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No. 49 (November 1964)
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Letters

Hone Tuwhare

The Editor,

‘Te Ao Hou’

How thrilling it was to see the open friendly face of Hone Tuwhare on the cover of the September issue of ‘Te Ao Hou’.

Through your magazine I should like to express my admiration for his poetry, which has strengthened my faith in the future of poetry among my Maori people.

To Hone I say, ‘Go to it, Friend, and through your talents may you keep alive the precious tradition of oratory received from our forefathers’.

ERNA WINTERBURN (Otaki)

‘The Raw Men’

The Editor,

‘Te Ao Hou’

In his letter in your last issue, Mr Pinfold says that Rowley Habib's poem on the Maori Battalion, ‘The Raw Men’, creates an unfair image and is derogatory criticism.

I am sure that the poem was not meant as criticism, and I do not think that most readers would regard it in this way.

If war were to come again now, and if Mr Habib were to write about a new Maori Battalion, his poem would be very different, for these days there would be many Maori soldiers who would come to the army from occupations such as teaching, the arts, medicine, the regular armed forces, and trades such as carpentry and mechanics. But the majority of men who joined the Maori Battalion 25 years ago, and who fought so heroically, did come from the background that the poem describes. Mr Habib has written a good poem about a true situation.

D.M.G. (Tokaanu)

Penfriend Wanted

The Editor,

‘Te Ao Hou’

I have been reading your very interesting magazine, which a friend sends on to me, and I wondered if you could possibly help me.

I am interested in the Maori people, their way of living and their culture, and I would very much like to correspond with a Maori pen friend. I wonder if any of your readers might like to write to me.

I'm 27 years old, married, and very fond of music from New Zealand and Hawaii. I was brought up in Australia, so New Zealand has always been very ‘near’ to me.

The articles and stories in ‘Te Ao Hou’ are very interesting indeed, and so are the photographs.

And ‘hats off’ to Maureen Kingi, she's really pretty!

MARQUITA VANDERMEER 14 School Street, Vooreschoten, Holland

Maori Studies at Training College

The Editor,

‘Te Ao Hou’

I read with great interest the editorial in ‘Te Ao Hou’ no. 47, in which you posed a very interesting question. I quote:

‘It is sometimes said, with justifiable resentment, that “here comes the tourist—bring on the Maori” is too common an attitude; and the question is asked as to why the Pakeha cannot do more to entertain the tourist—has the [ unclear: ] , then, no culture of his own?’

A good question, as you say, and further on in this same issue we find an article on Mr Rowley Habib, also his review of the operetta performed by the Turakina Maori Girls' College, and in both these articles Mr Habib expresses opinions that could be answers to this question.

When children at secondary school who intend to become primary school teachers take French as part of their professional course, what use do they make of this language while they are at Training College, and later as primary school teachers? Because I have often wondered about this, I would like to ask why Maori language and culture cannot be taught at Training College, not as a part-time subject or through clubs, but as a full-time subject with a full-time lecturer—not only to interested Maori students, but to all students!

If it is not practicable to teach all students Maori language and culture at the Training College level, could it not be introduced in its preliminary stage to sixth form pupils intending to be teachers, with later specialized studies at Training College: so that instead of saying with justifiable resentment, ‘Here comes the tourist—bring on the Maori’, we can say with justifiable pride, ‘Here comes the tourist—bring on the New Zealander’.

AS I SEE IT (Gisborne)