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No. 10 (April 1955)
– 61 –

ELSDON CRAIG
DR. WINIATA INTERVIEWED

Maharaia Winiata, Maori Adult Education Officer in Auckland, is back from the United Kingdom with a Doctorate of Philosophy from Edinburgh University. He is the first Maori to gain this award. During two years' overseas he obtained a vast amount of valuable material on which to base his future investigations into Maori-European relations.

The thesis for which Dr Winiata received his award was on ‘The Changing Role of the Leader in Maori Society’. In the first place he finds that Maori leadership stems from certain circumstances. The inter-tribal wars produced one sort of leader; the Maori-European wars another. Tohu arose during the latter when the aim was to reorganise Maori life to contend with the pressure from Europeans. Because of the difficulty in countering this pressure supernatural forces were employed.

Then the Ngata era produced another type of leader whose aim was to refashion Maori life to fit into European society. This was a time of crisis when there were few educated men and leadership devolved upon a mere handful. They were hampered by the lack of a plan and the willingness of the Europeans to accept the Maori socially after the trouble over land.

Dr Winiata finds that leadership today aims at developing co-operation among organizations. The type of leadership is that of small men—tribal committee members, ministers of religion, schoolteachers, etc.—rather than big men, as in the past. There are also more divisions in Maori society today than there were, and leadership is a community rather than a national matter.

It was this first attempt to look at the question of Maori leadership objectively which fired the ambition in Dr Winiata to study overseas. He always felt that the time which he spent gathering material in Auckland, Papatoetoe, and Judea Pa (Tauranga) would open up this avenue. He also had the inspiration and confidence of Princess Te Puea Heragi who actually recommended him to the Nuffield Foundation for a fellowship. He went away with the blessing of King Koroki and Te Puea and their people.

Dr Winiata was born in 1912 at Ngahina, near Whakatane. He was the son of Winiata Piahana, of Ngati Ranginui at Tauranga. His father gave him every opportunity to pursue his love for learning and he was educated at Tauranga primary and district high schools. He was head prefect and senior athletic champion at the latter before he went to Trinity Theological College, and, with the help of a scholarship, to Auckland University College. There he graduated M.A. in education, later transferring to the Auckland Teachers' Training College where, among other things, he was president of the Students' Association. After qualifying he taught at Rotorua and Wesley College, Paerata.

MEMORIAL DINING HALL

The Secretary for Maori Affairs, Mr Tipi Ropiha, recently opened a new dining hall at the Kie Kie marae, Waipiro Bay, East Coast.

The hall contains carvings and tukutuku work rescued from the dining hall at Waiomatatini which was demolished by a flood in 1937. Sir Apirana Ngata had the hall built in memory of his wife. Arihia, Lady Ngata, and his son, Makarini. Mr Hoki Fox, chairman of the Hikurangi South Tribal Executive, approached Sir Apirana's brother, Mr Len Ngata, who had the carvings and tukutuku in safekeeping, to make them available for the new dining hall.

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WIDER REPRESENTATION

By a new agreement all East Coast hapus are given representation on the board of management of the Poho-o-Rawiri Meeting House and marae, Gisborne. Poho-o-Rawiri is one of New Zealand's outstanding meeting houses.

Previously the management was conducted by Gisborne Maoris only, and maintenance of the property together with the cost of providing the traditional hospitality to visiting parties imposed a burden which will now be shared by other East Coast hapus.

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NEW SCHOLARSHIPS

The Bishop of Honolulu has made a generous offer to provide scholarships for two Maori boys, between the ages of 15 and 18, to study at an Episcopalian school in Honolulu. News of the offer was brought back to New Zealand by the Rev. Manu Bennett, who spent 16 months in the Hawaiian Islands.

Mr Bennett thought that if the right Maori boys could be selected for the scholarships it would be a unique opportunity for them.