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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monte Ohia a true rangatira

Monday June 16

The former Te Tai Tonga candidate for the Maori Party has been remembered as a true rangatira.

Educationalist Monte Ohia from Ngati Pukenga, Ngaiterangi, Ngati Ranginui and Te Arawa, was buried today among his wife's people at Waikawa Bay near Picton.

He died on Thursday at his home in Christchurch wile preparing to go to a Maori Party engagement.

Whatarangi Winitata, the party's president, says Mr Ohia measured up against the three attributes of chieftainship laid down by the late Bishop Manuhuia Bennett.

“Te kai a te rangatira, korero, talking, he had that, he was a great speaker. Second word was manaakitanga, and Monte knew how to look after people. Third was to bind the people. His tangihanga brought people from all over,” Professor Winiata says.

He says now that God has taken its candidate, the Maori Party hopes He will come up with one of equal talent and ability.

VOLUNTEERING PART OF MAORI LIFE

It's Volunteer Awareness Week, but that's not something a lot of Maori would notice.

More than one in four people in New Zealand contribute time to non-profit organisations.

The proporetion is higher among Maori, with rangatahi maori in particular putting more time into their communities than other young people.

Daveena Neilson from Volunteer Wanganui says contributing to whanau and hapu activities is a natural part of the Maori world, and there is no expectation of acknowledgement.

UPLIFTING TALE IN INDIGENOUS THEATRE FESTIVAL

It's a musical love story with a Maori flavour.

He Reo Aroha is playing a short season in Rotorua this week, as part of a festival of indigenous theatre from Aotearoa, Australia and Canada.

Co-writer Miria George says the play uses conversations between two musicians, interspersed with songs, to tell an uplifting tale.

The Honouring Theatre Festival starts in Rotovegas tonight, and moves to Manukau next week before heading to Australia.

HEALERS FORM NATIONAL BODY

More than 150 traditional healers and their supporters are meeting in Tolaga Bay to form a national organisation.

Te Paepae Matua mo te Rongoa will be self-governing, but it will get administrative support funded by the Health Ministry.

Rongoa was for many years an almost underground activity, but the ministry has been working on a development plan, Taonga Tuku Iho or Treasure of Our Heritage, which aims to find a place for it among the range of Maori health services.

Ministry spokesperson Rangi Pouwhare says given the sensitive nature of rongoa Maori, it's an achievement to get this far.

“This is about celebrating the people that have been nominated from each region to put them up to Te Paepae Matua and then the Paepae Matua will be giving the directions as to where and how the rongoa will go. The Paepae Matua is based on keepers of the knowledge, they’re old, they’re young, male and female. I think it’s a milestone just to get them all together,” Ms Pouwhare says.

PA CLOSE OFF BEFORE DAMAGE CONTINUES

Hawkes Bay people are now looking at a reserve near Havelock North with new eyes.

Local Maori have revealed that the bush clad Tainui Reserve covers the remains of Hikanui Pa.

Des Ratima, from Hastings District Council's joint Maori committee, says they let the secret out because it needed to be protected from cyclists, who were using the old sleeping and storage pits as jumps for their bikes.

He says there's still a lot there to interest the archaeologists and historians, including palisade bases, sleeping and cooking areas and access routes,” Mr Ratima says.

The reserve is being fenced off to prevent further damage.

WOMEN HONOURED FOR COMMUNITY ROLE

The role of Maori women in community development will be recognised at Parliament tonight.

He Wahine Pumanawa is being hosted by the Ministry of Women's Affairs, Te Puni Kokiri and the Maori Women's Welfare League.

Shenagh Glaisner, the ministry's chief executive, says eight kuia will be honoured for making a difference to where they live.

They were Irene Mokai, Maria Parore-Larsen, Tatiana Pimm, Te Irawaho Edith Mihaere, Atiria Ake, Evelyn Taumaunu, Doreen Erueti and Kiri Scott

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