Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

John Perry taonga up for auction

An extraordinary collection of New Zealand and Pacific taonga goes up for auction in Auckland tonight.

It's been put together over more than 40 years by John Perry, who was curator of the Rotorua Art Gallery and Museum between 1978 and 1997.

Highlights include a Ngati Tarawha post from the Whakarewarewa model village, which Mr Perry found washed into Lake Rotorua, rare 19th century and early 20th century mats and flax kete, and a large number of 19th century photographs of Maori.

“The photographs all relate to my involvement with Bill Main and Maori in Focus and the exhibition I curated in 1979 when I first went down to Rotorua which was King Country Journey which was the fabulous photographs Alfred Burton took and one of the highlights for me was having that exhibition tour up the Whanganui River and visit many of the marae that were featured in the photographs,” Mr Perry says.

The photographs were printed from the original glass plate negatives.

The John Perry collection is at Art and Object in Auckland.


A former All Black has teamed up with Te Wananga o Aotearoa to create opportunities for Maori and Pacific Island youth.

Michael Jones from the West Auckland Youth Trust says the first intake to his Village Sport Academy includes many students who left school with no qualifications.

He says the passion rangatahi have for sports can be used to hook them into further study.

“We really need to develop a programme that maximizes their potential, give them pathways. Sport is one pathway, but through education to employment gives them pathways to a better future and helps them to succeed in life,” Mr Jones says.

He sees a logical fit between Pasifika organisations and wananga.


Meanwhile, Wairarapa marae are going back to the land to find work for their rangatahi.

Nga Kanohi Marae o Wairarapa, a collective of 12 marae, has teamed up with Taratahi Agricultural Training College to run a farm skills course.

Director Edwin Perry says each marae nominates rangatahi with some existing industry knowledge, and gives them the support to stick with the 20 week course.

“It's actually shearing, wool handling, pressing and general farm skills which could be killing a sheep, acquiring your firearms license, safety on four wheel drive motorbikes, budgeting, numeracy and literacy so there’s a whole gambit of things happening to bring our people into the right frame of mind to be able to knock on a door and ask ‘Have you a job for me?’” Mr Perry says.

Shearing has put kai on the tables of many Wairarapa Maori families over the years.


Top of the South Island are looking to wrap up their Treaty claims after a favourable a High Court decision.

The court rejected a Ngai Tahu attempt to overturn a Waitangi Tribunal finding that some of the six iwi had customary interests in areas within the Ngai Tahu rohe.

The larger tribe was trying to reinforce a 1990 Maori Appellate Court decision which was seen as giving the larger tribe exclusive authority over much of the South island.

Matui Rei from Ngati Toa Rangatira says the decision should resolve long-standing border disputes.

“We haven't concluded our claims or negotiations in the South Island so this provides us with additional reasons and rationale why we should be negotiating that part of our rohe which intersects with that of Ngai Tahu,” Mr Rei says.

The High Court found the 1990 decision was about the Crown's relationship with Ngai Tahu in the 1850s, rather than being a comprehensive inquiry into customary rights at the time of the treaty.


An application to put pokie machines in a New Plymouth pub has set iwi representatives against council officers.

Fay Mulligan from Ngati Tairi says the New Plymouth District Council's iwi liaison committee in unhappy with advice the resource consent be approved by the full council at its next meeting.

She says with Maori problem gambling on the rise, the committee was outraged by the officials' view that the machines promote social well-being and contribute to a secure and healthy community.

“We've got one of the highest rates of issues with gambling and if we are going to make a stand for what’s good for our whanau then we just have to say it out loud,” Ms Mulligan says.

Ms Mulligan says it's the second time the iwi liaison committee has opposed a pokie application.


Twelve Wairarapa marae have teamed up with the Taratahi Agricultural Training College to train rangatahi in shearing and woolhandling.

Edwin Perry from Nga Konohi Marae o Wairarapa says the course will teach valuable employment skills.

He says the marae collective is also behind a successful building apprenticeship programme which started earlier this year.

“These students come to us, they have the korowai of the marae, around them, so they are leaders from day one. Because they have the mana of the marae behind them, it’s not easy to walk away, because people will say ‘why aren’t you at that course or what's happening,’” Mr Perry says.

He says government agencies and Maori communities should do more to use marae for job training.


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