Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, July 30, 2007

Kiro warns on abuse punishment

The Children's Commissioner says that taking a big stick to whanau who abuse their tamariki won't solve the problem.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is calling for tougher penalties for perpetrators, in the wake of two separate child abuse cases in Rotorua which involved Maori.

But Cindy Kiro says the trust lost its credibility when it opposed legislation which tries to stop children being assaulted in their homes.

She says whanau still aren't facing up to their responsibilities.

“The recent two cases of babies that had been tortured just shows how possible it is for whanau to actually tolerate levels of behaviour in its members that are simply not acceptable. People within those family networks that see that need to act on it and also we need to recognise that at some point, somebody has to intervene,” Dr Kiro says.


Older Maori smokers are getting support to give up from a new online community.

Maori services advisor John Royal says more than 20 percent of Quitline's Online Quit forum are Maori.

The oldest is 65, the youngest 16.

“You get some older Maori who may be a bit shy to use it and there are other older Maori who are quite happy to be on the Internet and see it as a whole new world and pick up the challenge and that’s what seems to be reflected. I mean it’s not great numbers but what we’re enthused about is the older Maori are using this way of communicating,” Mr Royal says.

The forum allows smokers to share quitting stories and advice with each other.


Government agencies want to hear a wide range of Maori views on bioprospecting, intellectual property and biodiversity.

Te Puni Kokiri and the ministries of Economic Development and Foreign Affairs and Trade are holding a series of hui on the way Maori use of plants for medicinal purposes and whether protection is needed to protect that knowledge against commercial exploitation.

Consultant Willie Te Aho says the hui are not just for academics and science professionals.

“This is also for our people that are involved in whakairo, ta moko, visual arts, performing arts, and even our reo. A lot of wine companies in particular are branding their products by using our reo,” Mr Te Aho says.

The next hui is in Wellington tomorrow.


Two Rotorua carvers have made the leap from artists to writers.

Todd Couper and Roi Toia are waiting to see whether Kahui Whetu: Contemporary Maori Art - a Carvers Perspective wins them a prize at tonight's Montana Book Awards.

Mr Couper, from Rongomaiwahine and Ngati Kahungunu, says they tried to put wrap their 35 years of collective experience into the pages.

“When we found out we were nominated, we thought that was a big thrill for us, not realising it would go any further. When we found out we were finalists, we were quite excited about it. It is a big deal for us, because really, we’re sort of artists before we're writers,” Mr Couper says.

The pair intend to do another book.


The MP for Waiariki believes more direct investment into the Maori community can help it tackle problems like child abuse.

Te Ururoa Flavell says he is horrified and distressed at the two abuse cases which emerged out of Rotorua this weekend.

He says Maori have solutions, but control is in the hands of government agencies which are divorced from the community.

“Some of the solutions are back in the hands of our communities, and that’s where we want to focus. There are people are doing work in the community focusing on these issues, and we want to start looking at focusing back on that. The problem with of course is that those groups that are working within the communities are usually volunteers, and the time has come really that they’re the experts within the community, we need to give them some funding to do the job,” Mr Flavell says.

Maori need to become responsible family members and good neighbours who step in when they see negative and violent actions.


And Women's Refuge says constructive action, rather than Maori-bashing is needed to tackle child abuse.

Chief executive Heather Henare says lashing out at Maori could just alienate whanau.

The challenge is to break the cycle of violence within hapu and whanau.

Refuge has set up a Maori Development Unit to work with iwi on violence and abuse.

Ms Henare says Maori acknowledge the problem of violence within their own communities and are willing to face up to it.

She says Maori are taking leadership for what is an issue every part of society needs to confront.


A Waikato Maori health worker wants to see changes in the way mainstream services screen Maori women.

Ramari Maipi coordinates cervical and breast screening promotion for Raukura Hauora o Tainui.

Only 34 percent of eligible Maori women in the Waikato District Health Board area have been screened, less than half of Breastscreen Aotearoa's target.

Ms Maipi says Maori women register, but often don't turn up for appointments.

She says that's because the services aren't sensitive to cultural differences.

“Maori front up to the service and sometimes it’s culturally unsafe. Sometimes it’s not a convenience as we see it, you know, we like to go as a group. Sometimes you like to book out so that if two are going, you try to book in five. There’s a whole range of best ways of delivering services to our people, and I never will accept that Maori women should now better and that they should all line up to have a breast x-ray,” Ms Maipi says.

Screening could be wrapped in with other women's health services.


In a few minutes the results of the Montana Book Awards will be known.

Sitting on the edge of their seats at Auckland's Sky City are several Maori finalists.

Novelist James George from Ngapuhi is a finalist for the second time with his multi-generational family novel Ocean Roads.

His publisher, Huia, is also in with a chance the reference category Tirohia Kimihia: A Maori Learner Dictionary, published in association with the Ministry of Education.

Rotorua-based carvers Roi Toia and Todd Couper are contenders in the culture section with their Kahui Whetu: Contemporary Maori Art.

And Auckland University research fellow Hazel Petrie has Chiefs of Industry, her study of Maori Tribal Enterprise in Early Colonial New Zealand


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