Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Redundancies blight Christmas cheer

The Council of Trade Unions’ Maori vice-president says Christmas is going to be anything but a festive for more than 150 Maori timber workers laid off this.

Winstone Pulp International laid off 80 workers from its Tangiwai mill near Ohakune, 30 jobs went from the Prime sawmill at Matawhero near Gisborne and 26 from Carter Holt's Kawerau mill.

Syd Kepa says the high dollar is hurting export sales, and the workers are paying the cost, and they are unlikely to get full time jobs in the area.


Wainuiomata-raised Paul Whatuira is heading back from three years with English Super League team Huddersfield for a season with the Parramatta Eels.

Former Kiwi captain Ritchie Barnett says it’s an astute choice by the Eels’ Steve Kearney, named coach of the year at this year’s Maori Sports Awards.

He says the team has lost some experienced players, and with two NRL championship rings, 16 tests and almost 200 first grade games behind him, the 29-year-old Whatuira can fill the gap nicely.


Former Kai Time on the Road host Kingi Biddle says his mouth is watering at the thought of all the kai he can try at the next Kawhia Traditional Maori Kai Festival.

The Waitangi weekend event attracts close to 10,000 people to the Waikato coaatal settlement, drawn by traditional delicacies like pikopiko, riwai maori bread, and kaanga pirau, fermented corn.

The Ngai Tuhoe DJ will be master of ceremonies at the distinctly Maori foodies event, and he's looking forward to his first visit to the ancestral home of his wife’s Tainui people.

The Kawhia Traditional Kai Festival is on February 5.


A former head girl of St Joseph’s Maori Girl’s College has been appointed principal of another Maori boarding school … Hato Paora near Feilding.

Debi Marshall Lobb has been acting principal of the boy’s school since former principal Elvis Shephard was arrested on historic sex abuse charges at another school, for which he is currently serving a prison sentence.

Ms Lobb says her brothers attended the school, and being the first woman to head Maori Boys boarding school has not been a problem.

She has also lectured in Maori studies at Massey University and been tumuaki at Kura Kaupapa Maori o Manuwatu for ten years


The organiser of a hui in Whakatane next month on the sustainable use of natural resources says it’s attracting worldwide interest.

Aroha Mead from Ngati Awa says speakers include native American activist Winona LaDuke, who ran for vice president on Ralph Nader’s Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000.

She says more than half the 200 registrations are from overseas.

“It’s trying to bring to New Zealand a discussion we sorely need on he governance of natural resources and ways we can have a much more participatory approach to conservation than we currently have,” Ms Mead says.

The hui starts on January 11.


Boaties and kaimoana gatherers are being urged to be safety conscious over the summer break.

Jim Lott the manager of recreational and small craft for Maritime New Zealand, says Maori are over represented in drownings each year, and most accidents occur through not following simple rules.

He says urbanisation means many Maori don’t develop the water skills of previous generations, and they’re not just using their boats for pleasure but to gather kai, and they may take unnecessary risks.

Mr Stott says it's imperative accurate weather forecasts, communications and safety equipment are available on all craft.


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