Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, June 13, 2011

Abuse not an ethnic trait

A national expert on child abuse says it is wrong to see child abuse as ethnically based.

A Research New Zealand survey last month found 50 percent of New Zealanders think child abuse is a Maori problem.

Anthea Simcock, the chief executive of lobby group Child Matters, says that over-simplifies the issue.

“This is people saying abuse happens because of your ethnicity. It’s not as simple as that. There is a whole pile of other causes and they are often situations that perhaps more Maori are finding themselves in,” she says.

Ms Simcock says things such as poor education, unemployment and poverty are more prevalent among Maori so it’s not surprising that the rate of offending among Maori is higher than non-Maori.


Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia says denigration of Maori King Tuheitia by Ngapuhi man David Rankin is unnecessary.

Last week Mr Rankin from Matarahuraha hapu said he was preparing a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal challenging the King's right to use the title Maori King because he did not represent all Maori … and King of Huntly would be more appropriate.

Mrs Turia says the Auckland plumber is behaving like a school child saying quite outrageous things to get attention.

“There is no need for him to denigrate anybody else to uplift himself in any way. The Kingitangi is something that has been accepted for a very long time. There are tribes that do accept the Kingitanga, and for (Rankin) to say he is the king of Huntly is very denigrating,” she says.


Maori health rpovider in the north has come up with a novel way of getting the healthy eating message across..

Te Hauora a Kaikohe is holding a marae master chef competition at a different marae each fortnight.

Special projects manager Erana Kara says kuia and kaumatua are bused out to competing marae where they judge the kai in terms of its health benefits.

There needs to be a traditional dish on the menu like eels or bush food, but boil-up and fried food is out.


The head of Waikeria prison's Maori focus unit is attributing one of the highest success rates in the world to taking a kaupapa Maori approach.

Errol Baker says the unit celebrated its 10th anniversary on Friday with a hangi meal.

He says three quarters of Maori who have been through the unit do not reoffend.

“The success rate we have is equal to anything happening in the world and a lot of it is because of the structure of the unit and I think the kaupapa Maori is really strong and a lot of family and whanau are starting to get heavily involved in what we are doing,” Mr Baker says.

He says the unit virtually runs itself with older prisoners setting the rules and expectations for the younger ones much as would happen in a traditional marae setting.

He says the unit is no easy street and the getting of hangi is a very rare event but the prisoners themselves should get reward for the unit’s successes.


ACT leader Don Brash says his criticism of plans to make learning the Maori language compulsory for all secondary school teachers is not racist.

Dr Brash says rather associate education minister Pita Sharples is being racist and high-handed with plans to make te reo and learning tikanga compulsory.

“Once upon a time people were regarded as racist when they wanted some races to have special privileges as compared to others. Typically there were white people who wanted to have superior status to non-white people. That is what you think of as racist. I don’t want that at all, I want every New Zealanders to have the same rights and same privileges and same status before the law as Article 3 guarantees. That to me cannot be racist,” he says.

Dr Brash says one of the factors for Maori under-achievement is a lack of competency in English.

He fears resources going into teaching te reo and tikanga will be taken away from subjects like English.


The head of the Cancer Society says Maori men are particularly vulnerable to getting cancer and need to do something about it.

Dalton Kelly says more men than women in New Zealand die prematurely from cancer and the rate for Maori men from lung cancer, diabetes and heart disease is almost twice that for non- Maori.

“Research that we've done show that Maori men like message delivered in a special way, Pacific Island men like them delivered in another manner and blokes like myself want them in another way but the real message is we just have to look after ourselves and the responsibility is with ourselves,” he says.

Dr Kelly says Maori men don’t often feel comfortable going to a doctor so the message needs to get through to them whether it be on the marae, in the pub or at work.


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