PLACES AND THINGS
A Rotorua carpenter and Maori carver, Mr Hone Te Kauru Taiapa was made a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours. The father of six children, the eldest two married and the youngest aged nine years, Mr Taiapa has lived in Rotorua for 19 years. While working on his many splendid meeting houses—he and his brother Pine have worked on over 40 of them—Hone Taiapa has trained hundreds of carvers. The two brothers have been most prolific producers of carvers. The two brothers have been most prolific producers of carved houses during the last 30 years. Born at Tikitiki on the East Coast in 1912, Hone Taiapa has been carving since he was a boy. One of his more recent works was the meeting-house in Waihi, and in Rotorua, he was responsible for the beautiful carving in the Rotorua Boys' High School Assembly Hall. At present, he is working on the Cathedral in Napier.
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MAORI PA TO BE RESTORED
The Papatoetoe Borough Council will try to restore to their original state Maori earthworks, believed to be more than 150 years old, at the back of Papatoetoe Cemetery. The decision was taken after considering a report from Mr A. E. Tonson, a councillor and member of the National Historic Places Trust. Mr Tonson said that the earthworks were on a peninsula at the confluence of two streams in the upper reaches of the Waokauri Creek. It had been reported that a pa was situated at this spot. The earthworks were surmounted by a palisade, and were in a well-preserved state. They were 130 feet long, six feet high from ground level and 10 feet high from the lowest point of the trench. The width of the mound would be about 18 feet and the total width of the defences about 15 feet. Mr Tonson said it was believed that the pa was abandoned about 1810 after an epidemic had wiped out many of the people. The Maoris used caves as burial places and many years ago, about 300 skeletons were found in a cave in the vicinity of Waokauri Creek. In recent years, a bulldozer had apparently been driven through the fortifications, leaving a 30-foot gap. The council instructed the borough engineer, Mr P. E. Fraser, to take steps to restore the fortifications as nearly as possible to their original state. An effort will be made to have the area fenced off and reserved.
Work Has Been in progress on the processing and classification of material found during archaeological digging on the top of Mount Wellington, reported Mr J. Golson, lecturer in history at the University of Auckland. Mr Golson directed the work, which was carried out by members of the Auckland University Archaeological Society. Only six or seven artifacts were found on the site, but it had yielded large quantities of shells and other material that would produce a great deal of information on the methods of subsistence of the early Maoris in the Auckland area, Mr Golson said. No more digging would be carried out by the society until the summer, said Mr Golson. The field work on Mount Wellington was now completed, and some samples of charcoal would be sent to the Nuclear Science Institute at Gracefield for radio-carbon dating. Mr Golson will leave New Zealand next February to take up a research position with the department of anthropology in the Australian National University at Canberra. He will be responsible for the organisation of the archaeological branch of the research school at Canberra.
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PLEA OF MAORI ELDER
In Commenting on a statement made by the Mayor of Tauranga on the Maori problems in his borough Mr P. H. Leonard, a noted elder of the Maori race, said recently: “It seems that a lot of people think we are not deeply conscious of the problems facing our people at present. We are deeply conscious of those problems. I was born in a raupo hut. Now I am 59 years of age and have the honour to be the Deputy-Mayor of Rotorua. The next ten years will see great advances in the Maori people. By then, all the grandparents and parents will have had a secondary school education. What I do not like is collective judgment. I have Maori and Pakeha blood. Many times I have been ashamed of my pakeha blod. Many times I have been ashamed of my Maori blood. The pakeha people too often practice a superiority complex to give the Maori people an inferiority complex. All I ask is your helping hand.”
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A £150 Auckland Savings Bank scholarship for pupils of the Queen Victoria School for Maori Girls has been awarded this year to Caroline Thompson, aged 17, of Otiria, Bay of Islands. Caroline, who is a prefect in her fifth year at the school, is preparing for the university entrance examination at the end of the year. She hopes to go to Auckland Teachers' College. The scholarship, which is awarded on the recommendation of the headmistress for academic ability, has been granted each year since its institution in 1958. Caroline is the fourth girl to receive it. The £150 is shared according to the number of recipients, but it was not divided this year. A similar scholarship is granted by the bank, to St Stephens School for Boys, Bombay.
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THE COMMISSION ON EDUCATION
In July, a Commission on Education was held in Wellington, and important submissions were made to it on Maori education. Mr K. I. Robertson, officer for Maori Education for the Education Department, said that the task of Maori education is to meet the need for cultural adjustment, over come handicaps, especially in language, and to enable the Maori to attain social, educational, economic equality with the European. The gap between the two cultures is narrowing, after a century of adaptation, Mr Robertson said, but one should not be blind to the still existing problems, to the fact that the cohesion of Maori society has been lost and that many Maoris remain culturally handicapped, in spite of all that education can do. Maori children need the backing of interested parents, more experience of books and reading and a home providing privacy for real study at secondary school level.
“In many Maori homes, these conditions exist in a reasonable degree, but in far too many, little thought is given to educational opportunity or future occupation. In these matters, the Maori welfare officer and the education service have a vital role…. The Maori however, must retain his identity—his integration depends on acceptance of him as a Maori by the European majority, who must help him to help himself towards independence, better living standards, and economic equality. This challenge has been answered in the Maori schools; it is now being heard in the public schools, high schools and colleges. If acceptance in the full sense exists anywhere, it is in the universities and the teachers' colleges. This gives cause for optimism on Maori-European relationships, for it is from the universities and the teachers' colleges that leadership comes.”