Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rangatira Koro Dewes taken back to coast

He was a tohunga, an academic, a traditionalist and an iconoclast, but most of all Te Kapunga Matemoana "Koro" Dewes was known as Ngati Porou.

Mr Dewes died yesterday in Te Araroa at the age of 80.

He was a pioneering educationalist in the 1960s and 70s, starting in adult education at Auckland University and then laying the foundations for Victoria University's Maori studies department, before returning home to the East Coast and helping form Te Runanga o Ngati Porou.

Runanga chair Apirana Mahuika says his cousin and collaborator was a natural leader.

“Koro comes from a lot of the genealogical lines that are senior in Ngati Porou so he come from the chiefly lines of descent in Ngati Porou and for that reason I think that he found leadership an easy take and it wasn’t something that he learnt but it’s something he was born into and he handled it with great acclaim,” Mr Mahuika says.

Koro Dewes will be taken this morning to Hinerupe Marae in Te Araroa, with a funeral service at 11 on Friday morning.


The Federation of Maori Authorities says employers are trying to stymie debate on compulsory superannuation.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association has warned that any government move to change pensions should not load more costs on to business.

FOMA chief executive Ron Mark says his organisation, which represents Maori land trusts and incorporations, believes change is needed.

“We are concerned with some of the rhetoric we have heard from the likes of the employers’ federation who even suggest there would be a revolt against the government if they dared consider such things as compulsory super, and stymieing debate by threats of revolt is nonsense, it’s rhetoric and FOMA won’t have a bar of it,” Mr Mark says.

FOMA would like to see a scheme which acknowledges lower Maori life expectancy by returns contributions to whanau if a beneficiary doesn't live to collect their pension.


For the second year in a row a novel has won the te reo Maori section of the Library and Information Association's children's book awards.

Alice Heather, the convenor of the Te Kura Pounamu award says judging was complicated by the five finalists being from different genres, but in the end the judges decided Hewa by Darryn Joseph stood out.

“There's very little fantasy genre at young teenager level in te reo Maori and this book certainly had all the elements of a great fantasy story,” Ms Heather says.

The non-fiction award went to the Nga Rakau series from Huia Publishers. Best picture book was Huhu Horoheke by Kyle Mewburn with illustrations by Rachel Driscoll.


Taranaki Tuturu and Taranaki Whanui are mourning the death of Te Miringa Milton Hohaia, who died yesterday at the age of 58.

Friend and colleague Ruakere Hond says Mr Hohaia worked tirelessly to preserve and advance the legacy of Parihaka, scene of non-violent resistance to the land confiscations of the 19th century.

He says the death came as a shock, as Mr Hohaia was conducting a series of wananga to make tribe members aware of his researches into whakapapa and tradition in preparation for negotiating Taranaki's treaty settlement.

“Very fit physically. He spent most of his days on the land doing fencing, building, planting, doing a whole range of things out there. It’s a complete shock to us. Te Miringa was someone who put everything he had into things that were in front of him,” Mr Hond says.

Te Miringa Hohaia's tangi will be at the house Te Paepae o Te Raukura in Parihaka, where he served as kaitiaki or guardian.


Waikato Tainui plans to build two whanau ora centres to bring health and social services together under a single roof.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, the chair of Te Ara Taura tribal executive, says one will be at The Base retail centre in Te Rapa and the other in Manukau.

He says government agencies will work alongside those Maori providers who secure whanau ora contracts.

“This is a time when iwi who are poised and have capacity to deliver a much more comprehensive range of services in collaboration with the Crown, with the DHB, we think we can take this extraordinary opportunity and begin to make a greater difference for and on behalf of our people,” Mr Morgan says.

He sees whanau ora as a chance to develop the public - private partnership model, where iwi provide the facility and Crown agencies take long-term leases.


Two waka set sail for a museum in the Netherlands today, one in a container and the other as deck cargo.

The 13 metre kauri waka Te Hono Ki Aotearoa, built by Ngati Kahu tohunga Hekenukumai Busby, is on permanent loan to the Volkunkunde Museum at Leiden, and the package includes a fibreglass training waka.

Tamara Temara, the operations manager for Toi Maori, says to ensure they arrive in top condition the waka were packed by Cyril Wright, the person responsible for packing the Te Maori exhibition.

A team of kaimahi whakairo is in Holland building a whare to house the two waka.


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