Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Freshwater policy will sideline Maori

New Zealand Maori Council member Maanu Paul says the government's national policy statement on freshwater management allows regulatory authorities to sideline Maori.

The Maori Party has welcomed the statement as acknowledging the significant relationship between iwi and fresh water.

But Mr Paul says the policy that local authories "shall take reasonable steps to involve iwi and hapu in the management of" water is open to abuse.

“What if the regional council decides, ‘We’ve spoken to one Maori, that will do us.’ They meet the criteria of the statement but there’s no compliance in saying ‘But have you spoke to a statutory Maori?’ No, it’s really not worth the paper it's written on,” he says.

Mr Paul says the Government failed to properly consult Maori while drawing it up the national policy statement.


An Auckland University research group is looking for Maori parents to see whether a Queensland parenting programme can be adapted for New Zealand conditions.

Researcher Cassy Dittman says the Triple P programme aims to teaches parents the skills to manage children with behavioural problems.

She says the trial needs 56 whanau from a range of ethnicities with children aged from 3 to 6.

The Triple P trial will run for 8 weeks in Auckland and Wellington.


Waiariki Institute of Technology is trying to get hold of its journalism graduates.

Lecturer Craig Tiriana says the reunion will mark the 25th anniversary of the country's first full-time Maori journalism course.

He says the Rotorua course has always tried to produce students who can do more than the newsroom basics.

“We want to turn out some people that have knowledge and have a mind that they will think about things and think about them from a Maori perspective and a New Zealand and then start reporting in that manner. We don’t want people who will just go out, listen to someone and write what they said. We want people that can think and interpret and also make a difference at some point,” Mr Tiriana says.


Labour's Te Tai Tokerau candidate says winning the electorate won't be easy .... but sitting MP Hone Harawira's family is helping his cause.

Kelvin Davis was chosen by the party's national council on Monday and endorsed by the caucus yesterday.

He says the incident on the weekend when Mr Harawira's mother Titewhai and sister Hinewhare disrupted a Maori Party hui shows voters the calibre of the opposition.

“I think they help my cause quite a lot because people are sick of that sort of politics, that nasty, snarly in your face type stuff. That’s not Maoridom. That’s not how we operate and I think if anything the Mana Party would have shed a lot of support and I’m hoping it would have swung my way,” Mr Davis says.

He will campaign on creating successful Maori futures through education.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the government's tutuing with Kiwi Saver will hurt many Maori.

Prime Minister John Key is expected to announce changes to the retirement savings scheme in a pre-budget speech today.

Mr Peters says a greater percentage of Maori than Pakeha voted for his compulsory superannuation plan in 1997, and they still want a credible savings plan.

“Maori realised then and they do still now the importance of savings and KiwiSaver was one way of doing it and they were joining in their droves so this is tragic. To be interfering with it, totally shaking people’s confidence in a plan that has been put there for their betterment,” he says.

Mr Peters says the government's actions show National is not interested in encouraging saving.


The chair of the Federation of Maori Authorities says Maori corporates are doing their part to address Maori unemployment.

Last week's Maori economic summit came under fire for its focus on large scale investment and exporting at a time more than 16 percent of Maori workers are jobless.

Traci Houpapa says while addressing unemployment is primarily a government responsibility, Maori trusts and businesses do their bit by strengthening their bottom line.

“The growth in Maori authorities and Maori commerce across the sector will have a spin off in terms of employment, skills and trade development,” Ms Houpapa says.


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