Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nga Tamatoa hikoi overwhelming

The author of a new book on the 28th Maori Battalion's C says all involved in the weekend’s launch in Gisborne were overwhelmed by the response.

Dr Monty Souter says it was expected that perhaps a thousand would turn up to support Nga Tamatoa - The Price of Freedom.

Instead more than 4000 made the march from the city to Te Poho o Rawiri marae carrying more than 1000 photographs of battalion members.

“It was very moving. It was like a river moving and lots of people held those photographs to their hearts so it was like the beating of one heart and when they arrived at the marae and brought them on, and they were placed into big baskets or kete that were sitting on the mahau of the wharenui, it was like a continuous flow of motion coming through onto the marae,” Dr Souter says.

The oldest marcher on the 2.5km parade was 90, and more than 20 battalion veterans attended.


The Destiny church which formed itself into an urban Maori Authority at a weekend ceremony attended by more than 5000 members says it is unfair it has been unable to access government assistance to help its people.

Spokesman George Ngatai says other church bases providers of social services get government assistance but Destiny, which is 80 percent Maori and has been helping Maori for 10 years, has found doors for assistance closed.

“Presbyterian, they receive money from the government to deliver social and health services. Baptist Family Services, they receive money from the government. You’ve also got the Salvation Army, they receive money from the government. Unfortunately when Destiny Church goes, with a head that’s Maori, goes to ask for support for Maori that have fallen by the wayside, the doors get closed, we don't get a penny,” Mr Ngatai says.

He says Destiny has the answers and a track record of supporting its people, such as gang members, from being the lowest of the low to walking a path that is right for them.

Prime Minister Helen Clark has described Destiny Church as a cult saying its seeking to become part of the National Urban Maori Authority organisation is a joke.


Iwi groups are being urged to take a greater role in violence prevention.

Di Grennel, chief executive of Amokura, a new indigenous violence prevention strategy, says there's nothing traditional about violence within whanau.

She says that's why tradition-based institutions like iwi need to speak out.

“Critics saying ‘iwi don’t care about that stuff, they only care about settlements or whatever’ and to have a clear and consistent iwi voice saying ‘no, violence within the whanau is not appropriate, it’s not OK, we won’t accept it,’ that’s been quite significant,” Ms Grennel says.

More research is needed into iwi and Maori approaches to violence prevention.


Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says he is not in favour of work schemes as as solution for hard economic times.

Speaking after the launch of Labour's Maori policy at the weekend the former work scheme coordinator says the answer to helping groups such as Maori unemployed lies in another direction.

“We are aware of a labour shortage. Some parties, the Maori Party, have been calling for a return to work schemes. We don’t believe that, I don’t anyway because at the end of the day our job is to ensure that they get into work that is relevant, work that will sustain them and their family over a period of time,” Mr Horomia says.

He sys Labour is for example focusing on reskilling middle aged Maori women because there is a very real waste of people who have brought up children and have good skills which can be used.


A study on the social consequences of Tuhoe migration likens the experience of loss to a Tangihanga.

Researcher Dr Linda Nikora says a huge gap of the 18 to mid 20's age demographic are leaving Te Urewera for education and work opportunities.

Dr Nikora says although Te Urewera is seen as a suitable place to raise young families, the perception is that the future for kids is outside the valley.

She says this often leaves a deficit not only physically but emotionally.

“They described it like a death. This person was now going to leave their lives. They were going to be at a distance. They were not going to be able to physically touch and reach out to these people and they may never come home to reside in the same place their families are residing so they described it like a tangihanga when these people went away,” Dr Nikora says.

As an ongoing project the study will look at the policy implications of the migration.


Waitangi Day and Invasion Day may become home to an annual match between Maori and indigenous Aboriginals.

A weekend match in Sydney saw the Indigenous Dreamtime Team defeat the NZ Maori 34-26 in front of a crowd of 10,000 at the Kangaroos versus Kiwis curtain-raiser.

The last time the two teams met was in 1909 in the battle for the OT Cordial Punch trophy.

Maori Television Sports correspondent Potaka Maipi says the call came from an Aboriginal sporting heavyweight.

“We have a Maori rugby team. We have a Maori league team. We have Maori teams all over the place and we’re used to it and we’ve become accustomed to it, whereas it’s a new thing for them. They don’t really get to see their heroes be acknowledged in an environment that is theirs. Anthony Mundine, the boxer, the former rugby league star, put the challenge up and said he wants to have an indigenous Australian team every year,” Mr Maipi says.

The sparks flew when the Maori haka and Aboriginal Cooweewah were performed before the match.


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