Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early intervention for migrant education

Get them when they get off the plane... that's the call from the editor of the Migrant News

Mel Fernandez says new migrants need to be met by tangata whenua at the airport so they're aware of the importance of Maori in New Zealand.

The Maori Party's Treaty of Waitangi policy has new migrants taking a course on New Zealand and Pacific history before being granted citizenship.

Mr Fernandez says there's a small window of opportunity before people get caught up in the business of finding work and settling in.

“In the first month they actually have some time on their hands and that’s the time you have to use for education. When you go further down the track, impressions are formed and people lose interest in trying to learn more about these things,” Mr Fernandez says.


The Greens want to give Maori more tools to protect both traditional and contemporary Maori art.

Arts, culture and heritage spokesperson Metiria Turei says it's too easy for non-Maori to commercialise traditional Maori images without acknowledging them as Maori intellectual property.

She says that needs to be tackled on an individual and collective level.

“Maori like others will have access to intellectual property law but there are still a whole range of issues around the collective right of Maori to have control over certain kinds of form,” Ms Turei says.

The Greens also remain committed to a dedicated Maori Television broadcasting service and a network of independent iwi radio stations.


A Maori law lecturer says private sector industry will become more important to Maori as they move beyond treaty settlements.

As part of her doctoral studies at Waikato University, Huia Woods is developing model legal frameworks Maori can use for business.

She says iwi need to form new relationships to manage and grow settlement assets.

“Maori can move into the post-settlement era and engage with private industry and when you engage with private industry as Maori, that’s where the power is. The Crown and the government’s trying to seduce private industry all the time because the Crown sets the framework for the economy but who’s running it is in private industry,” Ms Woods says.

Iwi collectives were fractured by colonisation, and they need to learn how to share information with each other again.


An innovative way to use iPods and web sites for teaching te reo Maori has reached New Plymouth.

The method was developed by linguist John Moorefield of AUT University's Te Ipukarea Maori Language Institute.

Lisa Ferguson, the head of humanities, health & Maori at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki, says the polytechnic was offered the chance to help develop the new digital platform in recognition of Taranaki kaumatua Huirangi Waikerepuru's fight for the language to be recognised as a taonga.

She says this week's launch at Puke Ariki museum shows how it captures people's imagination.

“I had a message that Auntie Bell requested that kaumatua have their own computer suite because they want to do this tappy tappy touch stuff and I think we captured some people’s imagination and I wouldn’t have predicted that. We had people clamouring ‘how can I get an ipod?’ We’ve demonstrated that it’s a tool and it’s accessible and it’s exciting and it will engage our young people,” Ms Ferguson says.

The project offers another way for Taranaki people to capture and preserve their unique lexicon.


The Ngapuhi Runanga wants to kick start the process of fixing up Northland's marae.

Chairperson Sonny Tau says the Kaikohe-based runanga is hiring community development staff to help marae committees access funding from government and other bodies.

He says the marae often struggle to cater for the demands made on them.

“By in large the marae in the north are pretty run down and that is because we haven’t had the opportunity to really get at the funding from government organisations that is available to Maori organisations like ours and we’re gong to make a huge raid into those in the coming year,” Mr Tau says.

An independent review by Rotorua-based APR Consultants scored the runanga well in terms of representation of the 120,000-strong iwi, but it needs to be constantly thinking about the needs of members.


A leading Maori wine producer believes its vineyards have reached capacity.

Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank is warning New Zealand winegrowers against increasing production because of a potential world wine glut in difficult economic times.

James Wheeler, the marketing manager of Tohu wines, says the firm has no plans to expand on its current 400 acres of vines in Marlborough and the East Coast.

He says it's in a consolidation phase.

“We've planted our own vineyards and now they’re on stream. We’ve got what we want for our current marketing plan so we’re not growing in the way we have for the past four or five years. But New Zealanders are doing so well. Our brand is so well known now, and we’ve had record sales months over the last four or five months,” Mr Wheeler says.

Maori who are viticulture need to be aware of high set-up costs which could make other land use options more attractive.


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