Monday, July 23, 2018
   
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NZSG at Pukekohe - Queen’s Birthday Weekend

 

2013 This will not be a report on all the events over the weekend.  Information about the AGM will appear in the next magazine as will photographs and other reports. 

I will write about those presentations that had significant relevance to Māori.  I was so pleased and gratified by the Sunday programme.  There were three, one hour presentations that incorporated aspects of whakapapa and māoritanga.  All speakers demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of their subject and were a joy to listen to.  The Tangata Whenua were certainly not overlooked at this NZSG event.

Charmaine Pountney
Charmaine has an extensive professional interest in many aspects of education.  In her presentation she emphasised the importance of Māori and non-Māori coming together, sharing stories of the past and thereby overcoming past hurts and present differences.  To quote Charmaine, “When we can honour others in telling stories and sharing with each other, then the healing can begin.  It takes time but if we are sincere the healing will begin”.  She quoted Ernst Renan in closing, “A nation is bound together not by the past but by the stories of the past that we tell one another in the present”.

Owen Ormsby
Owen opened his presentation by explaining his bi-cultural background of his English mother and a father of Ngati Maniapoto and Irish ancestors.  He talked of his early life in New Zealand and his experiences of cultural identities in the United States which warranted his research on Tuakau and the Lapwood family that a member of his family married into in 1909.
Hence the presentation on “Exploring Family Values: a Tuakau Story.”It was during an area of teaching that one of his students mentioned that she was a Lapwood and that her family was from Tuakau she then gave an article on the Lapwood family to Owen.
It was during Owen’s presentation when he spoke about the article that he had on the Lapwood family and which prompted his research, when someone in the audience spoke up, “I wrote that book but had limited knowledge on the Māori connection.” They had a good time later in the day discussing genealogical whakapapa research.

Owen stayed at the Tuakau hotel, just a few kilometres from Pukekohe.  Owen’s stay there was sponsored by the hotel and he said he enjoyed experiencing the ambience of the hotel, and the surrounding area which gave him a feel of what the area may have been like of which he has based his research on for this presentation.
One member of the audience said her ancestor was landlord of the Hotel in the 1880s as well as being a lay preacher in the Anglican Church which caused some difficulties in view of the temperance views commonly held at the time by the church congregation.

Overall an informative and interactive presentation enjoyed by all.

Poihipi Kukutai
Poihipi’s premise was that Māori history is remembered by word of mouth, the land and the events that occurred there, place names and in carvings.   He showed wonderful photographs of views throughout the Waikato, explained the significance of the names of the places and acted out the events that took place there.  He told us that the name Kaitangata commemorates the fact that at this place human flesh was once eaten.  He explained that the carved pou at the front of a wharenui on the marae is not just a piece of wood.  It was carved from a tree that had been planted over a buried placenta (whenua means land and placenta) and thus the tree had absorbed the spirit of the person whose placenta it was and this lived on in the pou..  

Poihipi’s use of the laser spotlight and body language in telling the stories was truly impressive.  You could have heard a pin drop as he recited his whakapapa back to his waka.

By Brenda JOYCE