Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Jerry Matararae appointed governor general

New Zealand's first Maori governor general has welcomed the choice of a second.

Former defence head Lieutenant General Jerry Mataparae from Ngati Kahungunu and Whanganui will replace Sir Anand Satynand to become the country's 20th governor general.

Sir Paul Reeves says every holder of the office brings their own style to the job.

“He's a humble man who is going to be very acceptable to everybody not simply has he displayed his professionalism, his skill as a soldier but I think he has the ability to listen, to learn and to move around and to be a force that invited people to the middle to meet each other, because that is where he will be. I think it’s a remarkably good appointment,” he says.

Sir Paul says when he was governor general, he drew his Taranaki people around him for support and guidance.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon is defending earthquake relief services into Christchurch's eastern suburbs.

The Maori Party has made an issue of the time taken to get help to the areas where the majority of the city's Maori live.

Mr Solomon says while he can understand why people may be feeling aggrieved, authorities are dealing with up to 10 times the damage of the September quake.

“I don't believe it was deliberate but then you have to look at the scale and it would be fair to say in the initial stages the whole concentration seemed to be on the CDB and it seemed to be slow reactions out in the community, but we’re talking a huge area,” Mr Solomon says.

He says within days of the quake two weeks ago police, Maori wardens and social workers were door knocking in the suburbs trying to identify people's needs.


New Zealand rugby league identity Howie Tamati says Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall will bounce back from an assault charge.

The Kiwi's captain is alleged to have punched a man who made a racist taunts outside a Sydney burger bar early on Saturday morning.

Mr Tamati says that Marshall is proud of his Tuhoe heritage, and he’s not the sort of person to walk away from insults.


The Human Rights Commission is challenging Maori women to speak up about equal employment opportunities.

Today's the 100th International Women's Day, celebrating achievements made by women over the century.

Judy McGregor, the equal employment opportunities commissioner, says the battle for things like equal starting salaries is not over, particularly for young Maori women.

“So I would like to see younger women stepping forward and particularly young Maori women with such fantastic skills, they’ve learned all sorts of things in marae living, whanau living, hapu and iwi leadership, I’d like to see them stepping forward,” she says.

Dr McGregor says the daughters and granddaughters of women involved in many of the traditional women's organisations are not committing themselves to women's rights in the same way.


New Zealand First Leader Winston Peter says the best way to help people out of poverty is pay decent wages.

A new Health Ministry report has found 53 percent of Maori over 50 are living in poverty.

Mr Peters says the trickle down economics practiced by successive governments has proved a failure for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders.

“Best thing you can do to people in poverty is pay them a decent wage. The minimum wage in Australia is $20 in real terms New Zealand. Our minimum wage is $13. And yet our food prices, and things like that, power, petrol prices, these have all gone through the roof so it’s getting further out of people’s reach,” he says.

Mr Peters says too many older Maori will be with whanau in over-crowded homes, creating long term health problems.


A Christchurch Maori businesswoman says business is going to be slow to recover from the earthquake.

Marketing consultant Lee Retimana of Ngai Tahu, Ngati Porou and Ngati Whatua says she's still able to work from her cellphone and wherever she can find a good Internet connection.

She says only about 40 percent of her clients are back up, with many others severely impacted or still taking stock.

While she plans to stay in Christchurch, the earthquake has made her think about spreading her client base beyond the city.


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