Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bigger grants trial for community development

A scheme which has been a valuable sources of funds for Maori development is being restructured.

Tariana Turia, the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector says she's pulling $1.5 million a year out of the Community Organisations Grant Scheme.

She's keen for communities to take a different approach to their development with longer term investments, rather than the money being spent on a multitude of small projects.

“Groups will get about $200,000 each, we’ll have five communities that will receive that money and the reason why we’ve done it is because the majority of community groups get between $3500 and $5000 per community organisation grant, not a lot of money, certainly not enough to do anything of real value with,” Mrs Turia says.

The grants will go to communities in Northland, Auckland, Wellington, and the lower South Island.


Labour MP Shane Jones says the policy mix released at the party's weekend congress should make National a one term government.

He says Labour has reiterated its commitment to winning back the Maori seats, and it's pushing things like trade training that will get young Maori into jobs.

He says people are getting sick of a Government that favours wealthy farmers over ordinary taxpayers.

“If they don’t like the notion of having to meet their obligations under the emissions trading scheme, why the hell should the taxpayers have to do it. They’re more than capable of meeting that burden. And that’s why we’ve said they need to meet it come 2013 rather than it being put off into the never never land. I mean the Government’s about to spend half a billion subsidizing water and irrigation development for the farming sector so they can give something,” Mr Jones says.

He says all Labour needs to do is pick up another 2000 votes in each electorate to be in a position to form a coalition government.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon is the Government's national policy statement of fresh water looks good from his iwi's perspective.

The statement has come under fire from the Maori Council, which says it doesn't give local authorities the clear direction and enforcement powers they need to clean up the country's lakes and rivers.

But Mr Solomon says it will meet the South Island tribe's commercial and environmental needs.

“We think what they’ve come out with does lead towards kaitiakitanga. It does put timeframes. It does put responsibility on the territorial local authorities to introduce process so it looks good on paper,” he says.

Mr Solomon says a national discussion still needs to be held on what the rights and ownership iwi hold water.


Otago University researchers are warning doctors not to give Maori and Pacific Islanders a standard medication for acute heart disease.

Dr Garry Nixon from the department of general practice and rural health says an Australian study found a high chance that streptokinase did not work on Aboriginal people from communities with high rates of the same streptococcal infection that leads to rheumatic fever.

He says a matching study of 180 patients from the Hokianga, Thames and Central Otago admitted to hospital with a suspected heart attack came to similar conclusions.

“One of the problems is just about all the big drug trials are done on populations which are almost solely Caucasian. We always assume that we can translate those results to other ethnic groups but on the odd occasion it’s not correct and it’s probably not correct in this situation,” Dr Nixon says.

The research justifies a move to a new class of more expensive drugs ... but the areas they are most needed have been the last to adopt them.


Collaboration has been at the top of the agenda of this week's National Maori Fisheries Conference.

Organiser Maria Pera from the Treaty Tribes Coalition says more than 200 people are in Nelson to hear from iwi, government and fishing industry leaders.

She says as iwi manage their own fisheries assets, rather than just lease quota each year from Te Ohu Kaimoana, they are learning they need to work together to crack export markets.

“Maori have great opportunity here to be world price setters and leaders in this industry and I guess it’s around how we do that, how we collaborate, how our scale comes together, and how we push that onto the global market,” Ms Pera says.

A big absence at the conference is former Te Ohu Kaimoana chair Ngahiwi Tomoana of Ngati Kahungunu, who was dropped from the fisheries settlement trust this month by He Kawai Taumata electoral college.


Labour's Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis is welcoming his party's endorsement of Whanau Ora.

In her speech to the party's congress at the weekend, deputy leader Annette King said the Maori Party-instigated model for integrating services for the most vulnerable families is something that had to happen.

Mr Davis says he's keen for whanau ora to succeed.

“I've had enough of Maori being at the bottom of all the socioeconomic indicators and I sincerely hope it’s successful. I think Labour was doing a lot of what Whanau Ora is saying it will do so I’m glad to hear Annette King say that,” he says.


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