Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, February 07, 2011

Kapa haka giant Pimia "Nen" Wehi dies

The kapahaka world is mourning the death of Pimia, or as she was better known Nen Wehi.

Mrs Wehi, from Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Te Whanau a Apanui, Rongowhakaata, Te Whakatohea, Ngati Ruapani, was 80.

She and husband Ngapo were the driving force behind four time national champion Waka Huia, which they established in the early 1980s when they moved to Auckland from Gisborne, where they had won two national titles with Waihirere.

Trevor Maxwell from Rotorua’s Ngati Rangiwewehi group says she dedicated her life to keeping the traditional Maori performing arts alive.

Nen Wehi has been taken back to her ancestral marae, Waihirere just outside of Gisborne, after spending time at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland.


Te Tii Marae chair Kingi Taurua is angry the National Party group led by Prime Minister John Key broke off its welcome to the lower Waitangi marae on Saturday.

The ope left after Mr Taurua proposed a short question and answer session between the speeches and the hariru, when the two groups hongi.

He says a powhiri is not over until the manuhiri have joined the hosts for a cup of tea … but that didn’t happen either.

“They didn’t even bother abut the protocols sop I got a bit angry about that. I suppose they didn’t want to stay because they didn’t want to answer any adverse questions and so on,” Mr Tauroa says.

He says in the past even when dignitaries have come in for hard questioning they have stayed on for kai.


Labour's tourism spokesperson Kelvin Davis says Northland’s Maori community wants to make amends to three British tourists who were robbed at Whangarei Falls last week.

He says the frequency of thefts and assaults on tourists is a national disgrace.

Northland Maori tourism operators raised $2000 to help the trio travel to Wellington to replace their passports.

“We suspect that thy people who did this were Maori from the area round there and it’s a real reflection on us as a people. One of our tourism values is manaakitanga and we all know as Maori that means we’ve got to look after our visitors, treat them well, and certainly breaking into their car and pinching all their possessions is not displaying maanakitanga,” Mr Davis says.

The operators want to send a signal that Maori in Northland do care.


Waikato Tainui executive chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says iwi leaders won a promise of concessions on the seabed and foreshore legislation when they meet with Prime Minister John Key at Waitangi.

Mr Morgan says the iwi made clear their concern that the tests of customary ownership in the Marine and Coastal Area Bill were too harsh.

He says past Crown breaches of the treaty means many iwi and hapu would find it impossible to prove continuous use and occupation of their coastal zone.

“We’re pleased there is some movement in terms of those hapu and iwi who were subject to raupatu, whose lands were taken that ran alongside the coastline, so there was some movement, some concessions on the part of the government,” Mr Morgan says.

He says the government also promised a further round of negotiation with iwi leaders about the bill.


Northland could get high speed broadband before other rural areas as the result of a consortium between iwi and telecommunications operator Datalight.

The Ngati Whatua, Whaingaroa and Te Rarawa runanga have agreed to cover half of the $6 million cost of rolling out a fibre backbone from Auckland to Kaitaia.

Haami Piriripi from Te Rarawa says the iwi felt they couldn’t wait for the Government funding for rural broadband.

“We’ve learned not to rely on that, which is unfortunate, because we went to the government two years ago with this proposal, and two years ago it was seen as forward thinking and innovative. Now everyone else has caught us up and it’s looking as normal as anyone else’s. But if we did win the amount of funding we are seeking from that fund, it will allow us to recuperate our money three years earlier,” he says

Mr Piripi says the Datalight network model allows connection points every kilometer if required, and if should stimulate economic development in the region.


A Tainui carver hopes the twists and scrolls of bone carving will help keep rangatahi on the straight and narrow.

Rangi Wills ran a workshop at his Raglan studio this weekend in a bid to pass on his passion to young people.

He says he’s already seen how learning a skill can help people change their lives.

Rangi Wills learned carving in the 1980s from Bill Rawhiti, who ran two-year apprenticeships in Auckland for mostly troubled Maori youth.


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