a newsletter for the kumara vineIssue No 1/97 - 31 January 1997 ISSN 0114-2097
Te Putatara is published monthly by email by Te Aute Publications, P.O.Box 408, Wellington, New Zealand. Edited by Ross Himona. It is also published on the World Wide Web at the following URL: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/rhimona/back.htmCopyright: Ross Himona. Feel free to print, copy and retransmit but please acknowledge source.
Putatara! Putatara! Ki te whaiao, ki te ao-marama, Tihei mauriora!E nga iwi o te motu, e nga hau e wha Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.New Times, A New Style ======================Now I know that many of you are expecting me to take a poke and a swing at a few people, the way I used to in the good old bad old days. But times have changed and so have I, and I've learned a few new things these last ten years. For one thing, I no longer have to hit people over the head with a patu to get their attention. The new Te Putatara will be a gentler, kinder publication, I think.But don't shout your disappointment out there. I hope it will be just as interesting and entertaining. I'm sure you'll let me know if its not.And so to Wellington. The Coalition Government is causing public servants a lot of work as the two partners learn how to work with each other, and as associate ministers from a certain party learn that they are associate ministers, not real ministers. I guess it will take some time for some of the new ones to realise that up there at Te Whare Miere the honey of power is not only very very sweet, but it can also be very very sticky as well. Unfortunately Tukuroirangi Morgan and Tau Henare might be finding out about that at the moment.As to the breaking story scandal about Maori broadcasting, well there's a lot more media mileage left in that one. And some political bullets to be bitten. At least one politician is going to carry the can for this one; might even be sacrificed by his party, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out who. Mind you, I sit here, tempted to weigh in myself; but I hear in the back of my mind the voice of one of my kaumatua telling me that if I can't find anything good to say, then say nothing.Just say a karakia for Maori TV.I bet that has surprised a lot of you hasn't it? Well that's the new Te Putatara. You've got more surprises coming your way these next few months!No reira, e hoa ma kia ora koutou katoa.Kotahitanga ===========February 6th approaches and we will soon once again celebrate or commemorate or commiserate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The Government will again play safe, lock itself away at Government House in Wellington, where Ngatata Love (CEO of Te Puni Koretake) will be the safe guest speaker. The iwi will once again head north to Waitangi; or south for a few of you. I'll probably spend a day in the sun with friends at Frank Kitts Park in Wellington. We'll celebrate being Maori.You all know the efforts that have been made over the years since the signing of the Treaty to bring the tribes together in one voice; Te Kotahitanga, Te Kauhanganui, Te Kingitanga, Ratana, and latterly, Te Congress, and others. Te Kingitanga and Ratana have survived having only partially achieved their goals. The rest have failed for many reasons. One reason is that the authentic voice of the people is yet to be heard above the clamour and cacophony of a thousand would-be rangatira.This technology, this Internet, it seems to me, has the potential to allow those voices to be heard. At the moment those Maori on the Net are mostly at Universities, Polytechs and Government agencies, but the potential for the iwi is enormous, given time and encouragement, and education, and the will to do it. It has the potential to drown out the puny roar of the dominant stags.But we have a long way to go. So far few Maori are using the Internet for anything other than email on a one-to-one basis. World Wide Web Homepages built by Maori about Maori can be counted on the fingers of one hand. There are three people publishing electronically about Maori issues. The other two are Pakeha. There is little Maori participation in Newsgroups, no specifically Maori newsgroup, and no open Maori listserv subscription discussion group. We need to get into it. Is there any university or polytech out there willing to host a Maori Listserv discussion group?For my part I plan to get one person/whanau/ropu onto the Net each month. I'm behind on the numbers but I'm getting there. Why don't you join the crusade.Kotahitanga is about ordinary people communicating and sharing across geographical, cultural, social and economic divides; and across the tribal divides.For a list of quite a few Maori on the Net go to my website - see the URL address at the end of this newsletter.Maori Policy ============I hear on the kumara vine that Te Puni Koretake is running a few millions over its budget and that there is a freeze on new appointments in the policy area. Which is a bit disastrous for them really, since their main kaupapa is to provide policy advice to Government. Somehow in the last few months their focus has wandered off their kaupapa and the budget has disappeared elsewhere.But it does highlight something that has been in my mind for months, and that is that Maori policy is too important to leave to the politicians, and to public servants, even the Maori ones. Some would say, especially the Maori ones. Joking, just joking! For most of the last decade most of the iwi focus has been on getting access to the resources controlled by Government, and a relatively small effort has gone into getting control of Maori policy. Some have tried, and an enormous amount of much needed cash has been transferred to pakeha lawyers in the litigious process.Much of the effort of Maoridom to influence policy has gone into the political process, and we are left with a paucity of intellectual underpinning for the cause. I can hear you academics protesting from here at Island Bay, but you haven't really put much scholarly effort into the cause. Too often what comes out of your institutions is little more than propaganda and rhetoric, and their intellectual counterpart, dialect.In truth the intellectual running has been left to a few Maori public servants, with a rather narrow focus on Treaty Analysis, and there is no breadth at all to the policy we are governed by. We get what we deserve you know. A while ago Eddie Durie, in an article in Mana Magazine, lamented the lack of scholarship in Te Ao Maori. He was absolutely right. So many Maori academics and so little published scholarly output.Having stirred you up and insulted some of you I'll leave it there, but I'll write more about different analytical frameworks next month. Other than Treaty Analysis that is.Which brings me to the real point of this piece; that with this Internet technology we have the opportunity to formulate Maori policy together. At the moment Maori on the Net are mostly academics and public servants; we're missing the vital iwi contribution. However that is still a good starting point, better than what happens at the moment.In total I estimate that there would be about 400 of us on email. I've found a few hundred, but I know there are more. That could be an enormously influential mastermind group, working together, communicating and sharing ideas. Just imagine the impact of all those minds working together.What we need is one of the institutions to host that Maori Listserv online discussion group I wrote about earlier.Te Aute, Te Aute, Te Aute =========================This story is dedicated to the memory of my Aunty Merituhi who told me all about it, and who told us never to give up on any of the causes she handed on to us.E hika ma, some of you know that my hometown is Te Aute. Well it would be if we had a town at Te Aute eh. But we haven't even got a school at Te Aute any more. No we haven't. We used to, and it was called Opapa School, only now its a house. I went to Opapa School at Te Aute. And we used to have Opapa Railway Station at Te Aute, only now its a shed. And we used to have Te Aute Store at Te Aute, only now its a museum. But we've still got a bank at Te Aute, and its called Te Aute Pub.Some of you think that Te Aute College is at Te Aute don't you? Well its not you know. Te Aute College is at Pukehou just up the hill from Te Aute, and just across the paddock from Pukehou School.BP (before Pakeha) we in Ngai Te Whatuiapiti had our pa at Te Hauke, and we had Te Aute just up the road, and Pukehou just up the hill from there. Te Riu Kainga O Te Whatuiapiti.Then along came Te Wiremu Te Mihinare and he built Te Aute College at Pukehou. Then along came the railways fullahs and they built a teeny little railway station, he teihana iti, at Te Aute and they painted a sign on it saying "Opapa". So the old people, they snuck up in the middle of the night and they painted it out and they painted a sign saying "Te Aute". Then the pakeha, he painted "Opapa". And the next morning it said "Te Aute". Then "Opapa". Then "Te Aute".E hoa ma, this story could go on for weeks, and it did, but the old people they must have run out of paint, because it said "Opapa" for a long time before I was born, and for 53 years after that.After the railways came the Education, and they built a school at Te Aute called "Opapa". Well you can guess the rest of the story eh. Then along came the fullah who makes the maps and he put "Opapa" on the maps at Te Aute, and Te Aute on the maps at Pukehou. You try painting out "Opapa" on all the maps in Aotearoa! You know, we're lucky that Te Hauke is still Te Hauke.Now today, I read in the paper that the NZ Geographical Board is going to paint a new name on Opapa. Yep, the new name is Te Aute. Man they're clever those pakeha.A Poem for my friend Mike Smith ===============================What I want to know Mike, is when and how our Maungakiekie became their One Tree Hill?What I want to know Mike is just how that one foreign tree became so valuable just how it came to be six months' PD (PD = periodic detention) worth of tree?What I want to know Mike, is that value historical economical social political or spiritual value? Or is it just sentimental value perhaps just how dare that Maori do that value?What I want to know Mike is what the Pakeha called it before the one lone tree came along? Six Tree Hill? Five Tree Four Tree Three Tree Two Tree One Tree Hill?Well Mike nearly Nothing Tree Hill eh? Not to worry Half Tree Hill will have to do 'til you finish the job Mike.What I want to know Mike, do you still want me to write a handbook for the Maori revolution? Should I have a chapter perhaps on how to cut down trees? Properly that is.I hope that poem's formatting survived your email package, but if it didn't you can read it at my homepage in a few days.Kati ra mo tenei wa.
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