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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Plan to boost Maori film

There could be a long overdue boost for Maori filmmakers.

The Film Commission and Maori filmmakers' group Nga Aho Whakaari is launching a new initiative to encourage the development of development of films written, produced and directed by Maori.

Board member Tainui Stephens says under Te Paepae Ataata, senior Maori in the industry would oversee the productions.

“A paepae itself is the speakers’ bench, where people who sit on that bench have authority, they have experience, we pray they have wisdom. They’re the kind of people who make decisions, who interpret the world. And so we thought that kind of thinking was appropriate for coming up with a way of giving authority to supporting of filmmakers,” Mr Stephens says.

Te Paepae Ataata is a way to carry on the work of his predecessors on the commission like Done Selwyn and Hirini Melbourne.


Lifting makutu is not easy and must be done by the appropriate people.
That's the word from an Anglican Archdeacon who has conducted exorcism ceremonies.

Police are investigating the death by drowning of a 22-year-old woman in Wainuiomata last month during a ceremony.

They says a 14 year old girl from the same whanau was taken to hospital after the same ceremony.

Hone Kaa from St Johns Theological College often gets calls from people who believe a whanau member has a makutu or curse on them.

If they're not from his own iwi, he usually refers them to specialists in their own tribal group.

“I don't like dealing with people from outside my own iwi. You can lay yourself open to other wairua that may well be lurking and you don’t know about them. I’m pretty careful about doing that, because that’s what my kaumatua and particularly my mother warned me about, take a great deal of care about what you are doing and who you are doing it with,” Dr Kaa says.

He says water is used in exorcisms, but usually in small amounts.


Maori involvement in the dairying sector is strong and growing.

Nominations have opened for next year's Ahuwhenua Trophy, which will focus on Maori excellence in dairy farming.

Allan Fraser, the award's organiser, says Maori trusts and incorporations have joined the rush to convert their large traditional sheep and beef farms into growing milk.

He says recent campaigns to draw young Maori into the industry have worked, with many young people coming in as sharemilkers.

“We're seeing more young Maori people starting to assume a role in the governance as well, and they’re bringing in their experience from business outsite of agriculture, but that really complements the other trustees who have real strength of knowledge of agriculture itself.
Mr Fraser says.

He says many farms enter the competition so they can benefit from the advice they get from the judges.


The Maori language strategy appears to be working.

A new report from the Auditor General says 52 percent of Maori adults have some level of Maori language proficiency ... up 10 percent over the past five years.

Tipene Crisp, a policy director at Te Puni Kokiri, says iwi radio, Maori television and the flow of children through Maori immersion education is contributing to the increase.

He says the increase in Maori between 16 and 24 with higher language skills is particularly exciting.

“Our focus is on intergenerational transmission and if these kids coming out of kura, kaupapa Maori are using Maori with their children when they become parents, then that really bodes well for the future of the language,” Dr Chrisp says.

There will be another review in five years.


The most effective way to keep Maori rangatahi healthy is to cut off their access to drugs.

That's the view researchers from Massey University's Centre for Social and Health Outcomes shared with this week's annual hui or Community Action on Youth and Drugs in Wellington.

SHORE's Sally Liggins says it's more effective than blaming individuals for their behaviour.

In Northland, whanau in Whangaruru are discouraging drinking and dakking at local parks and beaches.

In other areas communities are working with the Black Power and Mongrel Mob to convince them not to manufacture or supply P, especially to young people.

“That's where we bring the supply aspect in because if we can influence supply there’s a lot of evidence in the research literature about if we can stop supply or reduce supply, we reduce harm. It makes sense,” Ms Liggins says.


A Ngati Kahungunu hapu is sharing its treasures.

A show of photography, literature and art has gone on display at the Hawkes Bay Exhibition Centre in Hasting until January.

Te Poho is curated by artist Sandy Adsett and features images by Wellington photographer Sal Criscillo of taonga of the Ngati Kere hapu.

There is also contemporary work by Ngati Kere artists including Romaine Ferris, James Molner and Donna Walford.

Piri Sciascia, who launched the exhibition, says they capture the spirit of the land, sea and people of the coastal area of Porangahau.

“We named the exhibition because it’s about Porangahau, the land, the sea, its people, its culture and its taonga and its artists, we thought all that lies at the heart of Porangahau koe ra Te Poho,” he says.

Piri Sciascia says Te Poho also includes the taurapa of the waka Ngati Kahungunu built at Porangahau for the 1990 commemorations.


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