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No. 42 (March 1963)
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Letters

The Editor,
Te Ao Hou.

I felt I just had to write to Te Ao Hou and tell of the film called ‘Spinster’ which has been running now for quite some time not only in New Zealand but all over the world. The film has a New Zealand background and the story is based on the way of life of Maori children and people in this modern world. All I can say is it was a farce from the beginning to the bitter end …

It is a racially discriminating story in a very subtle way. There was absolutely nothing authentic about it and as it evolves around a Maori school it conveys a false impression … especially when there's a lice parade, or when a seduced Maori schoolgirl proudly announces she is with child. And the elderly chief who shocks teacher (and me) by saying Maoris love babies (an indisputable fact) and are very proud when their young girls (whether still at school or not apparently) have babies. Incidentally the word savages kept cropping up and in this day of television too …

Any intelligent Maori wouldn't mind in the least if the story was based on actual facts or if the information were correct, for we have enjoyed many films on the Maori in the past, and incidentally there was always a real Maori in the cast. The players in ‘Spinster’ taking the part of the Maori children looked like a jumble of Asians and Mexicans. However, I would be interested in other viewers' opinions on this film.

Piuna Rikihana

The film ‘Spinster’ has been in the country for quite a while, but it's only now reaching many country districts. We would be interested to know what other readers think about it. It is worth remembering that the film differs in many ways from the novel ‘Spinster’, by Sylvia Ashton-Warner, on which it was based, and a criticism of the film doesn't necessarily apply to the book. Miss Ashton-Warner herself apparently has some fairly strong feelings about the film—she has said that she has never seen it, and doesn't intend to.—Editor.

The Editor,
Te Ao Hou.

Since you are asking readers to say what they find most interesting in Te Ao Hou, I would like to say how much I am enjoying the photographs that have been in Te Ao Hou recently, especially the ones taken by Ans Westra. They are really beautiful, and full of life. I do hope you will keep on publishing this kind of picture.

Mere Richards Hamilton

The Editor,

Te Ao Hou.

Yes, I do have a suggestion.

What about a children's page—children's stories in Maori and English, easy words in both, so that children learning English, as they all do at their schools, may be able, seriously or otherwise, to pick up Maori words and phrases also.

They should be stories of everyday child life, illustrated of course; not Maori myths or stories, which are already in Te Ao Hou. but stories of present day child activities.

L.C. Auckland

The two letters above are some of the ones we received when we asked readers, in our last issue, to say what they found most interesting in Te Ao Hou, and would like to see more of.

Children's stories in Maori is a good suggestion, we feel; we will be very pleased to publish any suitable children's stories sent to the magazine.

If there is some feature of Te Ao Hou YOU find particularly interesting—or something you think we give too much space to—we hope you will write and tell us about it.