Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Profesor Mick Dodson's lecture at UC

Here are 3 Aboriginal people, and 2 Maori wimmin.  We were at Professor Mick Dodson's lecture on Racial Discrimination and the Constitution.  He was saying that if we (the Australian people) don't 'get it right' at this referendum, i.e the modification of the sections that are race-based, then our people will suffer for generations to come.  Scary stuff eh. 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Men of the Ureweras!

Today was the end of the 2 day pig hunting competition in the Urewera mountains.  each hunter pays $25 to enter, but I am not sure what the prize was, besides the kudos or mana of being the chamion pug hunter for the year.  The prize is given to the biggest pig, pig with the biggest tuskers, I dunno - best looking pig, etc.  I have photos, but they are not for the squeamish- so don't look if you are tender-hearted, ok?
I didn't think I'd cope with a rows of dead captain cookers (the colloquial name for wild boar), but I guess I am becoming accultrated. case you think it is for men only - check this photo..
Lady pig hunters - and she got a couple so she will put it in the freezer for dinner later!
Oh - and lots of alcohol too - it was just that sort of day!

Waikato University with A/Prof Te Kahautu Maxwell's students

Earlier this week, we went up to Hamilton.  I gave a 2 hour workshop to Te Kahautu's students on Aboriginal issues.  It is funny eh, to see other peoples' reactions to the stories of Aboriginal Australia. They thought some of my stories were horrendous, and so I stopped half way, as I didn't want to traumatise them eh? One of the students had died in a car accident on the weekend, so they were suffering already. 
I have only just realised I don't have a photo of me and Te Kahautu - and I really wanted one, because he has a moko - or tattooed face, and he looks so cool - well, you can always google image search him - he's pretty famous.  And he's single.  Just saying, in case anyone was, well, you know...

Here is a photo of us in the classroom - the uni is so well equiped! Wish I could remember what I was going about at the time - looks exciting...but probably not!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

On the edge..

There are some really pretty places in NZ.  I can't get over all the running water around the place- you kinda get used to rivers running every now and then, but here they run all the time- the sounds are lovely.
You can't really tell from this picture, but we are really high up,  well, for a given value of 'high' I suppose.
Yesteray, Ronnie's grandniece was nearly kidnapped.  Apparently, her biological father found her, and tried to drag her out of the house.  She was screaming and kicking him, and her disabled grandfather tried to stop him, and he got beat up.  Luckily Whakaraka, her 10 year old 'brother' ran and got the neighbours, and they jumped the fence and started to beat up Baby's father, and finally the Police were called.  She was of course upset, and asked to come and live with us.  I would love to have her - her name means 'angel', and she really is.  She asked me if i would always be there for her, and I promised I would.  "But Nan, what if you are in Australia', she asked me, and I told her - 'I will catch a plane and be in 3 hours- and if you have been stolen I will look under every rock and behind every tree until I find you - I promise',  then she asked 'what if i take drugs - everyone in my family takes drugs - what will you do if I take them?  And I said 'I will always love you, no matter what you  do and no matter what happens, and I will come and find you and help you', so she seemed pretty happy with that.
She has just found me in the library - she once told me she loved sitting with me, cos I am 'safe' - i said, I think you  mean fat - but said - no, you're warm Nanny.  But I am a lot taller and bigger than almost everyone in this village, so perhaps she does feel safe with me.  I really wish I could take her back to Australia with me - that mongrel would never find her there.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi at Whakatane

Teachers are funny I reckon.  A sense of humour must be mandatory, or is stamped into you on your first prac.  We talked to some2nd year B Ed students at Whakatane.  They were very interested in Aboriginal schooling, and I could see there were a lot of similarites, por buggas.
Check out the photo of these cool studies!

Patea Maori Club Rools, OK!

Maori New Year is called Matariki.  It is named after a star system you  might know as the Paleides.  I dunno - maybe you can see it better at this time of year.  Papa tells of his grandfather who used to use the stars to plant and harvest, so it is an important time.

So, every year, the National Museum hold the Matariki Taikurafestival.  Tikura is kapa haka for people over 55, and who  use the songs written before 1970.  It was the old Maori Queen's wish to see the older songs retained.

So, Papa and I went to Wellington with Tupito's group - the original Patea Maroi Club.  If youve seen the movie Boy, then you will recognise the song at the end as Poi E - well, that's their signature song.  It was the best fun.  Some of those Maori wimmin were more than a tad cheeky! I even ended up in the front row - I think they were surprised a wadjilla-looking person like me could sing those songs!  i mean - did you ever check out my hubby - he sings them in his sleep! (Actually, i reckon he's snoring, but he insists otherwise...)

Anyway - here is a picture of us - you can see I look  the size of an elephant, but honestly, these are little people!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Finally...internot becomes internet..

Well, I have internet tonight, after a month of storms and minimal access - I know you missed me (well, Hilda did!)

We have had a kaumatuta couple of weeks - kaumatua is Maori for 'elder'- the first thing we did was go to Palmerston North to stay with our friends, but Dawn was crook and so we stayed at a motel. BUT we joined Tupito's Wananga's team for the Kaumatua Olympics!

The local health service organised about 15 teams of elders and then had a day of funny competitions - balloon hockey, pass-the-marble, sit down volley ball - it was a hoot - and you know the All Blacks? Well, this was their grandparents, same competitiveness! Some of them dressed up as devils, some as angels, and they had the best time ever. Check out the photos of how serious the bean bag toss got! Say nothing about the scooter race - deadly as!

It was a bit sad for me though, cos I looked around and saw so many elders - when we have had similar events for my mob, there is half the numbers, from twice the distance - so these people are lucky to have living treasures.

Oh - the funniest thing - we were down country, so off Papa's country. He is Tuhoe. Everyone is scared of Tuhoe - they are the warrior tribe of warriors. (True-they told me that themselves!) SO, here is Papa playing hoopla in his 'I am Tuhoe' t-shirt, and the other kaumatua were a bit reluctant to play with him (i dunno why-there was no hangi pit around for him to chuck anyone in) - so Tupito gave him a t-shirt and asked him to change. I mean - check the photos - we were wearing the hats as our team 'uniform', so you can see how scary we all were!

We won though - and that's the main thing -right!