Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 66 (March 1969)
– 38 –

People
and
Places

‘City Life’ Discussion

Mr Terry Mataio of Rarotonga, a qualified lawyer who works as legal officer for a large insurance firm, chaired a panel discussion for boys and girls in this year's pre-employment course at Wellington. Other panel members were Margaret Holroyd, a Maori Welfare Officer in Wellington who has been associated with the pre-employment courses since 1967, and two Hato Paora old boys, John Ropata of the N.Z.B.C's Maori Programme section, and Stanley White, one of last year's pre-employment students, who is working for the Customs Department.

The topic was ‘possible social problems encountered by a newcomer to city life’, and the discussion covered a wide range, involving both panel members and students.

Home From Australia

Miss Fae Owen, Atiawa, paid a brief visit to her home in Taranaki over the holiday period. The main reason for her return was to marry Tom Sidney, a Ngati Kahungunu from Nuhaka. They returned to Australia in mid-January, where both are working at the ‘Snowy River Scheme’. Tom as a carpenter and Fae as a secretary.

Fae, one of the girls to go through the first ‘typist trainee’ scheme in 1962, worked

– 39 –

for the Maori Affairs Department for two years, Europa Oil for one year, then went to Australia in 1966.

Baptismal Font in Australia

Senior Bishop Coadjutor of Sydney, the Rt Rev. F. O. Hulme-Moir, is here explaining the significance of the carving on the font to Miss Pam McLeod, a former ‘Miss New Zealand’, now an Air New Zealand receptionist in Sydney.

The baptismal font was a gift from the Maori people to St John's Church, Parramatta, Sydney, the parish from which the Rev. Samuel Marsden first brought the Christian gospel to New Zealand 150 years ago.

‘Mrs Taumarunui’

To win first a queen carnival as the Maori candidate, and then the ‘Mrs Taumarunui’ title in the New Zealand Plunket Society contest, made the year 1968 a busy one for Mrs Martha Taiaroa of Taumarunui. Martha is a member of a leading Ngati Tuwharetoa family, with strong Tainui affiliations through her father. Her husband, Mr Archie Taiaroa, is Maori welfare officer at Taumarunui and is an elder of Ngati Haua. They have one son, Rakeipoho.

When the Red Cross Society held a queen

– 40 –

carnival at Taumarunui, with a target of $5,000, Martha was selected as the Maori candidate. Her committee raised in excess of $4,000 and the carnival raised $11,000.

Some of the fund-raising efforts were a sportsmen's dinner, with numerous leading sportsmen attending, a performance of ‘He Mana Toa’ by members of the New Zea-and Maori Theatre Trust from Wellington, a cabaret and a poetry reading by Rowley Habib.

When the national contest was staged by the Plunket Society to find a ‘Mrs New Zealand’, Martha was a logical contender and won the Taumarunui title from a strong field of 15. She was the only Maori entry. She went on to the ‘Mrs Waikato’ section of the contest where she was placed third.

She modelled gowns designed by a Taumarunui Maori designer, Mrs Ann Rupe. A waistcoat she wore with one ensemble was in a taniko pattern and was designed by her husband.

Visit to School

Members of the touring Parliamentary Committee on Maori Affairs were entertained to lunch at Rotokawa School, Rotorua.

Action songs and stick games were demonstrated by the children, and in the few minutes remaining before lunch, the local Member of Parliament, Mr H. R.

Picture icon

National Publicity Studios photographs

Lapwood, took the opportunity to chat with the children.

Carving for Expo ‘70

Another visit made by the Parliamentary Committee was to the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute at Whakarewarewa, where they saw the poutokomanawa being carved for the Expo ‘70 Exhibition. Here one of the carving apprentices and Mr P. Rewiti, M.P. for Eastern Maori, point out features of the carving. At the far right is Mr John Taiapa, master carver, instructor at the institute.

The poutokomanawa, which would usually be in the centre of a meeting house, will be in a prominent position near the entrance of the main pavilion at Expo ‘70 in Osaka, Japan, and will be seen by millions of visitors.