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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Adds subtracts history from race debate

The head of Victoria University's School of Maori Studies says the way New Zealand history is taught in schools is hurting race relations.

In a speech at New Plymouth's Puke Ariki Museum marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Taranaki Wars, Peter Adds said recent changes to the curriculum have not fixed the fundamental problem.

The Te Atiawa ki Taranaki claim negotiator says high school students get a patchy view of the country's history from the Crown perspective, and they are ill equipped to understand why Maori feel the way they do.

“I don't think it places New Zealanders in a good place to assess all the things that are going on in New Zealand today, especially in race relations and a whole lot of treaty things that are happening in this country, and what that produces is dissension and jealousy in some sections of our community about what’s happening with that process,” Mr Adds says.


The convenor of judges in the te reo section of the Library Association's Childrens book awards says the Maori language renaissance made it hard to pare down a shortlist.

Alice Heather says judges have now the difficult task of choosing a winner between a picture book, a novel, a non-fiction entry and a graphic novel or comic.

Te Kura Pounamu finalists include Te Kahikatea by Keri Pewhairangi, Hu Hu Koroheke by Kyle Mewburn and Rachel Driscoll translated by Katarina Mataira, Darryn Joseph's Te Wahi me te Taiao series, and Hautipua Rererangi by Andrew Burdan.

“I think it shows what a wonderful range and a high standard is being entered because all of the judges had to leave out books they had chose for the short list,” she says.

Te Kura Pounamu will be awarded in mid-August


A pair of Tairawhiti artists are off to the state of Washington to explore how waiata and kapa haka can relate to the arts of the peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

Tawera and Henare Tahuri will take up a one-month Te Waka Toi-Sqwigwialtxw residency at Evergreen State University in Olympia in July to work alongside artists and performers from the Salish nation.

Mrs Tahuri says they have always taught, composed and performed as a team in both the performing and visual arts.

“We want to go and share our skills and expertise in waiata and haka and Maori performing arts with the people of that area and hopefully put them together in a performance and also an artwork,” says Mrs Tahuri, who tutors at Toihoukura and is from Nga Ariki Kai Putahi, Whakatohea and Ngati Uenuku.


The lead advisor for Ngapuhi's treaty claims has been snatched by the Crown.

Kerikeri lawyer Greg Davis from Ngati Manu has been appointed a judge of the District Court, to sit in Kaikohe and Whangarei.

Mr Davis says setting up a process for Ngapuhi hapu to decide on the team to negotiate a settlement of historic claims gave him an insight into what the country's largest tribe is seeking.

“The real mahi that Ngapuhi wants to be getting on with is not fighting the Crown but is actually about building a bigger,s trjnger, better Ngapuyhi, to get on with the tasks of rebuilding our marae, educational ensuring that we have the opportunity to build and develop an economic base for Ngapuhi,” he says.

Greg Davis is a brother of Labour list MP Kelvin Davis.


A younger member of the Harawira whanau says Winston Peters is out of line in his attack on the family.

The New Zealand First leader told an audience in Gisborne at the weekend the Harawira family were self-anointed Maori leaders who had been on the state's teat their whole lives.

28 year old Tumamao Harawira, a Maori Television and radio broadcaster, says while it may be Okay for Mr Peters to criticise his uncle, Maori Party MP Hone Harawira, it's not Okay to have a go at anyone carrying the family name.

“You know just making personal comments towards the family, I guess that’s Winston Peters’ way of doing things, but it’s a bit underhand and below the belt,” Mr Harawira says.

He says using Mr Peters’ yardstick, every police officer, teacher and government employee could be considered to be supping at the state teat.


Parihaka woman Tiahuia Abraham has become the international vice president of a longstanding organisation that supports women and children around the Asia Pacific region.

Mrs Abraham, who is from Ngati Moeahu and Ngati Haupoto, is already the New Zealand president of the Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women's Association, which has non-government organisation consultative status with the United Nations.

She also heads the Aotea branch of the Maori Women's Welfare League, and says it's important wahine Maori look at the bigger picture on issues like health, education and peace.

She says many Maori now have Pasifika and Asian whanau.

One of her goals is to set up a Pan Pacific Women's Association chapter in Taranaki.

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