Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wanganui gang problems addressed

Whanganui iwi say gangs are killing off their own whakapapa.

Community and iwi leaders met yesterday with mayor Michael Laws to address the gang violence in the city.

Twelve Mongrel Mob members have been charge with the murder of a two year old girl in a drive by shooting.

Iwi representative Nancy Tuaine says rather than geting bogged down in in the current situation, the iwi will focus on preventing youth from entering gangs.

She says iwi have to wake up to what's happening.

“We have to take responsibility for the fact it’s our kids killing our kids. These two gangs, they whakapapa back to each other in whanau circumstances. So somewhere along the line we’ve lost that, and we need to take responsbilty for making them join back up as whanau,” Ms Tuaine says.

The taskforce will spend the next three weeks studying the community and identifying options for further action.


A new resource should make Maori customary concepts more accessible for lawyers, scholars and policymakers.

The 500 page book Te Matapunenga is being launched this evening at a seminar at the Tainui Endowed College on the place of Maori custom and tradition in New Zealand's common law.

Alex Frame from Waikato Law School's Te Matahauariki research institute says it's a compendium of references, grouped together by subject in chronological order.

“Our researchers, led by a very brilliant young scholar Paul Meredith, have been researching through the archives and the Alexander Turnbull Library for statements by people who might be expected to know something about it as to what Maori customary law is. The compendium includes those references,” Dr Frame says.


Taranaki iwi have lost their oldest member.

Werenia Papakura, known as Auntie Ivy, has died at the age of 105.

The loss will felt not only by her hundreds of whanau but by the many Maori whose lives she touched while working as the matron of a New Plymouth Maori hostel.

Te Tai Tonga MP Mahara Okeroa says Mrs Papakura lived a long and happy life.

He says while the whanau is grieving, there is also a sense of relief for their kuia.

“It must be hell of a lonely, e hoa, to be the last one in all of your peers and whanaunga, well, ko tira ara ra ko i rung ate ara, so in a way there’s a certain relief, not really celebration, that she has finally gone,” Mr Okeroa says.

Ivy Papakura has been taken to Owae Marae in Waitara, where her tangi is starting alongside the annual Maui Pomare commemoration.


Bitter cold and blustery weather haven't deterred the hundreds of people who've come to Owae Marae in Waitara for the start of the three day Maui Pomare commemorations.

A large contingent from Tainui accompanied King Tuheitia on his first official visit to the Taranaki rohe.

The first day is known as the Hari Mate, when people bring home the memory of relatives who have died during the year.

Waatea News reporter Te Kauhoe Wano says it's taken on a special dimension this year.

“The celebration of Pomare Day this year is being marked by the response to the tono from Taranaki for King Tuheitia to bring the wairua mate o Te Atairangikaahu onto our marae. It’s his first official visit as king. So it’s a time when we welcome our dead back from the previous year, and it’s been heightened this year because we’ve lost Ted Tamati, one of our well known kaumatua, who was buried today at Muru Raupatu, a marae just down the road, so he came on and sat on the marae a little after midday for a short time before he went up to the urupa, and then overnight Auntie Ivy Papakura, our 105-year-old kuia, passed away, and she was brought onto the marae just before Kingi Tuheitia,” Mr Wano says.


A large group from Ngapuhi is in Rotorua tonight making sure an old feud with te Arawa isn't revived.

The hikoi was organised after a Rotorua District Councillor objected to a large picture of Ngapuhi chief Hongi Hika featuring in a mural at the Rotorua Events Centre.

Hongi's raid into the region in the 1820s left more than a century of bitterness.

But delegation member Julian Wilcox says the invasion also led to important whakapapa links.

“As a result of that, we are very much whanaunga, and our genealogy, our whakapapa goes back even before that right up until Rahiri, when one of Rahiri’s daughters, or some people say granddaughters, married Pikiao, who of course is a well known tupuna from within Te Arawa itself, so those kindred ties, as we say in Maori, can't be broken,” Mr Wilcox says.

Ngapuhi will help launch a book by Rotorua historian Don Stafford on Hongi's invasion, A Wild Wind from the North.


You've heard of Iron Chef. Now try steam chef.

Five of Wellington's best chef's are at Te Papa tomorrow competing in a hangi cook-off.

Organiser Mere Boynton says it's a novel way to mark the Maori new year, and it could open people's eyes as to what can be done with the traditional earth oven.

“We're getting four or five different chefs from around Poneke of different ethnicities to put their own spin on a hangi, so they’re given the same ingredients but they bring their own condiments, so our Oriental guy is brining some spices and probably some lemongrass and creating his own Thai style of hangi, so that should be interesting,” Ms Boynton says.

The hangi cook-off will be followed by Matariki in the Town Hall, a five-hour free family concert.


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