound, is in line with legislation he needs to pay regard to, and we are just playing a waiting game as to what the outcome of the high court decision might or might not be,” Ngamani said.


The Green Party spokesperson on Maori Affairs says it is wrong to blame a whole sector of society for the actions of a few.

Meteria Turei says violence against children is not unique to those receiving benefits, but that seems to have been lost on callers to talkback radio - and on the government.

The Government plans to target households where clusters of beneficiaries live.

Ms Turei says that is a knee jerk reaction to the deaths of the Kaahui twins, and it makes sense for people on benefits to live together and share expenses.

“The Kaahui case has raised a huge number of issues about dysfunctional families and taking care of our own and children at risk, but that should not mean that beneficiaries as a class are irresponsible and incapable,” Turei said.


One of the producers of a documentary about this year's Easter reunion of the 28th Maori Battalion says it was an honour to be part of such a special occasion.

Melissa Wikaere is from Ngati Hine, and her grandfather and great grandfather were in the battallion.

She says the challenge was to condense the footage shot at Omapere over the entire weekend into a one hour programme, which screens tonight on Maori Television.

She says there were some wonderful glimpses into the lives of those who were part of the battalion, as seen by some of the 70 survivors of the 3700 who served.

Ms Wikaera says she came away from the Hokianga Harbour with an enduring image of the Last Post being played against a cloudless sky.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Kaumatua a practical person

Wainuiomata Marae chairman and Ngati Porou elder Rongo Wi Repa is being remembered as a practical person who made a huge contribution to Maori life.

Mr Wi Repa died on Sunday aged 71.

Former Maori Affairs deputy secretary Neville Baker says Mr Wi Repa came into Maori Affairs in the 1970s to help set up programmes such as kokiri skills development centres and trade training.

Mr Wi Repa brought to the job his love for sport - he was a former Maori All Black - his experience as a plumber, his skill in oratory, and his belief that the marae Maori was central to Maori life.

Mr Baker says he will be particularly missed at the marae he built in Wainuiomata.

“While Rongo was a very proud Ngati Porou and Rongowhakaata etc, he was a very good leader in a Maori sense because he would roll his sleeves up and encourage everybody to participate, so as a result of that Rongo’s efforts will live on and people will talk about him as someone wh really made a contribution to Wainuiomata,” Baker said.

Rongo Wi Repa will be taken to Te Araroa this morning.


Northland Labour list MP Shane Jones says a call by urban Maori authorities for Maori social service providers to be given control of some welfare benefits is the start of a slippery slope.

Mr Jones says the call, coming as it does in the wake of the public furore over the killing of the Kahui twins, is too emotional and stigmatises all whanau on benefits.

He says urban Maori advocate John Tamihere hasn't through the idea through properly.

“The logical long term conclusion is some sort of welfare concentration camp and that is a slope none of us want anything to do with. Tough love must not be used as a basis for ushering some kind of authoritarianism where people just give up,” Jones said.

Shane Jones says while many families rely on benefits for short periods, only a few stay on the dole long term.


The Maori Party's education spokesperson says Maori communities still regard Maori teachers as leaders of their communities.

Te Ururoa Flavell was a speaker at the PPTA Maori teachers conference in Taranaki this week

Mr Flavell says at such a hui, it is important to remember of the efforts of kuia and kaumatua who paved the way for Maori in the education sector, such as John Tapiata, Whare Te Moana, Mona Rini and Toby Rikihana.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the Maori Party can hold its head up high over how the Maori electoral option is going.

With a month to go the Maori roll is still more than 3000 voters short of the numbers needed to create a Maori seat, despite the efforts of his Party to encourage voters to switch.

Labour MP Shane Jones has called the result a vote of no confidence in the Maori Party.

But Mr Flavell says the party is trying to build long term support for a separate Maori voice in Parliament.

“What we've done is try to act honorably and repsonsibly by asking our people to take up the option, what we are positive about is many of the people who have switched over are the rangatahi, and they are the ones who will determine our future, so that’s where we will put our energy,” Flavell said.

More than 7000 Maori have enrolled for the first time, with five and a half thousand of those opting for the Maori roll.


Ngai Tahu is getting ready to take over the paepae at the museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Kaumatua Kukupa Tirikatene says thousands of Ngai Tahu will gather at dawn on Saturday for the poiwhiri marking the start of the exhibition of the tribe's taonga, which will run for the next two and a half years.

Mr Tirikatene says the challenge will be to make sure there are always interesting activities for visitors.

“ That is the challenge to Ngai Tahu, to make sure there is something there, so each and every person can say hey, that’s where my roots started from, and make them feel good about themselves,” Tirikatene said.


Kapa haka from a different age will be on display tonight at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland.

It's not the marae's home team, Te Roopu Manutaki, but films of historical cultural performances held by the New Zealand Film Archive.

Co-ordinator Rewi Spraggon, from Ngati Hine, says the Te Tira Haka programme has been put together as part of Waitakere City's celbration of Matariki celebrations.

He says the films include rare footage of leaders like Sir Apirana Ngata, Sir Maui Pomare, and Princess Te Puea Herangi.

Mr Spraggon says Maori involved in the contemporary kapa haka scene may be surprised at how much has change, and how the haka of the past had similarities to the Hawaiian hula.

Respected kaumatua Rongo Wi Repa dies

Ngati Porou is mourning the death of kaumatua Rongo Wi Repa, who played a major role over the years connecting Maori communities with government agencies.

Mr Wi Repa was known in his younger days as a strong rugby player, going from the Te Aute First Fifteen to the Wellington representative side, and going on to become a Maori All Black.

He worked as a plumber for 20 years before being brought in to Maori Affairs as a community officer, and maintained a strong commitment to trade training.

After the department was disestablished Mr Wi Repa worked for the Central Regional Health Authority, visiting every marae from Wairoa to Motueka to help Maori set up their own health providers.

Mr Wi Repa has been taken back to Te Poho o Rawiri Marae in Gisborne.


Western Bay of Plenty kaumatua want to promote a culture of zero tolerance to drug abuse, alcohol abuse and violence in their community.

That was the outcome of a hui this weekend at Tauranga's Maungatapu marae, at which members of from Ngaiterangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga looked at ways to cut the escalating problem of family violence.

Hui facilitator Rahera Ohia says more eyes and ears are needed in the community, and one of the ideas coming out of the hui was for a whanau helpline so people could seek advice and help.


Health researcher Maarewa Glover says parents are key to stopping children smoking.

Dr Glover is heading a three year, $700,000 project called Keeping Kids Smokefree.

She says it's no good must targeting young people, as parents must change their behaviour first.


Maori arts administrator Garry Nicholas says Maori won't get anywhere by moaning about the cultural insensitivity Fiat "ka mate" car ad.

In the ad, a group of women on a city street perform the Te Rauparaha's haka, before one of the women drives off in a black Fiat.

Mr Nicholas, the general manager of Toi Maori Aotearoa, says Maori should see the Italian automotive giant's use of their culture as an opportunity to promote their culture in Europe.


Maketu Maori are objecting to a plan to build a one and a quarter kilometre steel wall in Lake Rotoiti to channel nutrient-laden water from Lake Rotorua directly into the Kaituna River.

The Environment Court is hearing appeals against the resource consent 6granted last November for the ohau Channel diversion.

Raewyn Bennett from Nga Tangata Ahi Kaa Roa o Maketu says the plan will push more pollution down to the coast, wiping out the Maketu people's traditional kaimoana grounds.

She says ignoring the interests of Maketu residents is a kind of racism, as poor communities get used as a dumping ground for pollution.


The head of the country's largest iwi says giving social service providers control of beneficiaries' budgets would be a massive step backwards into dependence.

Sonny Tau from the Ngapuhi Runanga says the proposal from the National Urban Maori Authority is another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy.

The authority says it's clear some people don't have the skills to ensure their tamariki have proper food and shelter, so Maori social service providers hsould step in to make sure basic household needs are met/

Mr Tau says Maori have to look after their own whanau, and not have the state do it.


A big kia ora to Fiat from New Zealand Maori Council spokesperson Maanu Paul.

Mr Paul has done a haka in the past over inappropriate use of Maori culture in commerce, challenging Danish toymaker Lego's use of Maori characters and New Zealand's Post's depictions of Maori performers on stamps.

But he says the Italian carmaker's ad for the new Fiat Idea, which features Italian women doing the haka in the street, is a bit of fun.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Rates rebate welcome but missing multiple dimension

Ngati Porou elder Koro Dewes says a change in the rates rebate scheme could have a big impact on areas like the East Coast, but more needs to be done to improve the situation for Maori multiply-owned land.

A Gisborne District Council rates review has increased rates on some coastal properties by as much as 10 times, and owners say they are being priced off their ancestral land.

Now the government has raised the rebates councils can give ratepayers on low incomes from $200 to $500, and increased the income threshhold from $7400 to $20,000.

Mr Dewes says a lot of people in Ngati Porou will qualify, but it still doesn't addess the the problems faced by owners trying to develop multiply-owned land.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says New Zealanders have become desensitised to violence.

Dr Sharples says that is why a a lot of family violence is going unreported, even though it is happening under people's noses.

He says the media is contributing to the problem, as people get turned off by some of the coverage of violence on television.


Peace has broken out in Ngai Tahu, or so says chief executive Tahu Potiki.

After two votes on who should head the South Island tribe, the Ngai Tahu runanga's board is still divided 9-9 between supporters of Mr Potiki and those loyal to chairman Mark Solomon.

Mr Potiki says in the month since the election things have settled down between the factions, and the whole board is looking ahead.

He says governance of the tribe's $450 million commercial arm has been restructured, and the runanga is now trying to rebuild confidence among the tribe's members.


The Government's Te Arawa lakes settlement could be heading for the rocks, with a key New Zealand First MP having second thoughts.

Pita Paraone is a member of the Maori affairs select committee which sat in Rotorua last week to hear submissions on the settlement bill.

Mr Paroane says 17 of the 19 submissions opposed the settlement.

While many submissions were about the pollution in the lakes and whether the settlement would help clean them up, there were also serious concerns about the mandate of the negotiators.

Pita Paraone says he will put his concerns to the New Zealand First caucus about whether they should continue to support the bill.


Ngai Tahu chief executive Tahu Potiki says social services agencies need to make some hard decisions about who they help.

Mr Potiki has come out against a National Urban Maori Authority plan for the benefits of some Maori beneficiaries to be paid direct to Maori social services agencies, who will then help families manage their finances.

Mr Potiki says as a former social worker, he understands the furstration about the huge amount of resources which go into a small group of people, with seemingly little positive result.

He says the challenge is to find community interventins which make a long term difference - and that may mean writing some people off.

Tahu Potiki says many long term social workers turn into prison guards in the community, trying to protect family members from other family members.


A Tuhoe man appointed to Manukau City's Treaty of Waitangi standing committee says he wants to see the Maori Party enter the local government arena.

Tunuiarangi McLean was chosen by a hui to be one of four taura here members representing the interests of Maori who whakapapa from outside South Auckland.

He says putting together a Maori Party ticket for next year's local government elections is the way to get more Maori round council tables.

Option vote no confidence in Tariana party

Labour list MP Shane Jones says a low uptake of the Maori Electoral Option is a vote of no confidence by voters in the Maori Party.

The Maori Party MPs are on the road this month encouraging Maori to switch from the general to the Maori roll in sufficient numbers to generate an additional seat.

Mr Jones says party co-leader Tariana's declaration that there could be 14 or 15 Maori seats if all Maori switched over was reckless and arrogant, and there are a significant number who instead are moving from the Maori to the general roll.

He says the Maori Party's post election overtures to National has backfired.

“And the only reason the Maori seats will continue to exist is if more and more Maori see them as a legitimate way for the Maori voice to be heard in Parliament. Now, if the legitimacy was a big as Tariana insists it is, they would double in size. They’re not going to double, and I doubt if there will be one single additional Maori seat. Labour lost these seats before, and they are quite capable of coming back to Labour again,” Jones said.

The Maori Option ends on August the second.


A Mangere community worker says financial benefits for Maori need to be more responsibly managed.

Sharon Wilson, the chief executive of Tamaki ki Raro Trust, says the social welfare system is destroying some families.

Ms Wilson has called a hui in south Auckland this month to discuss how government and private agencies serving the community can do a better job.

She says the death of twins Chris and Cru Kahui have highlighted gaps in the system.

“ I don’t necessarily believe the solutions can be found for our take here in Mangere and places like us in Wellington. I think they need to here what all these providers have to say about a system we can see is clearly not working for out people. And I do not believe there is one policy which meets all the needs of all the people in all the parts of the country,” Wilson said.

Sharon Wilson says she has invited Government ministers Parekura Horomia and David Benson-Pope to the hui to hear from the people doing the work day to day.


Plunket head Kaye Crowther says Maori mums would be particularly affected if the Plunketline phone advice service can't find the money to continue.

The board of Plunket is digging into the organisation's reserves to keep the service going until Christmas, after the government gave the contract for a 24 hour helpline to American-owned call centre operator McKesson New Zealand.

Ms Crowther says most Maori mums have their babies checked by Plunket, and they know and trust Plunketline.

“We see about two thirds of Maori families in facer to face calling. It’s about the same in Plunketline calling. And we want the service to be available for them. It’s very important,” Crowther said.

Kaye Crowther says the Government failed to commit the necessary funding to allow Plunketline to cope with demand.


The meningococcal B vaccine campaign is winning the battle to eradicate the disease.

Bernard Te Paa, general manager of Maori services for Counties Manukau District Health Board, says there have been no meningococcal B deaths nationaly so far this year compared with an estimated 80 last year.

Mr Te Paa says 90 percent of Maori school age children have been immunised, there has also been a 90 percent drop in cases of the strain this year.

Green Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei has slammed a proposal by the National Urban Maori Authority to give control of welfare benefits to social service providers.

The authority says it can make sure essentials like rent and food are covered, before parents spend the money at the pub.

But Ms Turei says there are better ways to address the financial and budgeting issues faced by beneficiaries.

She says the authority hasn't through the issues through.

Metiria Turei says what might help beneficiaries is allowing them to keep more of what they can earn from part time work, so they have an incentive to get extra income into the household.


One of the men involved in the construction of Hamilton's Mormon high school is vowing to keep the school open.

US-based church elders have ordered Church College at Temple View be closed and the money needed to keep it going be redirected to evangelical work in Africa and Eastern Europe.

Matiu Tarawa says Church College has played an important role in the lives of many Maori Mormons, and he will seek support from former students and supporters to ask the church to reconsider.

Mr Tarawa who is now in his eighties, says the school was built in the 1950s through the good will and hard work of the people, and more consideration should have been given to their wishes.