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No. 40 (September 1962)
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Some of the audience listening to a lively argument during a panel discussion on education.

League Meets at Wanganui

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Mr Hunn looks as though he is doing an action song here—but he is addressing delegates on the opening night,

The tenth annual Dominion Conference of the New Zealand Maori Women's Welfare League was held at Wanganui from 16–19 July, with about 400 delegates and observers attending from all over New Zealand.

The host for the conference was the Wainui-a-rua District Council of the League, embracing the town of Wanganui and the river area up to Pipiriki. Meetings took place in the Concert Chamber of Wanganui's beautiful new War Memorial Hall, and this proved ideal for the purpose.

On the afternoon of the 16th, many delegates visited Putiki Pa to pay their respects to the memory of Mr Tenga Takarangi, the highly respected Putiki elder who died recently.

That evening the conference was officially opened by the Minister of Maori Affairs, Mr J. R. Hanana. There were many other distinguished speakers at this ceremony, which was followed by entertainment by the Putiki, St Vincent's and Ratana Maori Clubs.

Some of the major topics discussed at the conference were education (there were two lively panel discussions on this), housing requirements, prisoner rehabilitation, handicraft schemes, and the domestic aspects of the finances and membership of the League.

On the final night a ball was held in the main hall, and debutantes were presented to the Dominion President, Mrs M. Hirini. This was a very happy affair, with a large attendance.

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Mrs Rangi Williams (left) and Mrs Arihia Patini, in an action song by the Wainui-a-rua District Council during the Wanganui M.W.W.L. meeting.

Work will begin this month on the £25,000–£30,000 national memorial to the Maori Battalion in Palmerston North.

Money for the project is being raised by the Maori people throughout New Zealand and by carnivals and special contributions in the Manawatu district.

The memorial will be a two-storey building to serve as a community centre in Palmerston North for both Maori and Pakeha. It will be built by the Raukawa Tribal Executive and will probably take about six months to complete. The expected completion date could well coincide with the reunion of the 28th Maori Battalion.

It was from Palmerston North that the battalion left for service overseas and it was this that prompted the Raukawa Tribal Executive to consider a memorial even as far back as the days of the Second World War.

The design of the building will be a striking blend of modern and traditional; the architect, who is Maori, is Mr John Scott of Hastings. The tribal executive has raised sufficient funds to get the building started and tenders are now being called.

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.

—Sara Motu