Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Waipareira plans for future

Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust has come up with a plan for the Maori community in west Auckland over the next 25 years.

Chief executive John Tamihere says the plan, which was debated and adopted over the weekend, aims to ensure there are positive social outcomes for Maori in the area irrespective of leadership.

He says the organisation went through its first 25 years without a strategic plan, because its kaumatua were uncomfortable with the concept and the language, even though there were working in a strategic way.

He says Waipareira looked to organisations like Ngati Raukawa and Te Wananga o Aotearoa to see the benefits of long term strategic planning.


A Waikato woman is off to the Netherlands to pick up tips for restoring the health of her awa.

Linda Te Aho from Ngati Koriki Kahukura, a senior lecturer at Waikato University's Law School, is a member of the establishment committee for the Waikato River guardians.

She's heading this week for Lelystad, near Amsterdam, for a conference which is being run by the European Centre for River Restoration.

Mrs te Aho will hear about work done to clean up major rivers like the Rhine, the Danube and the Avon.

“Partly I'll be looking to see what I can learn from those four case studies to see what we can apply here in relation to the Waikato River,” Mrs Te Aho says.

One the way back she will present a paper on river restoration to the annual Native Title Conference in Melbourne, which this year is on the theme of Spirit of Country: land, water and life.


An expert on Pacific art, culture and heritage sees a strong influence from early colonial encounters in today's Maori art.

Australian Nicholas Thomas is in Auckland for the launch of Rauru, a book and exhibition on the work of Te Arawa carver Tene Waitere done in collaboration with photographer mark Adams.

Professor Thomas, who is the director of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at the University of Cambridge in England, says what makes Maori art so interesting internationally is its roots.

“It is based in a strong response, a curiosity about the early colonial meetings, and for those reasons some of the work speaks not only to New Zealand audiences but also to people elsewhere, Australia, Canada, Britain where people are interested in questions of relationships between indigenous peoples and colonisers,” he says.

Professor Thomas is delivering a public lecture about Maori Carving and colonial history tomorrow at the University of Auckland.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the Maori Party's performance on the Auckland super city bill shows there is no mana in its relationship with the National Government.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia quit the debate early, claiming Labour was wasting time and taxpayers' money by putting up hundreds of amendments to the bill.

Mr Goff says the filibuster, which ran into Saturday, was the appropriate response to such a major piece of legislation being rammed through Parliament without public consultation.

He says the Maori Party rolled over and played dead, as National wanted.

“This was supposed to be a mana enhancing relationship. Where was the mana in removing the recommendation that the Royal Commission made that there should be Maori seats. Without even so much as the courtesy of discussing it with them or saying this was a matter that could be further debated in a bill,” Mr Goff says.

He says Maori can't expect the Maori Party to stand up for their rights.


The director of a South Island fishing school is trying to turn the tide on unemployment among North Island Maori youth.

Peter Maich from the Westport Deep Sea Fishing School is visiting towns like Opotiki, Turangi, Te Kaha and Taupo to encourage rangatahi consider a life at sea.

Mr Maich says the course's blend of discipline, literacy, numeracy and life skills as well as the extreme working environment has given many young people a chance to turn their lives around.

The school is a residential programme which forces people to look outside themselves.

Peter Maich says about 70 percent of past pupils were Maori, many from South Auckland, and many lacked basic education skills and had drug or alcohol problems.


A Maori technology commentator is welcoming Telecom's move to add common Maori words to its predictive texting dictionary.

Tumamao Harawira, who presents Maori Television's 411 technology show, says it shows an acceptance by the mainstream of te reo Maori.

He says it sends a positive message to young Maori, especially those going to kura Maori and total immersion schools.

As well as common greetings, the words include days of the week, months of the year, popular place names, and the numbers one to ten.


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