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No. 36 (September 1961)
– 10 –

THE MAORI
EDUCATION FOUNDATION

We met in the Maori Affairs Committee Room of the New Zealand House of Parliament on Friday, June 9th, 1961. Under the Chairmanship of Major Vercoe and the able leadership of Mr Norman Perry, it was a Conference of the Provisional Council of Tribal Executives, and among other matters we met to consider the draft legislation to amend the Maori Social and Advancement Act 1945.

We were all very mindful of our surroundings. On the wall was the Treaty of Waitangi and the portraits of those great stalwarts of the race, Sir James Carroll, Sir Maui Pomare, Sir Peter Buck and Sir Apirana Ngata.

At once, our inspiration for such a gathering, became the words in the Epistle of the Hebrews, Chapter XIII, verses 1 and 2: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith.” These could not have been a more inspirational message to all of us who were privileged to be there on behalf of the Maori people.

On the next day, we met the Hon. Mr Hanan, the Minister, and Mr Hunn the Secretary. The Minister spoke on the proposed legislation which would bring about the formation of a Dominion Council of Maori Tribal Committees. This was the dawn of a new era in the life of our people in this country.

But more challenging still was the Minister's introduction of a Maori Education Foundation. It was simply staggering when the Minister mentioned as the basis of the Education Foundation no less a sum than £125,000.

The establishment of the Maori Education Foundation constitutes the greatest challenge to us in our day and generation. In the Minister's own words he said something to the effect, that if this matter did not receive the support of the people which it merits, it could be just another grand failure! The challenge to each individual Maori is to make it a great success! The appeal goes out to the individual to become a foundation member by making a contribution of £20. We are not immediately concerned with Maori Trust Boards, Corporations, and other bodies throughout Maoriland. They will give their tithes in good time. But we will match the challenge as individuals. “He toa ano te toa takitahi i haunga te toa takitini.” Already our Wellington people are queuing up in the long line of foundation members which will extend throughout the length and breadth of our country.

It was not inappropriate, that before the pronouncement of the benediction, our meeting should have finished up on a stirring note! Old Te Rauparaha, in the heat of battle, not unlike Robert the Bruce, sought refuge, not in a cave, but in a kumara pit. It was a matter of life or death and one had to lie low. But presently he sensed the surge of battle going the right way, and so gradually he emerged out of his hiding place into the full light of day. And so:

Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
Tenei te tangata puhuruhuru, nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra!
Ku pane! Kau pane!
Ku pane! Kau pane!
Whiti te Ra!!!

At the New Zealand Maori Golf Championships held at Whakatane, the New Zealand representative, W. J. Godfrey, won the men's title. He beat the defending champion, T. Ormsby (Waikato) 2-up in the final. The women's title was won by Mrs T. Lawrence (Springfield), who beat Mrs R. Sage (Waikato) 5 and 4 in the final.