Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, May 22, 2006

Celebration's for people's queen

Today is the final day of the Koroneihana Hui in Ngaruawahia, marking the 40th anniversary of the coronation of Te Arikinui Dame Te Ata-i-rangikaahu.

Former Tainui Trust Board chairman Hare Puke says the thousands of people who have come to Turangawaewae from around Aotearoa and the Pacific this past week is a testament to the love and respect which the Maori Queen inspires among people.

Mr Puke says Dame Te Ata brings charm and humility to the job.

"She stays at the level of all people and I think that is a commanding attribute that she has. She is comfortable at all level," Puke said.

Hare Puke says the failure by Crown and Tainui negotiators to finalise a settlement of the Waikato River claim did not diminish the celebrations, because there is obviously goodwill from the Government to reaqching a settlement.


Green Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Metiria Turei says while the just-finished Treaty 2 U roadshow was a good idea, more money for treaty educators would make a bigger impact.

Ms Turei says the country has a good network of treaty educators, both Maori and Pakeha.

She says confronting treaty issues can raise strong emotions, and the educators have developed ways people can work through the issues in a safe environment.

Meteria Turei says the government can't expect much from a single roadshow, and it needs a consistent approahc to treaty education.


Masterton is trying to revive a Maori Wardens service.

Police iwi liaison officer Rob Rutene says the wardens ceased operating in the Wairarapa town about 15 or 20 years ago.

Constable Rutene says wardens can help with Maori and youth offending in ways which sometimes the police aren't able to.

Rob Rutene says crime in the town can come from any sector, and the latest rash of graffiti attacks which affected more than 30 shops and other buildings was actually caused by Pakeha youths.


Government leaders have received a polite dressing down from one of their former colleagues for their management of a political row over the largest Maori tertiary institution, Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Then-Education Minister Trevor Mallard put a Crown Manager into the Te Awamutu-based wananga last year, and the Audit Office was asked to report on spending by former chief executive Rongo Wetere.

A subsequent report failed to substantiate any of the allegations made in Parliament against Mr Wetere, but he took early retirement.

At the Koroneihana hui in Ngaruawahia yesterday, Mr Wetere's cousin, former Labour Cabinet Minister Koro Wetere, told Prime Minister Helen Clark and her entourage of Labour MPs that the wananga was a major step forward for Maori education.

"No other tertiary institution has done as much for the development of Maori education as that organisation today, and I would hope, Prime Minister, that the expressions and the policies surrounding such a development will continue," Wetere said.

Koro Wetere says furthering education is probably the most effective thing government can do for Maori.


The Green Party spokesperson on elderly issues says Maori caregivers should benefit from an budget boost into the aged care sector.

The amunt the government will spend on the sector has been increased by $126 million, with half of this going to residential care services.

Metiria Turei says this should make it easier for Maori to care for relatives at home, as they prefer, rather than being forced towards rest home care.

Meteria Turei says there has been a real cry from people looking after relatives, because they have not been eligible for financial support.


Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira says te reo Maori is finally becoming a normal part of New Zealand life.

It is now a generation since the first kohanga reo were established, and Maori immersion education has even reached into university level courses.

Mr Harawira, a second language Maori speaker, says he experienced how the language revival has succeeded when he went to buy a pair of shoes from a store in Manukau City, and was approached by a store attendant.

Harawira says the whole transaction was conducted in Maori, showing how te reo has become normalised.


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