Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ngati Naho march down new Mercer expressway

About 80 people from north Waikato hapu Ngati Naho today walked from Meremere to Te Paenga or Merce to protest the opening of the newest stretch of expressway.

Spokesperson Joseph Heta says the expressway was built and opened without proper ceremony or consultation with tangata whenua.

He says Ngati Naho wanted to asset its status as mana whenua and as ahi kaa roa, the keepers of the home fires.


A Taheke Maori trust wants to turn the mid-North village into a tourist mecca.

Whakatere Kikoranui Trust chairperson Peter Kitchen says the trust bought the Taheke Tavern threee months ago, and it now has plans for a $5 million development alongside.

Mr Kitchen says the complex west of Kaikohe could eventually include accomodation, a restaurant, a plant nursery and an organic orchards.

16 carved pou and tukutuku work will give it a Maori flavour.

Mr Kitchen, who has run tourism ventures in the north for 20 years, says the trust will seek feedback from shareholders tomorrow.


Kapa haka expert Trevor Maxwell says claims the new All Black haka is a danger to society is gamesmanship.

Wallaby Coach John Connolly says Kapa Oopango Haka with its throat-slitting gesture is not an appropriate look for sport.

Mr Maxwell, the tutor of leading Rotorua group Ngati Rangiwewehi, says it's a case of envy rather than constructive analysis:

“To me that's a lot of rubbish and he’s trying to put up a smokescreen. Instead of concentrating on his scrums and things like that, he’s trying to upset the rhythm of the team,” Maxwell said.


Ngati Hine conservationist Kevin Prime says Maori have an important role to play in the country's biosecurity .

Mr Prime says tangata whenua have lerarned to their cost the threats posed by the accidental or deliberate introduction of organisms and pests like possums, stoats, weasels, hedgehogs.

A major biosecurity hui at Waitangi this week discussed the some of the threats currently affecting the landscape.

Mr Prime says Maori need to become involved in watching for invasive organisms.


You may not need to speak te reo, but at least make the effort to pronounce it properly.

That's the view of Morrie Love from the Wellington branch of the Maori Party.

The branch spent Maori Language Week encouraging people to pronounce Maori place names in the Poneke rohe properly.

Mr Love says even learning the reo may not be possible for everyone, but there are plenty of people making the effort to get the basics right.

No justification for Mapp bill

The Maori vice president of the Council of Trade Unions says changes in the labour market have undermined the justifications put up for a bill allowing a 90 day probation persiod for new employees.

Sharon Clair yesterday addressed the select committee considering National MP Wayne Mapp's Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Bill.

She says Mr Mapp's argument the bill would get more young Maori into work is redundant.

"Masori unemployment in 1999 was 19.3 percent. That dropped down to 8.7 percent today and at one stage last year was 5.7 percent. That's a huge reductrion without this bill. We don't need this bill to create jobs," Clair said.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell, says he is not convinced by Labour's claims that a bill stripping legislation of references to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi is as good as dead.

Labour MPs voted for the bill to go to select committee because that was a condition of the government's confidence and supply agreement with New Zealand First, but they say they won't give it any further backing.

Mr Flavell fears the bill could come back to bite Maori before the next election.

"What could happen is that they stall it until election time, and our people are used as a political football. When it comes to getting into Parliament, mainstream opinion is very important, especially to the Labour Party and to National. Therefore, this sort of bill stands as in the background as a very important bill to its progress," Flavell said.


The Prime Minister says she is heartened by the widespread support she has seen for Maori Language Week.

Helen Clark says the Maori language commision promotes the week well, and New Zealanders in general seem more cofortable about using Maori words than they might have been a few years ago.

She says as a kiwi language evolves, many Maori words are being used interchangably with their english equivalents.

Ms Clark says the key is getting the vowel sounds right.

"Once you know that, Maori proceeds very clearly. English is a much more difficult language because the pronunciation is so idiosyncratic or erratic. Whereas with Maori, once you have your head around ah eh ee oh ooh, you are going to be able to pronounce it without a lot of difficulty," Clark said.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says it is no longer acceptable for councils not to consult when they make changes to the way land aquired from Maori can be used.

Gisborne District Council is asking Parliament to validate changes to Alfred Cox Park on the edge of the Waikane Stream which runs through the city.

Mr Flavell says the council ignored its responsibility to consult with Maori before altering the reserve, and Parliament shouldn't just rubber stamp the proposal.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says it's a good time for Maori, so people should stop focussing on the negatives.

Mr Horomia says he agrees with Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton that Maori are the secret weapon in the New Zealand economy because of their holdings in primary sectors like farming, fishing and forestry.

He says the truth in that can be seen in rural areas with large Maori populations like Gisborne, parts of Hawkes Bay and the Bay of Plenty.

"The biggest thing to recognise is Maori doing it for Maori by Maori. That's been a long time coming where we have the management skill, where we have the articulateness to make sure that what's ours we can develop and what's there we could buy or be part of it," Horomia said.

Parekua Horomia says young Maori now have more opportunities than their parents or grandparents.


An oil spill in California has made possible an attempt to exterminate rats from four islands off Rakiura or Stewart Island.

The poison drop is a collaboration between Otago University and a group of landowners calling themselves Ka Mate Nga Kiore, or death to the rats.

Bluff muttonbirder Robert Coote says the money came from a fund set up after an oil spill off the California Coast.

He says the project qualified for funding because during the clean-up a few shearwaters, or as they are known in Aotearoa, muttonbirds, were discovered with bands attached in New Zealand.

Mr Coote says muttonbirds move across the entire Pacific basin, leaving in May for California or the South American coast, coming back at the end of August for the nesting season.

Maori leaders must lead in te reo

Maori language commissioner Patu Hohepa has endorsed the views of his chief executive Haami Piripi that all Maori leaders must be able to speak Maori.

Mr Piripi's comments for Maori Language Week incensed many elected Maori leaders who don't have the reo but are still called on by their people to represent them.

But Dr Hohepa says they will find it hard to communicate effectively with more 100 thousand young Maori now fluent in the language through kohanga reo and kura kaupapa Maori.

“You cannot be a Maori leader if you cannot speak Maori. That is the plain fact of the matter. Marae protocol demands that there be interactions in Maori,” Hohepa said.

Patu Hohepa says existing leaders who can't speak Maori need to start learning now.


Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says New Zealand's First's Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill should be seen as the first step to deleting the treaty itself.

Mr Harawira says that'swhy the Maori Party voteg against even letting the Bill go to a select committee.

He says he feels sorry for the Labour Maori caucus who were compelled to vote for the bill on its first reading last night.

“We won't be supporting the bill because they say the principles aren’t what the treaty is all about, but they are doing nothing to give validity to the treaty as well, so taking out the principles is just the first step towards taking out the rest of the treaty from legislation,” Harawira said.


The Maori community at the bottom of the South Island are uniting to rid four small islands of rats.

Robert Coote from the group Ka Mate Nga Kiore, or death to the rats, is part of a team of 30 helping to drop poison drops on the islands where mutton-birds breed.

Mr Coote says since they got onto the islands near Rakiura or Stewart Island in the 1960s, rats have killed off of at least 15 bird species, including the New Zealand rail, and the bush wren, as well as bats and insects.

He says rats kill more than 20 percent of the muttonbird chicks every season.
“At night during the muttonbird season there are rats swinging through the trees, jumping round the ground like rabbits, quite a sight to see if you like rats. A lot of us can remember what those islands were like before the rats arrived, and many of us have experience of islands where the rats haven’t been, and the difference is marked,” Coote said.


Leadership is about more than language.

That's the response of Te Atiawa leader and former secretary of Maori Affairs Kara Puketapu to claims by leading figures in the Maori Language Commission that Maori leaders must be able to speak the language.

Both Maori Language Commissioner Patu Hohepa and chief executive Haami Piripi say the increasing number of younger Maori fluent in te reo means having the language is a vital attribute of leadership.

But Mr Puketapu says that sounds like rhetoric for Maori language Week, and isn't back by experience on the ground.

“Many Maori leaders don’t say much but in behind the scenes they are strategically developing things that will benefiot not just New Zealand but of course Maori people. But to say to young people that unless you speak Maori you cannot be a Maori leader, well sorry, it does not quite work like that mate,” Puketapu said,


The Governor General has fulfilled her last engagement in her role as chair of the Waitangi National Trust Board, opening the extensions to the visitors centre below the Treaty Grounds.

Trust communications manager Michael Hooper says it was a poignant and moving day, as Dame Sylvia Cartwright demonstrated that her affection for Waitangi goes beyond her role as Governor General.

“She said it was her turangawaewae, she will be keeping a very close eye on and returning to her home here at Waitangi, and in fact today she was moved to tears during the speeches, and she confessed it was the first time her staff have seen her in tears, and it took Waitangi to do it,” Hooper said.

Michael Hooper says the number of visitors to Waitangi has more than tripled since the centre was built in the 1970s, so the extension was needed to cope with the larger number of guides, staff and cultural performers.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has dismissed Maori Party claims that Labour's Maori MPs were compromised by their support for the introduction of the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill.

Mr Horomia says last night's first reading vote was the price of New Zealand's support for Labour to lead the government.

He says Labour's Maori MPs are committed to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and don't want to see the bill go through.

“We're not supporting it it’s as clear as that. We supported it to select committee because that was in our coalition agreement with New Zealand First who put the bill up, you have to be honorable about that, that is an aspect of MMP that people have to get used to, but we’re very clear in the Maori caucus and in our party that we’re not supporting the continuation of the bill getting through,” Horomia said.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Children at risk from Kahui fall-out

Women's Refuge chief executive Heather Henare says the fall-out from the death of the Kaahui twins is likely to lead to more children being taken from their families.

Ms Henare says that would be a step backwards, and fails to address the inter-generational causes of violence in families.

She says Refuge is alarmed at the some of the government and public responses to the tragedy in South Auckland.

“It has the potential to increase the level of state intervention in our families, because people become fearful that if they don’t go in and respond the right way to these families and take children away, more children will die. I think we actually need to be thinking much bigger picture than that,” Henare said.

Heather Henare says violence happens in a wide range of families and a wide range of communities, and quick fix solutions won't work.


The Minister of Agriculture says Maori are the secret weapon of the New Zealand economy.

Jim Anderton says the primary sector accounts for 65 percent of New Zealand's foreign exchange earnings, and is showing growth rates twice that of the rest of the economy.

He says Maori have a big stake in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fishing, and with a bit of entrepreneurial drive they are set to make a bigger impact.

“Anyone who says to me Maori aren’t entrepreneurial and aren’t on to it, get a life. Maori are now in my view the secret weapon in New Zealand’s economy and our future will be determined by how well they succeed. In my view, Maori are doing very well and will do better,” Anderton said.

Jim Anderton says young urban Maori looking for a career should consider whether there are opportunities for them back on whanau-owned land.


A Northland healer says Maori will not accept an Australian-dominated agency taking control of remedies used for hundred of years by Maori.

The proposed Trans-Tasman Theraputic Goods Agency will oversee all natural health products in the two countries.

Pene Hita, from Ngati Whatua ki Taitokerau says that will undermine Maori rights to use and commercialise rongoa Maori, or traditional healing techniques and substances.

“Natural healing remedies are involved in this new legislation. Everything will be tested that comes into medical use, and if rongoa becomes commercialized, we definitely will have to come under this legislation,” Hita said.

Pene Hita says the proposal has been in development for several years, with the only consultation with Maori being one four hour hui.


Women's Refuge is setting up a Maori development unit to work with community organisations to tackle Maori domestic violence at its source.

Chief executive Heather Henare says Refuge wants to make iwi and hapu take ownership of the issue and drive the kapupapa.

She says family violence is usually multi-generational, and it can't be stopped by one-off interventions.

Ms Henare says Refuge will target iwi leaders, kaumatua and kuia, and key people at marae, kohanga reo and Maori social service providers.

“Workers are to work with iwi round the country around violence and around identifying violence and identifying strategies too work within violence, looking at Maori models of practice, looking at Maori intervention processes etc in order to get Maori ownership of violence and get Maori solutions,” Henare said

Heather Henare says people need to say violence is unacceptable and practice that in their homes, their extended whanau, their places of work and how they play sport or be entertained.


A website has been established as a one stop shop for papers by Maori academics.

Leonie Pihama, from Auckland University, says there is a lot of good work going on in the field which goes unnoticed by the majority of Maori.

Much of the material which will go on the kaupapamaori.com site is written by students doing post-graduate study at masters or doctoral level, and Dr Pihema says offers valuable insights into the position of Maori within New Zealand Society.

“Most of it is in libraries or ministry cupboards, on shelves, and few of us get to read it,. We are trying to make it more readily available,” Pihama said.


Auckland University of Technology's Te Ara Poutama school of Maori development wants to use iPods to take its te reo lessons out of the classroom.

Lecturer Jason King says Apple New Zealand has donated 10 of the music and video players, and he's now trying to decide which of the 150 willing students can take part in the trial.

Mr King says as well as being a substitute for taped lessons, the iPods will be able to carry short films, video recordings of lectures and interactive programs.

He says if the trial proves successful, more Maori students will be introduced to the new style of learning.

NZ First bill to be buried in select committee

Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta says Doug Woolerton's Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill is likely to die in the select committee.

Labour MPs voted in favour of the bill at its first reading today.

Ms Mahuta says the select committee process will be the opportunity to consider what New Zealand First is proposing, and she expects a lot of opposition, not just from Maori, once the implications become clear.

She says it's the second time round for the bill, which was rejected by Labour and its then-allies in the last parliament.

“This time the government arrangement gave an undertaking to New Zealand First to send it to select committee, probably bury it there, I don’t think it’s the way to go but it’s part of our supply agreement,” Mahuta said.

Nanaia Mahuta says government and local government agencies have found effective ways to the work within the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and deleting the term will create uncertainty.


Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia says he's committed to supporting the South Auckland community to stop family violence.

More than 200 people attended a hui in Mangere yesterday to look at ways to prevent child abuse and the increasing levels of violence in families.

Mr Horomia says communities have the expertise to tackle these issues head on:

“I think the experts are there at the hui I was at with Dr Sharples and co, and I certainly am committed to joining in with Sharon and Tamaki ki Raro Trust to make sure best efforts are put forward,” Horomia said.


Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says non-Maori communities can do a lot more to support the increased use of te reo Maori.

Mr de Bres says he is encouraged by a survey released for Maori Language Week that shows a majority of non-Maori support the use of bilingual signage, and attitudes to people speaking Maori in the workplace and in public are improving.

But he says the Te Puni Kokiri survey also shows how much needs to be done.
“It's startling to note that only 6 percent of non Maori have been on a marae and only a very small number have been at events where there has been Maori protocol, I think about 17 percent. Most of these encounter experiences are in single figures in terms of response, so I think we still have a challenge to share the experience of our two cultures,” de Bres said.


The woman behind yesterday's hui in South Auckland on family violence says even if no immediate solutions came out, just talking is important.

Sharon Wilson from Mangere social service agency Tamaki ki te Tonga says she was pleased at the turnout at the hui from government agencies and politicians, as well as community people.

She says the killing of the Kaahui twins in the suburb made all agencies stop to consider what they were doing.

Ms Wilson says it's clear all agencies involved need to work together better.

“Relationships are extremely important to have that foundation. It’s no use jumping in the waka and rowing and you don’t know where you are going. So to get things on the right path, it does take dialogue, we do need to hui. We owe it to the people who work on the ground floor to get their whakaaro, to get their input into things. You can only do that through hui,” Wilson said.


Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton has extended his ministry's formal recognition of a rahui on taking mussels from Ohiwa Harbour, in the Bay of Plenty.

Mr Anderton says mussel stocks hadn't replenished sufficiently in the first two years of the ban imposed by Te Runanga o Ngati Awa and the Upokorehe hapu of Whakatohea.

He says the extension acknowledges the efforts of Maori and non-Maori residents to restore the health of the fishery, and the ministry is happy to go along with their advice.


A former primary school teacher has designed a course to help people pronounce Maori place names properly.

Sue Ngatai, who is Pakeha, says she got tired of hearing Pakeha friends and acquaintances mispronounce words.

With support from east Auckland arts and culture centre Te Tuhi, Mrs Ngatai has developed a six week course called "How do I say Pakuranga?"

She says often people don't know the right way to say words and don't know where to turn.

“You're hearing place names because people are talking abut their street or where they are going to do their shopping, and you’re hearing them wrong. I mean, you’re hearing them really wring. And people have said to me I’d like to say them properly but I don’t really know where to go,” Ngatai said.

Language commission chief says only speakers can be leaders

The chief executive of the Maori language commission says people can no longer become Maori leaders if they don't speak the language.

Speaking on the importance of Maori Language Week, Haami Piripi says he is heartened by the commitment many younger Maori put into learning and speaking te reo.

He says some Maori leaders have been around for decades without being able to speak the language, but it will become increasingly difficult to function in Maori cultural environments without having that skill.

"You can't really become a Maori leader nowadays unless you can speak Te Reo Maori, because you're missing out on so much of what's happening in the Maori world. It's probably always been the case but in the last 50 years or so it's shallowed a bit, but now I think it's starting to deepen up again," Piripi said.


Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says more work needs to be done to address racism becasue of its impact on the health system.

Mr de Bres told a symposium on Treaty persectives for a healthy Christchurch that there is now a solid body of evidence that acknowledging people's culture and identity has positive outcomes for their health.

He says that is why there is cause for concern over research published in the British meidcal journal The Lancet that a third of Maori experienced discrimination in health, housing and employment.

"The experience of racial discrimination is a significant factor for health outcomes once you discount all the other factors like social and economic ones. So this tells us that we really still have to work at this issue of race relations to achieve better outcomes in health," de Bres said.


The Police iwi liason officer for Taitokerau is hard at work introducing a big intake of new officers to the Maori community.

Paddy Whiu says with Maori making up a large percentage of the region's population, so it's important the new recruits get a basic understanding of Maori issues and meet key members of the community who can help them do their jobs.

Mr Whiu says the region now has a full complement of staff, though he'd like to see more Maori and female officers in the north.

"We have 344 officers working out of 21 stations within the whole of Taitokerau, that's from Wellsford-North. We've also had an influx of new staff including staff from the UK, Maori, and it is good to have our staff numbers lifted because it takes pressure off others," Whiu said.


Thousands of people have passed through Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt this week to pay their last respects to weaver Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, who will be buried today.

Mrs Puketapu-Hetet was known for her mastery of traditional weaving styles, as well as her willingness to innovate. She was also highly regarded as a teacher, both at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua and in recent years at the programmes she ran at Waiwhetu with her husband, master carver Rangi Hetet.

Her brother, Kara Puketapu, says she played a major role in the renaissance of Maori culture, and that has been reflected in the tributes on the marae.

"She must have visited just about every center where there was an art carrying on and the different ones coming in just surprised me how many bases she had touched. She was always creating or contributing to individuals," Puketapu said.


Tackle the booze before you tackle anything else.
That is the message south Auckland community leader June Jackson had for a major hui in Mangere yesterday on tackling family violence.

Mrs Jackson, who heads the Manukau Urban Maori Authority as well as being the longest serving member of the Parole Board, says government and community agencies are constantly struggling to clean up after alcohol-fuelled incidents.

"Alcohol was at the basis of a lot of offending that has occurred over many, many years. While drugs are also of concern, alcohol has wreaked havoc on our people because their love of alcohol is more important than their love for the whanau,” Jackson said.


Former Labour MP John Tamihere has branded as elitist the pronouncement by Maori Language Commission chief executive Haami Piripi that Maori leaders must be Maori speakers.

Mr Tamihere, who is now back at West Auckland's Waipareira Trust as well as being chief executive for the National Urban Maori Authority, says Haami Piripi is well off the mark.

He says Mr Piripi has unwittingly exposed what is a policy in parts of the bureaucracy.

"It's the first honest acknowledgement of an elitist group that is forming to endeavour to attempt to describe what a leader can be and what they can't be. In all things our people will back people on merit, regardless. So if you stand and deliver regardless of whether you deliver in a Maori tongue or not, it's whether you deliver for them or not," Tamihere said.

Te Atiawa works toward fish settlement peace

Taranaki's Te Ati Awa iwi is working to resolve its differences so it can take delivery of its fisheries settlement assets.

Its land claim negotiations have stalled because of disputes over mandate.

But spokesperson Peter Moeau says the parties are working through a united process to settle the fisheries claims.

He says a company is being formed to hold the assets, and the aim is to complete the process by the end of the year.

Mr Moeahu says while the tribe’s settlement assets won’t be substantial, they are an investment for the future:


Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro's plan for a safety net to reduce child abuse has won government support.

The initiative called Te Ara Tukutuku has received the full support of Social Development Minister David Benson-Pope says the ideas in Te Ara Tukutuku or "the pathway to well being" framework will be considered by the multi-party group on family violence.

Dr Kiro says the by structuring the framework around key developmental milestones, framework should ensure the health, education and welfare or safety needs of every child are met.

“It’s not just about dealing with high risk children, but I think high risk children would benefit most, and in particular if there are significant safety issues, picking them up before offending or problem behaviors begin or before things get seriously out of control,” Kiro said.

An attempt to look at the Treaty of Waitangi in contemporary terms has won the award for a best first book of non fiction at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

Pakeha and the Treaty was written by Pat Snedden, who chairs Housing New Zealand and Counties manukau District Health Board.

Mr Snedden says the value of the Treaty as a uniting force between Maori and Pakeha should never be underestimated.


The Prime Minister says she can detect no softening of the National Party's line on the treaty.

There was speculation before the party's weekend conference that it would unveil initiatives to appeal to Maori voters.

Instead, leader Don Brash reiterated that the foundations of National's policies is the principle of one law for all, which is seen by many Maori as denying rights guaranteed under the treaty.

Helen Clark says National is taking a cynical approach by asking for people's votes without telling them what they will get.

“I didn't hear any softening on Maori or anything else, because on Maoridom, they seem to be speaking behind closed doors to themselves, so heaven knows what cynicism is being conveyed there,” Clark said.


A South Island iwi is challenging Canterbury Museum's rights to hold on to their ancestral remains.

Richard Bradley , the manager of Blenheim-based Rangitane ki te Tonga, says the iwi has been negotiating for five years over what should happen to 53 skeltons unearthed on the Wairau Bar.

The iwi wants the koiwi re-buried, but was vetoed by the Canterbury Museum's Maori advisory board, Te Ohaki o Nga Tipuna.

Mr Bradley says Rangitane isn't accepting that decision.

IN: Well I think there’s doubt in the museum’s mind that suggests of course the museum has the right to hold remains that don’t belong to anyone on the board,” Bradley said.


The message seems to be getting through to kohanga reo, about the need to make sure tamariki are securly strapped into carseats when they travel.

Police iwi liason officer for Taitokerau Paddy Whiu says that's the good news that cen be taken out yesterday morning's accident in Kaiatia, where a minivan carrying children to their kohanga reo rolled .

Mr Whiu says the kohanga's kaiawhina or helper had checked that everyone was strapped in, so there were only minor injuries.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Weaver mourns death of Puketapu-Hetet

Maori weavers are mourning the death of Erenora Puketapu Hetet, who played a major role in the survival and regeneration of traditional weaving.

Mrs Puketapu-Hetet died on Saturday aged 65.

Rotorua weaver Edna Pahewa says the Te Atiawa woman inspired and helped many younger craftspeople through her work, her teaching, including a stint at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, and through her writing.

"Her book she wrote, Maori Weaving, it helped so many of the learners over the past decade, they would use it for research, and many of the schools and institutions still use it as one of the very few resources, book-wise, of learnign the skills of Maori weaving," Pahewa said.

Erenora Puketapu-Hetet is lying at her home marae, Waiwhetu in lower Hutt.


The head of a south Auckland Maori health provider says constant pressure is needed to keep up the flow of contracts required to stay viable.

Turuki Healthcare has just won a contract to run the Family Start programme in Mangere.

Its other programmes include a breastfeeding promotion which it was forced to fund itself, after the district health board refused to continue funding it.

Chief executive Syd Jackson says Maori providers need to work constantly with the health bureacracies and at the political level.

"But you have to just hang in there and kick and scratch and leap up and down and do what you can to make them understand the case you want them to consider and act upon," Jackson said.


Veteran and former MP Bill Gudgeon says it's time to do the right thing by Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Mr Gudgeon was on the select committee that ended years of official denial and confirmed the defoliant was sprayed onto New Zealand soldiers during the war.

The Government is considering a report reconmmending it apologise and pay compensation to veterans, and a Massey University study to be released this week is expected to show the poison might have damaged veterans' DNA.

Mr Gudgeon says that report makes the need for settlement even more urgent.

"We've been dragging the chain here too long and it's about time this piositin is sorted out and the goverment comes to the fore and say this is what we are going to do for you. Even thugh a lot of men have passed on now, they should take care of their families, their children who are suffering from Agent Orange," Gudgeon said.


A kaumatua from Northland's Ngati Rangi says the Corrections Department needs to hold off signing a contract with the hapu for services at Ngawha Prison.

The department said yesterday that a weekend hui had sorted out differences within the tribe, and it will go ahead and sign the $250 thousand contract with the Ngati Rangi Development Society.

But Andy Sarich says nothing was resolved at the hui.

Mr Sarich says the hapu needs more time to sort itself out.

"If they signed it prematurely, the friction will still be there. We will not be any further ahead," Sarich said.


The former head of the Christchurch Women's Prison has challenged Maori men to change their behaviour.

Celia Lashlie says in some families violence is so ingrained through generations that their young people don't know how to resolve conflicts without resorting to physical violence.

She says Maori men need to say domestic violence will no longer be tolerated within their communities.

"I want Maori men to look at other men and say good men don't hit their women, good men don't beat their children, good men don't get pissed and do things to their children, and I want Maori men to challenge other Maori men about their behaviour," Lashlie said.


Manwhile, a Taranaki-based rehabilitation programme is successfully using tikanga Maori to stop violent prisoners from reoffending.

Te Ihi Tu Trust met the Parole Board yesterday to discuss its apporach and whether more prisoners should be referred to the 12-week programme.

Trustee Haami Piripi says the trust has put more than 100 men through its secure residential centre at the former New Plymouth hospital, and reports a 73 percent success rate.

The programme uses a range of techniques, including meditation, and tackles isseus like substance abuse, literacy and underflying family problems.

Mr Piripi, a one time responsible Maori strategy manager for the Department of Corrections, says it works because it empowers Maori men through their culture so they can make changes in their lives.

"We might say they're crims, they're all this an all that but they really are the cutting edge of our communities, and they can cut deep or they can cut light. These days, it's so easy to do nothing, so when you do something it means you're motivated. So these guys who have been caught for crime, hyiu usueally find they are fairly motivated," Piripi said.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Weaver Erenora Puketapu-Hetet dies

The death of weaver and artist Erenora Puketapu-Hetet has been called a huge loss to the art world and the Maori weaving community.

Mrs Puketapu-Hetet of Wellington iwi Te Ati Awa died on Saturday aged 65.

She grew up at Waiwhetu in Lower Hutt and her mentors included Rangimarie Hetet and Emily Schuster.

Toi Maori general manager Garry Nicholas says as well as being an extraordinary exponent of traditional weaving styles, Mrs Puketapu-Hetet was able to tackle contemporary issues in an innovative way.

“One of the large works that is touring through the United States now with the Eternal Thread show is a concern she had with the fisheries carve-up, and it was her tribute to Tangaroa. When it was shown in San Francisco, it was the one piece that blew the Americans away,” Nicholas said.


Many social workers don't have the right approach to work effectively with dysfunctional Maori families.

That's the view of social commentator Celia Lashlie, the former head of Christchurch women's prison.

Ms Lashlie says too many social workers tell their clients what they should do.

She says all people want a better life for their children, but many don't know how to create a caring and nurturing environment for their children

Ms Lashlie says many social workers and public servants don't know how to communicate effectively with such people.

“And we are prominently white middle class, dabbling in that social work area, and we go in and tell them what to do. What I like to look at them is ask what would you like to change about your life, because what you do is going to send your kids to prison or them ending up dead,” Lashlie said.


Rotorua iwi social service agency head Penny Mitchell says the tax system is penalising beneficiaries who are trying to improve their situation.

Ms Mitchell says there is a lack of suitable full time, so many people try to string together part time jobs.

She says after the tax kicks in, they get disheartened as the secondary tax chops into their earnings.

Penny Mitchell says the Government should look again at its policy of taxing people from the first dollar earned.


At the start of Maori Language Week, one of the instigators of the initiative says many of its objectives have been realised.

Syd Jackson was in Nga Tamatoa, the group which first started marking September 14th as Te Ra o Te Reo, or Maori language day, in the early 1970s.

Mr Jackson says the date was later shifted because the effort of organising events clashed with preparation for exams, but the objectives remained.

“That was identified as being a day on which we could push the rest of the country to understand the importance of our reo, to understand the need to have it taught widely, and to give our children to right to be able to learn their own language in our own schools in our own country,” Jackson said.


The Minister in charge Of the Child, Youth and Family Service says the media is not picking up on successful intervention programmes run by her department.

Ruth Dyson says while there is coverage of extreme cases of child abuse, the public also wants to know that people's lives are being turned around.

She says abuse is not just a Maori problem, but that's the way it seems to come across in the news.

“Response towards Maori generally in New Zealand is very shallow. I have yet to see a headline ‘60 percent of Pakeha children abused’, or any call at all from any leader in our community for Pakeha families to take more responsibility for child abuse in our community,” Dyson said.


National list MP and solo mum Paula Bennett says Maori solo mothers need to set achievable goals for themselves and their families if they are to avoid becoming dependent on welfare.

Ms Bennett, who has ties to Waikato, says her way out of benefit dependency was education.

She says that took patience and commitment, as well as having clear goals.

“The challenge is to see past that day to day, survival, which is a big ask, but once we start to see past that day to day struggle that is taking up all our energy, all of our time and everything we have got, and start setting a goal, then we can start working towards it. And that is the challenge that I would lay to Maori women,” Bennett said.

Te Rarawa plan festival for 20th birthday

The inaugural Te Rarawa Festival is being hailed as a chance for those living outside the area to reconnect with their iwi.

The Far North iwi is trying to get as many people as possible back to Kaitaia for the festivival in the first week of November.

Organiser Jean Beazley says it's a way of celebrating the 20th birthday of Te Runanga o Te Rarawa.

Mrs Beazley says many descendants feel shy about returning home, and the festival will be a fun and easy way for them to reconnect to their roots.

Jean Beazley says the Te Rarawa festival will include a kapa haka competiton between the iwi's marae, sports events, a ball and a kaumatua dinner.


The principal of Palmerston North's Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Mana Tamariki says the school whanau is welcoming the secuurity of a permanent home.

Work has begun on a new $1.7 million facility on a former United College of Education site which to house the Maori immersion school, whioch goes from pre-school to secondary level.

Principal Tony Wano says the kohanga reo will take up to 50 children, with room for another 120 pupils on the kura side.

He says it's been a long road, with the school going through a series of temporary homes over the past 10 years.


The full house sign was up yesterday at Turangawaewae marae, in Ngaruawahia, for the 75th birthday of the Maori queen.

Waikato kaumatua, Hare Puke says a thousand people were at the wharekai, Kimiora where they were entertained with kapa haka from Waikato group Taniwharau and from Huntly's Te Wharekua o Rakaumangamanga, the winner of last week's national secondary schools championships.

Mr Puke says Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu stayed for the entire performance, and it was wonderful she was well enough to be part of the celebration in her honour.


National Party list MP Tau Henare says the party should celebrate its history as it reaches out to Maori voters.

National held its annual conference in Christchurch this weekend.

Despite early teasers that leader Don Brash would soften his anti-Treaty of Waitangi line, Dr Brash made a point of reiterating National's commitment to the principle of One Law for All.

Mr Henare says Dr Brash has his support and his policies will be good for all New Zealanders.

He says National has always looked out for Maori interests.

"For those people who have grown up in town and don't know their marae and don't know their tupuna. And hopefully to renew or to discover all those things for themselves," Henare said.

Tau Henare says National want to be seen as a broad church party.


One of Maoridom's most experienced educators says the appointment of former Education Revfiew Office chief Karen Sewell to head the Education Ministry is good news for Maori.

Turoa Royal started teaching in 1960, and is now chairs both Te Wananga o Raukawa and Te nTau Ihu i Nga Wananga, the umbrella group for the Maori teritary sector.

Mr Royal says he worked with Ms Sewell in her previous roles and was impressed with her commitment to equity.

Turoa Royal says Karen Sewell should continue the innovative approaches of her predecessor, Howard Fancy.


Work on a new Maori garden in Hamilton will step up a gear after last week's the unveiling of a waharoa, or gateway.

The garden, Te Parapara, is part of a proposed series of internationally-themed gardens on the banks of the Waikato River.

Waikato kaumatua Hare Puke says when the idea of an international garden was first mooted, his son Wiremu proposed one celebrating the tangata whenua of the area.

As well as indigenous plants, Te Parapara will include a pre European pa complete with pallisades, and pataka whakairo or carved raised storehouses.

Hare Puke visitors will be able to see the sophisticated agriculture practised by Maori ancestors.