South Island Better?
The Bishop of Aotearoa, the Rt. Rev. W. N. Panapa, said in an Invercargill interview recently that Maoris received a ‘better deal’ in the South Island than they did in the North.
Bishop Panapa said that people in the South Island had a better attitude to Maoris and were much friendlier to them. The Maori people could sense this attitude, with the result that more and more were settling in South Island areas.
The Bishop, who was making his annual visit to the South Island, said that because of the ‘new awareness’ of the South Island among the Maori people, he proposed to make two recommendations to the next meeting of the Bench of Bishops of the province of New Zealand.
He would ask them to send a Maori vicar to work among the Maori people in the South. The vicar would be stationed in Christchurch. He would also ask that the next Maori youth festival, the triennial hui topu, he held in Christchurch.
Bishop Panapa said that Maoris were not just emigrating from the North Island to the South. They were ‘spilling over’ because experience was showing that it was easier for them to obtain jobs in the South. In the past, Maori men had come to the South Island as seasonal workers and gone home when the work ceased. But now hundreds stayed, because it was easier for them to get continuity of work and good housing. South Island people had a more reasonable attitude towards inter-marriage.
He said that Maoris who settled in the South were of a good type. ‘The fact that they are readily accepted is an indication of this.’
Mr Heikahurangi Rogers has recently transferred from his position as Senior Maori Welfare Officer in the Maori Affairs Department sub-office at Kaikohe, and is now District Maori Welfare Officer in Palmerston North.
Mr Rogers has been attached to the Kaikohe Office for 15 years; apart from some periods of study, he has been there almost all his career. The Tribal Committees, Executives and Welfare Leagues in the Hokianga and Bay of Islands zones will miss their association with Mr Rogers, as he has done wonderful work on their behalf at all times and under all conditions. He was also a strong committee member of the Kaikohe Primary School and a foundation member of Dr Paewai's Advice and Guidance Scheme.
The District and Sub-office staff farewelled Mr Rogers and presented him with a barometer, as they knew he was leaving the ‘Winterless North’.
Kimihia te Matauranga e Hei.