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Weepu wants all rangatahi Māori on-side for Census

All Black Piri Weepu wants all rangatahi Māori “on-side” for 2006 Census

All Black and Hurricanes half-back Piri Weepu has teamed up with Statistics New Zealand to encourage all young New Zealanders, particularly young Māori (rangatahi) to take part in the 2006 Census, coming up on 7 March.

A fluent reo speaker, Piri is featuring in a series of bi-lingual census television and radio commercials, currently featuring on Māori Television and on the national iwi radio network.

Today, fresh from his strong performance in the Hurricane’s win against the Blues on Friday night, Piri is out mingling with rangatahi in Christchurch.

Together with the Statistics New Zealand census team, he will be attending the Mana in the Marae event at Nga Hau e Wha National Marae at 250 Pages Road, Aranui.

Said Piri: “I want to get the message out to Maori that it is important for our future to take part in the coming census.”

Proud to be of Te Whakatōhea and Ngāi Tahu descent, Piri says: “It’s really important for all Māori to take part in the census because so many important decisions are based on the data gathered during this five-yearly event.

“It’s the only way we can get an accurate picture of Māori in 2006. The census results impact on where schools and houses are built, health facilities sited, on Treaty claims, environmental management and even helped determine the boundaries for the Super 14!”

Young Māori, particularly young Māori men, are less likely to fill out their census forms than other New Zealanders. Piri says he wants all Maori to be on-side for the census: “it’s important we stand up and be counted”.

To show Piri’s support for the census, last week he was out with the crowds at the Te Rā o Te Raukura in Lower Hutt.

Piri’s main message to Māori is: “Make sure you and your whānau take part. Don’t be whakamā. Māku e whakakī aku rārangi patai, ko tāua anō tēnā, nē rā!”

ENDS. Photo available at http://mediacom.nzpa.co.nz/attachments/6826_md9373.jpg

For further information, contact Sandi Hinerangi Barr on 021 127 5450.

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