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No. 27 (June 1959)
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OPPORTUNITIES AND DANGERS
IN AUCKLAND

A City, any city, is a place of opportunity—and a place of danger. New Zealand's biggest city is no exception. Opportunities are here in Auckland, and it is tremendously satisfying that more and more of our people are making the most of these opportunities, proudly taking their place as leaders in the Church, in the professions, in business in the skilled trades and in the Armed Forces.

During the past twenty years, that is since the beginning of the Second World War, there has been a revolutionary change in Maori society in Auckland. The Maori population of metropolitan Auckland has jumped from between one thousand and two thousand in 1939 to the astonishing figure of twelve thousand today, just twenty years later. At one time the drift of Maoris from the country to the towns was deprecated for it was not realised that this is an inevitable social development brought about by our rapidly increasing population. Our people, of course, must go where the chances of earning a living are best, and the family acres are all too few to support our greater numbers. Therefore, Auckland has an ever increasing Maori labour force, and so far, because of the country's internal stability and economic progress, this force has largely been absorbed.

But, and here we come to some of the dangers of city life, this enviable state of affairs could easily change for the worse. A trade recession or slump could occur from a variety of reasons, quite out of the control of our Gvernment, and, of course, the unskilled labour force would be the first to suffer.

This new population of Auckland people, these twelve thousand of us living here, have to be

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Brownie Puriri at his office

accommodated, their children educated, and, most important, jobs found for the workers. Europeans have accepted this influx into their communal and commercial life with goodwill. This has been particularly important to the ever increasing Maoris labour force, for without that goodwill Maoris would not have found the opportunities which await them today. This esteem, by and large, has been gained by good behaviour, and it must be a matter of personal pride to all of us that by our actions on and off the job we strengthen and never weaken that good spirit.

Now let us look at what Maoris are achieving in Auckland today. Let us start with the trades. Twenty years ago a Maori tradesman was the exception, but today the Maori is found as mechanic, technician, engineer, electrician, carpenter, panel beater, plumber or painter, side by side with European tradesmen, competing with them on equal terms and commanding their respect by his aptitude and ability. The starting point, the gateway to these fields of opportunity is, of course, a term of apprenticeship. Our trained artisans, equal now to the best of Europeans, once had to make

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ARTIST Some of the finest silk-screen printing in Auckland is done by Matt Chote, artist of Maori parentage. Mr Chote was born in Dannevirke, but came to Auckland twenty years ago. Silk-screen printing is a highly intricate process, depending for its success on imaginative design and very careful colour printing. In the picture, we see posters, just printed, moving along a roller. Mr Chote, with a staff of five, has established a high reputation in the five years during which he has been in business. He began to be interested in art when still at school and learnt his trade after a five year apprenticeship which was interrupted by the war. When discharged, he resumed his apprenticeship; he attended night classes at the Elam School of Art. In addition to posters; he makes painted table mats, chopping boards and other objects which can be decorated by screen printing.

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DENTIST Dr F. P. (Tiwha) Bennett, who has a busy dental practice in Ponsonby, is a leading representative of the Maoris who have branched out in the professional field in Auckland: He is a son of the late Bishop of Aotearoa and a brother of Charles Bennett, High Commissioner in Malaya.

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a hard decision. Their choice was either the lower wage, the disciplined effort, the hours of study necessary for an apprenticeship, or on the other hand a free and easy plunge on to the labour market to grab any job that came their way. The same is true for those who entered the professions and are now teachers, doctors, dentists, accountants, administrators, business executives and public servants.

Today the fruits of their wisdom are plain to see—the higher wage which rewards their skill and technique; their security on a fluctuating labour market; their pride and pleasure in their work; and their honourable place in society. For them the horizon is not limited.

But there is a sobering thought in this story of opportunity and success. For many, opportunities for advancement do not exist. For them the door is closed.

The one essential qualification for an apprenticeship is a secondary school education. Two years is the minimum requirement for most trades, although with competition running high some employers ask for school certificate even when the terms of apprenticeship do not demand it. And for some technical trades, of course, school certificate is a necessary qualification. Thus a tremendous responsibility lies on the shoulders of all parents. Our children MUST be helped to

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CAREER IN FILM
Mrs Raumai Hayward (right) has for some years been a partner in her husband's film unit, Hayward Productions Limited. She helps both as an actress and behind the camera. When on an assignment in China recently, she had the opportunity of presenting a Maori feather cloak to Mr Chou En Lai.
A member of the Te Miha family (Wairarapa) she became interested in photography when she took a job in a photo shop in Wellington where she was a foundation member of the Ngati Poneke club. Later in Auckland, she owned a Devonport photo studio.
Her husband, Rudall Hayward (left) is the pioneer of film in New Zealand. His films include ‘The Bloke from Freeman's Bay’ (a comedy of the ‘twenties), ‘Lady of the Cave’ (filmed on Mayor Island), ‘Te Kooti's Trail’ and ‘Rewi's Last Stand’, in which Raumai took a principal role. In China they made several honest and impartial documentaries, including ‘Inside Red China’ and ‘Children of China’.

use their few precious years at school to equip themselves for the economic struggle ahead. They must be encouraged to aim high, for even then the pattern of their whole life is being moulded.

To be sure of success in Auckland, it is almost essential for the young Maori migrant to learn a skill, or train for a profession.

THE OUTLOOK FOR THE AVERAGE WORKER

Auckland offers seasonal employment to thousands of semi-skilled and unskilled workers in freezing works, wool stores, tanneries and chemical plants. Employment is possible on earth moving contracts, in market gardens, on building jobs or in other outdoor enterprises for which the summer months are best suited. The peak months of full employment are from November to February and mid-March. It is easy to see what happens in the winter. For every job offering there are then the many seasonal workers whose summer contracts are over. In 1958, the welfare officers in the Maori Affairs Department in Auckland found jobs for well over 200 people who sought our assistance, and many, many times they had a most difficult task. On one occasion an officer took three young Maoris to a factory in answer to an advertisement and found that 117 others had been there before him. Another time 40 men had applied for a labourer's job before he got there at nine o'clock in the morning. These cases are quoted to illustrate the difficulty of finding employment during the off season, and must surely give us cause for serious thought.