Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Third of wananga reo pupils non-Maori

The head of the country's largest wananga says more Pakeha than ever are enrolling to learn Maori.

Bentham Ohia from Te Wananga o Aotearoa says more than a third of enrolments in the te reo programme are non-Maori.

They're motivated by a desire to assert their national identity, or they're Pakeha parents of Maori children, or migrants who want to gain greater understanding of tangata whenua of their new home country.

He says while the growth is positive, there is a need for practitioners in the language to continue to raise standards of fluency and quality of reo spoken.

“We don't want to discourage people by being too hard on them and suppressing them round pronunciation as they look to engage and understand and speak the language on their first steps. We want them to embrace and understand that the language is their language also and over time have the opportunity to raise the quality of their language,” Mr Ohia says.

There needs to be continual effort to raise fluency and quality standards of spoken reo.


Silver Fern shooter Jodie Te Huna is playing the best netball of her career.

That's the view of former international netballer and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic coach Noelene Taurua.

The Silver Ferns play the last of their three test series against Australia in Adelaide tonight.

She says te Huna says Te Huna played a key role in Saturday night's extra time win in Sydney.

“She was probably the difference in that attacking end and really dominated and put the shots up when she needed to do that and especially in those telling points, so it was great to see her out there in probably the best form,” Ms Taurua says.

The whole Silver Ferns squad showed great heart in Saturday's test.


Stories from Taranaki's traditional healers and kaumatua have been collected
for what could be the first in a series of books.

Matarakau - Nga Korero mo nga rongoa o Taranaki was launched yesterday at Te Niho in Parihaka Pa.

It was a collaboration between Mahinekura Reinfeld and Leonie Pihama from rongoa health consultants Karangaora and artist Jo Tito.

Ms Tito says there will be a follow on.

“Gathering the stories for the book there were a lot of common themes coming through, and a couple of those were karakia and water, wai, so we want to do some more specific stuff around those kaupapa as well,” Ms Tito says.


A Maori language commissioner says the survival of the Maori language will depend on the support of all New Zealanders.

E kii ana a Ruakere Hond o Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, ma te tautoko o te katoa te reo Maori e pupuri, ehara kee ma te ao Maori anahe.


A Ngati Rangitihi woman sees Maori language week as a chance to look back on a 35 year year struggle to see te reo more widely spoken.

Cathy Dewes was one of the original battlers for greater protection for the language.

She went to Parliament with Hana Te Hemara in 1972 to present a petition asking for te reo Maori to be an option in all secondary schools, rather than just the three that then had it.

Ms Dewes is the principal of one of the first Maori language schools, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata in Rotorua.

From its start in 1987 with 11 students, it has grown tenfold.

She says when Ruamata opened, people said there was nothing to be gained by educating children totally in Maori.

“These were Pakeha and Maori who were highly critical of that initiative and telling us that we were disadvantaging our children by educating them totally in Maori,” Ms Dewes says.

She's expecting all 110 pupils at Ruamata to go on to tertiary study with a level two National Certificate of Education Achievement.


A Wellington Maori trust is helping cut crime by finding Maori offenders jobs and a reason to change their ways.

The Consultancy Advocacy and Research Trust is run by Laurence O'Reilly from Ngati Kahungunu and Black Power member Eugene Ryder.

It works with about 90 whanau affiliated to Black Power, the Mongrel Mob and other gangs.

Mr O'Reilly says it teaches employment and parenting skills, helps people deal with drug and alcohol abuse, and sets up businesses to create roofing, labouring and painting work for the men.

Before the programme was developed, the trust asked the gang members what they wanted to see.

“And they basically stated three things they wanted to see in any programme that we developed – a programme that allows them to be together, was enjoyable and that they had ownership in it, they had some sort of say in how it was run, they had a leadership role,” Mr O'Reilly says.

The trust succeeds because it helps gang members sort out their own lives rather than throw solutions at them.


Associate Tourism Minister Dover Samuels says a Maori tourism delegation to China is proving a big hit with the locals.

Hei taa te Minita Tuarua mo nga take taapoi a Dover Samuels, kua whakaongaonga nga roopu pakihi o Haina i te taenga atu o tana roopu Maori ki reira:


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