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No. 24 (October 1958)
– 54 –

BOOKS

GAMES THE MAORIS PLAYED

Once more A. H. & A. W. Reed come to the fore with an excellent little production. This book describing ancient Maori games is profusely illustrated with first class drawings, the artist, Dennis Turner, capturing a sound likeness to the Maori right through. Very wisely the author points out that, there being no shops, the Maori children had to make their own toys, and suggests that today's children might like to do the same.

Games dealt with are kites, throwing sticks, darts, the Maori haka and poi dances, running punipuni and other games of skill. Instructions are given for the playing of mu torere (sometimes called Maori draughts), whai, bush games, hoops, purerehua, potaka, stilts and games played in the water.

This ‘book would make an inexpensive and much appreciated gift. I might say, however, that the price gives no indication as to the value of the book. It has a hard cover and a very well illustrated jacket, showing five tekoteko, one flying a kite, another twirling a Bull-Roarer, one doing whai, one whipping a top and the last walking on stilts.

Unfortunately, a mis-spelt version of Manurere has been used in place a E Papa Waiari. However, the remainder of the book is of such excellence that little is lost by this small mistake.

Hemi Bennett.

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POLYNESIA TODAY

Richard Seddon felt that New Zealand needed protection from the North. That was one of his main reasons for acquiring the Cook Islands. But having got them, he did not seem to know exactly what to do with them.

Today, however, the Cook Islands administration is moving ahead of events, finding its way with land-utilisation surveys, investigation for a quickfreeze industry, for improved transport to New Zealand, for community and social welfare, for political reform. No longer need the administrator fumble his way in the dark. “Social Change in the South Pacific” brings the light of a new day to the Cook Islands.

The chief value of this book lies in its use for the future. Dr Beaglehole's exploration of the missionary past and the more moderate present in Rarotonga and Aitutaki gives the answer to the future of the Cook Islands and much of Polynesia. He studies, step by step, the impact of the European upon the Polynesian. He shows how the Rarotongan and Aitutakian adopted only that part of the Christian doctrine and practice that suited their needs. He analyses the life there today, involving as it does something of the best, something of the worst, of both worlds. He shows how the differences between Polynesian and European lie in childhood training and historical background.

Dr Beaglehole underlines the need for political equality and more responsibility, for co-operative schemes, with group competition in agriculture, industry and village welfare. Above all, he emphasizes the need for better housing, better schools, and better education for citizenship and parenthood, so that one may build a better world in our islands.

Tini Whetu Te Aute

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An employment survey carried out by the Rotary Clubs of Waitara and New Plymouth show that the Maori people have managed to penetrate only into a few of the skilled trades and professions in these places. Out of 217 Maoris employed in Waitara, 240 are in the meat exporting industry; three in professional and clerical occupations. In New Plymouth, 80 out of 102 Maoris employed are in the building industry, where their jobs range from foremen, skilled tradesmen and heavy vehicle drivers to labourers. There are no Maoris in the clerical and retail sectors.

The Rotary Clubs have done well to show up the facts. Their survey may be a beginning of a widening of the occupational spread of the Maori people of the district.