A Newsletter for The Kumara Vine
P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand

ISSN 0114-2097 - Issue No 11/89 26 November 1989




Putatara! Putatara!
Toi te hapu, toi te iwi, toi te mana:
te mana wairua, te mana whenua, te mana tangata; te mana Maori.
Ka whawhai tonu ake! Ake! Ake!
E nga iwi o te motu, e nga hau e wha,
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.




The Power of the Network



The bureaucracy or hierarchy is a means of concentrating power in the hands of a few. It is typical in New Zealand. Its power is less than the sum of its parts, but nevertheless the amount of power it bestows on its chosen few can be enormous.

The power of the network is much greater than the power of the bureaucracy.

A network is an empowering organisation. A network is many times greater than the sum of all its parts, and in a network power is shared equally by its members. The network cannot be destroyed by destroying a single leader, for its heart is everywhere. A bureaucracy is only as strong as its weakest link.

The whanau, the hapu, and the iwi are networks which have survived and adapted over many centuries. Their strength has been amply demonstrated over the last 150 years under a determined assault by the Pakeha to destroy the power of the Maori.

As well as attempting to destroy the economic base of the Maori by the acquisition of lands and fisheries, the settlers attempted to defeat the networks by destroying the many centres of spiritual, intellectual, and warrior leadership. They attempted to "de-tribalise" by separating the people from their true leaders. Then in areas where that did not succeed, they attempted to buy and install an aristocratic type of Maori leadership with the status of the British upper class. The currency was gold and titles, petty prestige.

Thus would they attack and control the source of our strength, our whanaungatanga; our whanau, hapu and iwi networks. Thus would they subvert our true leadership and convert the Maori networks into Pakeha hierarchies; brown bureaucracies.

But we have not succumbed. That the Pakeha retains a deep-seated fear of the Maori to this day is testimony to the power of the iwi networks to withstand both armed attacks, and the intellectual and bureaucratic attack in all its guises.

Whilst the Maori is now numerically small compared to the Pakeha, we are still much, much stronger. That is the strength of our culture and of the network.

The Pakeha has different hierarchies for work, play, education, family life, and politics. The whanau, hapu and iwi are networks which can provide all. That is another of the strengths of Maoridom.

And the Pakeha cannot see into the Maori networks, and cannot read the Maori mind. Yet the Maori sees into the hierarchies, and into the minds of the Pakeha. That is great strength.

Our weakness is trying to emulate the Pakeha, his hierarchies, and his power games.

To keep our advantage for a thousand years and more we need to minimise weakness, and to build upon strength. A great house is built from the bottom up. Empower the networks by starting at the whanau, and at the marae, and strengthening the ties that bind us.

Build the networks and forget the power games. A thousand dollars spent on networking will reap a greater harvest than a million on business dreams, and get rich quick schemes.

Do not forget those who have already been captured by the Pakeha; by his hierarchies, by his cities, by his gold and titles, and by his false promises. They too must be reclaimed to the fold.

May the force be with you, your whanau, your hapu, your iwi: we are tangata whenua, and we and the land shall survive.

Kia kaha, kia manawanui,
na Ross Himona.

[Article reprinted and revised from Te Putatara, November 1988]







"...the five dimensions that influence my life - spirituality, ancestral ties, kinship ties, humanity as a whole, and the earth as part of a vast universe. Taku taha Maori, my Maoriness, gives me a strong core, a force-field that can help me to stand up and do something for myself in today's world."

- Rangimarie Rose Pere



TE PUTATARA is published monthly by TE AUTE PUBLICATIONS, P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand.

Tea Boy

Ross Himona

Copyright: Ross Himona, 1989

All material appearing in TE PUTATARA is copyright. Contributions are welcomed. Letters to the tea boy are also welcomed.




1 copy $4.00
3 months $12.00
6 months $23.00
12 months $45.00

Subscribers please note that your subscriptions cover up to and including the month which appears on the address label of your envelope.







The Power of the Network .......... 1

Fan Mail .......................... 3

A Letter from Wellington ...........5

Wellington Watch .................. 7

Review: Poetry .................... 9

Dispatches from the Dungeon Bar ...10





Fan Mail



Kia ora Ross,

I have a suggestion for a new name. What about Te Putatara? This was the instrument that the sentinel used to alert the pa to impending danger; it was the clarion that called the people to the ramparts and stockade against an approaching enemy; it was the sound to be vigilant. I know put this way it sounds a bit dramatic but under the circumstances in which you're endeavouring to alert Maori people to the events of the day, it might be appropriate. Anyway, at least it's not rude! I could have suggested something like Te Rahotu or whatever!

Hamu Mitchell,

* And that's how Te Putatara came to be named, and that's what it means; for those of you who have asked.



Dear Ross,

Tena koe mo nga pitopito korero mo tenei wa ka pai hoki. How are you, hoping kei te pai koe. I've had a hectic, fantastic trip, overseas for 20 days, tired maybe but still kicking at 73 years of age. Enjoyed every step all the way & I shall do it again.

First of all I am writing to let you know that I took one of your Putatara Pamphlet with me & broadcast it wherever I went. Our first port of call was Los Angeles & we stayed at Bueno Park Hotel. Left the booklet at the office for everybody to read. Next was San Francisco Californian Hotel then visited Tiajuana, then to Mexico & on to Las Vegas where we stayed for 3 days & I collected $49 at the Casino. We moved on to Honolulu, stayed for 5 days at Coral Reef Hotel, tired out but still tipi haere last port of call. The booklet passed on to different nationalities and was displayed at the Brigham University. My daughter is a teacher there for 18 years, the students in her class thought it was great about the kumara vine, so you see it has travelled part of the world & I am sending what I have to Hawaii.

I think what I'm writing about would be a good advertisement for your next booklet. By the way my daughter has two sons who are on a Mormon mission for two years, the eldest son Ie Hina M'oo is in Japan at the moment, the second son Nathan Ie Rarawa M'oo is in Brazil & both boys had to learn the languages within 3 weeks. The eldest daughter Malani & her husband Gary Nagy is in the Army in Germany & both are on holiday for 3 weeks in Europe, the youngest daughter Ruita M'oo is still at school at Hawaii. Marsie has 2 degrees to her credit (Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts) & is sitting for her MA. Her husband Te Hina Senior is an electrician. So whenever you take a trip visit them at the Polynesian Centre. All welcome.

Well Ross that is news for your booklet. When in Ruatoria pay me a visit, you are welcome. No reira ka mutu i konei, thank you for your time.

Hei kona ra,
Haromi Nepe.

* Kia ora Haromi, and thanks for the publicity. Do you think I will need a visa to get into Ngati Porou to visit you?



Kia ora e te taniwha o Ngati Kahungunu ara te tiboy.

As you will have observed Mrs Jake is on loan to MANA to sort out its problems. As she has been trained by me she is a street fighter and survivor of the highest order. She knows nothing of the rules of bureaucracy and not knowing who she is supposed to kowtow to she treats everyone alike, or as the case may be, abuses everyone alike from ministers down! That will be a refreshing change from the rank conscious - it also means that she has no trouble chopping heads off.

Good to see that the Fat Man has got a job with ITA. Some bizarre selections out in the field and they must have been done by a loony who knows nothing of Maoridom - but there were some good ones too - like Darcy on the West Coast.

Any news about the next Kotahitanga hui. Last time the organisers had to be reminded that Horouta was a significant waka. As it was the "Horouta Hit Team" straightened out the kaupapa and will do so again if needed. I would say that the next Kotahitanga hui will be somewhere in the Kingitanga rohe and then a final one, in Wellington where I hope the organisers don't try to play the old fait accompli tricks of the whakatauira days. Kotahitanga is about the people and not about bureaucratic convenience.

My regards to the Dungeon crew.
Jake (the real one)
c/- The Winterless East.
PS. Who is Reriko?

* Aua. If the kumara vine doesn't ID her soon, I might have to hire a Private Eye! Can anyone recommend a good one?




A Letter to Keri Kaa


Keri Kaa,












Tena ra koe,

Kei te tino mohio te ao, ko koe he wahine tino pai, tino tika hoki, ngawari me te etc. Ka amine hoki koe ki te Atua Kaha Rawa i nga wa katoa.

Ahakoa kei te Akopai koe ka mahi, kua korerotia e ia, ko Ihowa, he paepae ano mau.

Ko tenei he tohu aroha mou hei whiwhi mahi mo nga ra o muri nei.

No reira, e toru nga mea o nehe nei mou: whakapono, tumanako me te moni.

Kia piki te ora,
God +

* Can anyone help Keri? Is this one of you out there on the kumara vine? Or is it really you, Ms God?




Waikaremoana Guided Tours

Pig Hunting
Deer Stalking
Trout Fishing

Contact: Noel Himona
P.O.Box 351
Tel: (0724) 23-729





A Letter From Wellington



15 November 1989


Dear Sir,



I refer to an article sent to you under cover of my letter dated 15 September 1989 and note that the publication has yet to appear in an issue of Te Putatara.

I am concerned that your publication does not appear to want to publish the article in order to give a balanced view of the issues raised by the articles submitted by Te Runanga O Wharekauri in the edition of Te Putatara published in June of this year. I am also concerned that you have not confirmed receipt of the article and am left wondering whether you have decided to censor publication of the same. If this is correct (and you have not responded to the contrary) I regard this decision as culturally insensitive toward the Moriori and request the courtesy of your affirmation or other explanation for the non-publication.

I look forward to your urgent reply.

Yours faithfully,
Maui Solomon.


And A Reply


Tena koe Mr Solomon,

May I say that I am glad to know that your organisation is no different to a great many others on Te Ika A Maui and on Te Waipounamu; you seem to be a regular reader of my modest publication, but you don't appear to have paid a subscription - yet! Perhaps you read the Department of Internal Affairs, copy, or Dr Michael King's? I am also flattered that you accord Te Putatara such great respect by insisting on being published in it. I had thought that with the recent publication of Michael King's history of the Moriori, which I believe you asked him to write, you would have achieved coverage far beyond the meagre capacity of Te Putatara.

Unfortunately the article you submitted was written in the form of a report or submission, was quite long, and would have needed massive editing to prepare it for publication. You will also be aware that Te Putatara is only a ten page monthly, and space (which to you is words, and to me is money) is usually at a premium. Therefore, I always have far too much material rather than too little. As to the lack of acknowledgment of receipt of your article, you should be aware that it is usual for contributors to include a stamped self-addressed envelope if acknowledgment or the return of an article is required.

Furthermore, if you are genuinely interested in writing in magazines and newsletters you should understand that non-acceptance of your articles does not constitute censorship. Your writing must not only be topical and well-crafted, but also written in the style of your target publication. As a final piece of advice may I suggest that as the Editor holds all the cards in the game of publish or not-publish, you will not get yourself published by adopting an imperious, even mildly threatening tone, in your correspondence with editors.

In this case however you have succeeded; sort of, eh.

And now to the issue of cultural insensitivity. I believe that you and I have much in common. I understand that like myself you have a Pakeha mother, and like myself as tangata whenua (or tchakat henu) you descend from a number of iwi/hapu. You will no doubt correct me if I am wrong but I understand that you yourself are Ngai Tahu and Ngati Mutunga, in addition to being Moriori. Indeed we have more in common. My Ngati Ira tipuna (from Te Whanganui-A-Tara) were well and truly stoushed by my Te Ati Awa tipuna, and others; and it could well be that some of those were the same ones that went down to Wharekauri-Rekohu, attacked your Moriori tipuna, and eventually became your Ngati Mutunga tipuna.

Like yourself, my prime allegiance is to one iwi. In my case it is to Ngati Kahungunu for I was born and raised Ngati Kahungunu, although I have strong and proud links to Rangitane, and also to Ngai Tara, Ngati Ira and Te Ati Awa. I fully understand your choice to be Moriori. However I am sure that you, like myself, remain proud of all your ancestry, if not all your ancestors. I am sure that you too have by now forgiven those of your tipuna who did unkind deeds unto your other tipuna.

I understand that in the Chathams about 50 percent of the population is tangata whenua/tchakat henu, and that about 75 percent of the tangata whenua/tchakat henu are, like yourself, descended from both Moriori hapu and "Maori" or mainland hapu. This being the case I see any disagreement between your Tchakat Henu Association and Te Runanga O Wharekauri-Rekohu as being quite normal; as factional in-house political conflict, rather than inter-cultural conflict between "Maori" and "Moriori". Indeed I have been informed that some of those in the Tchakat Henu Association were once part of Te Runanga O Wharekauri-Rekohu.

Now that Dr King has told the story of the Moriori, the next story which needs to be told is the way that this and previous governments have attempted to foster division between the present day "Maori" and "Moriori" in the Chatham Islands, to divide and rule and to maintain the colonial status quo. The real story is the one which tells of deliberate government favouritism towards one or more minority tangata whenua/tchakat henu factions. As an adjunct to that story you might care to write of your own involvement in the internal politics of Wharekauri-Rekohu or Rekohu-Wharekauri. I am sure your account of the modern day conflict will be a valuable addition to Michael King's history of the past.

But the story I would really like to tell about the Chathams, and everywhere else in the land, is how the tangata whenua/tchakat henu came together as proudly separate nations of iwi and hapu, but as a steadfastly united people, to jointly oppose and defeat the very real cultural insensitivity which is, and has been for almost 150 years, the hallmark of oppressive tauiwi government.

E Maui, would you care to contribute to that story? The story of our common future as tchakat henu/tangata whenua in this our own land. It is a story we shall have to live, before it is written.

Kia ora,
Ross Himona.





Wellington Watch

A Roundup of Capital Events



NZ Maori Council Hui


On Friday October 27 the New Zealand Maori Council (finally) held its quarterly hui, one or two quarters late. It was a very quiet hui, not at all like the usual NZMC hui. Must be they had some things to be very quiet about eh. Ranginui Walker was noticeably absent.

Here's some of the things that happened. First of all, the media turned up with copies of the main paper on the agenda, but they weren't allowed to stay, and the President got a bit upset about the leaked paper. Mind you, it's hard to call it "leaked" when it was already sent out to all our "representatives" on the Maori Council, so we would all know what our "representatives" were going to decide on "our" behalf. Eh. Secondly, Te Putatara did not get thrown out with the media, mostly because Te Putatara knew a thing or two and didn't even bother to try to get in.

On to business. The Administration Committee was granted new terms of reference, and one of the terms of reference gives the admin committee new powers to control spending and finances. That seems a very sensible move eh. The financial statements for the Council, for the Fisheries Grant, and for the Forestry Grant were all tabled. They weren't audited and they didn't contain any embarrassing detail, so that bit went fairly quietly without too many embarrassing questions. But there were one or two, you understand. See, I told you it was a quiet hui.

Te Putatara has spent quite a bit of time going over those accounts. Financial statements are a report, just like any other report. Sometimes everything is crystal clear, sometimes you have to read between the lines to see what really went on, sometimes all the interesting bits are totally left out. The NZMC financial statement didn't say much but it was very interesting, if you know what I mean, eh.

The other major item on the agenda was a proposal to move the office of the NZMC up to Whangarei, mostly because they can't afford to keep it in Wellington. At least that's how the story goes. The hui decided to keep the office in Wellington. That sounds like a sensible decision eh.


The Bank of New Zealand


Nothing to report this month, but don't ever take your eyes off the People's Bank. The last time we did they lost all our money eh!


Sad News about the Travel Fund


One of those people who used to work in the Late and Not-Much Lamented Dear Old Department of Maori Affair has come in from the cold, and joined the kumara vine. E hoa ma, this one has heaps of juicy information which will keep us going for many months.

This month our friend wants to send a message out to all those worthy and respectable people who had a "travel arrangement" with the old Tari Maori You know eh, all you people who used to book your travel and accommodation up to the Tari, and your friend(s) would pay. Well the message this new kumara vine has to send is:

"Sorry folks, you can't do that any more with the Iwi Transition Agency. They're getting honest in there!" Boy, that is sad news eh! For some.


A Sad Duty


You know that name I've been calling the Honourable Mr Winston Peters, Member of Parliament for Tauranga; Winnie Te Pukeko? Well, I'm afraid I made a big mistake and I have to apologise to all the pukeko out there; even the ones trying to scratch up our kumara scandals.

In the beginning they were quite flattered because the upright and most honourable Mr Peters is a sort of a handsome dude in his dark blue double-breasted suits eh. Ahakoa, he might be a bit on the short side to us, but to the pukeko he looks very tall and imposing. Just what the pukeko would like to be eh. And he makes a lot of noise too. So they adopted him on my recommendation.

But not long ago the Pukeko Council of Elders had a big hui, and high on the agenda was a review of the performance of their man on Te Hill, the most honourable Mr W. Peters. They talked far into the night but it did not take long before they became very agitated indeed.

You see, the kaupapa of Te Whanau Pukeko is kaupapa Maori. Tuturu Maori. But the unanimous opinion of the reporters from the Pukeko Gallery at Parliament was that their honourable Mr W.Peters didn't even believe in kaupapa Maori, let alone kaupapa Pukeko. He was seen on TVNZ openly proclaiming himself to be an avowed "individualist", and opposed to "tribalism" (or his version of it). He was seen to oppose every initiative to restore Mana Pukeko. He had even called members of the Pukeko Council of Elders "sickly black liberals".

Long into the night they discussed what they could do about their predicament. There were some who called for compassion; and some who called for blood. There were some who said that maybe they could send him on a total immersion course in Te Reo Pukeko and mend his ways; there were some who said he should be totally immersed, kua mutu. There were some who wanted to send a taua to Te Upoko O Te Ika to bring back te upoko a Pita. No reira, the cooler and wiser heads eventually prevailed, and as dawn broke over the swamp, and the time came for all good Pukeko to once again face the harsh reality of life in Te Ao Freemarket, they made a decision.

Mr W.Peters was to be banished from the whanau, and would no longer be permitted to bear the honourable name of Te Pukeko. Ae, and as Te Whanau Pukeko bear the red mark of shame on their foreheads for stealing Tawhaki's kaimoana, so they decided to give W.Peters his mark to bear forever as a sign of his faithlessness.

They have decreed that from henceforth he will be known throughout Te Whanau Pukeko as "Peacock Peters".

Ka aroha!


Cyclone Koro's Maillist


How about this one. Apparently some cheeky fullah in Tamaki Makaurau sent a letter to Koro, saying; would he please take them off his maillist because they have better things to do than read all the rubbish that MPs put out, thank you very much, Sir. Well they still get all Koro's news releases, and are complaining that they can't get off the list.

Te Putatara has the opposite problem. Despite many requests to the Office of Cyclone Koro, I can't get on it. E hoa ma, I like reading rubbish as well as writing it you know.





"Up Here on the Hill"

by Bub Bridger

Mallinson Rendel, Wellington, 1989. $14.95.

"I'm part Maori, part English, half Irish. I don't know anything about the English bit, but I feel Maori, and I feel Irish, and that feeling sings in me like the wind."


You know how a lot of Pakeha poetry is head-poetry, no-heart-poetry; smart-arse poetry, not-really-felt-poetry? Just clever words?

Well, Bub Bridger's poetry is Maori poetry; probably Irish poetry too. Bub is Ngati Kahungunu, and Ngati Airihi. From different sides of the Earth, both are strong old-world cultures; both still feel the harmony of the universe, and the joy of life, in everyday things. Both still retain the strong oral traditions of the peoples of old, whose very being sang in them like the wind. Both are peoples of the wairua.

Bub's poetry, though formed in English words, comes straight from the heart in the Maori tradition. She sings of her loved ones, family and friends:

"I still see you in a flowing dress
Your dark hair heavy and gleaming
In the sun I remember the fresh fruit
Smell of you your girl smile and your
Small neat hands and sometimes in the
Street I catch a glimpse of you in
Someone else
's face - and my heart

- From "Chele" [to a daughter, gone away].


There are songs of Mother Nature in her many guises:

"Before I die
I want to see again
Something as perfect
As the sight
Of those nineteen
Black swans that flew
High against a bank
Of grey cloud turned
Silver at the edges
In the cold winter light."

- From "The Swans, for Jilly"


And occasionally there is a touch of sadness; a wistful yearning for what might have been, perhaps:

"I'm a little in love with you
To cause you embarrassment
Or concern
Just a warm
Skip of the heart
When I see you from
My bus
At your stop"

- From "Confession"


The collection is rounded out by two fine laments for Bub's father, "Long John Montgomery" and "Johnny Come Dancing".

All twenty-two poems in this small collection have been published in the "Listener" and Bub has a devoted following amongst "Listener" readers. They have turned out in force to buy this book and it is already in it's second printing after only a few months on the shelves. Ordinary people buy Bub's poetry; it is written about ordinary people, for ordinary people to read and enjoy.

And it is saying aloud poetry, in the warmth of your tipuna whare, or from the top of your maunga. For it sings of aroha.





Dispatches from the Dungeon Bar



Now, before I start, I'd like to clear up one thing about my drinking habits.

The other night when I went down to the Dungeon, my new friend Hana Hartley seemed quite surprised when I got myself an orange to drink. He must have thought that I tell tito in this column eh. By the way, that was an orange drink, not just an orange; in case you were confused. One of my hardcase whanaunga said that was because I needed to keep my ears sober so I could remember all the secrets John Paki and Hamu Mitchell and Hana Hartley let slip. Another of my hardcase whanaunga said no, it was because I needed to keep my mouth sober so I wouldn't let slip any of my own secrets.

You can imagine what other parts of taku tinana they started to talk about eh! The truth is that I drink orange because I don't like the company of drunks, but when you get drunk yourself, well it's real hard to get away from yourself eh. So there's the real reason, just in case you wondered.

And for all those who didn't wonder; well let's get on with the story. If you've had enough you can stop now.

Speaking about parts of the body, there was this nice fullah from the Urewera down there in the Dungeon. He said his waka was the Mataatua and it was actually the first jet plane, and that it was invented by his tipuna. He said it was a Tuhoe Longreach 747 and it crash landed in the Urewera about 25 generations ago. That's what he said. With a straight face too. Apparently they're still looking for the black box recorder! Maybe Elsdon Best found it and put it in the Dominion Museum. Anyway, who am I to argue with oral tradition? Especially Dungeon Bar oral tradition!

Even though I only drink orange, I still believe what I'm told down there; some of the time eh. I asked that Tuhoe; "Can I quote you?". He said; "Tell them Tawini Rangihau told you!"

Give me a ring Tawi and I'll tell you his name. Thanks for the subscription Te Karere.

Have you noticed how public servants always act twitchy around normal people? You watch them, the way they act as though they know big secrets that are too sensitive for we ordinary Maori immortals to know about. It's all a big act really. What I reckon when they get twitchy around me, is that they've got something to hide eh. Some of those ITA people who used to be in the old Tari Maori, they still get twitchy down in the Dungeon. Never mind you fullahs; time will heal your twitches. I hear you've all got six months to get healed!

Talking in riddles again Ross. Well, the kumara vine says that Wira Gardiner has given his staff in ITA six months to shape up, or they might have to ship out. They reckon that goes for everyone. One or two of those fullahs might have to get that Longreach 747 going again, eh. They could get a low interest jet repair loan from the Maori Trustee to fix it up. And maybe they could get a Matua Whangai grant to help with the fuel to get them back to Hawaiki. Or a Rangatiratanga Grant to take their croquet team with them!

If you think I'm the porangi one, I know a few of you out there who would be dopey enough to buy a seat!