Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hohepa Delamere tangi draws thousands

Te Whanau a Apanui will today bury tohunga Hohepa Delamere, who died last week in Auckland at the age of 59.

Thousands of people passed through Whitianga marae near Te Kaha over the weekend to pay their respects to Mr Delamere, who gave up a successful career as an successful to follow a family tradition of healing.

He practiced mirimiri and romiromi massage therapies, as well as using rongoa or traditional medicines

He also taught at kohanga reo, kura kaupapa Maori, wharekura and tertiary institutions including Waitech and Auckland College of Education.

At the time of his death he was involved with writing the new hauora or health curriculum for the Ministry of Education.


Maori Cultural expert Pita Sharples is at a loss to explain the desecration of a maori carving in Whangarei.

Vandals severed the uri, or penis of a carving at the entrance to the Whangarei museum in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The damage has made the news both in New Zealand, and overseas.

Pita Sharples says the theft is an affront to the maori culture.

"It could be peope protesting about our tikanga or our beliefs or our culture, our artistic representation, or it could be sheer vandalism. Either way it's disgraceful. I hope there will be some protests about what's happened in Taitokerau and I hope the uri will be replaced," Sharples said.


Rangatahi maori will be targetted at this years Pao Pao Pao, a gathering of maori from the music industry, in Wellington.

The event, which celebrates maori involvement in music, was instigated by the late Hirini Melbourne, who has been credited with the revival of taonga puoro.

Ngahiwi Apanui, who is co-ordinating the November gathering, says it will feature panel forums, workshops and a concert,

He says kaupapa maori music is missing out, because many talented bi lingual rangatahi don't realise the potential in areas other than kapa haka or hip hop.

"To tap into all bilingual talent that's coming out of kura kaupapa Maori and to say to those kids there's another option besides kapa haka or doing r&b or hip hop, called kaupapa Maori music, which asks you to take your knowledge of tikanga Maori and kapa haka and all the rest of it and your knowledge of hip hop and r&b and fuse it and make that music your own," Apanui said.


The co-leader of the Maori Party says hard work is behind the latest poll result showing huge support for the party.

Over the weekend the Marae DigiPoll showed 43 percent of Maori voters on both the Maori and general roll would vote for the Maori Party if an election was held tomorrow.

Mr Sharples says while an election is still two years away, the poll shows Maori voters are impressed by what the maori party has been able to achieve in its first year in parliament.

"What the DigiPoll shows is the hard work we have been doing and it reflects that we have been a true voice for our people in Parliament. We have been able to raise the issues they want raised and to champion the causes they want championed. I think it's a direct reflection of that," Sharples said.


A major gathering later this year of people involved in the Maori music scene, could be a catalyst to see more Maori music coming out of the studio.

Ngahiwi Apanui, the co-ordinator of this years Pao Pao Pao, says the event was founded by the late Huirinin Melbourne.

He says the workshops, discussion forums, and concert give maori musicians a chance to network, and share experiences, to support each other to have more maori music made.

"Essentially what it's about is celebrating te ara puoro, the wide spectrum of music that Maori are involved in, starting with the cultural extreme you're looking at waiata tawhito, and if you look at the other extreme it's rock and pop and contemporary type music, that Maori are doing today in English. It's a celebration of the music that Maori people are involved in making," Apanui said.


A Maori television presenter, says TVNZ are starting to make programmes with cross cultural appeal.

Good morning presenter, Brendan Pongia says in the past it might have been thought that maori programmes would appeal only to maori viewers, but that has now changed.

He says there is a recognition fron senior management that many programmes have cross cultural value.

"A classic example was when the Maori queen passed away. TVNZ took the whole show for the whole day, and I think that was fantastic. I thnk that showed to Maori there is starting to be a change where they look at things like that as an important part, that change is slowly starting, but things are still going to take time," Pongia said.


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