December 03, 2013
Te Puni Kokiri shuns waka school
Labour list MP Shane Jones is slamming the refusal by the Ministry for Maori Development to back a wananga in the far north that will teach traditional waka building and navigation.
The wananga is the work of Hekenukumai Busby, who led the revival of Maori ocean-going waka and has donated family land at Aurere on Doubtless Bay for the project.
It will be a school of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, and it has also secured grants from the Lotteries Commission and the ASB Trust.
But Te Puni Kokiri says it is not giving out any money while it restructures.
Mr Jones says the ministry is constantly restructuring, and it’s time it got its priorities right.
"Dr Pita Sharples could find the money to fund a tupperwaka made out of plastic but he cannot find the resources to support a tuturu kaupapa. I cannot for the life of me (see why) given that there are millions of dollars disappearing into whanau ora, there was an enormous amount of money recently spent taking the tupperwaka over to the failed America's Cup but they can't find any resources to support this kaupapa which has turned the lives around of many young men wanting to go to sea but more importantly has saved from extinction a key part of our identity more than a plastic waka will ever do," he says.
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