Ngā Tini Whetū – Navigating Māori Futures
Review nā Gerry Coates
Tā Mason Durie is one of Māoridom’s most cogent commentators, and a collection of some of his keynote addresses to conferences across New Zealand and the world from 2003 to 2010 is welcome, both as a reference and as a marker for Māori. His talks cover many fields from his primary field of health – particularly for Māori – to indigeneity, education and the Māori estate in its broadest scope. On all these topics he has many important and worthwhile things to say.
Having heard Durie deliver two such addresses, two of the most interesting contributions in this book for me were Indigenous Transformations in Contemporary Aotearoa (2007), and the Paerangi Lectures delivered at Massey University in 2009. He believes ‘a “Māori dimension to New Zealand is now more obvious than it was for most of the twentieth century”. He puts the start of this in the 1980s, measured by Māori participation in both the Māori world (te ao Māori) and wider society (te ao whānui). Partly this is due to demographic trends that predict that by 2051 the Māori ethnic population will double to about one million, and even more significantly, by then Māori children will be 33 per cent of all children in Aotearoa.
The three Paerangi lectures are about sustaining the Māori estate. Among other major ideas he considers that indigeneity is always evolving and “the idea it can be defined entirely by the past ignores the reality of modern times”. This directly addresses the fallacious idea that because a thing such as the radio spectrum wasn’t envisaged in 1840, Māori therefore have no claim on its use in the present.
There is some repetition – of statistics and events – but that is inevitable in a collection such as this. I recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about what a leading Māori thinker considers is the way of our future.
The Passing World, the Passage of Life: John Hovell and the Art of Kōwhaiwhai
By Damian Skinner
Published by Rim Books
Review nā Rachael Rakena
I first encountered the kōwhaiwhai painting of John Hovell (Ngāti Porou ki Harataunga, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Raukatauri) on the ceiling of the whare kai at Te Aute Māori Boys College. I was attending a Ngā Puna Waihanga hui of Māori artists and writers and had the pleasure of eating under this ceiling for a few days. I was awestruck by the complex vibrancy of the painting, that seemed to hold both celebration and reverence for the abundance and vitality of the natural environment, depicted through a distinctive colour palette, figurative patterns and innovative kōwhaiwhai format. I pondered at the time about the emerging artists who had been nurtured and fed under this ceiling for the duration of their schooling. What an influence it must have had on them.
It is always satisfying to encounter an art book lavishly illustrated with quality colour images that allows the “voice” of the artist to be heard. This book is a visual feast of more than 100 images of paintings and kōwhaiwhai projects complemented by text from the artist, John Hovell, describing his insights and approach to kōwhaiwhai, and art writer Damian Skinner providing thoughtful context. Skinner has clearly collaborated closely with Hovell, resulting in a valuable resource that celebrates and documents Hovell’s work, particularly in relation to its contribution to the development of kōwhaiwhai and contemporary Māori art of the second half of the 20th century.
Following chronological order and surveying almost 50 years of the artist’s paintings Skinner explores the significance and development of Hovell’s art in relation to his upbringing, environment, training, mentors, peers, and influences from Paratene Matchitt, Pine Taiapa and East Coast kōwhaiwhai traditions to Michael Illingworth, Colin McCahon, modernism and surrealism. Hovell’s position at the forefront of Māori art developments and innovations of the 1970s and 80s alongside peers such as Paki Harrison, Buck Nin and Sandy Adsett, is demonstrated with discussions and images that will continue to influence future artists.
I was a little disoriented by the opening text by Hovell because I expected it to introduce the artist. However, on the second read I was primed to derive what I could from his rich insights:
“Kōwhaiwhai is the most enigmatic art form of all, partly because the decorative impulses of generations of artists have carried the patterns far from the initial motif source, and partly because the designs themselves are about transience and process…”
This book’s fresh design and concise, well-written text captures the magic of John Hovell’s painting and kōwhaiwhai that could only be transcended by a physical encounter of his work in the context of a wharenui or whare kai. I’ll be visiting one of these whare, and will enjoy the experience even better for having read and viewed this beautiful book. I hope more of our senior artists’ work will be celebrated in this way.
Ngā Kahumoe o te Ngeru
Nā Catherine Foreman te kōrero
Nā Catherine Foreman kā whakaahua
Nā Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira i whakamāori
Nā Scholastic New Zealand Ltd i tā
Te Utu: $19.50
Nā Fern Whitau te whakaaro
He pai rawa ki ahau tēnei pukapuka pikitia rekareka. He kahau te pānui atu i tēnei momo kōrero rā atu, rā atu. Ahakoa tērā me matua mōhio koe, e te kaipānui, kua tuhia kētia tēnei kōrero paki mā kā tamariki nohinohi.
Ko tēnei te pukapuka tuatahi kua tuhia, kua whakaahuatia hoki e Catherine Foreman. Kātahi nā te kōkuhuka rawe; te muramura, te pukuhohe hoki o kā whakaahua. Nā tērā kaiwhakairo i te kupu, nā Kāterina
Te Heikōkō Mataira kā kupu Māori harakoa, kā kupu Māori āhuareka.
Ko Te Ngeru te tuatakata o te paki nei.
He kahumoe pikitia ōna mō ia pō o te wiki, ā, ia pō, ia pō ka ōrite ōna moemoeā ki kā pikitia i ruka i ōna kahumoe. “Hei te Rāhina mau ai a Te Ngeru i ōna kahumoe ātea”, ka moemoeā mō Pareārau, mō Matawhero me kā whetū. Hai te Rāapa mau ai ia i ōna kahumoe māra, ka moemoeā mō kā putiputi, kā pīrohurohū me te poraka. Hai te Rātapu mau ai ia i ōna kahumoe tipua … ka moemoeā a Te Ngeru mō te aha?
Mā tēnei pukapuka ka akona te tamariki i ētahi mea hou pērā ki kā ikoa aoraki, ki kā momo kararehe o te kahere me kā momo waka. Ka rakona e te mokopuna te reka o te tāruataka me te manawataki, ā, ka kaha ake te hia-pukapuka.
Nō reira, pānuitia tēnei pukapuka manarū ki āu tamariki/mokopuna, kāore e kore ka tino pārekareka te wā.
Kei Wareware Tātou (Reo Maōri)
Nā Feana Tu’akoi te kōrero
Nā Elspeth Alix Batt kā whakaahua
Nā Katerina Te Heikōkō Mataira i whakamāori
Nā Scholastic New Zealand Ltd i tā
Te Utu: $19.50
Na Fern Whitau te whakaaro
He pukapuka pikitia mātaka tēnei mō tētahi rakatahi e pohewa ana, e riri ana mō te mahi whakanui i kā pakaka me te haere ki te Hui Atatū mō Anzac. Tēnā, ka roko kōrero ia mō ka hoia o tōna whānau, ka kihirua ōna whakaaro, ā, ka haere ia ki taua Hui Atatū.
He kōrero tēnei mō tātou katoa, kā uri o rātou mā kua hikahika i te Mura o te Ahi kia noho wātea tonu tātou. He kōrero mō tētahi whānau e noho whakahī ana i ō rātou hōia i haere ki kā pakaka e toru, hāuka a Tyson me ōna whakaaro, “Ka mutu te heahea o te pakanga … E toru ngā whakatipuranga tāne
i mate atu! Mō te aha?” Kātahi, ka kōrerorero ōna tāua mō te horopaki o aua wā, ka puta te māramataka, ā, ka māhorahora tōna kākau. Ka mutu, ka haere a Tyson i te Hīkoi Atatū roko ai ki te ihi o te kaupapa whakahirahira.
He maha kā pukapuka pai mā kā tamariki, mā kā kura hoki kua tuhia e Feana Tu’akoi, ko ia te kaituhi o te raupapa pukapuka hira ‘He aha te?’ Kua peitatia e Elspeth Alix Batt he whakaahua koiora tonu kia roko tātou i kā kare-ā-roto o kā tākata katoa. Ā, Ka rite tonu te mahi whakamāori kairakatira a te tāua kua hoki ki Hawaiki, a Katerina Te Heikōkō Mataira. Ko wai kē hai whakakapi mōna?
Ki ahau he mouka tēnei pukapuka, he akoraka te pānui i kā kōrero tino tikaka tuku iho mā kā tamariki, mā tātou katoa. Ka tino tūtohutia e ahau.