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Friday, May 02, 2008

Taatahiora launched for Kingitanga 150

There's a new waka on the Waikato River.

Taatahiora, the canoe built for King Tuheitia, was launched this morning at daybreak as part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the King movement.

Nine waka sailed, eight from Tainui and one from Takitimu, to Nga Huinga, locally known as The Point, where the Waikato meets the Waipu and the place King Potatau was originally crowned.

To mark the anniversary, a book prepared for the Kingitanga Centenary by former Tainui Trust board secretaries Pei Te Hurinui Jones and Maharaia Winiata has been reprinted in a bilingual edition.


Offences occur when opportunities arise... that's a key message Maori rape prevention group Tiaki Tinana wants to get out in Rape Awareness Week.

Spokesperson Russell Smith says there are particular problems with children, with Maori twice as likely as other children to be abused.

He says often the perpetrators are older children - and whanau should be wary of allowing teenage boys to babysit younger children.

“As they go through puberty and adolescence onto adulthood, they have this big sign out the front of them, and it says ‘under construction’. What that means is while the brain is still growing, it needs to start pruning and some of the ideas haven’t fully formed and some of their identity is still beginning to form so sometimes, when they make decisions, they don’t know the impact of those decisions because they don’t have the capacity to seriously think it through,” Mr Smith says.

Heightened hormone levels in teenage boys also encourages risk taking behaviour.


A Canadian think tank is calling for first nations people in that country to learn from Maori about how to break out of dependency.

Researcher Joseph Quesnel from the Frontier Center for Public Policy, a member of the Metis nation, says indigenous peoples in Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia all had modest improvements in a number of key indicators during the 1990s.

He says Maori made the greatest gains in educational attainment and higher incomes, pointing to greater self-reliance.

“One of the things I do call for in Canada and I think we could learn from the Maori is more of an investment in education. I make an argument for more of a concerted education strategy as a ticket out of poverty, a ticket for more hope for people so they’re not ending up disproportionately in prisons,” Mr Quesnel says.

More than half of first nations peoples in Canada now live in cities, so new solutions are needed.


A leading Tainui elder says Kingitanga needs to look outwards to survive.

Speaking from celebrations in Ngaruawahia for the 150th anniversary of the Kingitanga, Hare Puke says the movement overcame great odds to survive so long.

The former Tainui Maori Trust Board chair says for it to keep thrive, Waikato-Tainui leaders needed to be more outward looking.

“My biggest concern is that we somehow get too inward looking, and I would like to look beyond the shores of this country, because we are at the mercy of the world as it is. It is going to be a real testing time not only for the Kingitanga but for our whole country. We’re only a little spot among the multitude of nations of the world. We have to be visionary and not so much dreamers,” Mr Puke says.

Today's highlight was the paddling of fleet of waka taua to the confluence of the Waipa and Waikato Rivers at Ngaruawahia, where Potatau te Wherowhero was crowned the first Maori King in 1858.


The Maori Party is reacting positively to the proposed settlement of central North Island forestry claims.

With National's record of opposing the government's treaty settlements, the party's support could be vital if the half billion dollar Treelord deal is to be completed this year.

The Government this week agreed to a plan to put 90 percent of the region's forests into the hands of a collective representing 18 iwi.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says there's still a lot of detail to be worked out, but the progress is encouraging.

“It's improved as it’s gone along. There were first cousins arguing from a tribal point of view over this, and at the beginning there were a lot left out. It’s gradually embraced most of the iwi and hapu from that area. It is a move forward. There are one or two left out of the ball game at the moment, but it’s certainly progress on what we had before,” Dr Sharples says.

The Maori Party has tried to help where it could by setting up hui so people in the Central North island could make their voices heard.


An Auckland historian is linking an early European visitor to Aotearoa to Darwin's theory of evolution.

Paul Moon says after spending part of 1827 recording scenes of Maori life, artist Augustus Earle wrote on the differences between Maori and Australian Aboriginals.

He was later the artist on the Beagle when fellow passenger Charles Darwin first developed his theory of evolution.

Professor Moon says Earle's views could have influenced the young

“He said that the Maori communities that he came across in Northland, he described them like the classical Greeks, being very well built, very muscular, fine features, he said this was one of the highest states of human evolution, or human development, that’s how he described Maori as being, whereas the Aborigines he describes as the group separating the monkeys from the humans, and they’re like the missing link,” Professor Moon says.

Augustus Earle's manuscript was completed in 1831, while Charles Darwin's first private writings on evolution only start in 1837.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Moon has got this completely wrong. What Earle said, according to the NZPA item, was that aboriginals were the "last link in the great chain of existence which unites man with the monkey." This has nothing to do with evolution. The great chain of existence, more commonly called the Great Chain of Being, was a creationist concept with a pedigree going back centuries before Darwin. The basic idea is that the natural world is the physical embodiment of the thoughts of God, and everything in nature can be ranked, from angels at the top, through the various human races (with Europeans at the top, naturally, and Africans on the bottom), then the apes, monkeys, the other animals down to corals and sponges, then plants and rocks. Since the mind of God is infinite, there can be no "missing links" in the chain - yes, the missing link is an idea that also pre-dates evolution. Earle was expressing a very widely held creationist viewpoint. Evolutionary theory, which recognises that all modern peoples share a very recent common ancestor and cannot be ranked as higher or lower, has refuted this conception of nature.

2:54 PM  

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