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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Jazz guitarist Johnny Bradfield dies

Musicians are mourning the passing of one of the key musicians of the Maori showband era.

Jazz guitarist Johnny Bradfield died on Sunday aged 79.

Born and raised in Freeman's Bay, Mr Bradfield was a key member of Bill Wolfgramm's Islanders in the early 1950s, and played with many of the musicians associated with the Maori Community Centre such as the Deuces and the Maniapoto Singers.

His longest musical partnership was with his wife Millie from Ngapuhi, a noted Jazz singer.

Former promoter Matiu Tarawa says his most important contribution was his ability to teach a high standard of musicianship and professionalism, especially through a music school he ran under his own name in the late 1950s.

“We started to lay the foundation down for what we know as showbands now in the music studio right throughout the whole country. What we know as the Quin Tikis today, the Hi Fives and all of that,” Mr Tarawa says.

Johnny Bradfield's his funeral is being held in West Auckland tomorrow afternoon.


Students at Turakina Maori Girls' College are tackling the high rates of smoking among young Maori women.

The school started the project this year after a survey found almost half of its 135 students were smokers.

Year 12 student Ariana Waller says the girls have found a variety of ways to push the smokefree message, including an open days, special activities at the school gala, a wearable arts challenge, newsletter columns and events which involve whanau from around the country.

“We come from all places in New Zealand, and we’ve seen what smoking can do to people, what it’s done to our families, our friends, and we really don’t want to escalate that more for a bigger number in the statistics, so that’s why the project was designed so that we could maybe put in place a better support for our girls and also that we can also get our families and wider community to get in and support us as well in this project,” Ms Waller says.

Five Turakina students spoke about the school's experience to the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference in Auckland today.


The Defence Force's kapa haka group is to represent this country as Malaysia celebrates a half century of independence.

The 35-strong Te Ope Katua o Aotearoa would perform weapon display, poi, haka and action waiata at a three day an international military tattoo in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend.

The group includes members from the frigate Te Kaha, the air force and the army.

Senior member Mark Pirikahu, a Navy warrant officer, says it's a special honour.

“We're the unique roopu that’s over here because all the other countries are presenting bands and music, which is quite common within the defence force worldwide, but one thing we’ve got I suppose over everybody else is we’re combining our New Zealand military culture and our Maori culture with our performance, and no one has seen anything like it,” Mr Pirikahu says.

Service groups from 13 countries will take part in the tattoo.


Massey University's professor of Maori health says collective approaches are needed to get Maori to stop smoking.

Chris Cunningham has been talking to the Oceania Tobacco Control Congress on the university's research programme and the success of cessation programmes.

More than a third of this country's 750,000 smokers are Maori, making Maori one of the highest smoking populations in the world.
Professor Cunningham says many Maori are keen to give up, typically for one of three reasons.

“Affordability is a significant issue for us. The health effects, and people understand there are negative health effects. And the third reason they often give is the feeling they are negative role models to mokopuna. The answer is we’ve got to help entire whanau I think to become smoke-free,” Dr Cunningham says.

Smoking cessation programmes only reach about 10,000 people a year, and more resources are needed to get to the more addicted smokers.


Poverty, neglect, low achievement, and violence against children are issues for the whole community, not just Maori.

That's the word from Barnardos chief executive Murray Edridge, the chair of today's Every Child Counts conference in Wellington.

The conference examined government policies on children and looked for ways iwi, community groups, and local and national government agencies and politicians could work more effectively.

Mr Edridge says there are no quick answers.

“Often the children who are disadvantaged have multiple disadvantages, and we’re talking about things like education disadvantage, economic disadvantage, issues around family violence, and unfortunately Maori children are disproportionately represented in the statistics around those, biut it’s not a Maori issue, it’s a community issue,” he says.

Mr Edridge says people need to be enabled to take charge of their own lives and the care of their children, rather than have outside agencies do things to them.


The author of three books on tohunga Hohepa Kereopa says his death will be an enormous loss.

Mr Kereopa died yesterday at his home in Waimana, and is now lying in state at Tanatana Marae.

Paul Moon says the Tuhoe kaumatua, who was about 60, was picked to be a tohunga at the age of two or three.

He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the natural world as well as its Maori spiritual dimension.

“He was very good at natural remedies and combining the physical and the spiritual, but also in a very pragmatic way. I think some people see it as some sort of faith healing episode. In a lot of cases when people would say ‘What should I do about this particular ailment?’ his advice was ‘see a doctor.’ It was very practical. But there were a lot of things he could do,” Mr Moon says.

Hohepa Kereopa was was keen to get as much of his knowledge as he could set down in writing. The pair's third book will be published early next year.


Blogger kid said...

Goodbye John, you were a great guitarist and musician.Most of all you were a very approuchable guy and a very respected person. I had many chats with you and shared many music interests when we lived close to you and Millie in Mt Roskill. You will be saddly missed by many.Errol and Judith Timbers.

4:04 PM  

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