Waatea News Update

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Turia warms to superannuation accounts

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Tuiria has entered the superannuation debate, saying she would like to see money held in personalised accounts.

Prime Minister John Key told TV ONE's Breakfast programme today that National could campaign in the next election on creating a compulsory superannuation scheme.

Only about 5 percent of those over 65 are Maori, despite Maori making up about 15 percent of the population.

Mrs Turia, the associate social development minister, says the current system is unfair.

“I certainly don't think that people should have to pay into a scheme where they may never get anything from it and that’s really what the concern would be in Maori communities but I do think that money could be divvied up. It could be put into individual bank account holders and that money could sit there and if anything did happen to them before they were of age, at least their family could have the benefit of that money,” Mrs Turia says.


Rugby administrators have defended banning teams at a primary schools' rugby tournament doing the haka.

Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples has call the ban disgusting and called for it to be lifted.

But Dave Syms, the chair of the group of eight provincial unions from the King Country to Northland organising the Roller Mills tourney, says players were too immature to handle the emotional impact ... and he stands by the decision.

“Look we are never ever going to be everybody’s favourite and I accept that and look things are reviewed and maybe they will be reviewed again in years to come,” he says.

Mr Syms says the decision to ban the haka was not unanimous.


A request by the late Maori queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu that a book on her tupuna Potatau Te Wherowhero come back into print has been realised.

Pei Te Hurinui Jones’ biography of the first Maori king was published by the Polynesian Society in 1960 on the centenary of Te Wherowhero's death.

It challenged the views of earlier Pakeha historians that the movement to create a Maori king sparked the wars of the 1860s, and instead argued that the events coincided.

Charlie Holland from Huia Publishers says it has lessons for today and will be useful not only for academics but for others interested in the period.

The reprint of King Potatau : an account of the life of Potatau Te Wherowhero, the first Maori king by Pei Te Hurinui is being launched about not at Auckland University's Waipapa marae by KingiTuhetia and Waikato Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta are among the guests at Auckland University's Waipapa marae for the launch.


A member of the Alternative Welfare Working Group is urging Maori to attend hui around the country to learn about the government's plans for overhauling the welfare system.

Sue Bradford, a former Alliance MP, says the first report of the official government group headed by former Commerce Commission chair Paula Rebstock tried to talk up a crisis that doesn't exist.

She says it's likely to lead to people being pushed off benefits, even though there are no jobs to go to in the current economy.

“People heavily impacted which are disproportionately tangata whenua don’t know what’s happening which is why we are trying in a small way to open up the debate further and get more people involved and I really hope that Maori will come to hui that are taking place in places and at marae,” Ms Bradford says.

The alternative group wants to hear what beneficiaries and the wider community think are the key principles that are important for the social welfare system.

The hui start in the Wellington region next week.


The head of a Maori anti-smoking group says the tactics used to change attitudes around tobacco could be used to tackle New Zealand's binge drinking culture.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook says as threats to public health, there are parallels between tobacco and alcohol abuse.

He says advertising bans, price increases and social stigmatism have helped arrest Maori smoking rates over the past two decades, and similar approaches might encourage people to drink more responsibly.

“Those people who are working, the real experts working on the ground with our people need a say in that development of programmes but I am sure the will look over to the Auahi Kore community for a lot of inspiration, strategy and tactics,” Mr Bradbrook says.


The Waiata Maori Awards has named singer-songwriter Taisha Tari as its first ambassador.

Awards director Tama Huata says the idea of a high profile performer promoting the awards came from iwi radio managers.

“It's really advocating for our people to be involved in recording, it’s advocating for the waiata Maori awards and why we have, them, it’s also a voice that can represent us nationally and internationally on this forum,” Mr Huata says.

Taisha, whose song Karanga won her the Best Maori Female Solo Artist and the Best Maori Song categories in the inaugural awards in 2008, also has a presence in the mainstream side of the industry through her membership of Lady Killers with Jackie Clarke, Tina Cross and Suzanne Lynch.

The awards will be presented in Hastings in September as part of a Maori Music Expo.


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