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No. 6 (Royal Tour)
– 41 –

ACTING PONGA'S PART

I come from Ahipara, about ten miles from Kaitaia, at the southern end of Ninety Mile Beach, and went to St. Stephen's School, Bombay, for three years, to Kaitaia College for a further two years, entering Training College in 1952.

I was invited to join the Maori Club Committee to help write the play, ‘Ponga and Puhihuia’, contributing ideas about the customs of the old-time Maori.

I helped to write speeches for Ponga and the Ariki. We wanted as many speeches as possible, because each speech was certain to contain some genuine Maori lore, and if these good points were put together the play would be ‘right’. Many contributions were received.

In the play I have the part of Ponga.

I am taking part-time studies at Auckland University College. Last year I passed in Maori I and Anthropology I. This year I am taking Education I and Anthropology II. The Anthropology course at University, I find, has much to do with the Maori people, their customs, problems, social life and so on. It also gives an insight into the attitudes of the Pakeha to the Maori, and vice-versa — what each should do to adjust themselves to living together in friendship and mutual respect.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We feel that the enthusiasm of Mr Dennant and his students may lead to a most fruitful social activity in Maori communities. There are many groups who could start a drama group right now and Mr Dennant's students could start them wherever they go.