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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Scholarship change bad idea

New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone says the Government has got it wrong in changes to the Ngarimu Scholarship.

The amount on offer has doubled, and there is greater focus on post-graduate study and the development of Maori leadership.

But eligibility for the 60 year old scholarship is now restricted to descendants of the 28 Maori Battalion.

Mr Paraone, whose father is one of the few surviving veterans, says when the scholarship was set up to honour Victoria Cross winner Te Moananui a Kiwa Ngarimu, people from all round the country subscribed.

He says it was intended to be available to all Maori who showed scholastic promise.

“To suggest that it should only be for those descendants of the 28 Maori Battalion is suggesting that only leadership will come from that quarter, and I don’t believe that that’s the course that Maoridom should be taking, and shouldn’t be the only source of leadership for Maoridom,” Mr Paraone says.

The Ngarimu VC Scholarship board did not consult Maori Battalion veterans about the change.


Maori attitudes towards immigrants are hardening.

Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley says that contrasts with non-Maori, who tend to be ambivalent on the issue.

He says many Maori take the view new migrants take the jobs of people born in New Zealand.

“Also it is possibly to do with undermining some of the developments that have taken place since the 1980s such as biculturalism and treaty settlements, so we’re seeing a much more diverse multiculturalism in terms of who’s here in New Zealand, and that might take away from Maori as tangata whenua,” Professor Spoonley says.


Maori cancer sufferers say they can't find adequate support networks.

Bubsie MacFarlane from Aroha Mai in Rotorua, one of the few Maori cancer support groups, says there is a high rate of cancer among Maori but few resources to help them deal with the disease.

She started Aroha Mai because she believes Maori need specialised care.

“Because it's not just about the sickness for Maori, it’s abut the wairua, the mauri and all those things that have to come in to the well-being of the body and karakia, all those sorts of things come into it,” Ms MacFarlane says.


The creator of a programme for improving Maori achievement in schools says there is no one answer to the problem.
Latest figures from the Ministry of Education show a slight improvement in the numbers of Maori students getting NCEA level 1.

Russell Bishop, the associate dean of Maori education at Waikato University, has developed Kotahitanga, which combines professional development for teachers with a different approach in the classroom.

He says feedback from some of the 30 high schools on the programme indicates there multiple factors contribute to the improved results.

“It's a combination of te Kotahitanga, of the school wide literacy programmes, of the secondary numeracy projects and their own in school professional develpment programmes that have sort of created a synergy within a school, a synergy that has created a climate in which Maori students are achieving – first of all they are staying at school,” Dr Bishop says.


National MP Tau Henare won't be taking part in any mass haka on the steps of Parliament.

The idea has been put up by the Maori Party's Hone Harawira as a way to show support for Maori language week.

But Mr Henare, whose own children attended kura kaupapa, says the country should have moved on from that sort of stunt.

“Every week is Maori language week and I don’t think grandstanding on the steps of Parliament is going to do anything for Maori language week. It just makes Hone think he can corral people into doing things,” he says

Mr Henare says if he wants to see a haka, he'd prefer to see one done by people who know what they're doing, rather than by politicians.


A Chinese-New Zealand academic says increasing Maori hostility towards new migrants is a teething problems of a multicultural society.

A new report by Massey University researchers says Maori take a tougher view of immigration than non-Maori, which many saying migrants take away jobs.

Manying Ip, the associate professor of Chinese at Auckland University, says that tallies with her own research.

She says increased immigration from non-traditional countries has challenged the Maori drive to make New Zealand bicultural.

“Maori would maintain that we are still bicultural or that we are trying to achieve biculturalism and then suddenly these new immigrants come along and it becomes multicultural and they haven’t sorted out the bicultural aspects yet so there’s another reason Maori dislike the Asians and the Chinese and so on,” Dr Ip says.

She says there is far too little interaction between Maori and Asian people.


Christchurch kaumaatua Tosh Ruwhiu says the Maori Party is suffering from a low profile in the South Island.

Ko taa kaumaatua Tosh Ruwhiu e mea ana, horekau he kanohi o te Roopu Toorangapuu Maori e kitea ana i Te Waipounamu.

He asks who the Maori Party face in the South Island might be.


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