Hawke's Bay Secondary Schools'
Fifth and Sixth Form pupils from 14 secondary schools in Hawke's Bay attended a three-day conference held at Te Aute College from 9–11 May 1969. The conference was residential and about 80 young people and several staff members ‘lived in’, while a number of others came for the sessions during the day. Some senior Pakeha pupils were also invited.
The conference had its inspiration in the cultural days held in Hawke's Bay in recent years for the Maori clubs of the various secondary schools. Senior pupils felt that they would like the opportunity of discussing matters of common interest and an approach was made to a Hastings principal who passed on the idea to the Hawke's Bay Principals' Association. With their blessing the conference was set down for May with Te Aute College as the venue.
The Hon. Duncan MacIntyre, opening the conference, drew several parallels between the Maori and Scottish peoples, and urged the younger generation not to be afraid of being themselves. Speakers included Sir Guy Powles, who spoke on ‘New Zealand, a Bi-racial Society’, Mr D. Garrett of Massey University, whose topic was ‘Citizenship’, Mr Ted Nepia, who offered guidance on ‘Job Opportunities’, and Mr Harry Dan-sey, the Auckland journalist who spoke on ‘City Living’. There was also a panel dealing with ‘The Whole Person’ and two ‘Free Discussion’ periods.
Following the introduction by each speaker the conference divided into nine groups which discussed questions set down and commented on the topic. After three-quarters of an hour's discussion there was a ‘Report Back’ session. At first some pupils were reluctant to offer opinions but by the end of the first day, discussion was becoming more animated and continued over meals and into the night. This was especially so after the free discussions which covered a wide range of topical questions which included abortion, Maori education, capping magazines, pronunciation of Maori, religion, life after death, the South African tour, private schools, the voting age and the drinking age … to mention some of them.
All agreed that the conference was well worth while as it not only gave senior pupils a chance to meet but also to gain experience in expressing themselves. No firm conclusions were arrived at except that there must be another conference next year.
Parliamentary Committee Tour
A framed photograph of the Maori Affairs room at Parliament Buildings now has pride of place in the Rangikapuia dining room at Ngapuaiwaha pa, Taumarunui. It was formally accepted by tribal elders, Messrs Titi Tihu and Rawiri Hemopo at a welcoming ceremony extended to the Parliamentary Committee on Maori Affairs when the committee visited the Central King Country in April.
During the Taumarunui section of its tour the committee, led by the chairman, Mr A. McCready, M.P. for Otaki, visited land development schemes and met settlers. Guided by Maori leaders, Mr P. J. Hura, O.B.E., Dr Pei te H. Jones, O.B.E., and Mr Brian H. Jones, the committee inspected the Manunui scheme and the Hikurangi station, later calling at Waimiha.
At a welcome at Ngapuaiwaha pa, speeches of welcome were given by local elders and Mrs I. M. Ratana, M.P., replied on behalf of the visitors. The waiata at the end of her address was given by the Secretary for Maori Affairs, Mr J. M. McEwen.
A large gathering was present and discussed matters of interest with the committee.