PEOPLE AND PLACES
Recently thirty members of the Ohau Maori Youth Club, Rotorua (see photo above) spent three weeks touring Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria as the guests of Australian Rotary Clubs.
The fifteen girls and fifteen boys gave warmly received concerts at Toowoomba. Newcastle, Woollongong, Yass. Wagga Wagga, Miidura and Broken Hill. They were accompanied by Canon Wi Huata. four other elders, and Mr John Smith, a Rotorua tourist guide and fisherman.
The group travelled on a non-profit basis, as ambassadors of their country, and were billetted with Rotarians during their stay. As well as giving public performances to most enthusiastic audiences, they performed free of charge at a large number of hospitals, old folks' homes and similar institutions.
Founded in 1962, the Ohau Maori Youth Club is an especially vigorous group which has won a number of prizes at Maori cultural competitions.
Another group to travel overseas is the Aotearoa Concert Party (see photo at top of next page).
At present accompanying the National Band of New Zealand on a tour of Canada and the United States, they are the first Maori concert party to be sponsored on such a tour.
Members of the group are, from left. Olive Pearse, Faith Panapa. Agnes Manunui. Don Manunui and his wife Nancye. Meilene Chan, and Tawhai Richmond. Olive is from Waimarama, near Hastings; Faith and Nancye, both daughters of Bishop Panapa, are also from Hastings. Agnes and Don belong to Ngati Tuwharetoa. Meilene belongs to Ngati Raukawa at Otaki and Tawhai, a member of Te Arawa, is from Te Puke. After a preliminary tour of New Zealand with the band, they flew to Toronto where they will perform during a three-week engagement at the Canadian National Exhibition. After this there will be [ unclear: ] tour of America, and they expect to return home on about 10 November.
Yet another concert party at present touring overseas is a 15-strong group from the Wellington Anglican Maori Club (see photo below). They are led by the Rev. Kingi Ihaka, the Anglican Maori viear in Wellington.
Sponsored by an American entrepreneur they are touring Canada and the United States for 15 weeks, demonstrating Maori culture at fairs and shows. It is a good-will tour, designed to ‘put New Zealand on the map’ and to further knowledge and interest in our country and its peoples.
On 6 September the group leaves North America for London, where they will have a reception at New Zealand House.
After a week in London they fly to Hong Kong for 10 days. There they will entertain at an international congress on behalf of the New Zealand Government.
Flying back via Australia, the party will return to New Zealand on 27 September.
This photograph of the group was taken in the porch of Te Hau Ki Turanga, the meeting-house in the Dominion Museum, Wellington. Carved in 1842, this is probably the oldest Maori meeting-house still standing.
At a week-long residential Maori arts and crafts school at Tikitiki, 70 Auckland Maoris and Pakehas studied tukutuku work, kowhai-whai and carving under the tutorship of the well known Tikitiki carver Pine Taiapa.
In the photograph at left, Pine is watched at work by the Minister of Education, Mr A. E. Kinsella (centre) and by Mr S. R. Morrison, director of the extension department, Auckland University.
The course, a highly successful one, was organised by the extension department of Auckland University, Nati Women's Welfare League, the people of the Tokararangi marae at Horoera, Ngata Memorial College and Pine Taiapa. Several experts on arts and crafts were present as observers. Those attending the school stayed at the Rongomaianiwaniwa marae.
They were most enthusiastic about what they were learning, and also very much enjoyed the opportunity of getting to know the East Coast people who were their hosts.
Among the Aucklanders were a group of Ngati Whatua from Orakei who are learning Maori crafts, especially tukutuku, so that they can decorate the interdominational chapel at Orakei.
Judge Norman Smith (sec photo left). judge of the Waiariki Maori Land Court, Rotorua, retired last June after 46 years spent in Maori land affairs.
Leading Maoris from all over the Waiariki district attended a special gathering at the new Maori Land Court to say farewell to the Judge and to pay a spontaneous tribute to his long and notable service to the people of the district.
Of Scottish origin. Norman Smith came to New Zealand with his parents as a small boy, and grew up in Rotorua. He left school when he was fourteen, and later studied for all his examinations by correspondence and with tutors.
In 1919 he joined the then Native Affairs Department in Rotorua as a cadet. He qualified as a solicitor, and in 1933 moved to Wellington, where he later became chief clerk. In 1950 he returned to Rotorua as Commissioner Smith, and two years later was promoted Judge and moved to Gisborne. In 1961 he returned again to Rotorua.
Looking back over his life's work he says with conviction, ‘I have never wanted to do anything else.’