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No. 11 (July 1955)
– 57 –


The Leagues are Judged

The Te Puea Trophy for the best annual report of a district council or isolated branch of the Maori Women's Welfare League has returned to Heretaunga.

It changed hands at the Auckland conference last April after a brief and moving ceremony. When the judgment was announced. Mr Rewi Tumokai, widower of Princess Te Puea, came onto the stage. Chanting in ancient style he bade farewell to the trophy, until then held by Waikato North District Council, and compared it to Te Puea's spirit which was now to leave her tribe to go to Heretaunga. The women from Heretaunga responded with a chant of their own and for a while the old tribal spirit, aroused by friendly rivalry, filled the Auckland Community Centre. Tears were in many eyes.

Te Ao Hou had been honoured with the task of judging the contest. In the two previous competitions, Heretaunga and Waikato North respectively had been the winners. This time there was the unprecedented number of 19 entries—still only a small proportion of the district councils and isolated branches. The 10 top entries were announced:

Heretaunga D/C 88
Kahungunu D/C 83
Wellington D/C 80
Waikato N. D/C 76
Tauranga D/C 76
Hauraki D/C 74
Taumutu I/B 72
Awarua I/B 71
Apanui D/C 69
Aperima I/B 65

Judgment had been based on how the constitutional aims and objects of the League had been pursued; some little credit was also given to organisational efficiency and presentation of the report. A league's job was divided, for the sake of marking, into ten equal parts, namely:

Home management.


Education (both children and the league members themselves).

Maori culture.

Community work (helping in the work of the community as a whole).

Welfare of individuals who are sick or otherwise distressed.

Good relations and co-operation with local bodies, departments of state, organizations and the Pakeha world generally.

Fund raising.

Management and organization.

Presentation of report.

The importance of this competition goes beyond the mere rivalry of it. Councils with high marks usually have good ideas which have stood the test of experience and the competition helps to spread the ideas. Here follow some interesting projects pursued by some of these leagues:

Heretaunga District Council

Education Finance: This district has five boys and one girl at boarding school and members endeavoured to meet their school fees by running raffles and dances.

Hospital Visits: Regular visits are made by members to all hospitals in the area and comforts distributed. Parcels are sent for distribution to sanatorium patients, both pakeha and Maori.

Drama: A full Maori cast entered the drama festival at Waipukurau and was highly commended.

Homecraft: A pakeha lady donated a silver challenge cup for the best-kept Maori home and garden. Members and non-members responded readily and the competition was a great success. (See page 28 of this issue.)

Kahungunu District Council

Garden Competition: The league has sponsored a garden competition together with the Tb. Association of Wairoa. The main idea is to encourage parents to grow vegetables and fruit to improve the children's diet as well as beautifying home surroundings.

Tauranga District Council

Community Centre Drive: Five Tauranga leagues and the Matakana league together succeded in raising £1000 at a Tauranga ghymkana in a single day. Each league had one marquee, making six in all, from which produce and handcrafts were sold. Before sunset, all these had been sold out. Concert parties organized by each league competed in the evening.

Taumutu Isolated Branch

April Showers: Whenever a baby is born to league members, parents are helped and provided with comforts and the baby is presented with a Post Office money box.

Apanui District Council

Doctor's Clinics: Both the Te Kaha nad Omaio branches have raised funds to provide doctor's clinics which are now used by the public.