Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Missy Teka dies in SH2 smash

One of the icons of Maori music has died in a car crash south of Auckland.

Missy Teka, the widow of the late Prince Tui Teka, was driving a late model car which collided with a truck on State Highway 2 near Mangatawhiri this afternoon.

The driver of the truck was taken to Thames Hospital with moderate injuries.

Showband musician Toko Pompey says Missy Teka was part of the group of Maori musicians who took the distinctive Maori style of entertainment to Sydney in the 1960s.

“There was the Howard Morrison Group in one area, there was the Volcanics in one area, and there were the Troubadours in another area, and that was Tui Teka’s lot with Robbie Ratana, so Missy was there as a foil and a support singer, because Tui was god. She was his girlfriend and she brought a beautiful took to all these ugly men who were so brilliant musicans,” Mr Pompey says.


The Minister of Maori Affairs says today's foreshore and seabed deal is about reality rather than rhetoric.

Parekura Horomia joined treaty negotiations minister Michael Cullen and associate minister Mita Ririnui in Te Kaha for the signing of an agreement in principle with Te Whanaui a Apanui.

The document is similar to once signed earlier this month with Ngati Porou, recognising the iwi's relationship with takutai moana alongside its land and giving it a say in Resource Management Act processes and marine management.

Mr Horomia says the practical approach taken by Te Wahanau a Apanui contrasted with that taken by critics of the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

“People talk about rights and protection but in contemporary and modern times a lot of our young people don’t even understand that or live that,” Mr Horomia says.

The agreement will allow Te Wahanau a Apanui to maintain many of their customary practices which may otherwise slip away.


A spell trying to teach te reo Maori in Hawaii proved the inspiration for a new set of textbooks.

Te Reo Taketake - Ko te Pu was launched today in Hamilton.

Its creator, Rapata Wiri, says he looked for textbooks when he was developing language programmes for the University of Hawaii.

What was available didn't suit his teaching methods, or were 40 years old and did not suit modern learners.

“I was teaching in a foreign country, and they had absolutely no idea of Maori language or even where New Zealand was, so I decided to write this new book as a way of explaining to people with no prior knowledge of the language as a resource for teaching them how to speak Maori,” says Dr Wiri, who is now at the school of Maori and Pacific Development at the University of Waikato.


Maori knowledge may be key to creating new products for the global marketplace.

Academic Charles Royal says the battle for Maori participation in the wider economy is largely won... with Maori involved not just in forestry and agriculture, but in industries like fishing, manufacturing and tourism.

He told a Hui Taumata Trust workshop on Maori innovation at the AUT University Marae in Auckland yesterday, the new challenge is to bring Maori knowledge to the marketplace.

Dr Royal says they can look for inspiration in their past.

“Our whole founding story of being Ngati Raukawa is based on a perfume, so we had perfumes in history, so the question for us is: ‘is is possible for us to create a perfume today, based on what we know about our perfumes in the past, and then commercialise that,” Dr Royal says .

Yesterday's innovation hui went so well he wants a whole series on topics like Research and Development, Intellectual Property and the Wai 262 claim.


A Maori anti-smoking campaigner is backing the new requirement for cigarette packets to show the damage caused by tobacco.

Shane Bradbrook from Te Reo Marama says one advantage of carrying pictures of gangrenous toes, rotting gums and cancerous lesions is it cuts the amount of advertising space on the packets.

He says there's no simple way to stop people smoking, but public health campaigns and the free Quitline are having an impact.

“They are working across the board for Maori, particularly our rangatahi. You’re seeing on average a 2 percent drop every year. When you’re looking at mainstream it’s something like 0.8 to 1 percent, so Maori are responding, and again it’s about having a complete package, not just one-off things,” Mr Bradbrook says.

The Maori anti-smoking coalition's next campaign is to get rid of in-store displays of cigarettes.


A wahine toa's act of compassion towards a dying colonial solider has provided the story for a new children's book.

Battle at Gate Pa tells the tale of Heni Te Kirikaramu, who went onto the battlefield at night to give water to dying men.

The mission-educated woman was inspired by passage from Proverbs: If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water.

Author Jenny Jenkins says she was incredibly courageous.

“Most of the women and children had been sent out of the pa the night before but she’d refused – she said ‘I can fight as good as the men’ and she was actually quite a crack shot with a rifle. When the battle began the next day she was not just helping the wounded but she was actively involved in the fight,” Ms Jenkins says.

The book is being launched tonight at St George's Church, which is on the Gate Pa battle site and features a stained glass window showing Heni te Kirikaramu giving water to Colonel Booth.


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