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No. 8 (Winter 1954)
– 46 –


A senior Maori pupil at Wellington Girls' College, Kamiria Pou, is one of six people in New Zealand who have won the Distinction Award for Lifesaving. (The Distinction Award is second only to the Diploma, which is the highest award made in New Zealand by the Royal Life-Saving Society, and was last awarded to a New Zealander in 1943.)

The examination for the Distinction Award is very hard. It requires successful candidates to be first-class water specialists in fast swimming, including fancy strokes, and in plain and fancy diving. (Each stroke has to be illustrated for four minutes, in ordinary clothes, though without shoes, as for the Diploma.)

Kamiria Pou's success might well serve as an inspiration to other young Maori girls and boys to excel in life-saving.

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The first of three Maoris so far to graduate from Duntroon Military College, in Australia, Major Bruce Poananga, is now serving as a company commander with the Fiji Battalion in Malaya. When he went to Malaya he was relieved of his position as adjutant of the Northland Regiment by his brother, Brian Poananga, who had returned from service in Korea. Both brothers were educated at Palmerston North High School, both went to Duntroon, and both served in the Occupation Force in Japan.

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A Maori Rugby League club was formed at Dunedin at the beginning of this season. The club, comprising mostly Maoris from the Kaik, has been granted affiliation with the Otago Rugby Football League, which is also newlyformed. The new club is known as the Kia Toa Rugby League Club. There are three other Maori Rugby League clubs in New Zealand—in Auckland, Waikato and Wellington.

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The sole selector of the North Auckland Rugby Union this season, Mr W. P. (Wattie) Barclay, was captain of the 1926 Maori team that toured Britain and France. He was a New Zealand Maori representative also on many occasions during the ‘twenties—which is often referred to as the “Golden Era” of New Zealand Rugby. More recently Mr Barclay has had considerable success with Bay of Islands and Tai Tokerau (Prince of Wales Cup) rugby teams.

A fifth-form girl at the Auckland Girls' Grammar School, Edna Hayward, recently became the first Maori girl to make a parachute jump. The drop also made her the youngest parachutist in the country and the fifth woman member of the Auckland Parachute Club to be “initiated”. Edna made the jump on her seventeenth birthday.

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Sixty years after the first move was made to gain a church for the Maori people of Horohoro, ten miles south-west of Rotorua, a small Anglican church was recently consecrated. The occasion was a triumph, in particular, for 82-year-old Mr Raharuhi Pururu, who, until his retirement a year before, could often be seen at work on the property with a slasher. Simple in design, the church was built almost entirely by the people of the Ngati Tuara, of which Mr Pururu is a chief.

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A large Maori in Taupo, according to a story widely told in the town, has evolved a new and effective way of trapping wild pigs.

The Maori, armed with an eight-inch fishing hook and a dead fowl, periodically goes deep into the bush. He baits the hook with the dead fowl and ties it beneath a tree. The Maori, the story goes, says a wild pig can smell a dead fowl from a good distance away, and he never waits long before a pig is sniffing the bait. One large bite, and the pig is well and truly hooked.

A deft plunge with a knife and the Maori has a meal of wild pork.

Experts approached say the Maori's method is certainly novel, but quite feasible.

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Riapo Willis Panapa, of Kohupatiki (a son of the Bishop of Aotearoa) and Kimara Piramona Tukukino, of Thames, were awarded this year's social science cadetships under the Government's scheme for training Maoris in social science.

Mr Panapa spent six years at Te Aute College where he was head prefect, a member of the first fifteen and the first eleven, and senior athletic champion. Mr Tukukino was head prefect of the Thames High School, where he studied for five years, and was prominent in cricket and football.

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Mr Ron Clay of Opotiki, driller on the Rimutaka tunnel job, was the first man through the hill when the hole was finally pierced.