Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ethnic data helps Maori education strategy

Schools will be taught how to use the information they collect to boost the achievement of Maori children.

Liz McKinley, the director of Auckland University's Starpath research project, says closing the achievement gap between Maori and non-Maori will mean identifying the potential in young Maori and keeping track of those children through their school life to ensure they reach that potential.

The latest secondary school results, broken down for the first time by ethnicity, show only 52 percent of Maori students passed their NCEA level one last year compared with almost 80 percent of Pakeha students.

Dr McKinley says schools can do better, and Starpath is looking for ways to help them.

“Schools collect huge amounts of data but they don’t do much with it, so we’re trying to teach them that there is only some data that they particularly need and these are the sorts of things you can do with this data, this is the sort of stuff it is telling you,” Professor McKinley says.

Many talented Maori students are short changed by the NCEA system because they're pushed towards unit standards rather than achievement standards, which are needed for entry to tertiary study.


Whanau are being reminded to check their smoke alarms and test heaters as the winter weather sets in.

Northland iwi fire safety officer, Wayne Martin, says whanau can take simple steps to protect themselves and their tamariki.

Mr Martin, of Te Rarawa, says the incident in Kaikoura this week where a father threw his daughter out of the window of a burning house is an example of how important fire safety and alarms are.

Wayne Martin says whanau should check all heating appliances and keep tamariki a metre away from gas heaters and open fires.


Maori broadcast funding agency Te Mangai Paho is broadening its funding for music, in line with its approach to television,

Radio manager Carl Goldsmith says instead of insisting on 100 percent te reo, there will now be three levels of Maori music production.

Songs for receptive audiences can have less than 30 percent te reo Maori, second language learners can expect songs with 30 to 70 percent Maori, and there's a fluent stream of funding for songs with more than 70 percent reo.

Mr Goldsmith says the new formula for music mirrors its attitude to bilingual television progammes.

“Te Karere has got sub-titling. A lot of the language programmes have subtitling. It’s just a move over to another medium, being radio,” Mr Goldsmith says.

Each year TMP distributes over $450,000 to musicians and production houses.

Applications close on Monday.


Ngati Kahungunu buried one son on Wednesday. It buries another today.

Jan Molenaar, who killed himself last Friday after fatally shooting police officer Len Snee and wounding three others, is lying at Ruahapia Marae.

Ngati Kahungunu chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says while senior constable Snee was from Ngati Maru and Ngati Kiki o te rangi, while Mr Molenaar is a mokopuna of Ngati Hawea.

“Kikioterangi, Len’s tipuna, and Jan’s tipuna were brothers. So we have hapu about 20 miles apart mourning the death of our sons, we have Kahungunu mourning the death of our sons. We have Napier and the police department mourning the death of our son.

“To us, they both come from the same rootstock, and in any other environment like the Maori Battalion, these two would have been fighting side by side but here we are, one’s hero, the other one zero but they’re still our sons. We still accord them the protocols, the kawa and tikanga we accord everyone else. They are the sons of Kahungunu,” Mr Tomoana says.


Maori suffering from common cold and flu symptoms are being warned to check with their GP as they may have bronchiectasis.

Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury District Health Board's medical officer of health, says the disease does permanent damage to the lungs and creates constant coughing.

He says the Thoracic Society annual conference in Darwin last month heard evidence indigenous people like Maori, Australian Aboriginal and Alaskan Inuit seem to contract bronchiectasis more than non indigenous.

Dr Pink, from Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa, is looking into what Maori can do to prevent the spread of the disease.


Manos Nathan has delved into family history for his new show at Porirua's Pataka Museum.

The Dargaville based ceramic artist is paying tribute to the soldiers who fell in the Battle of Crete in 1941.

It was after that battle that Nathan's dad Ned met a local girl, married her and brought her home to south Hokianga after the war.

Nathan says his current work celebrates that dual heritage and includes references to Crete's ancient Minoan civilization such as the horns of consecration, recognizing the earth goddess.

Manos Nathan is looking forward to the publication in October of Patricia Grace's new book about his parent's relationship.


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