Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 27, 2009

Whanau of disabled need state support

Tariana Turia wants Maori looking after disabled family members to get some state support.

The Maori party co leader attended a conference in Whangarei this week that highlighted the difficulties faced by those with disabilities.

She says there is a need for Maori-specific advocacy services, as many Maori find it hard to access the services the need from a range of government agencies.

Mrs Turia says the anomaly remains that people being cared for by non-family members can get funding, but those relying on whanau, as many Maori prefer, are ineligible.

“After all these people are saving the state a huge amount of money and while I accept that all of us in whanau have a responsibility to take care of our own, there’s got to be also some resource available to help them buy in some of the support they might need,” Mrs Turia says

She will look further into the issue.


Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta says the future of Maori television lies in more production houses rather than more broadcasters.

Former Maori Television Service chair Derek Fox has floated the idea of encouraging iwi to set up their own television operations, so they can ensure their own distinct reo and stories are told.

Ms Mahuta says existing regional television operations struggle for funding, and more Maori operations would face similar barriers.

“The easy answer would be to say regional TV like we’ve got regional iwi radio stations. The more sustainable answer is to get more of our people into the industry making programmes, being in front and behind the camera, and making sure we’re actually providing the cover of programming in all broadcasters,” Ms Mahuta says.

There are also opportunities for Maori to work more closely with Pacific island broadcasters and programme makers.


Maori graduates from Massey University met in the capital last night to aknowledge the achievements of tauira since a Maori studies department was established in the early 1970's.

Tu Matukuru, the manager Maori of the Wellington campus, says the wananga made a point of attracting Maori students.

It currently has 3000 Maori students, including 80 at doctoral level.

He says last night's alumni celebration co-incides with the 10th anniversary of Massey opening a campus in Te Whanganui a tara.

“Massey's been proactive with its strategies for Maori under the stewardship of Professor Mason Durie, the assistant vice chancellor, and the event we hosted last night was one aspect whereby we were able to engage with the Maori community down here in Wellington,” Mr Matakuru says.

Similar alumni celebrations are planned for the Manawatu and Albany campuses.


A leading Maori health researcher says support from Pakeha has helped advance Maori medicine.

Maori health researchers have gathered in Auckland for the annual Hui Whakapiripiri, where they share findings and discuss culturally effective methodologies.

Clive Aspin, the former chair of the Health Research Council's Maori health committee, says the council's investment in Maori research is paying off.

He can't see any similar momentum in Australia, where he now works as research director for the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at Sydney University.

“Aboriginal people are fine, they’re all on board, but it’s their non-Aboriginal colleagues who often act as gatekeepers or who act as barriers, who don’t really work in a collegial way with Aboriginal researchers to move things forward, and I see Maori and non-Maori here in New Zealand working together to move things forward for Maori research,” Dr Aspin says.

Research topics today include the future of rongoa Maori, the quality of public hospital care for Maori and whether cultural assessment helps prevent suicide.


The Geographic Board will decide today whether Wanganui will get its H back.

Wanganui mayor Michael Laws wants the board to be guided by a 2006 referendum which found 82 percent of the city's residents wanted the name to remain H-less.

But Te Runanga o Tupoho has asked for the original spelling to be restored.

Green MP Meteria Turei says the time has come for Maori to have their reo spoken and spelt correctly.

“The opposition by the council there is ridiculous and shows how entrenched in their prejudice and failings they are, but if the Geographic Board makes the sensible decision then the Green Party will celebrate along with Maori across the country for what is quite a small victory but nonetheless Maori have a right to have our own words spelt properly, said properly, and treated with respect,” Ms Turei says.


Whanau in Tamaki Makaurau are being encouraged to give waka ama a go this weekend.

Counties Manukau Sports Foundation is offering free lessons at Onehunga reserve tomorrow as part of its breast and cervical screening awareness day.

Kaiwhakahaere, Karla Matua, says it's about getting the message of wahine health to whanau ... and having a bit of fun too.

Counties Manukau Sports Foundation joins with Te Whanau o Waipereira, Raukura Hauora and Breast screening Aotearoa each year to provide the day's events.


The Prime Minister says he has no interest in meeting the brothers who attacked him at Waitangi.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira hosted John and Wikatana Popata at parliament this week, and had sought a meeting with John Key.

But Mr Key says that would be in breach of their bail conditions and thoroughly inappropriate.

“I personally thought they were a couple of glory seeking guys looking to get on tv on the day they did it. Fortunately it didn’t spoil my Waitangi Day, it’s not going to stop me going back and it’s a bit of a storm in a teacup really,” Mr Key says.


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