Manukau Courier : December 7th 2010
www.manukaucourier.co.nz Tuesday, December 7, 2010 Voice for young Maori Young leaders: Mereana Te Pere, left, and Joleen Perry are the Auckland region representatives on the newly created national Maori Youth Council. Photo: DAVID TAURANGA By DAVID TAURANGA YOUNG Maori are getting a direct line to the government and they're being urged to make good use of it. The two young women appointed to represent Auckland on the new Maori Youth Council say it's a chance for rangatahi -- youth -- to finally make their voices heard. Joleen Perry, 23, and Mereana Te Pere, 26, are excited about their positions and say one of their goals will be creating more young Maori leaders in south Auckland. The council was established by Maori Affairs minister Dr Pita Sharples and Te Puni Kokiri -- Min- istry for Maori Development to give feedback on policies and initiatives that impact significantly on youth. Its 14 members come from a range of iwi across the country and will meet with Dr Sharples and the ministry every couple of months to discuss issues. I'm stoked -- when I applied I really wanted to become a member but never expected to be selected,'' Ms Te Pere says. The council's been set up to take the thoughts of Maori rangatahi to Dr Sharples and Te Puni Kokiri so they know what issues the youth are going through. Sometimes young people are for- gotten by communities or gov- ernments so it's exciting to be in a position to make their voices heard.'' Members began setting aims and goals for the council when they met for the first time at Parliament in October. The next hui will focus on how members will work with one another so their mahi -- work -- reaches everyone nationally. It's only been a short time since their appointment but the two Auckland representatives already have issues to work on, Ms Perry says. One of the issues for me is the struggle that young Maori in low socio-economic areas face and set- ting up different supports for them instead of just Work and Income,'' she says. Ms Te Pere says many young people are oblivious to politics and she hopes to open their eyes'' through education. Many don't know how it affects them,'' she says. Some are going to be old enough to vote soon but they won't know what they're voting for. I'd just like youth to be more aware and to demand more of the people who are representing and serving them.'' Dr Sharples wants the council to channel the talent and enthusiasm of young people into government policies and decisions that affect their lives. He's hoping they will then find ways to work together on key issues and give him considered advice and feedback. The Maori population is younger than the national average so rangatahi are an important part of our society. We need them to play a full part in planning our future.'' Call the Manurewa Maori Women's Welfare League office on 268-7016 to speak with Mereana Te Pere or Joleen Perry. Go to www.facebook.com and search for Rangatahi Have Your Say'' to dis- cuss any issues you wish taken to the Maori Youth Council. Visit Te Puni Kokiri's website at www.tpk.govt.nz for more information. Two dead after drivers flee from police By DAVID TAURANGA Two people are dead after separate car crashes involving drivers fleeing from police over the weekend. An investigation is under way into crashes that killed a 33-year- old male driver in Mangere and a female passenger in Botany. Neither victim been named by the time the Manukau Courier went to press yesterday. Inspector Jason Malcolm says a police patrol unit spotted a black Subaru travelling at excessive speed on Kirkbride Rd in Mangere around 11.30pm on Saturday. In an attempt to flee the unmarked police vehicle, the driver accelerated but lost control on a bend between Ascot Rd and George Bolt Drive,'' he says. The vehicle hit a road sign and the driver died instantly.'' A 27-year-old male front seat passenger received serious head injuries and a 29-year-old in the back seat suffered moderate injur- ies. Both are said to be in stable condition in Middlemore Hospital. On Sunday around 12.30pm a stolen car with four occupants crashed into a ditch on Chapel Rd in Botany after fleeing from police. The occupants were flung out of the car. A female passenger admit- ted to Middlemore with critical injuries died later that evening. Two other female passengers were admitted in a serious condition while the male driver received only moderate injuries. Mr Malcolm says police are in a difficult position when it comes to a fleeing driver failing to stop for police. Ultimately the onus of respons- ibility rests with the offending drivers.'' The Independent Police Conduct Authority will conduct separate investigations into the crashes. Police are appealing for infor- mation from witnesses -- call 261-1300.
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