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No. 66 (March 1969)
– 43 –

Hui Aranga

continued from page 35

the best ingredients of leadership, tradition, experience and discipline — facets and skills of Maoridom therefore that demand utmost respect. Excitement reached the pitch of a test match when the two Wanganui teams fought out the final of the basketball tourney. Above all, admiration is expressed for the kuia and her four very inexperienced youngsters who rightly deserved the award of the gamest losers.

‘Children make a nation’. The midget section was surely the tonic of the hui. In general these children indicated to me how little and restricted was my knowledge of the retention of our culture and the degree to which it is being encouraged at the grass roots of present-day Maori society. Having witnessed these youngsters, particularly those from Whangarei, many of us may well have left the Hui Aranga with the conviction E kore e mate te Maori — Maoridom will never be vanquished. My heart goes to those leaders who devoted much time and personal dedication in the Maori instruction of the juniors.

Pakeha participation and presence at the hui invites conjecture. A Maori professional artist of national renown claims that many Europeans are being won over to our way of life. The Hui Aranga confirms this artist's view. Racism, integration and apartheid are world issues. Perhaps the introduction of Maori studies to the school curriculum may be the way to make us one people, in the way that those Pakehas must have felt at the hui.

In a social analysis of any gathering of the proportion of the Hui Aranga we must expect some criticism. At some of the activities an admission charge was the practice. There is no argument with the practical necessity of huis having to pay for themselves, but it is my belief that one session should be free of charge. At the Hui Aranga, the dance on the final night may well have been the appropriate time to be generous. There is a type of charity — aroha — typical to Maoritanga and Christianity which can balance the scales of such great enterprises as this hui. Consideration for youth in a manner fitting such a great occasion is warranted, at a time when internationally there is a plague of riots, student protests, and such social problems as delinquency, illegitimacy and child beatings.

The Hui Aranga idea appears to have had a successful heart transplant. Its future is in the hands of people better qualified to foster it than I am. Perhaps our older citizens could be honoured with this suggestion. Let's face it — the members of our aged decrease rapidly year by year. They know our history and are the best qualified to teach us Maori etiquette and our life styles. Could some aspect of a future Hui Aranga be so organised that the old people are given a forum for the duration of the hui to teach those of us willing to learn basic Maoritanga in preference to action songs and rugby football?