for The Kumara Vine
P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand
ISSN 0114-2097 - Issue No 5/90 21 May 1990
Mihi Hinepare Billie Te Tau Gemmell
Tuhi te uira,
Rarapa te uira,
Tangi ana te whaitiri,
Haruru ana te whaitiri,
Haruru ana te moana,
Haruru ana te whenua,
Haruru ana te wao tapu nui a Tane,
Kua hinga te totara nui,
Kua hinga te poutokomanawa o te iwi.
Tihei mauri mate.
Te taonga a te mate, takoto mai ra.
Takoto, e taku tuahine, takoto;
Takoto mai ra koe i te moenga roa,
I te moenga a Rongomaraeroa.
Kua whawhaitia e koe te whawhai pai,
Takoto, e moe, okioki.
Ma muri nei koe e korero,
Ma muri nei koe e whakaaro,
Ko koe te wahine rangatira,
Ko koe te rangatira wahine.
Mai i Te Wairarapa,
Tae noa ki Heretaunga,
Ae, ki Te Wairoa hoki,
Kia maumahara tonu matou ki a koe,
Ki a te totara haemata,
Ki a te totara whakahihi,
Ki a koe, e hine, ki a te whaea
O Te Runanganui O Ngati Kahungunu.
Piki nau ake, e hine,
Ki tou tini i te rangi.
Haere, e hine, haere ki te timatanga,
Haere ki te whakamutunga,
Haere ki o tatou matua me te iwi.
No reira, e taku kuru pounamu,
Taku kuru tongarerewa;
Haere, haere, haere atu ra.
Ka apiti hono, tatai hono,
Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate,
Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora.
Ki te kirimate, te whanau pani.
E Tame, koutou ko te whanau,
Ka nui taku mihi; ka nui taku tangi atu ki a koutou i tenei wa pouri.
No reira kia kaha, kia maia,
Ki te whai ao, ki te ao marama,
E nga iwi o te motu,
E nga tai e wha,
Tena koutou, tena koutou,
Tena ra koutou katoa.
This edition of Te Putatara is dedicated to my dear friend and whanaunga who passed away on 15 May 1990; to Billie Gemmell.
Kia ora tatou katoa,
A story I'm not supposed to print
from a friend whom I won't name
I don't usually print when I'm asked not to, but I couldn't resist putting this one in. Sorry kare!
She writes: "Kia ora kare,
... Hey don't print any of this - but I just wanted to tell you something hardcase about what happened at a hui I went to. Anyway there was this Pakeha fulla who is apparently trying to learn Maori, and part of the format of the morning was to introduce yourself, give a brief outline of where you're from, what you did and all that. NO REIRA ... Proudly this Pakeha stands up:
"Tena koutou, ko [......] toku ingoa, no [......] ahau. He kuramahita ahau engari kei te haramai ahau ki te whakarongo ki te titiro te nuinga o to TEKE. Ki toku nei whakaaro, he tino pai rawa atu to TEKE. Maku e tautoko tena. Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa."
Can you believe this guy? What are they teaching them at Waikato? AND he didn't even fidget!"
[Name withheld, modesty reigns!]
Tokitoki ana i tenei tuku,
Tokitoki ana i tera tuku,
Kei te takataka ana te iwi.
Tikina he take, hei take nui;
Haramai te tokotoko,
Hui e! Taiki e!
Engari, tekateka noa ratou
I te take o tera tekoteko.
Au, au, aue e!
E hika ma,
Ka tiketike te take teke ne?
Kati, ka tengatenga taku tuketuke!
- na Te Ti-boy.
"The lobbyists, the consultants, the top bureaucrats, the favoured academics, the trade unionists, the politicians and the Labour Party and PR hacks are all plunging their snouts like greedy pigs into the trough of taxpayers, money."
Spiro Zavos, in "the return of the native reporter", Metro.
TE PUTATARA is published monthly by TE AUTE PUBLICATIONS, P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand.
Copyright: Ross Himona, 1990
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.
Te taeke nui ...................... 2
Fan Mail .......................... 3
Wellington Watch .................. 9
Book Review ...................... 11
Dispatches from the Dungeon Bar .. 12
## Tena koe Ross,
THE PAUL CHASE KILLING OPTIONS
Recently you wrote briefly about the Paul Chase shooting. I still regard this killing as one of the Police's biggest foul-ups that was allowed, by the powers-to-be, to be concealed from public scrutiny.
Summarising, Chase was identified as being responsible for the firing of a shotgun into the ceiling of a crowded bar. No one was injured resulting from the shooting. Police inquiries to locate him immediately were unsuccessful. One policeman regarded Chase as dangerous from a previous dealing with him. This policeman's opinion sealed Chase's fate. There was never any evaluation by the Police of this policeman's reasons for regarding Chase in this light. This opinion can relate to any number of circumstances not necessarily related to the use of firearms. Nevertheless, Chase was placed in the "dangerous" category from that moment until he died.
The hotel shooting incident took place late on Thursday night. The Police located Chase's flat on Saturday morning. The Armed Offenders raided Chase's flat at 7 a.m. on the Monday morning - 4 days after the event. The Police worked on the wrong assumption that a person under the influence in a hotel on a Thursday night, who terrorises a bar by firing a shotgun into the ceiling, is likely to be still under the influence, and reacting violently, in bed with his wife and child at 7 a.m. in the morning 4 days later. How many people do you know who are likely to behave like that? The Police were of the opinion that Chase was going to be violent in an environment completely in contrast as to when the offence occurred!
The Police offer the explanation that at the time the flat was raided the shotgun used in the hotel had not been recovered. If this was the case, surely forcibly entering a flat was placing the Police at risk from being fired upon? Not a good option eh - from the Police point of view.
The occupants of the flat were known by the Police long before entry was made. They knew Chase was the only Maori male occupant of the flat, because as soon as he was seen, and was seen to be acting threateningly to the Police, he was shot at. Is that a correct assumption to make, or were the Police fortunate (and Chase unfortunate), that subsequent events prove to show that the Police shot at and killed the person they were after? Would the Police, in the normal course of events considering the circumstances, have carried out the dawn raid if the suspects were white as were the wife and child? I say not! Do the Police disregard normal and cautious planning when dealing with Maoris especially when care and discreet reactionary action is contemplated? I say in this episode they did.
There was no urgency to bring events to a head. The offence was 4 days old already. Personal behaviour patterns clearly show that a person is at his lowest resistance level in the early mornings when awakening from sleep. The Police are well aware of this fact. All their raids for any reason are carried out at dawn because of this human "down" period. The forcible entry of the flat frightened and alarmed Chase. Who wouldn't be? He reacted to protect himself and his wife and child and armed himself with a bullworker. The Police thought it was a shotgun, and shot him dead. Isn't this a likely result when the Police are armed and rely on the use of a firearm in circumstances such as this? The offender was THOUGHT to be armed by a policeman who was pointing a firearm at him and so fired his weapon. What other options were open to the Police so that the events could have been avoided?
There was no immediate urgency to arrest Chase - the Police had waited 4 days. In the present situation no one person was at risk; Chase, his wife and child were sleeping in their flat. No one in the adjoining flats were aware and subjected to any danger from Chase or anyone else.
This was the situation that the Armed Offenders, leader knew and assessed. This is an experienced Police member, of a considerable number of years service. He and his unit are the most disciplined and well drilled section of the Police. Its members undergo long hours of specialised training on contrived and selected incidents. Tactics are implemented in the field to suit the ever changing unknown behaviour of the offenders.
The Chase chain of events was not unusual. Chase, as the offender, was asleep in his flat. The flat could be secured. Residents could be aroused and led away from any violence. Communication could then be set up with Chase's family and the negotiations to surrender be commenced. Did the Police think the family was likely to be under any form of personal harm if this option was enacted? If they did, then wasn't it likely that raiding the flat was likely to aggravate their safety? Wasn't it a likely option, that if Chase thought that his wife and baby were likely to be harmed by any violence he instigated, that a peaceful end could be negotiated? The armed Police forcibly entering a flat into a narrow entrance way was a battle arena that was conducive to both Police and occupants of the flat being injured if shooting eventuated.
The point that has to be made - is that time was on the side of the Police and all these factors should have been discussed and analysed by the Officer in Charge of the Armed Offenders Squad. It is a Police tactic to use peaceful containing methods. This is a New Zealand Police unit we are talking about - not an anti-terrorist unit dealing with a death-threatening event.
These comments are made solely through personal Police experience or knowledge as to how the Police approach such an incident, reports of the news media, and subsequent court reports. I know I make these comments some years after the event - but there is nothing I have written which in the normal course of events, a rational experienced and clear thinking and organised Senior Police Officer would not have considered. Maybe I'll write a book about what happened and what may have happened!
## Tena koe Ross,
I read with considerable interest your article on Violence and the Police in Te Putatara of April 1990, because like you I am saddened by the calls for arming the Police. However, I found, while your arguments sound persuasive, I do not think they really hold water.
On the factual level, I do not think that the Police furnished themselves "with the Weaponry of an Army". They are still very much confined to what I believe are are called small arms. There's not yet a Royal Police Artillery or a Tank Squadron. Nor do I see the long baton as "lethal". After all how many people have been killed by a long baton in the decade the police have had them, I know of no-one.
I agree with you that it must be the pride of the Police always to use minimum force, but it is always their responsibility to have adequate force available to deal with any problems. What you are forgetting is that in our society where there has been a steady creep in the use of violence, and I am not only thinking of the simple violence of the bashers and the rapists, but of a general trend towards aggressive behaviour and an assertion of rights without the acceptance that any right carries duties with it. This sort of social trend means that the Police commitment to a minimum of violence is going to be different in the 1980's from what it could be in the 1950's. The Armed Offenders Squads became necessary because of a spate of fire arm incidents in the early 60's. The long baton was a necessary response to a situation in the 1970's where Police were more and more faced with people carrying knives or other improvised weapons. The days when matters were settled with the fist were clearly over. This rather than the massive disorder of the Springbok Tour was the reason that police brought in the long batons.
Even the anti-Terrorist Squads were created as an attempt by the Police to insist that if this situation did arise in New Zealand, it should be handled by the Police with their concern for minimum violence rather than the Army, which as you say lives by its weapons. Indeed, the Police devoted a great deal of time to training hostage negotiators and even employed a Psychologist to assist in such training to try to resolve the situations.
I do not want to go on, because I think the Police suffer the same fear and uncertainty that the rest of New Zealand society does. Their spokesman, therefore, adopts the easy solution of asking for more weapons and do not try to think out more lateral solutions such as Matua Whangai. But I do not think the Police have become more violent over the last few years.
My thought is that if we want this trend to stop, we must first calm the uproar in our own hearts and minds.
## Kia ora Ross,
Well what a nice surprise to arrive home from Hamilton and find Te Putatara in my letter box (under all my bills). Since my exit from Tari, the supply dried up. To make sure this doesn't happen ano, I'm rushing you my sub (more out of guilt than anything). I even thought it was a complimentary copy until I read further!! Sorry I can't add a couple of noughts at the end, if we all did that you'd have to stop working for a living out in the provinces - can't have that, what would you do in your spare time (joke)?
Don't worry though mum's the word in Tuwharetoa about what you've been up to - wild donkeys, I mean horses, wouldn't drag it out of us; ah, ah, ... but then again ....
Kia ora mai ano,
* E kare, kia ora koe. I can see it's just as well you're our whanaunga from Te Hauke; eh.
## Tena koe e Ross,
Thank you for the monthly issues of Te Putatara which I have been receiving gratis for some time because of some kind soul having given my name to your postal department. Your newsletter is the highlight of my hefty reading schedule. Keep up the good work! I am currently in funds (a rare occurrence) so please find enclosed my cheque.
Should you require any "gossip" from the North about our whanaunga Sir G.L. I would be delighted to oblige. Some of his public sayings up here are a little hard to stomach. On going against his people's opinions, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission", or, "If I make mistakes, I do so because I'm working for my People". Why should we carry that responsibility?
## Tena koe Ross,
Aku mihi atu ano ki a koe, taku mihi hoki mo nga pai o te nuinga o nga wahi korero o Te Putatara.
Engari, ki te korero pukapuka tena o Apereira, i manuka to hoa nei na te mea tera reta whakatoi na Milton Tawhai i tuhi. Ana kupu totoa ka whaki tona makuare.
Mai i 1974 ko Tipene O'Regan he Mema i waenganui o nga matua rangatira o te Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board. Mai ano i 1983 ko Tipene te Tiamana, ma te tono ki a ia o te whakaaro tahi i roto i to matou nei Poari. Ma te potitanga mahorahora a nga tangata o to matou Iwi, ma te mea whiriwhiri a Iwi, te tono mo te turanga a Tipene ki runga i te paepae puwhero o Ngai Tahu Whanui. Na reira kua muhenia a Ngai Tahu i tera kupu maniheko a Milton, motemea, mei a ia ina te tuku a te Kawanatanga te turanga o o matua nei kaiarahi.
Ko te tino rangatiratanga o Ngai Tahu Whanui anake te putake mo nga turanga katoa o nga matua rangatira o to matou nei Trust Board mo Ngai Tahu. Kia mohio, mehemea ka hiangatia matou ma he tangata i maminga mai ma te Kawanatanga, e kore e Ngai Tahu e tiro kauanuanu ki taua mokai.
E mohio pai ana te nuinga o matou o Ngai Tahu Whanui nga mahi a Tipene mo tona Iwi, koia ano ihi ki te mahi mo "Te Iwi Maori" o Aotearoa hoki. Kei a ia te mana o Ngai Tahu i roto i nga parekura maha i waenganui i a matou i a te Kawanatanga. I nga wa katoa e matutu ana a Tipene mo te Tiriti, mo nga tikanga o tona Iwi hoki. Ma reira te nuinga o matou e whakaae ana te tika o to korero i roto i tera atu Te Putatara: he "authentic Iwi representative" ia. Tautoko.
Na reira me whakahe e matou nga korero whakawhei a Milton. He aha tana mahi mo tona iwi, ahakoa mo ko wai? Kia kaua he tangata tipiwhenua e tukua kia mimi ki runga i nga haumata papauku o nga tupari puhuka o Aoraki. Otira, "Keria, keria!" Hei maungarongo ki runga ki te whenua, hei whakaaro pai ki te tangata. Tahuri mai ano ki taku mihi aroha ake ki nga tangata katoa e tautoko ana enei wahi korero o Te Putatara, mo te Tiriti, mo nga tumanako a Iwi, mo nga tikanga mo to tatou Ao mana motuhake, hei oranga mo o tatou tamariki i nga tau ka heke mai. Na reira kia ora koe Ross, tatou katoa.
na Marire Goodall (Otakou, Murihiku),
* One against, one for; the correspondence on the merits of Tipene is now closed. Ed.
Reflections on the Treaty
by Wi Kuki Kaa
On Waitangi Day there was a programme on the box called "How do you do Mr Governor?" I found the Tai Tokerau contribution dreadfully inadequate. Ne ra he paoho tenei naku o te Tai Rawhiti hai whakaoho i a kotou o te Tai Tokerau.
One Tai Tokerau contributor insisted that the Kahui Ariki had only seven days to discuss the treaty. Another also walked us along the beach at Paihia and kept referring to "Maori Chiefs" weren't they really Tai Tokerau people?
Ka hoki aku mahara ki a Ta Hemi Henare i powehetia hai whetu mo te rangi. He was adamantly possessive about the Treaty; "Ta matau taonga" or in an unguarded moment, "taku taonga".
Ten years before the first Waitangi Day the North was under extreme pressure from the re-settlers in the Bay of Islands clamouring for the right to buy and own a piece of land. Kei wareware tatau - ko te Maori ke te "settler". Apiti ki tena kua whakamatea ketia a Hongi Hika e tetahi tonu o wana tauraurau no Te Aupouri. The icing on the cake for us in the South was the annihilation of Pomare and his merry band at the battle of Matakitaki near Te Kuiti - thus did the Waikato neatly acquire their first supply of muskets.
Ka wehi haere ra nga koroua o te Tai Tokerau; "Kua mau pu a Te Waikato - apopo ko Te Arawa, ko Ngati Porou, huri noa ki te motu, me aha tatau?" He aha hoki te hua o wena whakamaharahara? The Kotahitanga of 1835 - otherwise known as the Confederation of Northern Tribes.
Sorry Dame Mira, they didn't have seven days - they actually plugged away at it for seven years or more.
An examination of the Tai Tokerau version makes that obvious - bearing in mind that they in the North are tangata wenua and not tangata whenua - it's written in their language. We of Te Hahi Mihingaro o Ngati Porou know it well enough; although we have our own reo, for some peculiar reason we still pray to God in Ngapuhi. What price cultural imperialism? Kati tena.
I resent the implication that the Kahui Ariki at Waitangi 1840 didn't quite know what they were about. E hika ma! They weren't dumb; they were learned men, products of missionary education. They wanted, because they needed it, a document to create some form of law and order: to protect themselves from the rapaciousness of the re-settlers whose material goods had helped to improve their standard of living; but also from those of us in the Tai Rawhiti and elsewhere still smarting from the humiliations inflicted on us by Cyclone Hongi, Cyclone Pomare or Cyclone Patuone.
The Tai Tokerau people were becoming prosperous - a situation which only thrives in a climate of peace.
The re-settlers especially the missionaries also needed the Treaty in order to legitimise their pieces of real estate recently acquired; by hook, crook, or holy book. Nobody is going to convince me that the aims of the Confederation (Kotahitanga) were forgotten from 1835 until 1840. Ko te kai a te rangatira, he korero. So you need less than half a wit to realise that the arguments went on at hui for years, culminating in that fateful day in February 1840.
The Ngapuhi version in my view is the original Treaty; first because it is well honed, and secondly because the Pakeha version is, comparatively anyway, inadequate. My third argument for the reo Ngapuhi being the real Treaty is the fact that so few of the Ariki present signed the Pakeha one. They would have been well aware of its shortcomings and happy in the knowledge that the Ngapuhi version catered for them more than adequately. Therefore the Pakeha version is simply a poor translation of the original Treaty. Are you listening Judge Durie?
Hai whakaoti i wenei korero e hoa ma I must be growing old - I no longer smart over what we owe the Tai Tokerau.
Na wai i whakahorapa i te pu?
Na wai i whakahorapa i te Rongo Pai?
Na wai Te Kotahitanga i kukune mai?
Na wai tatau i whakawhiwhi ki te Tiriti O Waitangi?
So when you meet a Tai Tokerau who gets possessive about te Tiriti, e hika! Tona tika hoki! Na te mea ko ratau hoki te Hiku-O-Te-Ika ne? Na hoki kia oioi te hiku ka kauhoe te ika. A ki a tatau katoa o te motu, Tihei Mauri Ora!
A Kumara Report
Archdeacon Sir Kingi Ihaka: "Which church has contributed most to the destruction of te reo Maori?"
Canon Wi Huata: "To hahi!"
E hoa ma , you all been following Winston's latest campaign against us? Don't get too upset about him, Winston only goes on about Maori Affairs because it's a good way to get himself into the Pakeha media. He really is just a creation of the media, with no substance at all behind the image.
E hika, I reckon Winston Peters would have to be the most empty-headed self-centred glory seeker in all Maoridom, if he is a Maori. Would a real Maori trample all over the mana of the people just to get the Pakeha to love him?
The best one about Winston recently is that he's not really a Maori at all; but, the trouble for Winston is, he's even more not really a Pakeha. Sad eh. Stop laughing you fullahs!
Cnr Russell & St Aubyn Streets
Every Saturday 7 am to 12 noon
Art, craft, kits, rewana, cakes, eggs, fish, Fat Mama's raffles, seedling, donuts, popcorn, kaanga piro, pot plants, clothes, pickles, bone carving, preserves, Rawleighs, VERY CHEAP VEGES, watermelon, watercress.
Phone 68 419 A/hrs.
a round-up of capital events
Ngati Refocus: Iwi Transition Agency
"Refocusing" is the new word at Head Office of Te TAI (Te Tira Ahu Iwi/Iwi Transition Agency). Read all about it in the May special issue of their newsletter, te "Iwi Express". There is an old saying in the military; "When you don't know what else to do, reorganise."
Paikare! Maybe they're into magic! Abracadabra, hocus, pocus, refocus! The kumara vine did report seeing Ali Baba and his forty consultants in there. Open sesame!
E Wira, maybe you could teach your Minister to refocus as well. Must be something wrong with his focus, because he seems to be the only one who doesn,t know that he's bald. Either that, or he knows but won't admit it; not even to himself. Honestly, can we trust a Minister who tries to deceive himself?
Iwi Authorities: Computers & Financial Systems
The April "Iwi Express" carries a piece advising iwi authorities not to invest in expensive new computer systems until a standard system is designed by Te TAI, and then "devolved", in due course. Absolute garbage. Some petty little bureaucrat is just trying to build himself or herself a data processing empire, and is using iwi as the excuse.
Iwi authorities and other Maori organisations should well know by now that control of information and communications is and always has been a technique of oppressive government. There is no logical reason why the computerised financial systems of iwi authorities need to be, or should be, standardised by ITA.
Has the government imposed this control mechanism on Pakeha local governments? Would it dare to? No. Accountability is ensured through the annual audit process, not through widespread compatibility, and standard computer systems. As standard practice you should make sure that your systems are not standardised with government, and that neither ITA nor the Manatu Maori can ever get into them.
ITA also gives some gratuitous advice about using chartered accountants to ensure accountability, and offers the services of R.W.Batley, Manager Finance, to advise on computerised systems. The record of government in computerisation is abysmal, as government departments have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on failed computer systems. The mainframe computer system ITA has inherited from DMA is another dismal failure, and is the last system in the world any iwi would want to standardise with.
The best place to seek advice is from the experts. The experts on finance are sometimes accountants; not all of them mind you, and certainly not those in ITA. The experts on computers are sometimes computer professionals; not all of them either, and there are none in ITA. The experts on iwi are always the iwi themselves, certainly not ITA. To date ITA has shown itself expert at nothing much at all.
E Wira, I think you need to do some refocus on your Deputy General Manager Operations. Refocus her back to obscurity where she came from.
Ministry of Maori Affair
Newsletters seem to be the in thing these days. Manatu has published the first edition of "Nga Kauwae" and I must say it's far more interesting than "Iwi Express" from ITA (although "Express" has improved). Shows the handiwork of a professional print journalist. Must be a Maori too, to make it interesting for Maori people.
But no amount of public relations professionalism can hide incompetence. The grapevine (Beehive Jake) reports that (temporary) Prime Minister Geoffrey de Psalmer has been thinking aloud about the (temporary) Chief Executive of Manatu Maori, about his lack of performance, and wondering how to get rid of him. Our mole on the dinner party circuit (Dinner Jacket Jake) reports that Don Hunn, (temporary) Chief Executive of the State Services Commission, has been thinking much the same dastardly thoughts. Only trouble is, Don Hunn is stuck with the man he appointed [and with his many other dud appointments at chief executive level].
The kumara vine reports that Hiwi the Kiwi Tauroa has taken up his appointment at Manatu Maori on a full time contract but plans to spend two days each week in Auckland. Engari, apparently he is also going to keep his seat on the Auckland Regional Authority: wonder if that means he still gets his ARA honorarium. Hika ma, when Cyclone Koro deservedly loses his job as Minister of Maori Affair and retires to the backbench backblocks in te Pihive, maybe John Clarke could take him onto the staff as well. That way, Koro could keep up with his politics, and he could still contribute his lack of expertise to Maoridom. Trouble is, Cyclone Koro is not an ex-schoolmaster. Or National Party. E hoa ma, you think I'm joking don't you.
The Military Network
Have you noticed the number of former military people Wira Gardiner has been recruiting into ITA? Well, you can't trust them either. They're just like those education bureaucrats that John Clarke relies on. Both lots are so heavily indoctrinated (colonised) that it takes about two years hard labour on the marae to de-colonise their minds. That's the good ones.
The only three places where large numbers of Maori people have been professionally trained over a long period have been Defence, Education, and the Church. All of them have been heavily indoctrinated as well as trained.
The Department of Maori Affair was another place where our people could have been trained, but all they got was some weird sort of indoctrination. A lot of them came to think that they were the iwi! True. Neville "IOU" Baker still wants to be Te Arikinui.
I don't like bureaucrats, eh.
For all those in Ngati Kahungunu (and elsewhere) who have been asking about absent friends, the kumara vine reports that Helen Kotua is quietly back in Pakipaki; and that her confidant man Rangi Whakaruru is not there but has flown back in a couple of times. He says he is based in Australia. We can't verify that, but if you want to get in touch with him we suggest you give their former confidant Neville "IOU" Baker a ring on (04) 720-588 (Neville's the Maori Trustee these days). Maybe Neville could use his Pakeha private defective to track him down for you.
- Confidentially yours, Editor.
Book Review: Mihipeka: Early Years
by Mihi Edwards. Penguin Books, Auckland, 1990.
The first published book written by a Maori woman was "The Old-Time Maori" by Makareti (Guide Maggie Papakura). It was published in 1938, eight years after she passed away in England.
And in recent years Maori women have led the way in almost all fields of Maori writing. Patricia Grace and Keri Hulme are names now known in many households throughout the land, and there is a legion of other published Maori women. But to my knowledge there have been no auto-biographies of Maori women (or men).
Aunty Mihi Edwards brings us a first with her own story of her early years.
"I wanted to write about how the Maori people lost the language, to let it be known how it really did happen. I made a vow in my heart that one day I would tell it from every point, every pinnacle, every roof top, so that there would be no more misunderstanding."
"I would let people know how important it is to hold fast to your identity, because without your reo you are nothing."
Kia ora, Aunty Mihi. You have done just that, and entertained us as well. I just love books by Maori people about themselves. There are thousands of titles written by Pakeha about Maori, and none of them can ever capture the simple essence of what it is to be Maori.
In the whole history of our struggle to shake off the worst aspects of colonialism Aunty Mihi, with her small book, has made an enormous contribution. For she has told her story herself. She has reclaimed from the Pakeha her inalienable right to tell her own story in her own way. And what is more, she has had it published and put on the shelves of bookshops all over the country.
Revolutionary? I think so. In her introduction Aunty Mihi herself says, "The Pakeha, the parliamentarians, are quick to condemn the already fallen person. They are not satisfied. They must kick him down further, especially the Maori, who is like an intruder in his own land."
With this book Aunty Mihi has pushed back. But we need to treat this book as an example of what we should all do. We need to tell our stories in print, in song, on film, on the stage, on the radio and on TV.
She begins; "My mother died when I was three weeks old. She passed away of the flu epidemic."
Mihi was looked after by her father and sisters at Maketu until she was five, and was then sent to live with her kuia at Manakau. This account of her early years covers her early school days, the simple but full life style of those days, the death of her grandparents, and the subsequent struggle to survive as a young Maori woman alone in a Pakeha world. She writes of her rejection of tikanga Maori in her attempt to get on in the world. It's a terrific book.
"Mihipeka: Early Years" was launched on Saturday 5 May at Tapu Te Ranga Marae by representatives of Te Arawa (with help from Ngati Raukawa and others), and by Haeata, the Wellington based Maori womens arts collective.
May they launch her next book; soon.
Dispatches from the Dungeon
Just as I sat down to write the old Dungeon column the phone went and off we flew to Mohaka for Billie's tangi, via Te Hauke and Pakipaki.
Just as well we never tried to fly direct because Ngati Pahauwera haven't got their own airport you know, even though someone told us they did. We've got our own airport at Te Hauke. Some of those Ngati Pahauwera are hardcase eh, just like Ngati Whatuiapiti, only more. You've just got to listen to Canon Wi Te Tau Huata to know that.
They've got their own Dungeon Bar at Mohaka too, just like we have at Te Aute.
I asked this fullah at the marae why they were flying the red naval ensign (NZ Flag) instead of the ordinary blue one. He said they prefer red because the roofs on all their whare are red! I reckon that maybe those fullahs up there think they're a ship! Or maybe the government thought those Ngati Pahauwera were Ngati Hakiwhero!
Anyway, while I was up there waiting for the powhiri, I took the opportunity to interview our whanaunga Rana Waitai, who is the District Commander of Police for Te Tai Rawhiti. He said he'd caught all the crooks in Te Tai Rawhiti, so I said how come he hadn't caught himself then? I'm too clever to catch myself, he said!
E hoa ma, I also suggested to him that he should see Lewis Moeau, who is the ITA man up there in Ngati Tai Rawhiti, and offer to do an investigation to see who's been leaking all his secrets to Te Putatara. Then I could tell Rana who it was, and Rana could make a big arrest and get all the credit for a highly successful spook bust. I'd do that for my whanaunga eh.
Well, Rana said, what if you tell me that it was my wife who leaked it to me, and I leaked it to you? Then I'd have to arrest myself! I'm awake to your tricks Te Putatara, he said. Paikare, maybe he is too clever to bust himself.
So there you go Lewis, you'll have to bring in the SIS now. Or you could send for Superintendent Koha Te Ngeru in the broom cupboard at Massey House. She's house trained so she won't leak on you - much.
Rana said for me to say "kia ora" to Fat Man. Kia ora John Paki. Kia ora Pat Park. Kia ora Cyclone Koro.
Anyway, one day while we were listening to the whaikorero I heard Canon Wi say who's that; and I heard Joss Stewart say, I know him, that's Peter Peter Tenderloin Eater. Canon Wi told me to print it. E hika ma! True, he was sitting on the paepae and telling me all these mad things to print. So you Ngati Pahauwera can blame him for this column. Hardcase eh!
Never mind though, Ngati Pahauwera got their own back on us for my hardcase column even before our pukorero got to speak. It was a pre-emptive strike! They must have known I was going to write about them, so they got in first. You know what? By the time all their speakers had finished they'd sung their Ngati Pahauwera waiata, and all of our Ngati Whatuiapiti waiata as well!
E hoa ma, Ngati Pahauwera. When you come to Te Hauke you can bring your ship. You can park it in our lake. We've got a harbour too, as well as an airport.