Manukau Courier : November 16th 2010
4 MANUKAU COURIER, NOVEMBER 16, 2010 NEWS Enrol for 2011 at your university. AUT Manukau. AUT's Manukau Campus provides students with access to a first class tertiary education right in the centr e of Manukau City. Students can study a range of undergraduate and postgraduate pr ogrammes; all pr oviding a cutting edge and professionally orientated approach to learning. Study areas include: • Business • Health Sciences • Sports Science • Sports Management • Education • Computer and Infor mation Sciences Come on campus for course advice, or for campus tours. To find out more 0800 AUT UNI 0800 288 864 www.autmanukau.ac.nz AUTMAN/386/MC The University for the changing world COURSE ADVICE CAMPUS TOURS They don't think it's kapai The Bros-first protocols and those long, long korero have set the manuhiri talking and set a ngeru among the Kiwis (for translation see the end of this). There are memories too. Like the time that a Singa- porean group wanted to build a massive hotel that looked like a ship surrounded by the sea off Paihia. At a meeting to put their case so many waiata had been used up by the time Dover Samuels got to his feet that he was reduced to sing- ing Home on the Range. Like the pope's visit and how he was held hostage over the hill in the Domain from the main reception area? After nearly an hour he was freed from his basic lesson in Maori welcome pro- tocol. By that time I was waiting for the SIS to swoop in and rescue the poor pontiff. Fortunately, when the speakers ran out of steam and waiata he was allowed into his popemobile. Sample reactions to last week's column: Thank you for your very perceptive column about some of the bizarre aspects of Maori customary rights'. I attended the swearing in of the new Auckland Council. Watching the Maori protocol officer shuffling the women into the second row behind the men was the first failure by the new councillors. Why Penny Hulse and Christine Fletcher didn't stand their ground was sur- prising. The notion that any culture still considers women to be second class citizens is medieval mumbo jumbo. Maori leaders need to bring themselves into the modern world. Then I was astonished to find that mayor Brown and his merry band had allocated one-third of the proposed three-hour ceremony to four elderly Maori men who burbled away (shouting in one case) in a language that was understood by perhaps 30 people out of the 1500 gathered in the Town Hall. In my younger days Maori always had the courtesy to translate what they had said in Maori. No more. Audiences can like it or lump it. I'm beginning to see why younger Maori, despite attendance at kohanga reo, are shunning their own language. They don't like seeing their elders insult people. I'm afraid the new mayor failed his first test. The Cabinet ministers who were to address the audi- ence in an over-lengthy pro- gramme were kept waiting until more than two and a half hours had gone by. Much of it had been consumed by elderly blowhards who were showing off to the 30 who understood them. And don't think all this was done for love or for charity. Cultural and customary rights come at a growing price. They were paid to attend and to mumble and shout. It will be a test of the new council's resolve whether, in these cash-strapped times, it reduces the amount of time and money allocated to this nonsense. At the very least it should have the intestinal fortitude to demand the elementary courtesy of trans- lation. Keep up the good work.'' -- Michael Bassett Michael Bassett is a former Labour Cabinet minister and onetime Waitangi Tribunal member. Your column reminded me of the scene when my daugh- ter started primary school last year. There was a powhiri to welcome us to the school. All very nice but when we were directed to sit down my five-year-old couldn't understand why us girls (chil- dren and adults) had to sit behind all the males -- preschool lads included. All I could mutter was it's tradition' and when she asked why I was at a loss for words. What should I have said?'' -- Penny Lewis Congratulations on stand- ing up for gender equality. Pakeha culture has moved on and so can Maori culture. Without losing the good aspects of ceremony it is time to cut out the sexism. I would also suggest that women stop letting them- selves be beaten down by the PC card and stand up for their well-earned rights to be treated with equal respect. Yes that means you Ms Hulse -- I thought you had more backbone than that.'' -- Susan Davis The recognition of Maori should be kept as part of our history but the current pres- entations of war dances, etc, seems to have supplanted the reality of our welcome mat'. The government should ensure this by amending the rules of protocol so that a person's gender does not sup- plant the status role in offic- ial functions. If Maori wish to stay with their custom okay but not a role greater than they should expect from the treaty agreement.'' -- Mau- rice McGreal, Hillcrest The Maori tradition of no women speaking on the marae was because it was the only place that the men could strut and pontificate without being ridiculed by their more pragmatic womenfolk. The Goons and Monty Python are alive and well in all our institutions.'' -- Alan Charlesworth, Mangere I am of a similar European, male, vintage and am simi- larly dismayed by the all too frequent use of rent a Maori cultural party' for any event here or where New Zealand is presented overseas. When I'm invited to events these days I usually delay my arrival until some time after the initial starting time to let the inevitable powhiring get done. I acknowledge that there is a place for it at some sig- nificant Maori events but it is becoming so commonplace that the present generation of kids going through school are brain-washed to accept it as normal expected protocol for most events. To use so-called Maori protocol to demean the place of women is to me unac- ceptable and should be challenged as you have done so.'' -- Eric Jackson Some years ago at the official opening of the Manu- rewa Peoples Centre after 45 minutes of speeches, songs, etc -- all in Maori with hardly any of the words translated into English -- I smiled at the woman standing next to me. She returned my smile and we both left. We thought it the height of bad manners for the pro- gramme to be conducted almost entirely in Maori when many of the attendees were unmistakably of Euro- pean descent and it could be reasonably assumed that some of them at least would not be able to follow what was said. Not a lot has changed since then apparently. And I have a real problem with any culture that embraces with fervour the benefits and privileges of modern-day liv- ing in our largely European- based society but insists that it retain and have the right to its so-called traditional rights. That's not fair, not ethical, not right.'' -- Adele Pullen So you want a translation? Ngeru = cat, manuhiri = visi- tor, korero= speech, kapai = good.
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