Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Massey researchers zero in on Maori male diabetes

Massey University researchers believe they can identify the risk of diabetes in Maori men as young as their 20s.

Chris Cunningham from the university's Centre for Maori Health and Development says while official statistics say Maori are twice as likely to contract diabetes as Pakeha, his research indicates the rate could be four or five times as much.

He says the research team is looking at fit, active young men so they can see when problems are likely to develop and what people can do to remain healthy.

Dr Cunningham says while men tend to be relatively healthy in their 20s, they may have diets high in fats and energy, so problems emerge when the get less active.

“We've all seen this, typically during your 30s you bloom, you become much bigger, and the result of that is developing diabetes and cardio vascular disease in our 40s and life expectancy somewhere in our 60s is the ultimate end point of that, so we are interested in understanding when the risk develops, what it looks like,” he said.

Chris Cunningham says diabetes and related diseases account for most of the 10 year difference between Maori and non-Maori life expectancy.


A Maori academic and health advocate from Otago University is welcoming the most comprehensive study of the state of dental health in New Zealand in the past 20 years.

Dr John Broughton is also a member of Te Ao Marama, the Maori Dentists’ Association.

The Health Minister Pete Hodgson has announced funding for the survey, which will involve 7000 participants from all sectors of New Zealand Society.

Dr Broughton says the survey is timely, and should result in dental intervention strategies for those most in need.

“It does provide concrete evidence that can lead on to targeted funding for intervention, and Maori providers can do this very well,” Broughton said.


Senior Ngai Tahu weaver Ranui Ngarimu says the tribe's exhibition at Te Papa, is turning into a fantastic experience.

Mo Taatou opened last weekend, and Ms Ngarimu is part of part of a group of Christchurch weavers who are demonstrating their craft.

She says many visitors want to hear about the history of raranga in the South Island, and learn about the materials and techniques unique to Ngai Tahu.

Ranui has also been appointed to the board of Te Waka Toi, the Maori arm of Creative New Zealand.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says people need to look forwards rather than backwards.

The minister has come under fire for launching the government's new Maori potential framework in the same week a report came out identifying an increase in the poverty between 2000 and 2004, with Maori families being particularly badly affected.

Mr Horomia says that report was historical, and low unemployment, rising skill levels and demographic factors are contributing to a dramatic tranformation of Maori society.

“This will be one of the great, exciting and dramatic transitions for Maori. In the next two to four years a lot of our traditional keaders will pass on. Kara he karanga mate tera, it’s going to happen, and with it goes a whole lot of traditional connections, with it goes a lot of that expertise in the sense of being from children who were brought up by grandparents from the old age,” Horomia said.


A hui being held this weekend aims to lift the standard of whai korero on marae.

It's been organised by the former maori language commissioner, Timoti Karetu.

Te Panekiritanga o te Reo, or the pinnacle of the language, is at Hawke's Bay's Eastern Institute of Technology this weekend.

Professor Karetu says he expects a lot of younger speakers to attend as they are assuming roles on the paepae to compensate for a shortgae of te reo speakers in the 45 to 60 year old age group.

He says the invitation-only event is for confident speakers of Maori who want to take their language to a higher level.

“It sounds terribly snooty, but it isn’t meant to be. It’s for those who are committed to occupying those roles and assume them with a great deal ofr mana and panache. Whaikorero demands another level of language use, and that’s why Te Panekiritanga was set up. It’s for people who have a very good command and want to do up.another notch,” Karetu said.


Dr John Broughton from Te Ao Marama, the Maori dentists’ association, says while there's always room for more, he is encouraged by the numbers of Maori studying dentistry at Otago University.

He says dental health is still a major issue for Maori, and he welcomes a comprehensive survey on the overall state of dental health in New Zealand, which was announced yesterday by the Minister of Health Pete Hodgson.

Dr Broughton says Maori communities need to encourage rangatahi who show promise in the sciences to consider a careeer in dentistry.

But he's encouraged by the numbers currently enrolled at the University, where about 25 Maori are enrolled.

Wai uu, wai ora

Wai uu, waiora. Breast milk is the best milk.

That's the slogan for a week long hiikoi and health promotion being run by Taitokerau iwi authorities later this month as part of national breastfeeding week.

Organiser Waireti Walters says the hikoi will go to a number of Northland towns including Kaikohe, Kawakawa, Kerikeri, Kaeo and Kaitaia, and of course Whangarei.

Mrs Walters says young mothers have to feel comfortable breastfeeding their babies.

“I don't feel that we are taking it seriously, the fact most young mothers still want to have a social life and leave baby to nanny, so what we want to promote is breast milk is the best milk, wai uu wai ora,” Walters said.


NZ First MP Pita Paraone wants a return to the days of the old Department of Maori Affairs.

His call is in response to the Government's new Maori potential framework, which has Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia telling Te Puni Kokiri staff to get out of their offices and spend more time in the community.

Mr Paraone, a former Tari Maori official, says the old department did good work before it was shut down in 1989.


The floods which have isolated the Rangitikei settlement of Mangamahu are allowing one local weaver to get ahead in her work.

Mere Keating, who lives in the former Mangamahu hotel, says the lack of traffic makes the area feel like it did when she first moved there more than 30 years ago.

The bridge over Mangawhero River collapsed last Saturday, and the only access is by helicopter or by four wheel drive over a muddy farm road.

Ms Keating says she hasn't been able to get her kete to the Saturday market in Wanganui, but she has plenty to keep her occupied preparing and weaving flax.

Transit New Zealand and Wanganui District Council engineers were today inspecting the bridge site with a view to installing a temporary bridge.


A former senior public servant says the creation of a Maori underclass is not in the best interests of society.

Jim Traue, the former chief librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library, says in the wake of the killing of the Kaahui twins, child abuse and other social ills have been treated by politicians and the media as being Maori problems.

But he says the social problems besetting Maori are similar to those faced by other marginalised groups, such as the Irish in England during the 1800s.

Mr Traue says society as a whole needs to tackle such disadvantage, not just Maori.

“In a decent society we would attend to that problem, we would concentrate resources on those who were most in need, and mostly they are Maori who are most in need, but unfortunately it is very difficult for a government to do that and still stay in power,” Traue said.

Jim Traue says Maori leaders may have overplayed their hand by demanding special rights under the treaty, instead of emphasising their rights as citizens.


Labour list MP Georgina Beyer is hanging up her political hat.

The world's first transsexual MP says she has a few more things she wants to do in Parliament over the next year, but she won't stand for re-election.

The Te Atiawa tribal member says it ihas been a privilege to serve as as mayor of Carterton, MP for Wairarapa, list MP and chair of Parliament's social services committee, and she knows her experience has been an inspiration for others.

“15 years involved in politics is a reasonable chuck of service to the nation. It is something that was quite unexpected for me when it happened, and I’m very satisfied that I’ve had the privilege of serving in the New Zealand parliament, participating as a positive citizen, given my background and against all the odds,” Beyer said.

Georgina Beyer says she has other contributions to make to society outside politics, here and around the world.


Christchurch based weaver Ranui Ngarimu has been appointed to Te Waka Toi, the Maori arm of Creative New Zealand.

Ms Ngarimu is an expert on restoring ceremonial cloaks, and she was part of the group that demonstrated weaving techniques during the Eternal Thread exhibition in Seattle and San Francisco.

She also co-authored the book of the same name which is a finalist in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

The other new member on the board is Darrin Haimona fron Ngati Haua.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Arikinui still in hospital

The Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame te Atairangikaahu, is spending a further day in Waikato Hospital.

Spokesperson Lady Reiha Mahuta says Dame Te Ata was in a comfortable condition overnight, after a day of tests.

Medical staff will have a conference with family members this morning, and Dame te Ata will also undergo a previously scheduled dialysis.

She was admitted to hospital on Tuesday morning after experiencing difficulty breathing, but Lady Reiha denies reports that Dame Te Ata, who turns 75 this month, had a heart attack.

Lady Reiha says the people of Waikato-Tainui are praying for their leader.


National MP Georgina Te Heuheu says the Government's new Maori potential framework looks more spin than action.

The Budget reallocated $23.6 million of Te Puni Kokiri's spending to programmes which are supposed to help Maori communities improve their lot getting more out of their land and natural resources, traditional knowledge and leadership.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says its staff will spend less time behind their desks and more out in the community.

Mrs te Heuheu says that is not the way it will work, as the job of the officials is to sit at their desks producing reports.


Sione's Wedding did it for Grey Lynn. Now the streets of South Auckland are coming to the silver screen in a way that hasn't been seen before.

The documentary Squeegee Bandit premieres tomorrow on the opening night of the Auckland Film Festival.

It follows the life of Starfish, a Maori man in his late 30s who survives by washing car windows at intersections.

Kiwa Productions head Rhonda Kite says the film follows his struggles through nine months, three cars, two women, thirty homes, a hundred run-ins with the cops, one court date, a kilo of marijuana, finding God and the Zen of window washing.

Ms Kite says Starfish stood out among the window washers because of the way he bombarded the filmmakers with questions.


Maori immersion school principal Hawea Vercoe says it's time to start putting bilingual signs on Bay of Plenty roads.

Mr Vercoe has been fighting Land Transport New Zealand over the use of signs saying kura rather than school on busses carrying children from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rotoiti.

Now through Rotorua District Council's Te Arawa Standing Committee he has asked the council to embrace the reo.

Mr Vercoe says bilingual signage was a big factor in the success of the Welsh language revival in Wales, and it's long overdue in Aotearoa.

Hawea Vercoe says countries like Japan and Switzerland are happy with signs in multiple languages.


Tainui has grown the value of its settlement by more than a third over the past year, allowing it to invest more in tribal development.

Commercial arm Tainui Group Holdings made a net operating profit of $17.8 million in the year ending March 31, an increase of 43 percent on 2005.

Group assets now stand at $312 million.

It paid a $10.6 million dividend to its shareholder, the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust, which uses it for marae grants, education scholarships and other development objectives.

Acting chief executive Hinerangi Raumati says the result comes from careful management of an asset portfolio which includes property, shares, fixed interest investments and developments such as the 50-50 joint venture with The Warehouse to develop The Base shopping complex at Te Rapa.

She says it's a far cry from 2000, when Tainui had to sell off loss making investments. That portfolio was much more wighted towards start up companies.


Taranaki artist and ta moko expert Rangi Kipa says art is giving Maori a chance to do some colonisation of their own

Kipa has been awarded $65 thousand Creative New Zealand craft fellowship, which he will use to work on a major sculpture to be shown at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art next year.

He says the theme of the work, a carved whare made of traditional and modern materials, is the effect of colonisation on Maori.

Hauraki unravels as negotiations approach

A potential challenge by Hauraki iwi against the Government's proposed settlement of Ngati Whatua's Auckland claims could come unstuck because of a rift in the iwi.

The Hauraki Maori Trust Board and the Marutuahu Working Group have both sought funding from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust to challenge the settlement, which gives the orakei-based hapu right of first refusal to Crown land across the Auckland isthmus.

Ngati Maru Runanga general manager David Taipari says the split is regrettable, but he's confident a solution can be found.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the government's good news story about low unemployment is blinding it to the reality of rising poverty.

A new report by the Ministry of Social Development Report has found that in 2004 two thirds of benefiticary families with children reported significant hardship.

Mrs Turia says the government wants to brush the report off as being superceded by rising employment, but the reality is things aren't getting better for poor New Zealanders.

“What they fail to tell the people is, the majority of Maori people who have gained employment in this period of time are on incredibly low wages, many of them are in casual work, not even working full time, and we have got 1.9 million people in this country whose take home pay is under $400,” Turia said.

Tariana Turia says the government should stop commissioning reports and start taking action.


Rotorua historian Jim Schuster of Ngati Hinemihi says his people have been priced out of the chase for an historic taonga.

The original pare or lintel from the Hinemihi meeting house recovered from the Tarawera eruption is up for sale in Paris.

The Museum of New Zealand has advised the government the $3 million plus price tag is too high, and Mr Schuster says it is also too much for Te Arawa to contemplate paying.

He says the monetary valuation has no relation to what Maori feel for the piece.


Former Maori Language Commissioner Timoti Karetu says the standard of Maori spoken on marae is falling.

Professor Karetu is organising a wananga, Te Panekiritanga o te Reo, or the pinnacle of the language, at Hawke's Bay's Eastern Institute of Technology this weekend.

He says the invitation-only event is for confident speakers of Maori who want to take their language to a higher level for use in formal situations.

Professor Karetu says male kai korero and female kai karanga need to be confident and creative on the marae.

“And you can go to a lot of marae, and you find one paepae will just say what the previous speaker said, and so on and so on and so on. There’s no imagination with the whaikorero in the sense that one sets a theme, and the following speakers should elaborate that theme further. What happens, there tends to be a general repetition of what the previous speaker said, so there is nothing new added to the conversation, and the audience tends to drift off,” Karetu said.

Timoti Karetu says because many kaumatua are not fluent in the language, younger people are taking up speaking roles on marae.


Child Poverty Action Group spokesperson Susan St John says a Ministry of Social Development report confirms the government's policies are hurting poor Maori families.

The report found 17 percent percent of all Maori families in 2004 reported they suffered severe hardship, compared with 4 percent of Pakeha families.

Dr St John says wages are too low to counter rising living costs.

She says Maori families on benefits with dependent children have been particularly hard hit.

“We in Child Poverty Action Group have been very critical of the Working For Families package because it treats children in families with benefits differently by denying them part of that package,” St John said.


Taranaki carver and ta moko expert Rangi Kipa is the first Maori to receive the 65 thousand dollar Creative New Zealand Craft - object Art Fellowship.

The two previous recipients were potter Peter Lange and fabric artist, Malcolm Harrison.

Kipa says he will use the fellowship to work on a piece for the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, in which will go on show next May.

The work will combine traditional and contemporary materials, and is unique in that it features two mahou, or verandahs.

Maori potential framework explained, perhaps

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia is going on the road to brief staff and stakeholders on the government's new Maori potential framework.

The new policy involves shifting $23.6 million in his ministry's budget to programmes which help build on exisitng Maori human, financial and natural resources, traditional knowledge and leadership.

Mr Horomia says the Ministry of Maori Development will be putting key workers into Maori communities to help implement the programmes.

He says some of their functions may be similar to the old Department of Maori Affairs community welfare officers

Parekura Horomia says the Maori potential framework will also require his Ministry of Maori Development to work closely with other government agencies.


The Chairperson of a South Auckland health provider hopes political rhetoric doesn't get in the way of practical solutions to family violence.

Politicians from Pita Sharples to Judith Collins to David Benson Pope to former MP John Tamihere have waded into the issue in the wake of the death of the Kaahui twins last month.

Sharon Wilson of Tamaki ki Raro Trust says political rhetoric isn't going to solve the problem, and that is why she has invited groups actually working with communities to her hui this month to discuss the issues, in the hope they can come up with practical approaches.


Kapa haka expert Tama Huata says the latest complaints about the throat slitting action in the new All Black haka shouldn't be taken seriously.

Featherston Rugby Club vice president Erroll Anderson says he will lay a complaint with police that the gesture is a threat to kill.

Mr Huata says the complaint is unusual given what else goes on in rugby, like head butting and eye gouging.

The new haka, Kapa Opango, was composed for the All Blacks by East Coast expert Derek Llardelli and performed for the second time on Saturday night before the Bledisloe Cup clash in Christchurch.


The chief exeecutive of Ngai Tahu says the tribe's gift to the nation of 33 thousand hectares of South Island high country is a reflection of the hard negotiations required to reach a settlement 10 years ago.

Tahu Potiki says when the tribe bought three high country stations inland from Lake Wakatipu, it recognised parts of the land had different values to different groups of people.

He says Ngai Tahu secured land which was important to the tribe for historical, political and economic reasons, but it also included land of conservatIon significance.

The block being returned is to be known as Ka Whenua Roimata, or Land of Tears.


An Auckland kaumatua says rising rates are putting pressure on many elderly Maori.

Jim Peri, a retired school principal, says rates in many parts of Auckland have doubled over the past decade, and that means many kaumatua are considering the move back to their home areas.

But he says the problems may not go away, as many of their traditional areas also now face high rates, especially on coastal blocks.


The Fire Service's Maori advisor says a component in training fire personnel focusses on Maori, because of the disproportionate number of Maori who are injured or die in fires.

The service has just opened a new $11 million national training centre opposite Rotorua Airport

Piki Thomas says he'd like to see more Maori sign up as firefighters, and he's pleased new recruits are given an insight into what to expect from Maori communities.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Aotearoa Fisheries makes $15m half year profit

Pan-Maori fisheries company Aotearoa Fisheries has announced a half year profit of $15 million for the six months to the 31st of March.

That is already ahead of its projected full year profit of $14.9 million.

The profit included almost $11 million from dividends from its half share in Sealord Group.

Chief executive Robin Hapi says much of the improvement comes from restructuring and rationalisation of assets to focus on the company's strengths, and the impact of the lower New Zealand dollar is also starting to come through.

He says it's important for the success of the Maori fishing rights settlement that the company performs well, because there will be a dividend flow to tribes

“I think that it’s extremely important this company and these assets perform for iwi, not only for creating shareholder wealth for the tribes but also as an example to the rest of the company of how a settlement can work for the benefit of Maori,” Hapi said.

He says compared with what can be earned in other sectors, the profit is a reasonable return on the $380 million in Maori fisheries assets held by Aotearoa Fisheries.


National Party Maori affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says it is looking unlikely there will be an extra Maori seat as the result of the Maori electoral option.

Before the option started Mr Brownlee said there could be two or three new seats because fo the impact of the Maori Party.

He says that's not the story with only three weeks to go of the option, which gives Maori voters the choice between being on the Maori or the general roll.

Mr Brownlee says that is an interesting result for the country's political future, given the large number of Maori aged in their early to mid teens at the time of the 2001 Census.


Planning is underway for another Parihaka Peace Festival.

Organising festival spokesperson Te Miringa Hohaia says the inaugural event made a modest profit, which will be shared among the three whare at Parihaka.

Mr Hohaia says organisers are talking to two potential overseas headliners for next January's event.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Option role blocked

Maori students at Auckland tertiary institutes won't be learning about their voting rights any time soon, going by the experience of a company running an information campaign on the Maori Option.

Timikara Taurerewa from Face to Face Communications says a key target for the campaign is young men between 17 and 34, who are traditionally hard to enrol.

He says the company has been trying to arrange short presentations at Maori-focussed courses at universities and polytechnics, but it has faced red tape and stonewalling from Auckland University, AUT University and Unitec.

Timikara Taurerewa says Face to Face Communications has explained the electoral option to more than 9000 Maori in schools, weekend markets, prisons and other venues around the city.


A leading educationalist says classroom management skills are becoming a priority for Maori teachers because of potential disruptions in the class.

Maori secondary school teachers have just finished their annual conference in New Plymouth.

Angus McFarland, a senior lecturer in education at Waikato University, says while curriculum development is important, a lot of teachers have more immediate needs.

Dr McFarland says they face problems which weren't in the textbook, like children turning up to class under the influence of drugs.


The new director general of health says Maori providers are doing a great job, but there's always room for improvement.

Steve McKernan says a proposed funding boost for niche providers will help District Health Boards strengthen Maori and mainstream providers to support Maori communities.

He says improving access to health services is the main priority:


Labour list MP, Shane Jones says the relationship between Maori and Labour is still recovering from Rogernomics.

The party celebrated its 90th birthday this weekend with events in major centres.

Mr Jones says Maori workers in forests, freezing works, railways and other industries found themselves in the firing line during the economic reforms of the 1980s and early 1990s.

He says that tested the traditionally strong relationship the between party and the Maori community, dating back to the party's origins in the union movement.

Shane Jones says the party's Maori members have been challenged to more actively recruit supporters and contribute more to the party’s strategic planning.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples believes Maori would support a move to allow same sex couples to formally adopt children.

The party has so far got no firm policy on whether to support Green MP, Meteria Turei's Adoption (Equity) Amendment Bill, which would allow unmarried and gay coupled to adopt.

Dr Sharples says Maori would be more comfortable to see tamariki raised by a homosexual couple in a healthy environment, rather than by a heterosexual couple in a violent and unsafe household.


Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro says there a new willingness on the part of the community to look for long term solutions to family violence and child abuse issues.

A hui of South Auckland providers is planned later this month in Mangere to which Government ministers Parekura Horomia and David Benson Pope have been invited.

Ms Kiro says there have been similar inititatives in the past, but the death of the Kaahui twins has created a sense of urgency for finding new ways to tackle old problems.

Tertiary sector block electoral option team

A company running an information campaign for the Electoral Roll Office on the Maori electoral option says it has been blocked from doing its work in Auckland tertiary institutions.

Timikara Taurerewa, the director of Face to Face Communications, says with less than four weeks of the option to go, his firm still hasn't hasn't won permission to take its message to Maori students at Unitec, Auckland University and AUT University.

He says the main problem seems to be the attitude of the staff in the Maori studies departments.


A hui planned by South Auckland community leaders to discuss family violence and child abuse issues is a sign communities are taking ownership of the problem.

That's the view of Minister of Social Development David Benson Pope, who has been invited to attend the hui.

The hui was initially organised to promote dialogue between community providers following the deaths of the Kaahui twins recently.

Mr Benson Pope says it's sad it took a tragedy like the death of the Kaahui twins to bring the issue to the fore.

David Benson-Pope says he still can't confirm whether he will be at the hui.


Maori softballer Chubb Tangaroa, from the Hawkes Bay, says Kevin Herlihy will be remembered as one of the best pitchers ever to take the mound.

Mr Herlihy received an MBE for his services to softball, and was inducted into both the New Zealand and international softball halls of fame.

He died in the Waikato last week, aged 58, and his funeral is in Cambridge this morning.

Mr Tangaroa, a former Maori coach of the year, says Kevin Herlihy had a huge influence on New Zealand pitchers who followed in his footsteps,

ngaitahu tepapa

Ngai Tahu is now holding the paepae at Te Papa for the next two and a half years.

The South Island iwi turned out in force for this weekend's opening ceremonies at the national museum in Wellington, starting with a powhiri at 4 am Saturday.

Runanga chairperson Mark Solomon says on display are many taonga which have never before been out of the hands of the families who own them.

He says visitors might be surprised at the differences between Ngai Tahu and North island iwi.

Mark Solomon says the exhibition shows Ngai Tahu past, present and future.


The Maori Party is finding the way to get young people interested in politics is through their old people.

The partys MP's have been touring the motu for the past two weeks, making sure Maori are enrolled, preferably on the Maori electoral roll.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says the party believes the option effort hit a flat spot a month ago, but the number of young people now signing on for the first time could be enough to generate an eighth Maori seat for the next election.

Doctor Sharples says it is mainly kuia and koroua who have attended the meetings, but they go off and put pressure on their mokopuna.


Maori carver, musician, librarian and chef Rewi Spraggon, says it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

He leaves this morning for Hawaii to represent Maori at the World Indigenous barbeque championships.

Mr Spraggon, from Ngati Hine, learned a lot of his culinary skills living in the Pacific islands, but is a bit anxious because of restrictions on taking some foodstuffs into America.

He will have to make do with the ingredients he can source in Honolulu, but vows to make sure his barbeque has a uniquely Maori flavour

Tamihere says benefit systems harming Maori

Former Labour MP John Tamihere says Maori have a benefit dependency problem the system can't fix.

Mr Tamihere says welfare is creating a social underclass not just among Maori but among other groups including Pakeha.

He says the negative response to the National Urban Maori Authority proposal for Maori social service agencies to take over delivery of benefits to Maori shows how entrenched the existing bureacracies are.

Mr Tamihere says the only people who can fix the problem are other Maori.


Let it be seen... warts and all.

That's the reaction from Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples to a proposal to televise debating chamber, and eventually select committees.

Under the current rules, broadcasters filming in Parliament must focus on the MP speaking, but they can't do close-ups and only occasionally do wide shots.

They have also got into trouble for showing pictures of MPs sleeping in their seats.

Dr Sharples says while the behaviour of MPs in the house is not always exemplory, the public have a right to see what really goes on.


Te reo Maori sports commentator, Te Kauhoe Wano, says two Maori players may hold the key to the outcome of tomorow night's trans Tasman rugby test in Christchurch.

He says Rico Gear has worked hard over the past rwo seasons to cement his place as one of the country's top wingers, and Leon McDonald is playing solid rugby at fullback.

They're both in tremendous form and will feature prominently if the All Blacks get the ball wide.

Te Kauhoe Wano says Mr Wano says two other Maori players coming off the bench, Piri Weepu and Luke McAllistair, can also add some sting to Graeme Henry's attacking lineup.


Childrens Commissioner Cindy Kiro says parenting courses Maori are only effective if participants have the right attitude and are committed to learn new skills.

The District Court in Rotorua yesterday ordered a Rotorua woman to take an 8-week parenting course before she is sentenced on child abuse charges.

Ms Kiro says such courses are important for young and isolated parents, those who have experienced abuse or have alcohol and drug problems.

Cindy Kiro says for courses to work, parents also need to accept there there is a problem.


The Labour Party celebrates its 90th birthday with a series of parties around the country this weekend.

Former MP Koro Wetere, who held Western Maori for Labour for 27 years, says Maori were involved with the party from its earliest days, even before the 1935 compact between Michael Joseph Savage and the Ratana movement.

He says Tainui also have Labour to thank for the agreement which created the Waikato-Maniapoto Trust Board, which laid the foundation for settlement of the Tainui Raupatu claim.

Mr Wetere says the relationship between Maori and Labour is still solid, despite the rise of the Maori Party.


Hawkes Bay Hawks captain, Paora Winitana will have his work cut out for him in tomorrow nights' final of the National Basketball League against the Auckland Stars.

Maori sports commentator, Te Kauhoe Wano, says the Tall Black is playing some of the best ball in his career.

Winitana is also one of the senior players in the national team, which is preparing for the world champs.

Mr Wano says while next week's international fixture against Australia might be in the back of Winitana's mind, his immediate thought will be revenge.