Maori Song Competition
A very pleasant function was held on 5 December last, ber last, when prizewinners in the N.Z.B.C.'s Maori Action Song and Poi Tune competition were presented with their trophies, carved by Mr C. Tuarau of the Dominion Museum.
The Chairman of the N.Z.B.C., Mr C. A. MacFarlane, spoke of the competition as an example of a new net going fishing, and said that the organisers were extremely pleased with the wealth of talent the net had brought to the surface. He paid tribute to Mr Leo Fowler who had cast the net and directed where it should be cast, to the Maori Purposes Fund Board who had assisted with pulling in the net, and to the judges, who had sorted out the choice fish.
Dr Doug Sinclair, on behalf of the judges, paid tribute to the late Hetekia Te Kani Te
Ua, O.B.E., who was to have been a judge, and praised the N.Z.B.C. for assisting in the retention of Maori culture by sponsoring the competition. He cited the Japanese as an example of a people who had not regarded their culture and language as a hindrance to technical advance, and suggested that retention of an old culture is quite compatible with progress.
Other speakers were Mr J. M. McEwen, Mr P. Tahiwi, Rev. A. Broughton, who spoke on behalf of the contestants, and Mr Leo Fowler, organiser of the competition, who was pleased that many prizewinners came from Maori schools, a fact that augured well for the future.
The prizewinners were:—
Action song: Mrs K. Ponika, Ruatoki North, 1; Mrs M. Ragget, Gisborne, 2; Mrs D. Howarth, Upper Hutt, 3.
Poi: Misses F. Edwards and P. Cotter, St. Joseph's Maori Girls' College, Napier, 1 equal; Rev. A. Broughton, Masterton, 1 equal; Senior Group of Queen Victoria School for Maori Girls, Auckland, 2.
Lyric: Rev. A. Broughton, 1; Mrs D. Howarth 2; Mawai-Hakona Maori Club of Heretaunga, 3.
A special prize was awarded to Miss Ngapine Thompson, a 14-year-old Wellington girl who attends Queen Victoria School. Her song did not fall clearly into either of the categories of the competition, but its construction and musical quality were so impressive that the judges were unanimous in deciding that a special award be made.