Spreading The Word
one of the problems of any organisation like the N.Z. Maori Council is keeping in touch with its ‘grass roots’, in our case the Maori Committees scattered throughout the country. There are three main ways of doing this, all of which must be used if our people are to be kept informed about the Council's activities.
The Council's Newsletter
The Newsletter that the Council sends out each month is the easiest way of telling people about the Council's work. In the Newsletter there are reports of meetings and the development of Council policy. There are articles on current problems and on the results being achieved by Maori organisations of all sorts. Contributions to this Newsletter are very welcome.
The Newsletter is sent free to all Maori Committees. There may be some Committees that have not seen copies, but if so it is because the Council has never been given the address of the Secretary; either that, or the Secretary is not passing his copy around the other members. This matter is easily rectified—just write to the Secretary of the Council, Box 5195, Wellington
Now that the Broadcasting Corporation has extended its Maori services to include interviews and discussions on current topics there is a possibility that the Council may get information across through these channels. There are interesting opportunities here, for although we do not expect to use the radio for ‘propaganda’, much of what the Council deals with would be of real interest to many people, both Maori and Pakeha.
Visits to Districts
In spite of the ease of posting Newsletters to people and talking to them on the radio, personal visits by the officers of the Council are still an essential part of keeping in touch. Nothing can replace the face-to-face talk in the meeting-house, where simple questions can be answered, local conditions examined and special problems discussed and, if necessary, taken up for investigation by the Council.
The most extensive tour of any district was made recently when the President and the Secretary of the Council toured the South Island, visiting as many of the Maori Committees as possible in the time at their disposal. They were to attend the conference of the Maori Women's Welfare League in Dunedin, so the opportunity was taken to travel throughout the island. Meetings were held at Blenheim, Kaikoura, Temuka, Bluff, Moeraki, Benmore, Christchurch, Nelson, Takaka and Wairau Pa.
This tour certainly gave the visitors, including Lady Carroll and Mrs Tamihana of the League Executive, a new insight into the problems of South Island Maoris and a better appreciation of their achievements in this modern world.
In any large city the difficulty of organising local committees and keeping them alive is considerably greater than in country areas where people are in touch with one another every day. Because of this, it was felt that a representative of the Council with the Secretary should call meetings there to see what help was needed. Through the excellent work that is, in fact, being carried on by relatively few, it looks as if there will be a revival of Maori Committees throughout the city.
Special Visit to North Auckland
In their concern for the better development of their lands, representatives of North Auckland on the Maori Council had invited the President to visit them for the special purpose of explaining how land incorporations might help them. Two excellent meetings were held, one at Takahiwai and the other at Pukepoto, where a large crowd gave Sir Turi Carroll a most attentive hearing. He was supported by the Judge of the Maori Land Court and the District Officer, Maori Affairs Department, and the result of his visit could well be the establishment of several new incorporations.