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No. 47 (June 1964)
– 58 –

Sacred Earth of Rangiatea

The chief, Pohotiraha, was he who had carried the sacred earth of Rangiatea from Maungatautari to Otaki. This soil is said to have come to New Zealand in the Tainui canoe, traditionally round about 1350. It was from the sacred altar of Ra'iatea, believed to be on the island of the same name in the Society group, and it is said that it is now deposited under the altar of the present Rangiatea Church at Otaki ‘Rangiatea’ is the Maori form of Ra'iatea.

The sword remained in the possession of Paora Pohotiraha for many years and was ceremoniously handed to Heni Te Whiwhi in 1904, when Winia, daughter of Pohotiraha, became the second wife of Petera Te Pukuatua, a wellknown chief of Te Arawa.

This history was recalled by Mr W. Carkeek of Wellington when on behalf of his mother, a granddaughter of Heni Te Whiwhi, he handed the sword to the ethnologist at the Dominion Museum, Dr T. Barrow.

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Two charming young Maori hostesses won many friends for New Zealand at an experimental ‘open house’ held in Sydney recently by the Tourist and Publicity Department. The girls, Miss Alamein Pitama, an N.A.C. employee based in Sydney, and Miss Maureen McKewen from the Tourist and Publicity Department's Wellington office, were largely responsible for the outstanding success of the occasion.

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An early Anglican Mission church at Parawai, near Thames, which is thought to be at least 100 years old, and which had become very dilapidated in recent years, is being renovated by a committee of Maori and Pakeha volunteers.

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Barry Paraone Matena, the son of Mr and Mrs H. Matena of Taumarunui, after successfully completing a course at the Air Force Boy Entrant School at Woodbourne, has been selected from several other candidates to go on a scholarship to Australia for three years. He will be trained as an electrical mechanic at the Royal Australian Air Force trade training school at Waggawagga.
Barry, who entered the Royal New Zealand Air Force after gaining his School Certificate, is one of a comparatively small number of Maori boys who have so far chosen a career of this kind in the Air Force.