Northern News : February 6th 2013
3 NORTHERN NEWS, FEBRUARY 6, 2013 NEWS Crown confirms support for Treaty process Ngapuhi is a step closer to entering negotiations for a settlement of Crown breaches and grievances against Te Tiriti o Waitangi. A letter was received last week from Minister for Treaty Negotia- tions Christopher Finlayson and Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples last week confirming the Crown's support of Te Ropu o Tuhoronuku's proposed amend- ments to a deed of mandate to rep- resent Ngapuhi on its journey to settlement. The ministers outline some areas of detail to be finalised before the Crown makes a final decision in mid-July on recognising Tuhoronu- ku's mandate. The areas the ministers want clarification on are around the sepa- ration of Tuhoronuku from Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi, hapu representation and elections, and having an independent returning officer oversee the election process to the mandated entity. These are areas largely proposed and agreed to by Tuhoronuku, so we do not see them as obstacles to the process,'' Tuhoronuku interim chairman Raniera (Sonny) Tau says. Te Ropu o Tuhoronuku, a sub- committee of the runanga, was established in 2009 to develop a pro- cess for Ngapuhi to secure a robust mandate to represent Ngapuhi. Once the Crown has formally recognised Tuhoronuku's mandate, the Crown and Tuhoronuku will work together to complete negotia- tions and develop a Deed of Settle- ment, Mr Tau says. This will be the largest settle- ment since Ngai Tahu and Tainui in the 1990s. It is hoped that by the end of 2014 Ngapuhi and the Crown will be writing a settlement bill. Go to tuhoronuku.com to view the ministers' letter in full. Preschool support given By HAMISH MacLEAN Paua power: From left: Tony Stuart, Raewyn Overton-Stuart and Ngahuia Cassidy are hoping to bring some support to those who are looking after the community's youngest members. Parents can feel quite isolated when they're at home with a child. Raewyn Overton-Stuart A NEW level of support for those taking care of the community's youngest was welcomed at Kai- kohe's early childhood education drop-in centre on January 29. Ngahuia Cassidy met with parents, grandparents and other caregivers at Te Kohekohe to intro- duce her role as a visiting teacher for Paua -- Pre-schoolers At-home Uniquely Achieving. Ms Cassidy has returned home to the Far North to bring the home- based preschool service that started in Whanganui nearly 10 years ago to her community. Although it has spread through the central North Island, Ms Cas- sidy is the first to bring Paua to this area. Paua operates solely on ministry money, it doesn't take anything extra for its services but it sets up a system where parents pay their children's educators and Paua pas- ses on their support and any rel- evant subsidies. Financial director of Paua, Tony Stuart, sees an immediate benefit for some in Kaikohe. Where there's care happening already, if it's not happening through a licensed service then the parent's not able to get a [Work and Income] subsidy for the care, but if they enroll in a service such as Paua then they can and the caregiver can be recompensed.'' The Work and Income subsidy allows for up to nine hours of care per week. Paua educators can have up to four children in their home at one time, only two under 2-year-olds, for up to 40 hours a week. They're really low ratios,'' Paua's managing director Raewyn Overton-Stuart says. As a visiting teacher, Ms Cassidy will visit homes to provide resources and support for those who are home based caregivers. Mrs Overton-Stuart says that many in the community already look after their whanau's young ones and can benefit from Paua. It just gives them a little extra support,'' she says. Aside from a lit- tle bit of basic training, visiting tea- chers can offer support, such as pro- viding access to a mobile toy library. Ms Cassidy lives in Okaihau but is originally from Waima. Her links to the community, Mr Stuart says, offers Paua a chance to make a dif- ference here. After attending Kaikohe West School, Kaikohe Intermediate and Northland College she left the area, but she says that she has begun reconnecting with people in the north. She ran the bilingual unit at Waima for a couple of years when she met Kelly Yakas. She was one of my parents,'' Ms Cassidy says. And when she came up to Kai- kohe, she learned of Te Kohekohe, Kaikohe's early childhood education drop-in centre on Broadway, through the council. Ms Yakas, who started Te Kohe- kohe last year, says there are a lot of natural synergies between what happens at the drop in centre and the service Paua provides. Te Kohekohe is about community and sharing knowledge. We promote families looking after and bringing up their children and Paua provides that oppor- tunity,'' Ms Yakas says. There are a lot of nannies, or sisters, who want to look after their familes and this provides an awe- some way for them to do that. And it also provides employment for them.'' Ms Yakas says those who come to Te Kohekohe often prefer not to enroll in a daycare or an early child- hood service, but rather have those who they know really well, such as families, look after their children. Te Kohekohe connects families to service providers and is developing as a focal point for early childhood development for some in the com- munity. I think that what people love about it is that there are no strings attached,'' she says. And even though they are coming in regu- larly, people want the freedom to come in when they can, that it's their choice and that it's free.'' She says she's seeing a lot of benefits for the children with the social interaction that Te Kohekohe can offer. Parents do realise how much knowledge they have,'' she says. But watching parents come in and share their knowledge has been important for Ms Yakas. The idea of offering support to caregivers and empowering parents resonates with Mrs Overton-Stuart. Parents can feel quite isolated when they're at home with a child, especially those with their first child,'' she says. Ms Cassidy says Paua educators will come in and do some of the Plunket workshops already offered at Te Kohekohe and she says she hopes to co-ordinate some play groups out of the space. And Ms Cassidy says she will be in the space with Paua material to make herself available to those who would like to learn more about Paua. The majority of Ms Cassidy's work though will take place out in the community. I'm basically there to be with the families and with the educators as much as I can be,'' she says. Mr Stuart says Paua is strong on relationships and whanau. At the end of the day we want to partner with other services to get the best outcomes for children and their families,'' he says. Call or text Ms Cassidy at 021 830 816, or make a free call to 0800 728 277, to learn more.
January 30th 2013
February 13th 2013