Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, October 06, 2008

Dream of kotahitanga in party

Maori historian Dr Ranginui Walker says the Maori Party represents the closest Maori have come to unity.

Dr Walkers says the Maori Party came to parliament with the support of all hapu to represent them on the foreshore and seabed issue and hapu should now treat them as the nearest thing to unity for Maoridom.

“Now that they’re firmly established as a party, they hold the four seats and might end up holding the balance of power, then it is beholden to the hapu to treat them as the nearest we’ve come to kotahitanga or unity to deal with tauiwi on the basis of the treaty,” Dr Walker says.

He says the Maori Party does the right thing by always going and talking to the people and talking to hapu about what they are doing and will do.


A Walters Prize nominee says the use of digital materials in reenacting marae creates a psychological view of the community hub.

Lisa Reihana who is one of four nominees for the Walters Prize award for outstanding contribution to contemporary art in New Zealand describes her 'Digital Marae' as a stylized reenactment of creation stories.

“Rather than that sense you’re going to look at paintings placed on a wall, this is really creating a whole psychological space. Even as a child I was always enchanted by our Maori histories, our legends, stories, as a homage to the work some of our amazing carvers have done in the past and continue to do in the present,” she says.

Reihana says drawing on traditional methods of recording whakapapa was her inspiration.


Meanwhile one of the country's leading tourism operators has also turned to electronics to enhance its activities.

Rotorua based Tamaki Heritage Tours are using an electronic travel buddy so visitors to the country can form a record of their visit to New Zealand.

Director Mike Tamaki says using a handheld Personal Digital assistant tourists will be able to access the whakapapa within a 1.5 kilometre radius of the location, giving an audible commentary.

"What ever they point the PDA at, after they track down 12 satellites, gives them audible commentaries about what they can see. We’ve zoned New Zealand into seven zones. They’ve got video cameras and still cameras so as people take photographs right down New Zealand, it electronically creates a diary at the end of their trip," Mr Tamaki says.

The PDA will link back to www.globalstorytellers.com allowing people to leave comments on the areas they have visited.

As well as the visitor moves throughout the country the electronic buddy will send information on the traveler to booking offices allowing them return welcome messages and offers.


National's co-spokesperson on Maori Affairs Tau Henare says his support for the party's tough line policy on violent offending should not be seen as turning his back on Maori.

He says the policy does not mean that Maori with needs will not be looked after.

“What we are saying is ‘look, if you want help, we will be there to help you, we’ll be in to rehabilitation, like so many in our community we’ll help you, but if you are going to reoffend and you’re a violent offender, I’m sorry mate, I think New Zealand’s had enough of it,'" Mr Henare says.

He says National said the same thing last election and it is just not a reaction to the present violence or the coming election.


The chair of national collective of Maori weavers says the future of weaving is in safe hands.

Edna Pahewa, the daughter of the late Emily Schuster, is on her way to the Celebration of Maori Art and Culture at San Francisco's de Young Museum.

Mrs Pahewa says Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa was established to revive the art of weaving and it has succeeded.

“Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa was formed by mum and Auntie Digger (Te Kanawa) and Te Aue (Davis) and them that could see the art dying. The revival is so strong we have over 350 registered and looking at what is being produced by the younger weavers, it’s in safe hands for the future,” she says.

This week’s event will showcase the best of traditional Maori art including ta moko and carving.


Maori broadcaster turned parliamentary hopeful Derek Fox has joined the chorus of mourners marking the death of John Tahuparae, the kaumatua of parliament who will be buried today.

The Nuhaka based editor of Mana Magazine says he has known Mr Tahuparae for many years but it's been in more recent times that he has been reminded of his depth of knowledge of the Maori world.

“He was able to exercise those duties as a tohunga for opening ceremonies, traditional sort of tikanga person. People like him are getting far too few on the ground and so it’s with a great deal of sadness that I mark his passing,” Mr Fox says.


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