Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reo minister call from Reedy review

A ministerial review of Maori language spending has called for a Minister of Maori language to be established to oversee all matters pertaining to te reo Maori.

Review head Sir Tamati Reedy says the Maori Language Commission also needs to be replaced by a board comprised of language experts from the seven dialectical regions and two largest cities.

He says revitalisation efforts would benefit from a combination of strong central leadership and more scope for planning programmes at regional level through nine new Runanga a reo.

“Many of these arms and legs that are going out purportedly to support the development of the reo just aren’t coordinated. That’s the thrust of that recommendation to try to bring all that, particularly the regional runanga a reo, to bring some kind of coordination back in the hands of the people at the grass roots action place,” Sir Tamati says.

The priority for revitalising the language needs to be reestablishing it in the home


Prime Minister John Key says East Coast iwi need to consider the potential benefits of an oil find in the Raukumara Basin.

The Government called in the navy to help police warn off Greenpeace and Te Whanau Apanui protesters from further disrupting the seismic survey being done by Brazilian company Petrobras.

Mr Key says risks always have to be weighed against benefits, and drilling offer the chance for jobs and higher incomes.

He says new environmental laws will be in place before there is any drilling in the Raukumara Basin, if Petrobras strikes oil or gas deposits.


Organisers have made changes to this year's Waiata Maori Music Awards in an attempt to reduce friction among musical tribes.

Chairperson Tama Huata says the awards aim to expose new talent and give existing recording artists exposure to a greater audience.

He says this year Roots and Reggae music will be in a separate category to rap and hip hop, after the groups complained about being lumped together.

The panui for submissions has gone out, with entries closing mid-year.


The Labour Party's surprise Maori list pick says she wants to fight for the country's most vulnerable families.

At 26 on the list, Deborah Mahuta-Coyle is assured of a seat in parliament after November 26 barring a total collapse of the Labour vote.

The great-grandaughter of Maori King Mahuta was raised in Huntly by her solo mother before studying Maori and Politics at Victoria University and going on to work for Labour's parliamentary team.

“The struggles that I faces in the ‘90s and that my whanau faced in the ‘90s are the reasons why I got into politics, the reasons why I want to enter into Parliament and they define the things I want to fight for. More support for solo mums, making sure that kids don’t go to school hungry, because I have a personal connection to these kind of struggles because who better to fight for our most vulnerable families than a little girl from Huntly who used to be from one of them,” Mrs Mahuta-Coyle says.

She felt both humbled and excited to hear of her high list placing.


A Northland poverty action group is calling for the re-introduction of the universal child benefit.

Ngaire Rae of Whangarei Child Poverty Action says one in two children in Tai Tokerau are living in poverty, more than twice the national average, with a large proportion of those being Maori,

She says by drawing a distinction between working and non-working parents, as Working for Families does, the current support packaged discriminates against children.

Family hardship is showing up an increase in diseases of the poor, such as the high number of Maori children admitted to Northland hospitals with serious bacterial infections.


Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust says opposition is growing to Crest Energy's plans to generate power from Kaipara Harbour.

Commercial manager Peter Wilson says the turn-out at public meetings this week in Wellsford and Helensvilles shows it's not just mana whenua who don't want to see 200 tide turbines placed in the moana.

He says there is support for renewable energy, but people aren't convinced Crest is going about things the right way and fear the turines cold damage the health of the harbour.

Mr Wilson says it seems inevitable the first three turbines will be built, but the community may have an opportunity to prevent to project going any further if significant environmental effects are detected.


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