Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ngai Tahu keen to build green Christchurch

Ngai Tahu is pushing to play a significant role in the reconstruction of Christchurch.

Chair Mark Solomon says the iwi's property company has a track record of large developments in the city, and has been on an environmentally-friendly path.

“We've been promoting ourselves and designing green buildings. I think we’ve got a lot of experience in that arena we can put in the debate. We know Canterbury, we know Christchurch. Like everyone else here we have our views that we can put something positive towards the reconstruction,” he says.

Mr Solomon says the reconstruction can't be rushed, and it might be up to a year before the runanga gets back into its own inner city head office.


The manager of Waikeria Prison's Te Ao Marama Maori focus unit is praising the rehabilitiative effect of the unit's gardening programme.

Errol Baker says the inmate-grown produce is donated to the community ... and a selection of vegetables entered by the Maori Womens Welfare League branch recently won first prize at the Te Awamutu Dahlia Circle awards.

He says gardening skills can help give prisoners sense of self-worth, as well as teach them to grow vegetables for themselves and their whanau on their release.


One of the country's leading Maori artists is set to make her mark on the Rugby World Cup.

Taniwha Toys n Tales is awaiting final approval from the International Rugby Board for the Robyn Kahukiwa-designed Tutu Taniwha soft toys and bi-lingual children's books.

Co-director Andrea Kahukiwa, the artist's daughter-in-law says, says they took their existing toy and book to world cup organisers because they felt it had broad appeal.
The toy will have a cloak with Rugby World Cup imagery, while the book will include rugby themes and new characters from the latest Tutu Taniwha books.


The Canterbury earthquakes could lead to a reduction in resources Maori language education in the region.

Academic Rawiri Taonui says it appears more Maori may have permanently left Christchurch than other groups because they have been able to call on extensive whanau networks.

He says some kura kaupapa now report having half the number of students they had before the quake.

He says kura stand to lose classrooms and other resources if they can’t get enough students.

Rawiri Taonui says when kura first reopened rolls were down by as much as 80 percent, but numbers have come up.


The country's big five accounting firms have signed up to an initiative to promote Maori economic development and Maori leadership.

Deloitte partner Leon Wijohn from Te Rarawa and Tuhoe says Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, Ernst and Young and BDO are funding the National Maori Accountants Network - Nga Kaitatau Maori o Aotearoa - to run hui to help Maori businesses and encourage Maori to study accountancy.

He says it's a way to get more Maori into the profession, with less than 2 percent of accountants now Maori and Maori organisations needing people with business skills.

The firms will also fund a scholarship and cadetship for a Maori accounting student.


The organiser of a series of readings by Maori and Pacific authors and poets says it has highlighted the need to encourage writing in te reo Maori.

Alice Te Punga Sommerville says the Maori and Pasifika Books Changing Lives series at Wellington’s Victoria University has drawn a good turnout to hear from the likes of Whiti Hereaka, Albert Belz, Hinemoana Baker and Karlo Mila.

She says a panel discussion in the library at lunchtime today will look at Maori language publishing.

“The starting point for the korero will be how come there were no books in the Maori language category for the last two years in the New Zealand Book Awards, so we can think about what is working and not working now and hopefully end the series with the possibilities for writing in either language,” Dr Sommerville says.

The panel includes Huia publisher Robyn Bargh, and Waitangi Teepa and Kararaina Uatuku from Learning Media.


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