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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hauraki, Maori Council mourn Jim Nichols

Maori council deputy chair Jim Nicholls, who flew the flag for a national Maori interest in the face of iwi sectarianism, has died.

The Ngati Hako kaumatua was the long serving chair of the Hauraki Maori Council.

Toko Renata, the chair of the Hauraki Maori Trust Board, says Mr Nicholls made a valuable contribution across the rohe, particularly in economic development, but he will be remembered most for the work he did on the national stage.

“Treaty of Waitangi was a founding document between two people and Jim was there at the top at Maori Council level actioning all those issues right across the whole spectrum. You name it, he was there,” Mr Renata says.

Jim Nicholls will be taken tomorrow to Matai Whetu marae at Kopu near Thames.

No reira e te rangatira takoto mai, takoto mai, moe mai raa.

MAORI PSYCHOLOGY BIBLIOGRAHY EXPANDS

The compiler of a bibliography of Maori psychology says there has been a massive growth in research on Maori in the past decade.

Erina Cooper, a lecturer at Auckland University, says when the second edition of the bibliography was published 10 years ago, there were nine Maori psychologists.

There are now 65.

“What we had was a few Maori writing a while ago, and a lot of information about Maori and since the last one we’ve done, what we’ve seen is Maori writing about Maori more and more and I think that’s the real celebration of the bibliography, it’s not just about us, it’s work written by us,” Dr Cooper says.

Topics like depression, smoking cessation and the effects of imprisonment on Maori have provided fertile material for research.

MAORI-THEMED SHOW WINDS REALITY TV PRIZE

The producer of the quasi-historical reality show One Land says he was surprised to win the top prize for the genre at the weekend's Qantas Film and Television Awards.

The show brought together Maori and Pakeha families in historical costume and put them through the kind of challenges people would have gone through in the mid 1800s.

Bailey Mackey from Eyeworks New Zealand says he doubted it had a chance against high rating shows like The Apprentice and Master Chef New Zealand, especially since it had 25 percent Maori language content.

“I thought we were the third horse in the race to be frank but to get up in a genre that was dominated by big overseas formats was really pleasing,” Mr Mackey says.

He only managed to get the entry form in at the last minute.

BLACK SPEAKS UP FOR SHAMFUL ELVIS SHEPHERD

A Maori language and tikanga expert says he spoke up for former Hato Paora principal Tihirau Elvis Shepherd out of concern for the wider whanau.

Shepherd was last week sentenced to eight years in jail for historic sex offences against male pupils at his previous workplaces, Hato Petera in Auckland.

Taiarahia Black, a professor of reo and tikanga at Massey University, quoted to the court part of a Ringatu prayer which asks for innocence, forgiveness and enlightenment.

He says it was important the totality of Shepherd's actions and achievements were considered in sentencing.

“When we look at our tipuna whare, what the Crown was going after was what he had done. I was merely reminding the Crown and others there are other parts to this person’s life which he has made a contribution and the testimonials were part of that. The quotes I was giving, the biblical passages, they were passages we were reminded of every time we sit down and have a karakia ourselves,” Professor Black says.

He says his own trust in Shepherd was shattered, but his whanau is left with the consequences.

SUFFRAGE BOOK REMINDER OF FORGOTTEN HISTORY

The author of a book on Maori women and the vote is pleased it has been transformed into an online resource by the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

Tania Rangiheuea says her book was put out by Huia Publishing in 1993 to mark the centenary of women's suffrage, but it's fallen out of print.

She says the role Maori women played in making New Zealand the first country to give women the vote was not widely known.

“It was through associations with Pakeha women that Maori women were able to learn about the franchise campaign and they decided thery would lobby for the same things in the Maori parliament so Maori women actually had a dual franchise campaign going at the same time,” Ms Rangiheuea says.

She'd like to see the suffrage movement made a compulsory part of the history syllabus because it is so fundamental to New Zealand democracy.

GEAR BEST PLAYER OUTSIDE THE ALL BLACKS

Rugby commentator Ken Laban says Ngati Porou outside back Hosea Gear is in the form of his life and must be included on the All Blacks' end of year tour.

The 26 year old was unstoppable in Wellingtons' 17-13 ITM Cup win over Hawkes Bay in the capital on Saturday night.

Mr Laban says it's obvious the All Black selectors are looking for size and speed out wide, but Gear is a match for Ma'a Nonu, Corey Jane, Rene' Ranger and Sonny Bill Williams.

“He's the best player in New Zealand who is not in the All Blacks. Pound for pound, minute by minute, he’s the most intimidating person to defend and his form has been great. If they don’t pick him this on this tour, they are never going to pick him,” Mr Laban says.

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