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Māori news stories for the week ending 31 August 2012

Māori news stories for the week ending 31 August 2012

  • Tina Ngatai has been appointed General Manager of Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands Incorporated. 
  • On Monday an application for bail for Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara (two of the Urewera four) was declined in the Court of Appeal, Wellington.  The men were seeking bail while they wait to have an appeal hearing against their convictions for their involvement in military style camps in Te Urewera National Park in 2007.
  • On Monday Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust commenced its claim against the Ministry of Social Development in the Auckland High Court.  Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust are challenging the Ministry’s decision to end a Family Start contract, valued at circa $1.4 million.
  • On Wednesday the University of Otago hosted, Hui Poutama Research Symposium – Māori research symposium.
  • This week Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust hosted, Ngā Whetū Hei Whai: Charting Pathways for Māori Industry Futures Conference.
  • This week the annual Māori Medical Practitioners’ Association conference is being held at Ahipara.
  • This week the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, announced that some beneficiary jobseekers will be required to take a pre-employment drug test from July 2013.  Jobseekers will be sanctioned if they refuse or fail a drug test.  Sanctions have three degrees of severity; (first) a warning, (second) loss of 50% of benefit payment, (third) loss of full benefit.  Given Māori comprise 32% of beneficiaries, it is possible this policy will affect greater proportions of Māori than others. 
  • Iwi delegates attending the Pacific Island Forum (in Rarotonga) have expressed an interest in joining the forum’s Polynesian Leaders’ sub-group.
  • On Wednesday the Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister, Steven Joyce, and the Education Minister, Hekia Parata, released action plans on the Better Public Service targets relating to boosting skills and employment.   The information presented is largely a reiteration of existing planning in these areas.  There is some Māori-focused content, but it is not significant.  We are presently reviewing these materials, along with the recently released Māori Strategy of the New Zealand Qualification Authority.  

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