Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Unemployment effect on health confirmed

A new research study out of the US shows unemployment is bad for your health and a New Zealand Maori health expert says Maori may be worst affected.

Tony Blakely, director of the Health Inequalities Research Programme at Otago University, says the American findings are a timely warning for Maori.

He says with Maori unemployment rate over 10 per cent there is likely to be a increase of stress related illness like depression and cardiovascular disease.

“The biggest learning experience we have here is what happened in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s with large unemployment that hit Maori and Pacific people particularly hard and we have reasonably good evidence that stalling of improvements in life expectancy for Maori was in part if not largely due to those high unemployment rates, because it wasn’t just affecting individual Maori, it was affecting communities when you had freezing works closing and whole communities going under,” Mr Blakely says.

He says the long- term impacts of the current recession on Maori will depend on the health system's response.


And Labour leader Phil Goff says he is picking up major dissatisfaction with the performance of the Maori party as he moves around the country.

Mr Goff says he is not suprised by this, as the government which the Maori party is in partnership with, has turned its back on issues which affect Maori deeply.

“People know they haven’t been treated fairly with respect to the tax cuts and they know that jobs are going and despite all the hype and all the rhetoric of the job summit, almost nothing has happened to help save jobs and businesses when the government did have alternatives, when they could have done things to keep people in work,” he says.

Mr Goff says in the past week Maori unemployment jumped to more than 10 percent with 24,000 jobs being lost in the first three months of the year while the tax cuts did nothing for most Maori families.

He says instead of concentrating on Fijian politics he would have been expecting the Maori party to have been speaking up for Maori people in Aotearoa.


A key Maori player in the chiefs rugby team believes that Super 14 is providing an excellent opportunity of Maori players to show and develop their talents.

Openside flanker Tanerau Latimer says when the Maori rugby tour of South Africa was cancelled there was great disappointment among Maori players but with many Maori in both the two leading Super 14 teams, the Chiefs and the Hurricanes, the competition is proving to be an excellent testing ground for them.

Tanerau Latimer, of Te Arawa, says Maori players know the trans-Tasman competition is the way to get All Black selectors attention.


New technology will be on the table for Ngai Tahu this week as they host a conference in Christchurch looking at a geographic information system to help revolutionise the way iwi manage their assets.

David O Connell, the general manager of tribal interests for Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu, says the iwi have been collaborating with Eagle Technologies for about five years in using a GIS system which captures, stores, analyses, manages, and presents data that is linked to location.

He says Maori have unique needs for technology and systems like GIS, from monitoring the environment to whakapapa registrations and being able to map where people are and where initiatives should be located.

Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu uses GIS for cultural heritage mapping, recording waahi tapu sites, customary fishing records and whakapapa history.

The Maori GIS Conference is in Christchurch until Friday.


And Labour leader Phil Goff has praised Maori for their efforts in another area of technology.

He has welcomed news that a third mobile phone company backed by Maori finance will be entering the market.

Phil Goff says mobile charges in New Zealand are way above many other countries and like a lot of consumers he hopes competition by 2 Degrees which has a 20 percent Maori shareholding will lead to lower prices.

Phil Goff says he is also concerned at the amount of time lines are down and he hopes 2 Degrees will also lead to improvement in this area when it launches in August.


The National Council of Maori Nurses says the nursing profession is providing an excellent example of how Maori are caring for their own people.

It is International Nurses Day and Hineroa Hakiaha, the president of Te Kaunihera O Nga Neehi Maori O Aotearoa says the past decades have seen a balance being struck in the sector between mainstream models of caring and Maori models.

She says nurses want well being for their people, and the profession is one where people can exert their tino rangatiratanga.


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