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No. 5 (Spring 1953)
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NEWS IN BRIEF

Four of the six Maoris who commanded the Maori Battalion in the Second World War are now engaged in Maori welfare work.

The first Maori to command the battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel E. T. W. Love, was killed in action in July, 1942, only a few weeks after he had assumed command. He was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel F. Baker, D.S.O., who has, since 1943, been Director of Rehabilitation.

Next commander of the battalion was Lieutenant-Colonel C. M. Bennett, D.S.O., who is now Assistant Controller of the Welfare Division, Department of Maori Affairs.

Lieutenant-Colonel K. A. Keiha, M.C. and Bar, is District Welfare Officer at Gisborne; Lieutenant-Colonel A. Awatere, D.S.O., M.C., is District Welfare Officer at Wanganui; and Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Henare, who was the 11th and last commander of the Maori Battalion, is now District Welfare Officer at Auckland.

At the last conference of the Maori Women's Welfare League, at Wellington, a delegate from New Zealand's most southerly port of Bluff, Mrs Norman Bradshaw, set an example among the younger generation of Maori women with her knowledge of the Maori language and her fluent diction.

It was not generally known at the conference, however, that as Ngawara, a young Rotorua girl, Mrs Bradshaw was the heroine of a film, ‘Hei-tiki’, much of which was filmed around Lake Taupo in 1930. The American producer, after a lengthy search, pronounced Ngawara to be the perfect Maori type.

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A Maori of high standing in the community on the Chatham Islands, Mr Arthur Lockett, was chosen as one of the first official speakers when the new radio-telephone link between New Zealand and the Chathams was opened recently.

People in the Chathams are very pleased to have the new service, which brings them into much closer touch with New Zealand, and, for that matter, with any part of the world.

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A recording was made of a special Coronation address by the well-known Maori orator, Mr Kepa Ehau, of Rotorua. It was broadcast over the New Zealand national stations the evening after the Coronation.

Mr Ehau gave a notable oration, also, on the death last year of King George VI.

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A Maori member of K-force, Driver Ben Api, of Pakotai, near Whangarei, who has been a member of the United Nations guard of honour in Korea, was present at the signing of the armistice at Panmunjom.

Driver Api was proud of his position as New Zealand's representative in what he called ‘a miniature United Nations’.

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Captain W. Whaitiri, master of the coastal ship Zephyr, is one of New Zealand's two Maori master mariners.

During the war he sailed in North Atlantic convoys. The Zephyr, his first command, trades from Auckland to Gisborne, Wellington, Wanganui, Lyttelton and Timaru

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Since 1940 the Maori quota of student teachers entering Training Colleges has increased from four to 60.

One out of every three teachers in Maori schools is now a Maori, and more Maoris are applying for teaching posts at non-Maori schools.

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The first Maori to be awarded an overseas scholarship, Maharaia Winiata, has had his term as holder of a Nuffield Fellowship extended by a year.

On leave of absence from his Maori Adult Education post at Auckland, Mr Winiata is at Edinburgh University studying race relations.

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Private Ben Katene, of Okaiawa, South Taranaki, was leader of the Maori haka team in the New Zealand Coronation Contingent. He organised several performances both in England and on the voyage.

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The first three representative Rugby teams to challenge Waikato for the Ranfurly Shield in the 1953 season were captained by well-known Maori Rugby players.

Bay of Plenty were led by A. Douglas; North Auckland by J. B. Smith; and Taranaki by L. Hohaia.

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‘One of the most significant events since Christianity was introduced to the Maori’ is how the New Zealand Free Lance described the first meeting of the new Presbyterian Maori Synod at Ohope Beach, near Whakatane, last July. Presbyterian Maori mission work is to be completely reorganised, with a gradual transfer of powers to the Maori Synod, and using Whakatane as a training centre for Maori ministers. The Rt. Rev. James Baird, dedicating the synod, said the Maori must be free to express the Gospel in accordance with his natural genius and cultural characteristics.

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When Mr Wiremu Ngata started his Adult Education class in the Maori language in Wellington recently he found sixty people waiting at the first lecture, and had to shift this unexpectedly large number from the classroom to the Y.W.C.A. hall.

Sporting Events

Although we are in fairly close touch with sports and sportsmen generally it is not possible for any one person to keep abreast of all events and developments, especially in some of the more remote districts.

As many of our people live in these districts, and because their sporting activities often have significance in the wider sphere of Maoridom, we should be pleased to hear at any time of inter-tribal or inter-district events.

Maori Women's Welfare League members in Te Kuiti planted twenty-four young totara trees in the pa grounds to commemorate the Coronation.

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Four young Maoris looking forward to a busy period in British show business are Joe Ward Holmes, aged 27, of Lower Hutt; Pat Rawiri, 24, of Ruatahuna; Mac Hata, 23, of Opotiki; and Henry Gilbert, 27, of Waikaremoana. The first three sing, and Henry Gilbert accompanies them on the guitar, as ‘The New Zealanders' Maori Quartet’. They landed in London last July, and are already appearing in B.B.C. Commonwealth of Song programmes, on the stage, and in television. Their repertoire includes not only Maori songs in harmony, and dances and haka in costumes, but also Samoan, Fijian and Hawaiian numbers. The quartet was formed in Wellington in 1950.

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The Whakatohea Tribal Executive, wanting to contribute to the well-being of local schools, has decided to form a tribal education committee.

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Mr Whitu Pitama, still in his thirties, has been chosen as upokorunanga of the Ngai-Tahu tribe, North Canterbury.

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A sporting record which it would be hard to excel in New Zealand was held this year by Te Aute College. Of the 150 boys attending the college, 140 played in competition Rugby. The college had eight teams in the Hastings competition.