TO THE EDITOR
NGATA'S LAST MESSAGE
In your current magazine, No. 22, Vol. 6 (No. 2), under the heading HE PITOPITO KORERO, reference is made to the late Sir Apirana Ngata's remarkable message which he wrote in an autograph book of a little girl.
I believe that that was his last message to the Youth of the Maori people, and, as such, I have quoted it up and down this country since I was consecrated Bishop in 1952.
I would like to point out that he wrote it in the Tuhoe dialect, it is a Maori classic, and should be treasured and quoted in its correct form. Here is the original of it as he wrote it down himself.
E tipu, e rea, mo nga ra o tou ao;
Ko to ringa, ki nga rakau a te Pakeha, hei ara mo to tinana:
Ko to ngakau, ki nga taonga a o tipuna Maori, hei tikitiki mo to mahuna;
Ko to wairua ki te Atua, nana nei nga mea katoa.
Needless to say there are many and various translations of it into English, but however else one may attempt to do so, the masterpiece is still the original text.
In your issue of April, 1958, Mr Johannes C. Andersen writes interestingly of several Maori place names and, in particular, of Takanini and states that the Geographic Board adopted this spelling although evidently convinced that the name properly was Takaanini. Quoting Fenton's “Judgments”, Mr Andersen said that the Ihaka Taka-anini was an historical personage. This was confirmed by the late Mr James Cowan, who in his booklet “New Zealand Railway Station Maori Names and their Meanings” said that the old chief Ihaka Taka-anini, a great friend of the early colonists, lived near Papakura. In 1863 he was made prisoner by the Government, under the impression that he was an enemy. It was shown that this was a mistake, nevertheless he was kept a prisoner of war, latterly with some of his people on one of the small islands in the Hauraki until he died in 1864. His tribe was the Akitai. It is of interest to note that Wiri was also named after the chief, for this was a contraction of the pakeha-Maori Wirihana of Wilson. It is evident that Ihaka Takanini was known locally as Takanini Wilson.
A. W. REED.
Three Maoris were awarded the M.B.E. (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen's Birthday Honours which were announced recently.
Nurse Ngarangi Putiputi Te Kura Kohere, who lives in Dannevirke, was one of the recipients.
Nurse Kohere, who is of the Ngati Porou tribe, is a daughter of Canon Poihipi Kohere, of Rangitukia, East Coast.
Nurse Kohere has given outstanding service to the nursing profession since 1944 as a Public Health nurse. Her appointments have included periods at Te Karaka, Opotiki, Raglan, Huntly and now Dannevirke. It was felt that her service in remote areas, often under very difficult conditions fully merited the recognition that the Queen has now bestowed upon her.
Another recipient of the M.B.E. was Thomas Stewart Spencer, of 16 Henderson Street, Bluff. The award recognises Mr Spencer's services to the Maori people, especially as a leader of Ngai Tahu people, Mr Spencer, who is 78, has been closely associated with Maori welfare, particularly in connection with the work of the Maori land court.
The other Maori recipient of the M.B.E. in the Queen's Birthday honours was Chief Superintendent William Carran, who is at present stationed in Auckland.
Superintendent Carran has given outstanding service to the police force for 38 years and is the first Maori to reach officer rank in the force.
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Legislation last year carried one step further the government's efforts to avoid excessive subdivision of already minute interests in Maori land. According to the Maori Affairs Act 1953, the Maori Land Court had discretion to award land interests worth 5/- or less to the exclusion of some beneficiaries. In the Maori Purposes Act 1957 (Clause 3) this limit has been raised from 5/- to £10.
This clause empowers the Court, when disposing of an interest to which more than one person is entitled to succeed, to award it to one or only some of the successors, provided that no person thereby gains or loses interests of a value which in the Court's view exceeds £10. If the total value of the interest does not exceed £10, it may be awarded to other owners of the land.
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The Maori Purposes Act 1957 lays down penalties for non-compliance with the statutory provisions relating to Maori Incorporations. This means that if any officer of a Maori Incorporation violates any statutory rules, he is liable to the same kind of penalty as an officer of a Limited Liability Company.