Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

River trust issues warning

The chair of the new Te Arawa River Trust, Roger Pikia, says time is up for those who pollute the Waikato River.

The iwi has signed off its river accord with the Crown and will join other river tribes on a shared co-management board to oversee the river clean-up.

Mr Pikia says farmers who let waste and nutrients run off their land into the country's longest river will be in the board's sights.

“I think it applies to all industries and urban centres and not just restricted to farmers. I think any unscrupulous operators need to be singled out because it’s just not a sustainable model. It’s about encouraging and allowing growth, but in a sustainable manner that needs to be threaded throughout everything we do,” Mr Pikia says.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is warning that an epidemic of diabetes among Maori, Pasifika and Asian people could overwhelm the health system.

Diabetes New Zealand claims that DHBs are cutting diabetes services at a time they need ramping up.

Mrs Turia, who is Associate Health minister, says she has seen no evidence of that.

But she says something needs to be done about the number of people with type 2 diabetes, which is now estimated at about 200,000.

“If we don't look after ourselves, if we don’t begin to acknowledge the difficulties there are for us, particularly indigenous, Asian and Pacific peoples, we are going to find that services will be rationed because the system itself will simply not be able to sustain what is needed,” Mrs Turia says.

She says better diet and exercise is the starting point for preventing diabetes among Maori.


A Te Whanau A Apanui kaumatua says building marae in Australia may not be wise.

A roopu in Logan city, just south of Brisbane, is currently fundraising to build a multicultural marae.

Te Kepa Stirling says while such projects can generate a lot of initial enthusiasm, that enthusiasm can wane, as people discovered when they tried to build a marae at Toowoomba in the 1980s.

He says when people return to New Zealand, here can be challenges finding people to look after the marae.

Maori constitutional lawyer Moana Jackson says the way the National-led Government is handling reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act breaches its support agreement with the Maori Party.

Mr Jackson says the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill isn't what Maori were after when they marched to parliament in 2004.

He says the threat by the Prime Minister, John Key, that the current Act will stay in place if the bill is rejected amounts to a breach of faith.

“That threat is actually in breach of the coalition agreement because they have agreed with the Maori Party to repeal the 2004 Act. They haven’t agreed to do anything else. So if he threatens to keep that Act in place, then he’s actually breaching the coalition agreement with the Maori Party,” Mr Jackson says.

He says the government needs to go back to the drawing board on the reform, perhaps bringing in outside experts to draft a replacement bill.


A member of a new Maori women's group says wahine often haven't spoken out in the past because they fear being knocked down.

Te Wharepora was formed in Auckland to work alongside a new national Maori women's forum, Te Whaainga Wahine.

Marama Davidson says she expects more groups to spring up around the country as women feel the mood for change.

“Why would we put our necks out there when the head has been chopped off so many times? Within our group we’ve got the safety of knowing we are all mana wahine. Safety in numbers means that not one wahine should have to stand alone but we’re all there with each other,” Ms Davidson says.

The women are concerned that other roopu like the Iwi Leaders Group don't allow their voices to come through.


The head of an Auckland health promotion and training service is encouraging whanau to give their wahine a cervical smear fro Christmas.

Ruth Davy from WONS says cervical cancer responds well to treatment if it is picked up early enough.

She says many Maori and Pasifika women are shy about getting checks, so they may need encouragement.

“All women have shyness but Maori and Pacific Island women have layers and layers of shyness that we just have to take away very slowly and very carefully so that women feel comfortable and they are happy to have their smear test, no one’s happy to have it, but they’re comfortable in having their test every three years until they turn 70,” Ms Davy says.

WONS' mobile cervical smear units will be at shopping and community centres around Auckland over the summer.


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