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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Maori wardens rankle under TPK thumb

The chairman of the largest branch of Maori Wardens wants the New Zealand Maori Council back in control.

Jack Taumaunu says his Waitemata Maori Wardens are hoha with the way its 120 members are being treated by Te Puni Kokiri, which is managing the extra funding put into the wardens two years ago.

He says wardens are paid a paltry training allowance and issued with a high visibilty vest and torch, while the rest of the putea is swallowed up by salaries for amateurs who know little about what Maori wardens need to do their jobs better.

Mr Taumanu wants fellow westie Pita Sharples to sack his department from the job.

“It has been a botch up from TPK’s point of view. Why they don’t let go the reins and let our own Maori wardens have a crack a trying to develop their own areas is beyond me,” Mr Taumaunu says.

He says the Waitemata Maori wardens will pull out of the national initiative unless the New Zealand Maori Council takes control.


Rotorua kaumatua Te Poroa Joe Malcolm is crediting his old people for earning him membership of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Maori.

Mr Malcolm, of Ngati Tarawhai and Ngati Pikiao, says it their encouragement and teaching immersed him in Maori business and land management, as well as his involvement in treaty claims.

One of his proudest achievements was instigating the building of Tarawhai Marae in Rotoiti in 1984, a reminder that he is merely a vehicle of action for his ancestors' wishes.

Joe Malcolm also worked with Ministry of Culture and Heritage's History Unit to translate into Maori parts of the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.


A Tuhourangi-Te Arawa artist says her new body of work is part of an exploration of the Maori heritage she discovered as an adult.

Peata Larkin's Tarawera paintings in her show Between Worlds at Two Rooms Gallery in Auckland includes meshes of colour which could evoke her ancestors' home beside the Pink and White Terraces.

Ms Larkin says she was raised by her Pakeha father and had no real connection to te ao Maori until she starting raising a family of her own.

“It's only been in recent years that I’ve found out about my ancestors so it’s one of those things you can’t help but shout out to the world hey look, this is where I come from and it’s quite a proud thing to be a part of that and I think that’s why it’s come out in my work,” she says.

Also showing at Two Rooms are Mark Adams photos of houses around Rotorua and the world carved in the first three decades of the 20th century by Tene Waitere of Ngati Tarawhai.


A Maori academic says having a Maori as the head of the Green Party is a good fit.

Party members at the weekend chose Metiria Turei from Rangitane, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Ati- Hau-nui-a-Paparangi to replace Jeanette Fitzsimons as female co-leader.

Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and ethnic studies at Canterbury University, says Ms Turei will try to claw back the voters lost to the Maori Party, as well as reaching out to the broader Green constituency.

“ There is a natural convergence between Green ideas and indigenous ideas and Metiria’s young, she’s really bright, she sits in a good place in terms of bringing together Green ideas and Maori ideas and they’re going to be a force in the next generation for sure,” Mr Taonui says.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa has joined with the police to run a course for people considering a career on the blue line.


Police spokesperson Glen Mackay says the wananga's track record in up-skilling Maori means the initiative could be a way to get more Maori recruits.

The wananga will provide remedial training in basic literacy and numeracy, which the police will provide input into physical education.

Course graduates will have to make a formal application to join the police.


Christchurch Central Library is running two whakapapa workshops as a way to mark Matariki, the Maori new year.

Organiser Moata Tamaira, the Maori reference librarian, says the library has a wealth of resources for Maori needing help to trace their tupuna.

She says genealogy has become an important part of a library's services.

The workshops will be held at the end of the month.


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