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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Barry Barclay shoots final reel

Filmmaker Barry Barclay is being remembered as a trailblazer who brought other Maori into the film industry.

Mr Barclay from Ngati Apa died at his home in the Hokianga yesterday aged 63.

After learning his craft in trade films, advertisements and documentaries, he worked with the late Michael King to make the Tangata Whenua documentary series in 1974, creating a new way of showing Maori on screen.

His 1987 film Ngati, about an East Coast community facing the closure of its freezing works, was the first feature directed by a Maori.

John Miller, who was stills cameraman on Ngati and the later Feathers of Peace, says Mr Barclay encouraged Maori talent.

“The previous year he had a one month film wananga at the Hawkes Bay Community College where he gathered together a number of local young people, mainly Maori but not exclusively so, and through that course he actually trained up a number of folks in the various departments, lighting, camera and so forth, and some of these folks did come and work in Ngati early the following year,” Mr Miller says.

He says Barry Barclay was a pleasure to work with.

Barclay will be taken back to Whangaehu Marae near Wanganui.

WARDENS JOIN POLICE FOR UNDERAGE RAGE CRACKDOWN

A crackdown on underage drinking could curb violence on South Auckland streets.

Maori Wardens have police checking out pubs and hotels in an initiative called "Project Walkthrough".

Thomas Henry, the chair of the Mangere wardens, says underage drinking is rife.

“We're finding that a lot of liquor outlets are providing liquor to underage, to some of our rangatahi, or it’s being bought by someone older and given to our rangatahi. We’re also trying to concentrate on the Pakeha areas where we are having a lot of conjugation of rangatahi,” Mr Henry says.

The Maori warden model of community work might be adapted to include Pacific Island and other communities.

WAHINE TACKLE ESTUARY POLLUTION PRESSURE

A women's wananga in the Bay of Plenty has highlighted the pressure on the environment.

It was held at Whakaue Marae at Maketu beside the Ongatoro estuary, the final landing place of the Arawa canoe.

Organiser Raewyn Bennett, one of the Maori representatives on Environment Bay of Plenty, says the 30 women discovered that despite the huge amount of work has put into protecting the estuary in the past two decades, much remains to be done.

“We're at the end of Tauranga and all its huge developments and we’re also at the end of Rotorua and their diversion of all the lake pollutants down the Kaituna River to the estuary so there is a lot of pressure on the estuary and we all need to work together hard in whatever capacity we can contribute to protecting the estuary,” Ms Bennett says.

Another women's wananga on the estuary will be held in April.

FORESHORE ACT A FLEXIBLE FRAMEWORK

The Foreshore and Seabed Act should be able to deal with all situations, not just those where Maori own coastal land.

That's how the Prime Minister sees the surge of activity following the agreement in principle to recognise Ngati Porou's mana over its takutai moana on the East Coast.

Helen Clark says deals are also close with Whanau Apanui and Ngati Porou ki Hauraki, whose negotiator, former Labour MP John Tamihere, is one of the architects of the act.

She says while it's easier for iwi with coastal land to demonstrate unbroken customary use, the act should be flexible enough to recognise other circumstances.

“There are many other kinds of agreements that can be negotiated that also recognise interests, so I think the Ngati Porou agreement does show what the act is capable of and I would really encourage iwi to come forward and engage with the Crown around the legislation.” Ms Clark says.

While progress appears slow, it takes time for iwi negotiators to establish their mandate and collect the information they need to prove their claims.

TAEWA PART OF INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE POTATO

It's the third largest crop in the world and a living example of kaitiakitanga.

The national Maori Vegetable Growers Collective is planning hui to to celebrate the humble potato.

Nick Roskruge says the collective wants to mark the International Year of the Potato and show people the work that is going in to preserve the ancient species or taewa.

“Potato's probably in the Kiwi psyche full stop as one of the core vegetables but for Maori tghere’s a relationship with the taewa that is unique. It’s an old relationship, it’s one of kaitiakitanga that we’ve maintained associations with varieties that are no longer available in other communities and they've been a favourite,” Dr Roskruge says.

There will be workshops and presentations where members of the growers' collective will cook and prepare the taewa.

BARCLAY REMEMBER FOR STORYTELLING

He's being remembered as a uniquely Maori voice in New Zealand filmmaking.

Barry Barclay died yesterday at his home in the Hokianga at the age of only 63.

Film producer Larry Parr says the director of Ngati and Feathers of Peace paved the way for other Maori in the industry.

He also showed them the importance of telling stories from a distinctly Maori perspective.

“He had an ability to take something and delve into it and then come out with something that was an original indigenous thesis on things that were indigenous. Tangata Whenua was ground breaking. Ngati was groundbreaking. More latterly Feathers of Peace and his documentary on the Kaipara, uniquely Barry Barclay,” Mr Parr says.

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