RELIGION AND RACE IN
National Council of Churches, 15s
(Ken Hills was formerly Vicar of Porirua and is now Industrial chaplain in a Social Group Ministry in Birmingham.—Ed.)
The first thing to be said about this small (about 80 pages) book is to welcome it, on two counts: First, because it has some very valuable things to contribute to the question of race relations generally, which should commend it to anyone seriously interested in the mass of communities which we call New Zealand. In particular a very important analysis of the (or some of the) perspectives from which the question can be viewed, and, of very special importance, the dangers of over emphasising one or other of them—which we generally do, even in official circles, and thereby set the seal of failure on our well-intentioned efforts.
The second reason for welcoming this study, on general grounds, is the ‘theory of Race Relations as a basis for policy’. This is not the easiest of reading, but is undoubtedly valuable—and practical. It is a three-stage description of the movement towards and away from each other in a situation where there is a majority and a minority. I'll leave you to read it, but will pick out three things for special attention when you've grasped the general theory. One, is a summary of ‘The Reasons why N.Z. race relations are relatively good’—the usual theme for smug self-satisfaction; but this summary is realistic, and leaves no room for satisfaction with our present state. No one reading it should be left without the knowledge that they personally are involved in improving relationships. Two, is the author's statement “the negative stereotype of the Maori is an articulate and concrete expression of the values which the majority intends to protect.” I think this can be said of the Maoris negative generalisations about Pakehas too. If the reader, Maori or Pakeha, realises that when he thinks or repeats some hoary old blanket-description of the other race he is really merely saying something very revealing about his own stiffness and insecurity, he will be ready to appreciate the third thing I want to underline; when the third stage ‘Mutual Inclusion’ is reached, I quote; “Both groups (Pakeha and Maori) will have gone through a process of resocialisation (with the majority doing most of the socialising) and mutual influencing in face to face, smaller, intimate groups.”
In this, general, section there are just two criticisms I would suggest. The first one is Dr Mol's persistent use of ‘westernisation’ as being the same as ‘urbanisation’. It seems to me that this is unhelpful for ‘westernisation’ carries undertones and historical connotations which might rightly be resisted. Further, ‘urbanisation’ is in most respects, in our age, a new thing which is by no means ‘western’ merely. It is the revolution of our age which is embroiling all men alike—and bewildering them regardless of race of historical background. The Pakeha is often by no means on his own home ground in the new urban revolution, and is in no position to paternalise his own country cousin let alone rural Maoris.
The second criticism is that not enough is made of Ritchie's comment that the intricate structure of ‘maoritanga’ has “… an amazing similarity to the rural proletariat … in any part of the western world”. If urbanisation is inevitable, as seems to be the case, then the most important things about maoritanga will be (quoting Metge) that “adaptability has always been the real strength of Maori culture”, for Maoris with adaptability will be prized citizens of any race in the painful business of urbanisation.
This brings me to the sections which deal with ‘What the Churches say they do’ and ‘What they actually do’ (which aren't as different as one might have thought). The constant criticism of the protestant and Anglican churches (who comprise his publishers, the N.C.C.) as amorphous and unable to influence the behaviour of their members is paired with the comment that they are thereby dedicated mainly to protecting old values. This could mean that they are busily preserving Maoritanga while utterly out of touch, in practice, with what is happening in the modern, urban, world.
Dr Mol has a dilemma! He is writing for
the institutional Church as represented in the existing structures of the National Council of Churches and dutifully analyses the amorphousness and cohesiveness, respectively, of them and the Roman Catholic churches and the Mormon religion. At the same time he feels bound to point out that cohesiveness sought as an end in itself would be disastrous, and is anyway by no means all that it appears to be in the R.C. and Mormon institutions (he has particularly interesting comments, from the race relationships point of view, on the possibility that Maoris, who form two thirds or more of Mormons in New Zealand, find therein not a new religion so much as a way to ‘westernisation’ while avoiding assimilation by New Zealand's Pakeha majority). However, he reveals his real conclusions in the very valuable last chapter. First, for the churches as they are at present structured, he gives what he frankly calls ‘Patchwork Recommendations’. These are really creative, stimulating suggestions and should be read by every pastor, lay-reader and other member of the ‘People of God’ with an honest eye to present shortcomings in his church community's engagement (or lack of it) in the problems of race relations and understanding of Maori culture and “the painful, but only way to congruity”. But, lastly, his ‘Basic Renewal Recommendations’ are based upon the even more exciting insight: “It is around the intrinsic dynamism and vitality of the Christian faith that new forms can crystallise. The adaptation of both Maori and Pakeha christianity to a changing world should have this dynamic core as the centre.” He urges the churches to freedom to experiment within the race situation with new forms of its life in which cohesiveness happens with smaller, intimate, face to face groups, within which persons of all races truly meet, influence each other and, together, change. Here, ‘aroha’ is no longer the Maori name for a typically rural characteristic to be gradually lost as “young Maoris achieve Pakeha individualism”, but a race-transcending Grace to be found at the root of life itself when men meet each other in meaningful and creative relationships—to which the “intrinsic dynamism and vitality of the Christian faith, crystallising in new forms, bears witness”.
This is an important book, the outcome of the initiative of the National Council of Churches whose ordinary, local members will, I trust, receive it, as the author suggests, in study booklet form with modern methods of use outlined in it. Meantime, to anyone who can read it, churchman or not, I urge: this is an important contribution to anyone's understanding of race relations in New Zealand. It is a bargain at 15s.
THE MAORIS OF NEW ZEALAND
Routledge and Kegan Paul, 30s
New Zealand is fortunate to possess at the moment a group of authors who are gifted students of the Maori. Constant research and contact with the people gives their work an air of reality. They have to be ‘with it’: they have to sort out, often from a welter of conflicting evidence, details of things Maori … customs, history, attitude, warfare, religion and many other complicating factors. Others less conscientious can present their material, depending on the attitude of the writer, with tongue in cheek, or as a tome of anthropological jargon. Serious students have to be fair. Not merely do they have to have a firm grasp of their subject in both theory and practice, but they have to explain how and why changes have occurred. Finally, they always have to stimulate. Joan Metge is one of this group.
One could say that there are far too many books written on the subject. One could also say; ‘what is their earthly use?’
The analysis of a people by a ‘name academic’ usually leaves one cold, the language being in most cases far too technical for people like myself. The writer does not come under this classification. This book is one of a series dealing with studies of societies throughout mankind. Dr Metge has probed deeply and has avoided the pitfalls of superficialities.
Quite early in the piece, the reader is impressed with the writer's humanity, her warmth and fair mindedness, and the reader also senses that she is a person who looks at the Maori with friendly and honest eyes.
There is no doubt that people who will read this book will like it. They will benefit considerably from the author's years of re-
search and field work, for this book is quite an achievement in amassing so much material in so short a time.
By dealing with the situation in periods, she has made it easier for the reader to have a better appreciation of the Maori.
Its interpretations as well as its original material, are going to influence the thinking of many people—not the least, other students of the Maori.
In recent years there has been minor discussion over whether to use the double vowel, to leave things as they are, or to use the macron. Candidly, I am a little old fashioned, and my hackles rise whenever I see double vowels. The unusual thing about this publication. I found, was the author's use of the macron. At first it was a novelty, but when I finished reading, I found myself two hundred per cent in favour.
The picture captions I found most acceptable. Nothing annoys me more than books with notes saying ‘so and so, a chief of such and such’. I personally feel that the author's almost cryptic technique is refreshingly different and I hope that other aspiring writers in future will follow her line.
I am positive that the author does not claim that this publication is the ‘be all and end all’ on the Maori. Quite a lot of writers in the past appear to me to spend far too much time dealing with the ‘dead Maori’, Miss Metge doesn't do this but has got on with the job of describing with uncanny accuracy the doings of ‘living Maoris’. As I have mentioned earlier, the author is ‘with it’, and presents her material with admirable clarity. This publication goes a long way in sowing the much needed seeds of understanding.
To be frank, I intended giving the book a thorough doing over. However, the more I read the more engrossed I became and was eventually won over. Well, Dr Metge, I must confess you have come a long way—or is it me—from the Kitemoana Street days where I endeavoured to mislead you by purposely giving half truths. You have nothing to thank me for, but I personally am thankful for your positive approach and indeed grateful that our paths have crossed in the past and no doubt will do so again in the future.
The Maoris of New Zealand is indeed an outstanding contribution to New Zealand literary and historical works. I commend it to both Maori and Pakeha to enable them to have a better and clearer understanding, so that the averment made by Governor Hobson
Ans Westra photography, sympathetic yet discerning, has captured the warmth and social unity of the Maori Dr. James Ritchie, author of the sociological study The Making of a Maori, is particularly concerned with the problem of the Maori's adaptation to an urban industrial existence. 11in × 9in—232 pages.
Eight pages colour plates.
More than 100 photographs.
63s 0d ($6.30).
SELECTED READINGS IN MAORI
Dr. Bruce Biggs, Assoc. Professor in the Anthropology Department, Auckland University, has compiled from a wide variety of writers and sources, an essential reader for all Maori students. Ideally suited to University and Secondary classes and W.E.A. groups.
15s 0d ($1.50)
Available from All Booksellers
A. H. & A. W. REED
Wellington — Auckland — Sydney
(‘we are one people’) will become in fact a reality and not a dream.
Numbers 11 and 12 in the series
Department of Education, 2s each
No. 11—He Whakarapopototanga
It is an interesting development that encoreāgement should be given to writers to express their feelings in poetry in Maori. Presumably it is intended that pupils or students of the language either express themselves in similar vein or learn something from the authors. The verses by Katarina Mataira and Meri Penfold are a departure from the traditional and modern song-poetry of their Maori people, in that individualism is the key to expresssion.
Put simply, poetry is supposed to teach or shock in a positive way. Neither of these aims is really fulfilled by the verses in this publication. Katarina expresses her distaste for some foods which are delicacies and which have a high cultural value for many of her tribe; she shows no sympathy for the symbolism of the material culture of her people as represented by the carved house in a museum. Some of her lines are neigher poetically justifiable nor structurally acceptable (was this the fault of the editors?) e.g. should not Pukukai begin with ‘He aha te kai Kei roto i te puku’? Is it not the stomach that does the gnashing, moaning, groaning and screaming and not the food itself? (or was this intended?).
Whare Whakairo has similar errors, e.g. ‘Te manawa (wairua) kua rere (riro)’, ‘Kore anō (E kore? E Kore noa?)’. Is the ‘whare kore take’ because it has no functional use though the ‘poutokomanawa’ are there to ‘mihi’ to its ‘Pakeha’ visitors? and the ‘whare’ invites its viewers to ‘whāwhā’ and photograph its decorations?
Meri Penfold's Tirairaka is simple and rhythmic, though it does not quite capture the delightful, restless flitting and twittering of the fantail. Nevertheless, the twirl of poi balls in the double short poi dance and an appropriate chant-like music would depict the mood.
In Hine Heihei was the moral of the story to expose laziness or reveal the rewards of hard work, and that theft (or covetousness) is repaid with death (Parera's, though the other two survived)? It is a pity that delicious tuna is a monster in this story, which is well written. Should not ‘Poaka Kunekune's kata’ be ngawī or horuhoru (page 13)?
Etahi tikanga Māori could well be followed up in story or descriptive form, particularly the application in practice in certain areas of the niceties or prohibited behaviour where the supply of food might or might not be precarious.
It is obvious from this publication and its predecessors that a glossary or a greater use of footnotes to explain dialectical or particular idiomatic expressions is needed. e.g. the synonomous terms for heihei are tīkaokao and pīkaokao, parera is pārera or rakiraki, etc.
The illustrations and cover by Katarina Mataira are impressively done, and the reproductions are distinctive and pleasant.
No. 12—Te Ropu o te Rangatahi o te rau
tau ki muri
In this booklet Secondary School and University teachers will find that Wiremu Ngata (son of Sir Apirana Ngata) has written and translated his material in Maori excellently. Advanced students in language will gain much from reading, re-reading and reflecting upon the information contained in the booklet.
Because the Young Maori Party has a significant place in N.Z. history. I am very disappointed that the subject matter was not treated and co-ordinated with greater care. The Young Maori Party, the Kotahitanga Maori Parliament, and King Tāwhiao's Parliament were products of a significant period when there was a decline in Maori population and acreage in Maori land, and the Pakeha attitude (or sympathy) is symbolised in the presence on One Tree Hill in Auckland of Sir John Logan-Campbell's memorial to the dying race. The existence of these movements among the Maori people indicates to me that, thought there might have been some despair among the people, they were not entirely dispirited, because through these movements they independently clamoured for recognition of their identity, rights and some action concerning their welfare.
The Young Maori Party was more effective (if not spectacular) than other movements because:
its members were dedicated at a very
its most prominent members and leaders had strong tribal identities, were schooled in Church boarding schools (notably Te Aute College) to become bilingual, and they were University trained;
as University graduates they were qualified in the professions with most prestige in Pakeha eyes and with most effectiveness in the Maori sense;
their conferences, papers and subsequent publicity were aimed at informing themselves and officialdom of the conditions prevailing at the time, and also in involving the Maori people in their deliberations;
they realised after some years that effective Parliamentary representation was a most necessary step in implementing their aims;
finally, the Party was fortunate in having Ngata as their foremost leader.
Some questions remain unanswered:
What was the political, economic and social climate of the period which gave rise to the Young Maori Party?
Why didn't Te Aute College continue producing graduates and leaders of the calibre of Kōhere, Ngata, Wirepa and Buck up to the present time? Can educationists learn something from Thornton, the principal of Te Aute College at the time?
Why did Ngata and Sir James Carroll recommend long leases (but not sale) for Maori land and the system of farming by incorporation of owners? Why was it left until 1929 before Government funds were made available to develop Maori lands? (Note: at the time of the Young Maori Party State Advances loaned moneys to the Pakeha farmers).
What was the Young Maori Party attitude to the cry of Kotahitanga for a separate Maori Parliament and ratification of the Treaty of Waitangi, to the Waikato cries for investigation of their land confiscation grievances?
In what areas, geographically speaking, and in what fields, was the influence of the Young Maori Party most effective? What methods did they use to influence people?
Were some of the achievements credited to the Young Maori Party in fact the result of the individual efforts on the part of Pōmare, Ngata and Buck as Parliamentarians in a later period?
My critical remarks should not minimise the value of the present publication, but they should serve a timely warning to other writers and the editor, that topics such as this need careful planning, research and supervision in order to whet the appetite of Sixth Formers (and first year students at Teachers' Colleges or University) to extend their reading in breadth and depth. As University students read some of these booklets, a bibliography of source material would have been very helpful. Could not some of the speeches and letters in Maori be edited as a follow up?
The photographs are interesting, especially the one of the haka group with Ngata in front. I would like to have seen more explanatory notes on the circumstances of this hui.
Kia ora koe, Wiremu, mō ēnei pitopito kōrero ataahua hoki.
An Oxford Reference Book
THE ADVANCED LEARNER'S DICTIONARY OF CURRENT ENGLISH
A. S. HORNBY, E. V. GATENBY and H. WAKEFIELD
This is a standard work of reference for learners of English as a foreign or second language in all parts of the world. It is also widely used in schools by backward readers whose vocabulary problems are often similar to the problems of those who are trying to master English as a foreign language. By giving phonetic transcriptions and by giving structural examples this dictionary provides a key to both spoken and written usage. The emphasis on verb and preposition usage and the classification of countable and uncountable nouns add to its usefulness. There are about 20,000 entries and about 1,000 illustrations which make definitions clearer.
1,232pp 32s., with thumb index 41s.
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