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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tohunga Rangitihi Tahuparae dies

Taranaki Whanui and Whanganui iwi are mourning tohunga Rangitihi (John) Tahuparae, who died early this morning in his home in Wanganui.

He was in his 70s.

Mr Tahuparae was Parliament's first official kaumatua, providing advice on tikanga and protocol and acting as spokesperson on official occasions.

He trained in martial arts in China, and on his return contributed to the revival of traditional Maori martial arts. He also worked as a reporter for Te Karere and served on the Waitangi Tribunal.

Former Te Puni Kokiri chief executive and Taranaki whanui claim negotiator Ngatata Love says Mr Tahuparae had been steeped in traditional knowledge from an early age, and made a unique contribution to the Taranaki Whanui and Whanganui claims.

“What he knew is all the traditional matters that governed the land, that governed what happened in the relationships between the peoples and it wasn’t from learning through a university, it was through direct discussions with those who were there so many years ago and he had that gift given for understanding the oral learning. We’re lucky he has handed that on,” Dr Love says.

Rangitihi Tahuparae is being taken to Te Paku-o-te-rangi Marae in Putiki. His funeral will be on Tuesday.

MATAPIHI SEEKING SECURE WATER SUPPLY

Hapu from Matapihi on the edge of Tauranga harbour say Tauranga City Council is reneging on a deal to add the peninsula to the city's water supply.

Neil Te Kani, the chair of Ngai Tukairangi, says an agreement had been reached with the former Mount Maunganui Borough Council which would have brought piped water to the Ngai Tukairangi and Ngati Tapu marae.

He says the council is now saying there is only an expectation of future work - which isn't how the hapu remembers it.

“A number of meetings had occurred on a regular basis, particularly with engineers. Council had accepted there was a problem with water reticulation in Matapihi. A lot of our korero was done on the marae. A lot of that history is in the head but well remembered by the community of Matapihi,” Mr Te Kani says.

The marae on the peninsula need a secure water supply for events such as tangi.

A Tauranga City Council spokesperson says reticulation on the peninsula depends on how much new development goes in.

HEART CHARITY REACHES MAORI CHILDREN

A Maori Television presenter putting his body on the line to raise funds for children with heart disease has found it's a cause that's close to home.

Julian Wilcox will be one of eight celebrities taking part in the Les Mills Boot Camp to raise funds for various charities.

His charity, Heart Children, supports families with children who have congenital heart disease.

He says many of children with the condition are Maori.

“There are 600 children a year in New Zealand who are born with a heart defect. When I went up to the ward at Starship, what blew me away was 80 percent of the children there were Maori, half of them were Ngapuhi, they were relations,” says Mr Wilcox, who has already raised $3000 dollars for Heart Children.

MAORI WOMEN’S WELFARE LEAGUE CONFERENCE STARTING

Women are gathering in Manukau this evening for the Maori Women's Welfare League's annual conference, with the health of whanau again the focus.

Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says she's encouraged by the number of younger women in evidence at the Telstra-Clear Events centre.

She says the league still relevant, more than a half century after its foundation.
“I think the health and welfare of whanau is at the core of what the league is all about, and beyond that, growing leadership among Maori women, greater advocacy in terms of Maori development, community development becomes core because as we know in a lot of our health and social organisations, Maori women are right there,” Ms Mahuta says.

The Maori Women's Welfare League is encouraging more Maori women into business through the loans from the Maori Women's Development Incorporation.

BATTLE SCARS STILL NAMED ON HOWICK LANDSCAPE

The Howick community board is squaring off against tangata whenua in the naming of an east Auckland reserve.

It is recommending the new reserve be called Fencible Walk - a reference to the military settlers who were given land in the district to defend the southeastern edge of Auckland from Maori.

Board member Jami-Lee Matenga Ross says that's the name Howick residents want, so there's no need to consult with tangata whenua who oppose the choice.

He says as the elected body, the board has the right to set the name.

He says all residents were asked to make submissions on the park development plan a year ago, and no alternative suggestions were received from Maori with links to the area.

COAST, UNION IDENTITY RANGI PAENGA DIES

Communities on the East Coast are mourning for Ahipene Rangi Hemi Paenga.

The Ngati Konohi kaumatua died earlier this week aged 82.

Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says Mr Paenga was president of the New Zealand Meatworkers Union when the industry was undergoing major changes in the 1980s.

Rangi Paenga will lie at Whangara Marae until his funeral service at 10am on Saturday.

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