Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 15, 2011

Demand outstripping supply in reo lessons

An Ataarangi teacher says there is a hunger among Maori adults to learn their language, but not enough resources are getting through to the grassroots level.

Winiata Whare of Ngati Ahuru is endorsing a report of a ministerial review of Maori language spending, which calls for devolution of decision making to regional level and a greater role for the private and voluntary sector.

He says the high demand from classes at Ataarangi's centres on the North Shore is driven by concern about the scarcity of kaumatua and kuia required to keep marae running.

He says people want to learn enough to keep the paepae running and look after manuhiri.

Mr Whare says Ataarangi could fill classes 12 hours a day if it could get sufficient funding.


The developer of an ambitious Northland educational township says te reo Maori will be a key part of the curriculum when classes begin in two years.

T-R Developments is building a series of academies or boarding shcools at Ruakaka that will eventually cater for up to 5000 foreign students from the ages of 6 to 26.

Managing director Tony Jelas says the investors from Asia, America and Germany are keen to have Maori involvement and foster a sense of whanau in students.

Local iwi are enthusiastic about the prospect of up to 2000 construction jobs over the next five years.


The hikoi for the Ngai Tahu ... Mo Tatau exhibition is almost over.

The mix of traditional taonga and contemporary artworks closes at Otago Museum on Sunday, after spells at Te Papa, Canterbury and Invercargill museums.

Marketing coordinator says Juliet Pearce says 30,000 people have been through the show in Dunedin alone.


Maori in Oz wants the Australian government to stop discriminating against New Zealanders.

Christel Broederlow from Ngati Maniapoto, who founded the organisation and runs its website, says concerted action by Maori helped win relief payments for New Zealanders affected by the Queensland floods.

She says that was a one-off, and in most cases Kiwi expats are worse off under Australia's welfare and federal funding formulas.

“Their children are not entitled to any benefits here. If they go through schooling they’re not entitled to higher education like through a university. There’s so many areas in education, employment, you can’t even apply for a federal or state job simply because you have New Zealand citizen on your passport,” Ms Broederlow says.

She says while one in six Maori live in Australia, many would come home if wages and conditions in New Zealand were as good.


Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says the government hasn't done enough to protect the environment if commercial quantities of oil are found off the East Cape.

Mr Horomia says Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou were right to complain about the lack of consultation before National issues exploration licenses to Brazilian firm Petrobras.

He says the performance of oil company executives when they finally met with iwi this week didn't inspired confidence.

“I was surprised when the Petrobras manager wouldn’t give a guarantee on spillage and he was quite blasé about it which I found astounding,” Mr Horomia says.

He says the risk of environmental pollution affecting existing livelihoods and traditional lifestyles outweighs the possibility some jobs could be created locally in the oil industry.


Ngati Mutunga hopes to redress the historical balance with a major exhibition at New Plymouth's Puke Ariki Museum at the end of the year.

Trustee Dion Tuuta says the northern Taranaki iwi identified strengthening cultural identity as a priority in its 2005 Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

He says the exhibition will allow it to highlight past leaders, talk about its relationship to the land and sea, and tell its own history.

“Issues like the migrations from Taranaki down to Whanganui a Tara and eventually across to Wharekauri and place those issues in a clear Ngati Mutunga context because I don’t think the Ngati Mutunga side of that korero has been told in New Zealand historiography before,” Mr Tuuta says.

The Ngati Mutunga exhibition will be open at Puke Ariki in early December.


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