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Issue 85

Ngā Hau e Whā
From the Editor

For most Ngāi Tahu the connection to and passion for mahinga kai pulses through their veins – it’s in the DNA. Traditionally the gathering of kai was a huge part of whānau life and survival, and it’s not that different now. Each year when the season comes whānau gravitate to their awa to get themselves a feed of that precious little fish known as īnanga. Sadly, the ongoing degradation of our environment continues to impact negatively on many of our taonga species and whitebait is no exception. There’s no denying there isn’t as much bait around as there used to be, but the government’s recently proposed changes to whitebait management blatantly contravene its legal responsibility to tangata whenua as Treaty partners, and shows disregard for the customary practices that have sustained many generations of whānau. In this issue of TE KARAKA assistant editor Anna Brankin speaks to Ngāi Tahu whitebaiters from around the takiwā to get their views on the matter

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From the CEO
2020 – Extraordinary Times

As governments around the world announce drastic measures to deal with the virus our everyday activities are being altered to prevent its spread. Public gatherings have been limited and a thing called “social distancing” (where people meeting should not be too close together) is the new norm. Hand sanitiser has suddenly gained in popularity, but the effectiveness of facemasks to keep germs in or out or neither is unclear. Our whanaungatanga rituals are ill-advised in the current environment and making modifications is difficult – albeit necessary – as we are forced to stop and think about engagement, hongi, touching or even embracing one another. Greetings like raised eyebrows, touching elbows or simply bowing have become the new rituals.

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Whenua
Waiariki

Waiariki (Stevenson’s Arm) is the picturesque stretch of water in Lake Wānaka between Parakārehu (Stevenson’s Peninsula) and the mainland. In 1844, the southern Ngāi Tahu leader Te Huruhuru drew Waiariki on a map for government agent Edward Shortland, who misinterpreted Waiariki as a separate lake.

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Ka Hao Te Rakatahi
Ko Te Aho Matua te tāhuhu o tōku whare. Ko te reo me ōna tikanga te poutokomanawa. E taku iwi Māori, whītiki tāua!

Today I was asked for my opinion on the Bob Jones trial. If you don’t know about it, cool. But allow me to explain it to you. Long story short, author and businessman Bob Jones sued film-maker Renae Maihi for defamation after she presented a petition to Parliament. A petition with over 90,000 signatures, calling for him to be stripped of his knighthood in response to a column he wrote for the National Business Review in 2018 that suggested Waitangi Day should be renamed “Māori Gratitude Day”. I don’t know about you, but nothing could stop the fire that I felt the moment the words “Māori Gratitude Day” started ringing in my ears.

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He Whakaaro
Material hardship – whose responsibility is it?

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”, they say. And yet, with the stroke of a pen, “free” lunches are being offered to over 7000 students in 31 schools nationwide. By 2021 the number of schools will rise to 120, with more than 21,000 students serviced.
Well the saying isn’t wrong – there are no free lunches – someone always pays. But more on that later.

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Kaitohu – the signatories

Waikahutia Tamati Tupa’i (left) and Kiliona Tamati-Tupa’i (right) perform a fearsome wero as manuhiri approach Ōtākou Marae for the Ngāi Tahu Treaty Festival. The theme of this year’s event was Kaitohu – the signatories, in honour of the seven Ngāi Tahu tīpuna who put their names to Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840.

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Protecting our taonga

Whitebaiting has been a customary practice for many generations of Ngāi Tahu, and a popular pastime for many Kiwi. In recent years, declining fish stocks throughout the country have prompted the Minister for Conservation to announce a consultation period on proposed changes to whitebait management, including regulations that would limit when, where and how the practice occurs. Kaituhi Anna Brankin catches up with Ngāi Tahu whitebaiters to learn more about the significance of the custom, and to hear their thoughts on the proposed changes.

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Bringing tikanga Māori into the courtroom

“When I came to leave high school, the deputy principal called me into the office and said, ‘What are you going to do?’ I said, ‘I don’t know’, and he said I should go into the army.”

But Quentin said he couldn’t be bothered getting up early in the morning and shining his shoes. The deputy principal asked what he did want to do, and his flippant answer at that young age was that he just wanted to make money.

“His response was to be a doctor or lawyer. I said, ‘I can’t be bothered getting up early in the morning and delivering babies, so I’ll go lawyer then.’”

He laughs about that little exchange now, with many years of success in the profession behind him. As one of the country’s newest judges, Quentin is now on a mission to bring his own personal style to the District Court.

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Time to raise the gaze

The practice of sorting students into classes based on their perceived abilities – streaming – has been the status quo in schools throughout Aotearoa for many years. New research reveals that this age-old practice is biased and as a result negatively impacting the educational potential of many of our rangatahi.

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Making the cut

“It chose me. I never planned any of this,” Niko says of his flourishing shop Georgetown Barbers on the fringe of Invercargill’s central business district.

About eight years ago he started cutting hair for his son and brothers and the idea of becoming a barber snowballed from there. His career choices at the time were either farming or barbering. Farming didn’t work out so he completed a three-month New Zealand Barber Skills Certificate course in Auckland.

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