Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, November 08, 2010

Massey celebrates 60 doctorates in decade

People involved in Massey University’s Te Rau Whakapumau Maori doctoral programme are arriving in Palmerston North about now for a dinner and symposium to mark the success of its first decade.

Coordinator Nathan Matthews says the initial strategy set out by Professor Sir Mason Durie was to product 25 doctoral graduates in the first decade of the millennium, which was later revised to 50.

The number will hit 60 this year, not only from the Maori health and language schools but also in science and humanities.

“It's really about coordinating effort across the entire university, led by Mason (Durie), towards supporting our Maori students to getting those doctoral degrees,” Dr Matthews says.

Massey's strong extra mural studies programme has meant many Maori students have been able to live and work in their communities while studying for their PhDs part time.


Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says Parliament should stand up to the alcohol industry, the the same way the Maori Affairs select committee has taken the tobacco industry to task.

Mrs Turia says measures which will come before Parliament this week to raise the age to 20 for buying alcohol off-licence aren't the answer, as every age group has significant issues around alcohol.

She says the government needs to take another look at the recommendations of the Law Commission inquiry into alcohol.

“We're taking a really minimalist approach to alcohol and we shouldn’t be because we know that the majority of people who are in prison, the majority of family violence can be traced back to alcohol abuse. We seem to be afraid to target it in the same way as we have cigarette smoking,” Mrs Turia says.

She says alcohol abuse is costing the taxpayer a lot of money.


The principal of Auckland's King's College says reaction in the wider school community has been positive to making te reo Maori compulsory at year 9 level.

Bradley Fenner says the private school saw it as part of being one of New Zealand's leading schools.

He says the major challenge was finding a suitable teacher, and Lincoln Savage has proved ideal since he came on last year.

Mr Fenner says Kings only as a few Maori students, but all third formers have enjoyed learning te reo.


Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says he's fed up with the harm gambling is doing to Maori communities.

The Waiariki MP's Gambling Amendment Bill is set to get its first reading on Wednesday.

If passed, it would give local authorities more say in where pokies could be located, and change the way pokie funds are distributed.

Mr Flavell says at the moment gambling trusts target poor Maori and Pacific communities, but most of the money ends up with services in wealthy suburbs.

“Of the proceeds that come from pokie machines, 50 percent come from problem gamblers and of the 50 percent, 50 percent again are Maori so that’s a higher rate that what we are as a population and therefore probably at a higher rate of uptake of gambling in particular around pokies,” Mr Flavell says

While the bill is not expected to get past its first reading because National does not support it, he wants to draw attention to the problem.


The Federation of Maori Authorities has come out of its annual conference determined to make a greater impact on the New Zealand economy.

The 400 delegates at Waitangi over the weekend heard presentation on issues like the impact of the emissions trading scheme, sustainable land management, and vertical integration from the farm to the customer.

Chairperson Traci Houpapa says Maori collective organisations hold more than $16 billion in assets, but its potential is often unrecognised.

“Sometimes we are constrained in our thinking and I’m not only talking about Maori, I’m talking about all New Zealanders, that Maori are relegated to cultural pursuits and that the cross to commercial pursuits and commercial enterprise isn’t always properly seen,” Ms Houpapa says.


Karapiro iwi are celebrating the contribution they made to the Rowing World Championships.

Willie Te Aho, who helped organise the Experience Maori component, says they made the case for a permanent centre to demonstrate Maori culture.

During the regatta which ended yesterday, more than 300 volunteers from Ngati Koroki Kahukura and Ngati Haua held powhiri and demonstrated weaving, carving, cooking and tattooing in a specially-designed area in the main community centre beside the lake.

“We're looking at a Waikato River centre being permanently placed at Karapiro. That’s why this Experience Maori was an opportunity to show the demand, to show the real need for something of this caliber within the Waikato-Waipa catchment,” Mr Aho says.

Karapiro is also the ideal base to administer the clean-up of the Waikato River.


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