Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Queen's flag finally furled

A familiar sight around the Waikato will be seen no more.

Tainui and other tribes gathered at Huntly today to remember the late Te Atairangikaahu, who died a year ago.

It's the offical closure of the reign of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, preceding the week long coronation celebrations for her son, Kingi Tuheitia.

Waatea reporter Mania Clarke says that means changes to the flag which is today flying over Waahi Pa.

“For the last time her flag will be flown today. In the ceremony where the flag comes down later on this evening, it won’t be seen again,. At this time it hasn’t been decided what design or how Kingi Tuheitia’s flag will appear,” Ms Clarke says.

The day also included the opening of a garden at Waahi Pa, featuring the Te Atairangikaahu rose which was bred for the queen and presented to her last year on the fortieth anniversary of her coronation.


It's a wild place to go fishing, but Nga Rauru now has fish they can call their own.

The iwi, which holds the mana between the Whanganui and Patea rivers, is to receive $1.9 million in fisheries settlement assets.

Chief executive Marty Davis says Te Ohu Kaimoana has confirmed the authority set up to manage the 2003 land settlement also met the mandate conditions of the Maori Fisheries Act.

Te Ohu Kaimoana is now more than three quarters of the way through the process of allocating fisheries assets to iwi.


Community and child safety groups are tackling the unacceptably high number of children run over in driveways.

Valerie Te Raitu from Injury Free Counties Manukau says a resource kit to be launched this week highlights the problem.

Two toddlers a month are admitted to Starship Hospital after being run over on a residential driveway.

She says stickers in the kit will remind drivers to ask a very important question before they set off.

“Ka wehi ahu koe i te kainga. Kei hea o tamariki, that would be the question, where is your child, that would be the one you are thinking about, kei hea o tamariki,” Ms Te Raitu says.

An increasing number of shared driveways and the popularity of SUVs are contributing to increased accidents involving children.


Te Arawa Maori women have challenged each other to lose weight. Now it’s the men's turn.

Paora Te Hurihanganui from Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa says the winner of the women's weight loss challenge walked away 29 kilos lighter and 25 hundred dollars richer.

He says there's a few changes to the 12 week men's challenge, with a greater emphasis on physical activity such as traditional martial arts.

“We've put in an 11-week mau rakau programme and also a couple of whanau weekends for waka experiences, so you go out and do a bit of waka ama, those types of things on the water,” Mr Te Hurihanganui says.

The contests are a fun way to tackle the obesity which can lead to unacceptably high levels of diabetes and heart disease in Maori.


Leave the politics to the politicians.

That's the advice New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has for Kingi Tuheitia, as he moves fully into his role at the head of the King Movement.

Today marked the end of a year of mourning for his late mother, Te Atairangikaahu, with thousands of people, including Prime minister Helen Clark, descending on Waahi Pa at Huntly for Te Rau Maumahara, the day of remembering.

Mr Peters says over her 40-year reign Dame Te Ata built up political respect for Kingitanga by her conduct ... without getting bogged down in the day-to-day ruck of politics.

He says King Tuheitia won't go wrong following his mother's prescription.

“It's so often the case where the nature of politics and community involvement will try and drag a person like that in to a partisan role where they take sides. That is not what should be happening and the queen knew that and I trust that the new king understands that,” Mr Peters says.

King Tuheitia will make his first public speech at Turangawaewae next Tuesday, ending a week of coronation celebrations.


More Maori are visiting their own health providers.

Mita Ririnui, the Associate Minister of Health, says an increase in the number of Maori providers, and the Maori health workforce, is showing up in improved outcomes.

The ministry has published a profile of the Maori health workforce, showing increases in registered doctors, nurses, midwives, radiation technologists, dietitians and chiropractors.

Mr Ririnui says it makes a difference when Maori people see Maori faces at their local medical centre or public health organisation.

“There are issues around culturl safety, cultural understanding, and also the level of trust that you will have with a Maori that understands where you come from, areas of health that are sensitive to you, and that enables a professional relationship to be developed more along cultural lines,” Mr Ririnui says.


Creative Tauranga has taken on a coordinator to encourage Maori arts in the region.

Te Rahui August will network and support visual artists, musicians and performers ... and well as help co-ordinate arts festivals and the 2009 Te Matatini kapa haka nationals.

She's from Ngaiterangi, Ngati Ranganui, and Ngati Pukenga, so she's already hooked into Tauranga Moana iwi.

Ms August says the job has a grassroots focus.

“It definitely means that I have to get out there and make sure everybody knows what we do as an organisation, what my position is for, and also to help art organisations, artists, feel comfortable to come and utilise our resources,” she says.

The Maori arts community in Tauranga Moana lobbied for three years for the Te Puni Kokiri-funded position, because they felt they weren't getting fair access to resources.


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