Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Strokes among Maori at epidemic levels

A new research institute hopes to address what it's describing as an epidemic of stroke among Maori and Pacific island people.

Valery Feigin, the head of AUT's National Institute of Stroke and Applied Neuroscience says in some countries stroke rates are dropping, but among Maori the rate is up 19 percent and the Pacific island rate up 66 percent.

He says higher rates of abdominal obesity and elevated blood pressure are major contributors.

“Personally I believe that as far as health is concerned, smoking and McDonalds are the most terrible inventions the human being has done to kill themselves,” Professor Feigin says.

He says Maori get check ups on their cars more often than they do their bodies.


The winner of a Health Ministry Te Apa Mareikura scholarship is thanking her whanau for encouraging her interest in tribal affairs.

Harata Te Amo Simeon from Tuhoe, Rongomaiwahine and Ngati Awa earned the $10,000 award for her combination of academic performance and involvement in community health.

She says from helping set up a student union at Te Whare Waanaga O Awanuiarangi to her current role managing the Matika Charitable Trust, she has always had Maori interests at heart.

She says that stems from her upbringing in Ruatoki and Ruatahuna, where she was always allowed to attend hui.


Decendants of Te Rarawa chief Pautea Atama Paparangi have welcomed the gift of a portrait of their ancestor to the Nelson Provincial Museum.

The small painting by Charles Goldie is an anonymous donation from an Auckland family, which has owned it since 1964.

Nelson architect John Palmer, one of Paparangi's many descendants who attended the opening, says his great great grandfather became a good friend of the painter and sat for him many times before his death aged 100 in 1917 ... the year before the painting was completed.

“He was a great man in lost of ways and it’s lovely to have this come down to us and I’m hugely grateful to the family who donated this and it’s not on public display,” Mr Palmer says.

Another painting of the northern chief which had been owned by Dame Kiri te Kanawa recently sold at auction for $573,000.


Nelson's Wakatu Incorporation says business goes on, despite a $10.7 million loss for the year.

Chief executive Keith Palmer says the incorporation's businesses, which include property, horticulture and aquaculture, remained cash positive, so there is no need to lay off any of the 425-strong workforce.

But he says a change to accounting methods meant assets are valued based on the profits produced in the current year - which are affected by factors such as exchange rates and commodity prices.

“Most of the loss comes from revaluation of water space an that’s because mussel process over the last year plummeted from $1.90 to $1.20. The auditors look at the price of the water space it comes off and say if the price of the product dropped a third, you’ve got to revalue your water space,” Mr Palmer says.

Wakatu staff have done an exceptional job containing costs, which should help the incorporation through the current tough conditions.


Labour leader Phil Goff says the selection of Rino Tirikatene as his party's Te Tai Tonga candidate means incumbent Rahui Katene from the Maori Party faces a tough challenge next year.

The 37-year-old lawyer has a background in Maori economic development, and he's also the grandson of Sir Eruera Tirikatene, who first took the Southern Maori seat for Ratana in 1932.

Mr Goff says the election will be about more than personalities and whakapapa, and more about people questiong what the Maori Party-National coalition has done for Maori.


The Safekids organisation says housing conditions are a major factor in the large number of Maori and Pasifika children injured or killed in driveway accidents.

Research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal shows on average four children a year are run over and killed in driveways, and a child is admitted to hospital every two weeks with serious injuries.

Ann Weaver, the director of Safekids, says of 93 cases in the Auckland area between 2001 and 2005, 25 percent were Maori and 43 Pacific Islanders.

“It's not because they are Maori. It’s because of maybe the higher numbers of children in the household, multiple families in the household, multiple cars on the property, the design of types of properties that they might live in where they are more busy than some other families,” Ms Weaver says.

Where possible, families should set up a safe area away from the driveway where children can play.


Commentator Ken Laban says Hosea Gear's outstanding performance in the All Blacks' northern hemisphere grand slam should be enough to give the Ngati Porou winger the edge to win the senior men's prize at Saturday's National Maori Sports Awards in Auckland.

He says the New Zealand Maori and Hurricanes rep made the most of his return to the ABs.

That should put him ahead of the other two finalists, football World Cup goal scorer Winston Reid and decathlete Brent Newdick.


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