Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dream of violence free family

Women's Refuge says programmes to stop child abuse need to start before children are born.

Heather Henare from the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges says abuse isn't just a Maori problem, but Maori cases always seem the most highly publicised.

She says Refuge has started working with iwi on strategies which will give Maori families a vision of a future without violence.

“How do we want our families to be. What’s our dream. And how do we keep our families safe within that dream. So how do we get families taking responsibilities for violence with their whanau before children are born, before young people decide to have relationships, before kids go out in the community there. I mean how are we defining how out whanau looks in the future,” Ms Henare says.

A plan to have public hospitals screen women and children for domestic violence has significant pitfalls, and could drive women underground and away from treatment.


Prison officers will be the key to the success of a new prisoner placement scheme.

That's the view reaction of Prison Fellowship head Kim Workman to the idea of rewarding prisoners for good behaviour, by giving them more time to study or learn skills.

The Minister of Corrections says the scheme will enhance prisoners' rehabilitation.

Mr Workman says similar schemes have been tried in the past and failed.

That's because prison staff turn them into punishment regimes by withholding privileges.

“It relies on the maturity and experience and c commitment of prison officers who have values that are directed towards rehabilitation and changing prisoners. If they have values that are directed towards punishing people, then the system can very well and very easily work in reverse,” Mr Workman says.


A rahui banning the taking of kaimonana from the reefs between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay has been reimposed after the resource was hammered over summer.

Miria Pomare from Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira says the iwi wanted the previous rahui rolled over when it expired in December, but the Fisheries Ministry didn't process the paperwork in time.

That led to an onslaught over the summer months, with many people taking away large numbers of under-sized paua.

She says the iwi was disappointed with the ministry's lack of enforcement, but it is pleased that the rahui achieved its aim of rebuilding stocks.

“We've seen what benefits can actually occur over a four year period of abstinence and that’s been really encouraging, so we know the stocks can regenerate pretty quickly, but of course it’s pretty gut wrenching to have to start all over again,” Ms Pomare says.

By the time the current two-year rahui expires, Ngati Toa Rangatira hope to have in place longer term management such a mataitai reserve.


A Maori social scientist says Maori must be wary of attempts to take away their rights during the current furore on child abuse.

Psychologist Fiona Te Momo says some commentators are turning concern over two appalling child abuse cases in Rotorua into an attack on maori communities.

She says the call by Wanganui mayor Michael Laws for profiling of possible abusers, is a dangerous path.

“When you start to profile and say ‘ok if you’re Maori, you have a child, and you have drug problems,’ he made that profile up and then he said ‘we can go and take your children off you,’ and that’s where we as a community need to start being concerned as how what’s said nationally can start to alter and have a big impact on our own communities,” Dr Te Momo says.

Government agencies should avoid getting caught up in an environment of fear and anger when they address social issues.


Local Government New Zealand is being challenged for lacking commitment to Maori representation.

Atareta Poananga, who is seeking her fourth term on Gisborne District Council, says the association scrapped its Maori councilors' forum, Nga Mata Kokiri.

The forum provided support for the small number of Maori councilors, and it also tried to find ways to encourage Maori to vote and to stand for office.

She says the loss will be felt in this year's elections.

“If we had an active, elected Maori group that was out there trying to promote local government for Maori, then I think we’d have far more people getting elected and far more people having their say and changing things for Maori wherever they might live,” Ms Poananga says.

She says there is considerable resistance in the local government sector to Maori having more say.


A last minute plea from Maori to nominate their sports coaches for Volunteer Coach of the Year.

Russel Preston from the Counties Manukau Sports Trust says nominations close today, and he'd like to see more Maori coaches up for the Watties-backed awards.

He says they're a chance to say thanks to people who unselfishly devote their time to their sports, who're usually not the type to put their names forward themselves.

“You can't put a price on that for the community, and for those volunteers, most of them are very humble and particularly with Maori people, when you talk to them they just go ‘oh no shucks I’m just doing it for my whanau or for my cousin or my son or whatever,’ so I would certainly encourage them to put their names forward,” Mr Preston says.

There are awards for student coach, newcomer, general and lifetime achievement.


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