Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, July 01, 2011

Maori strategy sidelined by standards

The country's school principals say the Ministry of Education is damaging the prospects of Maori students by soft-peddling the Ka Hikitia Maori education strategy for mainstream schools.

A State Services Commission review has found the ministry is failing to address under-achievement by Maori students.

Federation president Peter Simpson says that’s because the ministry’s focus is implementing national standards.

“Here’s a key resource that shows when implemented properly and understood by schools it does make a huge difference for Maori students achievement yet national standards is seen as the silver bullet and that seems to be soaking up a lot of the ministry’s resources and focus,” he says.

Mr Simpson says the ministry’s standards approach, as laid down by Education Minister Anne Tolley, is doomed to failure.


The Maori Language Commission is being overwhelmed by requests for resources for Maori Language Week next week.

Spokesperson Debra Jensen says this year's theme is manaakitanga or hospitality.

She says the aim is to get everyone on board to care for the language, whatever their level of fluency.

“The key message for Maori Language Week in any year is to speak the language. It’s the easiest form of language revitalisation. It may mean learning te reo Maori or using the language you have more regularly. Pronouncing words properly is a really good start,” Ms Jensen says.


Marae across the country are preparing to host international rugby teams for the Rugby World Cup in September.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says 15 marae from Northland region down to Invercargill will host teams including those from Namibia, South Africa and the USA.

Kingi Taurua from Waitangi’s Te Tii marae at Waitangi says the whanau is looking forward to talking about more than just rugby with the Canadian team and IRB match officials.

They will also be given the history and a Maori perspective of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The welcome for the All Blacks will be on Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia.


Mana Party spokesperson Annette Sykes says Aotearoa is under threat as never before from government policies.

She says the proposed shift of more than 1000 Defence jobs from uniform to civilian positions is unprecedented.

She says it will cost many Maori service people their livelihoods.

“I am really worried about where that kind of ideology is taking the nation. It‘s almost like everyone is disposable. No one is really valuable for our society,. No one has an intrinsic heart or right to be part of this society, and I think that is where Hone has appealed in this by-election,” says Ms Sykes, who is fronting Mana while leader Hone Harawira takes a break after the te Tai Tokorau by-election.

She says the party aims to reflect the anger of the nation about such changes.


Labour Maori affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia says Maori farmers should use their economic muscle to protect Maori jobs.

He says a large percentage of the 250 freezing workers laid off at Waipukerau yesterday were Maori.

He says farmers should send their stock elsewhere.

“It’s one simple way Maori can influence where businesses stay open and where they don’t and I’m afraid we breed the animals and them let everyone else jockey for position about where the meat goes,” Mr Horomia says.


Matariki is drawing to a close, so Films on Marae is showing the film Matariki on two Auckland marae.

Co-ordinator Hinurewa Te Hau says another feature, Hugh and Heke, and a number of short films will also screen at Te Mahurehure Marae in Point Chevalier and Mataatua Marae in Mangere.

She says it’s a way to bring the community together and to find new ways to make the most of marae.


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