ANZAC Lockdown 4 Dawn

Clockwise L – R 1. MTS 2020 ANZAC service 2. Mere Wakefield 2019 3. Poppy Māori 4. Whanganui ANZAC 2020 5. Pakaitore 2019 ANZAC Māori soldiers.

Kia maumahara tātou. Lest we forget.

Walking down our drive in pitch black on ANZAC morning still living under government decreed COVID19 Level 4 lockdown, no non-essential travel, no contact outside of your bubble, no leaving your 2km radius, I felt a little foolish. Perhaps it was because, I had chosen to wear my nightie with an overcoat on top with sneakers, but what if no-one else in our street turned up? What if only we bothered to stand at ANZAC bubble dawn at our letterbox?

Never mind, I thought, we came to remember.

As a kid, I never really understood the ANZAC biscut making, special school assemblies and selling poppy mania of my upbringing.  I half pie knew that ANZAC was about the Great war, Australia, poppy fields and NZ being canon fodder. Perhaps we knew about ANZAC because one of our Ngā Rauru ancestors, Herewini Whakarua son of Rima and Kuki Wakarua stands on top of the Māori WWI soldiers memorial in Pakaitore. Dedicated to 17 Māori soldiers from our region, the memorial was unveiled in 1925. Purported to be the first in the country honouring Māori soldiers who fought in World War One, the statue atop of Herewini was paid for by whanau led by his father, Rima Wakarua a well known Ngā Rauru tribal leader, historian and Tohunga.

Whatever the reasons for our knowing about ANZAC, around that time of year, our mum would sometimes tell us tales of World War II even though that was a different war again. At the small rural Maxwell Primary School in South Taranaki, indeed not far from Rima Wakaruas’ homestead, Mum and all the pa kids would be made to practise evacuation, taking cover in the ditches along State Highway 3 outside the school gates. Even way back then, it seemed ludicrous our Mum, aunties and uncles, all Māori, were made to crawl along the Aōtearoa ditches for a war in Europe.

At the top of our drive, on the road that becomes State Highway 3 nearly eighty years later, standing a careful COVID-19 level four alert 2-3 meters apart at their letterboxes are our neighbours.  Relieved others had made the letterbox trek besides our bubble, I peered into the gloom. On both sides along the length of our road several other bubbles, had also turned out. Way more than I had expected.

A cool breeze blew as several early morning workers drove past and beeped ‘ kia ora’ to all our ANZAC bubbles, a gaggle of neighbours, roadside at dawn. One neighbour arrived smartly dressed complete with medals and a fold up seat, we all gulped and looked down, suddenly embarrased by our casualness.

Marching, in the streets of Auckland in the 1980’s for the majority of my peers Māori and Pasifika alike, was like the ANZAC school assemblies of my childhood, very social affairs. We marched to the beats of original protest waiata and haka, along with Bob Marley and Herbs, but nonetheless, it was organised with all the precison that a phone tree, carbon copies, printed posters could muster. We marched to Honour the treaty, Halt all Racist Tours, A Nuclear Free Pacific, Homosexual Law Reform, Women Against Pornograhy, Save the Whales, for Māori Language, Māori radio, Māori television. There were marches for and by Māori women movements and Māori land, language and sovereignty debates raged across the country from Waitangi to Wellington and down to Dunedin. Our lives were a kind of never ending weekend marching circuit in which ANZAC dawn ceremonies did not feature.  It wasn’t until I moved to Te Whanganui-a-Tara and had friends from Ngāti Porou that I found fellow ANZAC dawn ceremony goers among my peers.  

Standing in COVID 19 ANZAC gloom a careful 3 metres apart, one neighbour began livestreaming the Radio NZ service in te reo Māori and English on his phone, we all fell silent. I marvelled at how social media had conspired to bring us all out and then even send us a dawn ceremony at 0600hrs, imagine how World War I and II would have gone if they had had access to such powerful tools.

In the 90’s and 2000s I had an off and on relationship with ANZAC dawn ceremonies. I was all marched out. I attended services in Wellington at the National War Memorial with its great pomp and ceremony, gun salutes, carillion, live last post, marching military that only state occasions have, tagged along with whanau and the returned service men and women in Christchurch dawn parades followed by strangely comforting early morning alcoholic RSA brekkies, listening to veteran tales of wars past. When Māori Television took up the ANZAC dawn live telecasts from Dawn parades, it almost single handedly doubled the failing RSA memberships up and down the country. Veterans gathered around their TV sets to watch and remember ANZAC through the Māori TV broadcasts. Last year on my return home, I attended all three ANZAC ceremonies with my great auntie Mere. Now in her eighties, she travelled on the 28th Māori Battalian C company tour to Europe in 2002 and has never missed an ANZAC dawn parade. Auntie Mere wears her grandfathers'(Our great grandmothers brother), father, uncle and brothers war medals with great pride.

As the last strains of the RNZ broadcast ended, in the dark, neighbours began to quietly and slowly drift down the street on their morning walks or back into their homes.

I took a deep breath, for one heartbeat, it felt like anything was possible, anything at all, on this ANZAC new dawn.

Whetu Fala – Articles

Whetu Fala interviews, presenter roles, articles.

NZ Herald Whanganui Chronicle, 9 July 2020 Employment Minister Willie Jackson Visit

Te Karere, 10 June 2020, Reo a – iwi Radio Māori Media Shift

RNZ Barry Crump 7 May 2020 COVID – 19 Whanganui

Te Karere April 2020 COVID -19 Lockdown life on AwaFM

Megazap, French Polynesia Online News February 2020 Invitation to FIFO 2020 Tahiti

Radio NZ Iwi Radio demand urgency February 2020 Iwi radio underfunded

Catalogue Professionnel FIFO 2020

Radio Waatea NZ November 2019 Podcast

Te Ao Māori News July 2019

Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School Pōwhiri New Intake 2019

NZ Film Heritage Trust Te Puna Ataata 2017

Tangata Pasifika 1993 Part three 1’16”

Ask Your Auntie 2007

NZ Film Commission Positively Pasifika Wellington Summer Cinema 2014

Films of our Lives Lecture Series, Waikato University NZ 2014 Invited Guest speaker

Ngā Aho Whakaari – Māori Screen Guild Fale Matariki 2013

Ngā Taongā Sound and Vision Film Archives 2015

Ngā Aho Whakaari Chairman, NZ Māori Screen Guild 2014

Te Matataua-o-te-Reo Pg 91 The Role of Māori Media in revitalisation 2015

Radio NZ Māori TV Workers 2015 Exploited Māori screen workers

Ministry of Culture and Heritage New Zealand

Knowledge and Engagement Pg 234 Kaupapa Māori Research Workshops 2016

Whakaata Māori – Matariki Awards 2016

FIAF Online Bulletin, Pg 19 Mōana Documentary Sceening NZ 2016

Ngā Aho Whakaari National Hui 2016

RNZ The Panel 26 June 2015

Divine Intervention, Mātaku TV series Review NZ 2002

Celebrating Māori Independence Film Festival 2001 – Wellington NZ screening

Pacific Island Images Festival, ‘Mokopuna’ University of Manoa Hawaii 1994 – Hawaii screening

POI E aka when Dal got his movie…..

 

POI E – the story of our song; the movie, brought to life the often tempestuous yet remarkable musical partnership of Dalvanius Prime and Ngoi Pewhairangi and their journey to the making of the  1984 hit pop song in New Zealand, POI E.

Their achievement in topping the NZ pop charts for four weeks with their Māori language only pop song in 1984 is yet to be duplicated or surpassed. Ngoi’s untimely death in 1986, sadly, ended their collaboration.

Spoiler alert – this is a Fun-tastic film for the whole family and if you want to see the movie, book now at Ticketek NZ and stop reading!

An impudent, funny, irreverent and a much used word but aptly so in this case, fabulous film that captures the spirit of two very different maestro.  Both with a passion for Māori language that transcended their differing tribal mita, maungā, awa and even gender.

POI E is an uplifting tale of what small town New Zealand, on the West and the East coast did in 1980’s after the main employers in their regions closed down.

Dalvanius, like the star performer that he was,  sets the tone and the pace of the film thanks to Kahi’s clever use of Dalvanius’s archival film and radio interviews.

Dal’s often painfully honest analysis of his own shortcomings, the obstacles he faced, is tempered by a superb supporting cast and chorus of those that loved, feared his sharp wit, adored and vilified him the most – his extended family, the tribe. Also on hand to keep the frame in focus is Connie Pewhairangi (Ngāti daughter of Ngoi with her granddaughter.

There are minor roles for NZ music’s elite, the angelic divas Director/Producers Moana Maniapoto, Hinewehi Mohi along with  Annie Crummer the evergreen Don McGlashan with Stan Walker, kicking the breeze with Director/Writer/Actor Taika Waititi but they are nothing in comparison to the lens of the whanau.

All however, serve to remind us that it is about the music.

And what glorious music this is, from  Ngois’ award winning number one hit song ‘E Ipo‘ sung by cabaret artist extrodinaire Prince Tui Teka and re-arranged by Dalvanius to the NZ dance anthem’Poi E‘ itself.

Director Tearepa Kahi like Dal, has dreamed big, taking on a four minute long historical New Zealand pop song and turning it into a feature length film, oi aue! As we would say in Taranaki mita or in more common parlance, ‘ yeah right.’

But this is good story telling. For those like our 12 and  9 year old nieces, who were in the whanau audience,  they watched the film all the way thru with no wriggling, no excessive eating and best of all no falling asleep. It seems the magic of POI E to capture the interest of the young is alive and well in 2016.

For te reo or Māori language – POI E and the issues they faced in 1984 with the dwindling numbers of fluent Māori speakers,  continue to plague us in 2016.

With a  predominately young, urban Māori populace with little access to 24/7 fluent Māori speaking communities, in the cities where most of us now live,  Maori language fluency is accessed by conscious, hard graft and determination.

In 2016, we’ve all gone back to the language revitalisation drawing board with a focus on ‘inter-generational transmission of language’ a flash way of saying if children are raised in Māori at home – our reo will survive.

Having a home is an equally important part of the Māori language revival equation. A turangawaewae, a place to stand and call your own, a home.

It was hard last night to remember that as we celebrated the success of the film POI E we were right there in Tamaki makau rau, the largest Māori city in the world,facing arguably the highest Māori homeless population that we have ever seen.

Maintaining Māori language communities when your home is a car, garage, park and you are trying to get food for children is a seemingly distant utopia.

For all those New Zealand cinephiles out there – is this the first time a Māori key creative team with a Māori story film have opened the oldest film festival in the land?

Dal was forever pitching John O’Shea (founder of NZ International Film Festival and producer) his feature film ideas especially Mokomokai –  and John would always refuse.

Last night, witnessing the standing ovation for POI E the movie as the opening night film at the NZ International Film Festival  I thought how happy and thrilled they both would have been!

Tearepa Kahi has skilfully crafted a movie of te reo, music and life in rural NZ that is destined to become a NZ cult classic. But you don’t have to think too hard, as it’s playful, entertaining and just like the music – all you have to do is dance!

Poi taku poi e!

Pictured Top clockwise L-R Ngoi Pewhairangi, Dalvanius Prime (1984) Poi E the movie opening night NZ International Film Festival, Maryanne Broughton (Original Patea Māori Club member) Janine Maruera (Manager, Patea Māori Club) opening night of POI E with photos of Ngoi and Dalvanius on the red carpet. Stills: Te Papatongarewa & Fala Media.
Poi E – the movie of our song.The opening night film of the 48th New Zealand International Film Festival, Civic Theatre, Auckland 15 July 2016. SOLD OUT.
Writer/Director/Co-editor/Executive Producer: Tearepa Kahi
Producers: Alexander Behse, Reikura Kahi
Line Producer: Callie Adams
1st Assistant Director: Neil James
Directors of Photography: Fred Renata, Jos Wheeler
Featuring: Dalvanius Prime, Ngoi Pewhairangi, Maryanne Broughton, Connie Pewhairangi, Barletta Prime, Bub Prime, Patea Māori Club members past and present, Pewhairangi whanau, Stan Walker, Taika Waititi. Re-enactments: Maaka Pohatu as Dalvanius

 

 

Stand up Aōtearoa

Run it straightHone Harawira has sent out the Rubeun Taipari organised protest march schedule on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) signing by twelve nation heads, set for Sky City on 4th February in Tamaki, Auckland.

The openly public schedule also announces at the conclusion of TPPA march in Auckland all involved are invited to travel to Waitangi and Te Tii  Marae.

Here the people will once more take the John Key led National government to task over the TPPA signing without a referendum or consultation with all the people of Aōtearoa.

The easily accessed and heralded anti-TPPA protest plans for Auckland and Waitangi are in contrast to what the government would have us believe. Two days ago the government sent police to visit known anti-TPPA activist Scout Barbour-Evans in Dunedin to ask what they had planned for the upcoming TPPA protests. A simple Google search on relevant websites gives TPPA protest plans the length and breath of Aōtearoa.

Ngāti Whātua ki Orākei this week publicly announced that as part of their opposition to the signing of TPPA they would refuse to traditionally welcome any of the expected TPPA heads into Auckland.

And who could blame them as although their claim with the crown is settled, Ngāti Whātua Orākei know first hand what trauma visiting dignitaries  can create.

 In 1951 in preparation for a visit of Queen Elizabeth II the New Zealand government wrongfully evicted them and burnt down their homes as it was claimed their village was an eyesore and would not be suitable for the Queen to see as she drove past their pā in Okahu Bay.

Joe  recalls the eviction in 1951 from their home vividly when as an eight year old boy, he and his Dad were in the orchards above the village and saw clouds of smoke coming from their village. They ran back, only to discover all of the village being burnt down by men with flame-throwers and his younger siblings with his mum and elders weeping with what few possessions they had managed to carry out of their homes, at their feet.

In 1977 as a family man and leader of the peaceful 506 day occupation of resistance to the crown proposal to build housing developments on the same land Joe Hawke also remembers the day when the Muldoon led National government sent tanks and soldiers to evict him and his extended family again.

People who stand up for what they believe in against the status quo pay a price and for Joe Hawke and Ngāti Whātua Orākei who now live and are returning to live on their ancestral land in 2015 – it was worth it.

This week saw two very different native filmmaking teams who stood up and self-financed films.

Tangata whenua woman director, Tere Harrison from Te Whānau-a-Apanui is Writer/Director/Producer of the short film “Run it Straight.” A plea on behalf of West Papua people it attests that West Papua people are being subjugated to murder, torture for the sake of gold that is on their lands.

Harrison creates a visual mash up, liberally using dashes of stylised poetry sequences, poly swagg-esque elements, short drama, rugby league sports teams camaraderie to highlight the plight of West Papua.

Along the way, she confronts Māori prejudices against ‘FOB’s’ (Fresh off the boat people) and ‘Islanders’ as ‘other’ and also challenges the notion that rugby league players and politics will never mix.

Harrison blends in real life cameos from West Papua leaders and includes Māori leaders Dr Maria Bargh, Hone Harawira, Glenis Phillip Babara and many more. Yes, tragically, the harsh reality of the torture of West Papua people although handled sensitively is still shocking to see here.

“Run it straight” had its cast and crew screening at Te Upoko o te Ika Māori radio station and will be making its way into the world very shortly.

In the words of wāhine toa director Tere Harrison This short film Run It Straight was inspired by a protest I saw by the Hunters Rugby League Club Wellington who marched to the Indonesian Embassy to call for the freedom of West Papua…….It’s time to learn the story about the people of West Papua, it’s time to Run It Straight for West Papua.”

Last night I attended an advertised by Facebook one-off only screening at Queensgate, Lower Hutt of “3 Wise Cousins” a full length feature film written, directed and co-produced by Samoan director, SQS aka Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa .

Stallone and his team launched the feature in December 2015 at a one -off screening in the Civic theatre in Auckland saying they were going to try and screen the film during the school holidays and they managed to do just that and had screenings in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland with one catch – you had to be in the know!

A heart-felt comedy with a moral it was shot mainly on location in Samoa, it follows the trials of love-struck unemployed, play station playing Adam (Neil Amituanai)  from Auckland, adult but still living at home only spoilt child.

Adam invites himself to Samoa and into the lives of his two cousins Moses (Vito Vito) and Tavita (Fesuai Viliamu) and begs them to teach him ‘How to be a real Island guy’ in order to win the affections of a neighbourhood girl (Gloria Blake) whom he has never met but fancies and bus stalked.

His two cousins good-naturedly agree and set out to help their love luckless cousin become a real Samoan. All three get more out of the experience than they all bargain for.

I was lucky to get the ‘3 Wise Cousins’ ticket as they were nearly full and arrived to find a second screening had been put on due to demand. It was a packed house and I did not see one palagi (Pākeha – white) person in the audience.

The average audience age was around twelve years old and they all seemed to be out with their parents and older teenage siblings. A predominately Samoan speaking audience, the theatre laughed and cheered at all the Samoan language and culture jokes. At the end many stayed in their seats afterwards excitedly talking about what they had seen.

Director Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa ” I think people will definitely leave with a bit more wisdom, I think this film will be quite eye opening for a lot of people. They’ll find that amongst the laughter there’s just a lot more, I guess perspective. They’ll definitely walk away with perspective”

 

Sources

Ngāti Whātua Orakei

Waitangi Tribunal

Free West Papua Aōtearoa

Free West Papua Campaign

Peace Movement Aōtearoa

Stuff – TPPA Visits

Run it Straight 

Three Wise cousins

Click to access MatikeMaiAotearoaReport.pdf

Golden Globe or not – Stop TPPA & Honour the Treaty

2016 Golden Globes“I want to share this award with all the First Nations represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world, it is time we recognised your history and we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people that are out there to exploit them…..” 

2016 Best Actor Golden Globe winner Leonardo diCaprio for the movie The Revenant.

Kia ora Mr DiCaprio, we accept!

Can’t wait to see y/our Golden Globe housed on our marae, some time soon. I know,  I know, it could take some years to work its way thru all of the nations of Turtle Island, home crowd first and all that, but maybe we could ask Sir Richard at Weta Workshop (Oscar winning local) to knock us up a replica while y/our real Golden Globe is making its tiki tour to these shores?

My Screen Natives movie review of  The Revenant can be seen here.

While First Nations the world over basked in the nano second of sudden online fame of being feted by one of the worlds leading movie actors, and ‘winning’ a Golden Globe,  our reverie was cut short by the ‘Oscars no natives’ story and the planned boycotting of the 2016 Oscar ceremony.

Aue!  Just when that nice Mr DiCaprio was planning on taking us with him – the whole bro’town –  to reflected First Nations Oscar victory, a boycott had to come along and ruin it. Taiho! Haven’t we already seen a spectacular Oscar boycott ? And just what the hell is a revenant and what does revenant mean?

Revenant: Noun 1.  a person who returns. 2. a person who returns as a spirit after death; ghost. Word origin, French revenir

Stranger than fiction but true nonetheless;

Going up 1973.png

  • in 1973 at the Oscars ceremony in front of millions of viewers,  Sacheen Littlefeather (see above) President of the National Native American Affirmative Committee refused the Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando who had boycotted the Oscars ceremony in protest at the representation of Native Americans in film and television and to support a Native struggle at Wounded Knee.HTT
  • 2016 Māori are actively opposed to the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on the grounds that it is likely to take away our intellectual rights present and past, and relies upon the good will of the government to take into account the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi obligations to Māori.

But there ends the analogy to being REVENANT for; Māori never left Aōtearoa and despite everything that has been inflicted upon us, we are not ‘returning’ or even ghosts in our land but very much alive and fighting. The flaws in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement are real and do jeopardise Māori rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Cheers Mr Leo DiCaprio for supporting us and bringing our plight as First Nations people into the world media consciousness for a precious heartbeat.

We wish that it could be so –  but our over 170 year fight for sovereignty of lands, language, culture against all those who would exploit them for profit – is not so easily fixed with winning a Golden Globe.

Stop the signing of TPPA and Honour the Treaty of Waitangi.

Sources

Expert Paper #3
MĀORI RIGHTS, TE TIRITI O WAITANGI AND THE
TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

Dr. Carwyn Jones, Associate Professor Claire Charters, Andrew Erueti, Professor Jane Kelsey

Click to access ep3-tiriti-paper.pdf

Click to access ep3-tiriti-paper.pdf

 

Leonardo diCaprio 2016 Golden Globes Winning Speech

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncgFQAISaGo

Leonardo DiCaprio savages corporate greed of big oil: ‘Enough is enough’

Dr Hirini Kaa