Waatea News Update

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Friday, December 10, 2010

SIS power grab alarms Greens

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says there are no guarantees that extra powers given to the Security Intelligence Services won't be wrongly used against Maori.

Ms Turei says the Government's intention to consider submissions about the bill in secret should cause grave alarm.

She says Maori concerned about what the SIS may do with their now powers need look no further than the way the police used anti-terrorism laws to target Maori and other activists in 2007's operation Eight.

“The raids on Ruatoki were a classic example of the misuse of state powers when they had powers like this for surveillance. We’ve got real concerns for this legislation for the way we are being shut out and for the impact it will have on Maori in particular because I think they will continue to be a target,” Ms Turei says.


The leader of a major study into ethnic and socieconomic trends in cancer says more work needs to be done on why the rate of breast cancer among Maori women is rising.

The Otago University survey found breast cancer rates was increasing in all ethnic groups, but most rapidly amongst Maori, with Maori rates a third higher than European rates bu the end of the study period in 2004.

Professor Tony Blakely says some increase was expected, because the average number of children Maori women are having is dropping.

“We know those things cause breast cancer incidence to go up. What we don’t understand is why the Maori rates are higher than the European rates at any one point in time because even though the rates of fertility are falling faster for Maori women, they still tend to have more children than European women which should be protective, so there are some known’s and some unknowns in there,” he says.

Professor Blakely says an associated study shows the burden of cancer is falling more heavily on Maori, because of higher incidence rates and worse survival once diagnosed.


The academic director of the Waikato Tainui College of Research and Development says a new MBA course is designed to produce the Maori leaders of the future.
The two-year Masters of Business Administration will be run out of the tribe's Endowed College at Hopuhopu, and aims to start next April with 30 students.

Sarah Jane Tiakiwai says it's a partnership between the college and Waikato University's management school.

“We saw it as an opportunity to take the number one business school MBA programme and add value, drawing on the best of our networks in Maori and indigenous business to be able provide case studies that are a lot more relevant to Maori and looking internationally and extending our indigenous business networks as well,” Dr Tiakiwai says.

The MBA course will include an international study tour.


New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters says the Maori Party's Pita Sharples seems to have little grasp of what a constitution is.

And he says as an MP with a vested interest in the outcome he is the wrong person to lead a constitutional review.

Dr Sharples and deputy prime minister Bill English will head the review which includes the electoral system, Maori seats, the term of parliament and the status of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Peters is urging New Zealanders to boycott the review, and says an opinion piece in the name of the Tamaki MP was a cause for alarm.

“He didn't seem to grasp what our constitution was about, and to liken our present structure to an old bach that needs to be rebuilt really suggested to me that somebody behind him with a rather illusory academic bent wrote that,” he says.

Mr Peters says despite the preference the Maori Party seems to have for a written document, New Zealand's unwritten constitution has serves its citizens well.


Maori political commentator Matt McCarten says Phil Goff's surprise decision to pull Labour's support from the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill spells the end of the reform.

The former Alliance president says Mr Goff has read the public mood well, and it's now a huge challenge for National and the Maori Party to get the bill over the line.

“All it needs is one more MP to move, and I think that eventually is going to happen, and once we have that down the Nats can only get it through by one vote. I think on that basis this bill is over. I think what Phil Goff has doen is effectively defeated the change that National had wanted on the seabed and foreshore,” Mr McCarten says.

He says Labour stands to win back some of the Maori vote if the Maori Party continues to support the Bill.


The head of the Health Research Council, Robin Olds, says the high quality of applications meant it was hard to choose who not to fund in the latest round of Maori grants.

Successful applications include research on the use of whakapapa in therapy, Maori access to quality health care in Christchurch, suicide prevention, family well-being, sustainable housing, childhood asthma, the health of women prisoners and ways to address gambling among Maori women.

Dr Olds says the bids reflected well on the Maori workforce and the council gets far more good applicants that it can support.


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