Arohamai (Forgive Me)

My spirit is revived. I feel as if I am in what the priests of my youth would call ‘a state of grace’ (although, in truth, the good Lord may consider this to be unduly optimistic). In any case I could attribute these uplifted feelings to many things, maybe, simply, just having a break and hanging out with whanau and friends over the Christmas holiday period. Maybe it’s because I’ve started to confront and address some of my own personal shit. Maybe it’s because I’ve fed my soul at Parihaka. Probably it’s all of the above.

One of my learnings from last year (2006) is that I need to take time out by myself to look at myself – the process my mum and dad referred to as ‘a retreat’ in which you detach yourself from the outside world and subject yourself to critical self evaluation through quiet periods of meditation. My first learning of this year is that, equally, I also need to take time out with others and to share in a collective drink from the cup of human creativity, music and good korero. This is what I did at Parihaka, and, as a learning is only valid if it has an action step, what I intend to do again in January 2008. So, as Tim Finn may have said, let me tell you the story of Parihaka, except, in this case it will be the story of the Parihaka International Peace Festival 2007.

Whanau days

This year marks a century since the passing of Tohu Kakahi (4th Feb 1907) and Te Whiti o Rongomai (17th November 1907) the human pillars who raised the house of the art of passive resistance in Aotearoa.

Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi

The future is mine; and little children, when asked hereafter as to the author of peace shall say – Te Whiti- and I will bless them
Te Whiti o Rongomai 7 November 1881

Like many thousands of others I have been blessed at Parihaka, having now twice responded to the karanga and enjoyed my second successive Parihaka International Peace Festival. This is the kaupapa of the day as written in the local dialect;

Haere mai e te motu me to aao
Draw close, welcome, people of the land and of the world
Kia kite koe i te puapua
So that you can see the source of the song
Kia kite koe i ngaa weriweri
So that you can see the guardians
Kia kite koe i a Tohu Kaakahi, raaua ko Te Whiti o Rongomai
So that you can see Tohu Kaakahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai
Te Tangata nana i haere mai ngaa mamae moo te motu
The man who brings together the grievances of the country
Te tangata nana i whaaura te karaka e tuu nei
The man who unfurled the emblem
Ko te rangimaarie ko te rongomau ki te aao
Who planted the seed of peace as a foundation for the world

After a successful presentation on methamphetamine (‘P’) at the inaugural Peace Festival in 2006 I’d been invited to contribute to the 2007 Speakers’ Forum to talk about the genetic implications of substance abuse. Rather than just go myself (being vividly aware of my own hypocrisy) I decided to invite my CAYAD community action colleagues from around the motu. We planned to meet up on the Thursday, the day before the event actually started. So at a pre-arranged time on the appointed day Munz, his son Aaron, my mokopuna Toa and a nephew, Kohatu, loaded up the ‘Lawns R Us’ trailer and headed off for the maunga Taranaki.

D, Pariri and Munz

We took a great big 6mx9m marquee and everything but the kitchen sink. I drive a big late model Ford, an XR6 Turbo, but with five substantial bodies and an overladen trailer the onboard computer freaked out as it tried to find correct gearing on the climb up the backbone of the fish from the lowlands of the Bay. We stopped at Ongaonga – one of those little farming settler villages just off Highway 50 – to let the beast cool down and this seemed to let the vehicle’s necessary computations and adjustments occur. Having reached the west coast, and having stocked up with kai at Hawera we took the coastal route – through Rahotu – literally translated as ‘stiff dick’- and pulled into Parihaka on schedule around 5.00pm I connected in with Milton (Te Miringa Hohaia), probably the key driver of the Parihaka resurgence and a comrade in arms since the days at Jerusalem with Hemi (James K Baxter) and, later, the work cooperative movement. We were shown our camp site up near the Speakers’ Forum and within an hour or so we were established and ready to settle into the groove.

The formalities of powhiri were not due to occur until the next morning so we hooked up with some of the backstage crew and, around a campfire, chatted away and got to know each other. The vibe was already building.

Powhiri – the traditional ritual of first encounter that precedes any hui – is always fascinating. You never know what will roll out although, on the other hand, you know exactly what to do. The local people had gathered in front of the foundations where Te Whiti’s house once stood and those of us who were visitors, manuhiri, milled around at the bottom of the rise that led up to the prophet’s tomb and whare. We were called to attention by Kiwa Hammond who acted as the overall Master of Ceremonies for the event. Kiwa gave the opening remarks, speaking first in Maori and then in English with that effortless bi-lingual flow that I hope will become a feature of our nation, explaining to the uninitiated the general format, and to those that understood more about the kawa, specific detail of the proceedings to follow. On the signal of the kuia, expressed as karanga, the keening that is the call of welcome, we were to advance to the line of elders who stood along the paepae where we would perform the rite of hariru and hongi, the handshake and symbolic sharing of breath through the pressing of the nose, one to the other. The men were to be in front, the women following. Then we were return to our stations opposite the host speakers for the welcoming speeches and replies. The front line of seating for the manuhiri looked somewhat empty and forlorn, most of the visitors not sure as to what to do and as to who would speak, so I sat there, as a sign of support to those intending to speak.

I recognized a brother from street days in Wellington, a younger Maori guy and fellow Black Power member, Reno, who, some years back in a street confrontation with the Mongrel Mob had purposely put himself in the line of fire and bravely copped a bullet intended for his club mate Loops. Reno was holding a framed photo of his tupuna, an ancestor linked to Parihaka, which he intended to present to the people of the marae. There were others I recognized. One was Franz, a German guy from Napier who has made the effort and can speak passable Maori and is doing some good work in the Maraenui urban renewal project. Along at the end, positioned as the lead speaker for the visitors sat Bishop Peter Cullinane, a Roman Catholic clergyman. There’s a sort of silent calculation that goes on as you see who fills up the speakers’ seating. Deference is shown both to visitor and host. You don’t want to overload by having more speakers than the hosts, but, on the other hand you want to make sure that bases are covered and respect is shown by putting forward your best ‘shooters’, as the river people call their orators. You look for people who are senior by dint of their age, mana, or capacity with Te Reo Maori. The order of seating may shuffle as these things are sorted out, and in due course, much to my surprise, Henare Walmsley, Bishop Cullinane’s Maori ‘minder’ for the day approached me and asked if I would be prepared to lead off for the manuhiri. I might say that the order of speaking in Maoridom is the reverse to Pakeha, that is the junior speakers start and you work through to the senior. On the other hand the first speaker needs to address the kaupapa and, as it were, prepare a path for the others. The home people, of course, spoke first, George Tito kicking off, followed by Dr Te Huirangi Waikerepuru, who is someone I recognize as the one of the engineers in the percolation of Te Reo Maori across Aotearoa. Te Ru Kokiri was the final speaker for the tangata whenua. He is an old man, frail in body and now requiring those aluminum crutches that look like the PR 26 batons the cops used in 1981. It was uncertain as to whether he would rise, but he did, and when he spoke, like similar elders I have seen in other places, the strength of his voice, his ihi, denied his frailty and the years and his words rang clear across the space between the tangata whenua and the assembled visitors. In time the rakau – the metaphoric talking stick – passed to us sitting on the manuhiri.

I stand for peace. Though the lions rage, still I am for peace. I will go into captivity …my aim will be accomplished. Peace will reign. I am willing to become a sacrifice for my aim.
Te Whiti, to the people 7 November 1881

My first language is of course English and my thought patterns and thus the pattern of my speech follows the English form. Although use of English would have been indulged by the home people – they would have allowed it but would prefer speakers to use Maori – it was important to do the best I could and to speak in Te Reo. In these circumstances when I rise I don’t really know what it is that I am about to say. I just tap into my heart and soul and start and the words seem to flow. I turned first to the people behind me, mainly members of my tribe of Ngati Pakeha, introduced myself as Denis, told them that even though I wasn’t really worthy for the task at hand I had been asked by my tuakana Pakeha to speak first and that I felt privileged to speak on their behalf, if that was their wish. I then turned back to the hosts to begin.

I generally start with a tauparapara lifted from Hemi, the poet of our tribe. It goes;

Ko Ihu taku kai
Jesus is my food
Ko Ihu taku wai
Jesus is the water of my life
Ko Ihu taku mana
Jesus is my dignity and pride
Ko Ihu taku moni
Jesus is my currency
Ko Ihu taku aroha
Jesus is the source of my love
Ko Ihu taku mate
Jesus is my ultimate sickness and death
Tihei mauri ora!
This is the cry of life

And then, I continued through the ritual form of whaikoroero;

Te mihi ki te hunga mate, acknowledging the deceased, and in particular those significant leaders that passed away last year, Dame Te Ata i Rangi Kahu, Sir Hugh Kawharu and Sir Norman Perry;

Te mihi ki nga whare tupuna, greeting the three ancestral houses that stand at Parihaka;

Te mihi ki a Papatuanuku, the acknowledgement of mother earth the rivers and landforms that surrounded us, and in particular Maunga Taranaki at whose feet we were gathered;

Te mihi ki te hunga ora, greeting the living, the speakers on the paepae, the various hapu and iwi that make up the home people, ‘Taranaki iwi katoa’ being the form that Te Miringa used to encourage us visitors to use. I generally introduce myself as being from ‘te roopu Pakeha no Aotearoa’ and state that I am ‘Tangata Tiriti’, a child of the Treaty, and I call the home people ‘Tangata Whenua, Tangata Rangatira’, people of the land, chiefly people. This bespeaks a high degree of political and cultural consciousness and is generally appreciated.

Te putake o te hui, the purpose of our gathering, which for me was the promotion of love between each other, te aroha, and the active building of peace, te rangimarie

For my waiata I simply repeated the theme singing

Te Aroha (With love)
Me te whakapono (Faith)
Me te rangimarie (And love in our hearts)
Tatou tatou e (We will be one)

Bishop Peter Cullinane spoke next. He followed pretty much the same form except he used a beautiful stanza from the Maori Mass. Then Reno spoke. He carried his tupuna’s image in front of him and he spoke of many things, some pertinent, some less so. His waiata, he is a musician and the members of his roopu came to support him vocally, was profound. I just sat there in amazement. This was a side to the brother I had never previously known. Then a young man from the North, from Ngapuhi, spoke. I don’t know his name. His language, his use of the reo was riveting. As he spoke his hands trembled, deliberately with the wiri, as if an electrical current ran through him. He spoke of ancestral connections with an intensity that was extraordinary, just beautiful to behold. It was appropriate way to close. His roopu sang, and then we were done. The home people, in closing, then invited the speakers to come down to the whare tupuna to eat and thus symbolically on behalf of all gathered to become noa, ordinary, and to remove the implicit tapu carried by us all.

Inside the meeting house another ceremonial occurred. We were welcomed. Our speakers replied. Reno presented his photograph. We were invited into the dining room and there we ate. Politeness requires that at the end of the meal representatives of the visitors respond to the kindness of their hosts, compliment and thank the cooks and workers (nga ringa wera), and provide a ‘relish’ a song or such. Henare gave a beautiful korero and waiata, and, following, I stood to thank our hosts. The interior of the whare is lined with photos and folk style paintings depicting the shameful events that started on November 5th 1881 when the Crown sent in its armed constabulary to the village.

The south wind knows whence it cometh and whither it goeth; let the booted feet come when they like, the land shall remain firm forever
Te Whiti November 7 1881

There’s a T-shirt produced by the Parihaka people called Arohamai (“Forgive me”). It says;

Arohamai

I’m sorry for the
Invasion of your village 5th Nov
Illegal arrest and exiling of Te Whiti and Tohu
Looting by the armed constabulary 18th Nov
Destruction of your wharenui 20th Nov
Forcible ejection of 1,443 people from their homes 20th Nov
Rape of your women
Congenital syphilis in your children

And for the
Imprisonment without trial of 420 ploughmen and fencers for two years
Lasting effect on their wives and children
The confiscation of your land
Backdating of legislation to make legal the Govt’s illegal acts
And our failure as a nation to face these issues

Taranaki maunga

I’m ashamed to say it’s probably true that the first Irishmen to come to Parihaka were armed constabulary. The similarity to what happened in Eire would not have escaped them. But, it seemed to me here, today, that the thousands of young Pakeha who had come to Parihaka for this year’s event had come in respect, and had come to say sorry, arohamai, and thus to continue the move to a more respectful relationship with our Treaty partners. It was certainly true of this of this son of the Emerald Isle. I said so. I told the elders that the presence of so many Pakeha at the hui was having a ‘nation building’ effect, and this comment and theme of nation building was picked up later in the day at the Speakers’ Forum by Dr. Waikerepuru. For this korero my waiata was

Tralee fair Tralee
You are the land that sheltered me
Ever since I was a little lad
Upon my mither’s knee
I love the land where I was born
And I love its famous dance
For I come from the County Kerry
I’m a typical Irishman

With the ceremonial concluded we all set about the business of the hui. For me this was to promote the message to beware of P and to seek help if hooked. Our campsite was based around the marquee which we’d divided into an area for sleeping, and another area where we could run presentations. We had decorated the marquee with various banners. Pariri Rautahi, a community action colleague from Levin, had brought his ‘P Free Otaki’ sign and I’d made up a series of huge posters, some of which were quite cryptic and drew people to ask questions. We’d brought a full size screen and some pretty sophisticated projection gear, a sound system, and had prepared a series of digital presentations. As things panned out these devices of the 21st Century were all superfluous. Although I’d been scheduled to present at the Speakers’ Forum it was to be as part of a panel on the final day – in fact the closing session of the Forum – and that didn’t lend itself to the type of presentation we had prepared. Additionally we were up against some pretty stiff competition for audience attention as we were in a cluster with the Speakers’ Forum and the Poetry and Film tent. The poetry tent featured artists like Roma Potiki, Apirana Taylor and ‘Spoken Word Poets’. The Film tent featured, amongst others, three films by Gaylene Preston, ‘Perfect Strangers’, ‘War Stories Our Mother Never Told Us’ and ‘Earthquake’, and other movies from Kiwis, ‘Hawaiki’ by Mike Jonathon and Libby Hakaraia, Tony Burt’s ‘Passion and Conflict Te Aurere me te Papa’, and the Simmonds Brothers’ vignettes, ‘Rasta Rangi’.

There were a dozen or so international indy films and some movies for the kids. I should tell you that the tent used for the movies had been imported from Morocco. These Moroccan tents were dotted around the site and they looked as exotic as the place they come from sounds. They had deep rich velvety colours and looked like something out of Arabian Nights – maybe they were. In any case despite our expectation that we would be talking to an attentive audience we just weren’t figuring in the mix. Improvisation was required. The first tactic was to get Kiwa to slip in a bit of promotion during his introduction of bands and the general MC chitchat he delivered from the main stage. From that point on we had a steady stream of people, individually, or in twos and threes, who would come to the tent, look quizzically at our posters and banners and start a conversation. Many times, after a good ten minutes of intensive dialogue they’d ask “when does your presentation start?” I’d smile and say “you’ve been having it for the last ten minutes”. I reckon between the team of us we spoke in this way to over 150 people. Sometimes they just wanted to know about P and things in general. Other times they’d have a specific issue, a son or daughter or whanau member they were worried about. In some cases we could respond with referral points or action strategies in others all we could do was just provide a listening ear. Early each evening I’d wander up around the main stage as the crowd started to cluster and hand out a little information sheet about P. No one gave me any criticism or grief and most people would respond with a “hell yeah, its evil crap” or something along those lines.

The event had started on the Friday. Late on the Saturday we decided to shift our promotional material and put our banners and posters up at fresh points around the festival site. I was due to speak at the last session of the Speakers’ Forum as part of a panel. The Forum had been hugely successful with excellent speakers such as Jane Kelsey speaking on indigenous struggles against globalisation and the relevance to Aotearoa, the ever young Christina Gibb on the Palestine struggle for peace, Maui Solomon, Tame Iti, Ruakere Hond, Hone Harawira and other champions of social justice and people power. The theme for the closing session was “How do we build world peace” and it was facilitated by Peter Moehau a local tribal and business leader. My approach was to take the fight against P as a metaphor, start with yourself, bring peace to your home, work with neighbours to bring peace to your street, work with other streets to bring peace to your neighbourhood, then your suburb, then your city, and outward and onward. Hone Harawira followed on extending the metaphor and reaffirming the paradox that sometimes you have to fight for peace.

D and Hone Harawira

Peter kept throwing issues back to the audience so that everyone had a chance to participate. The stories, insights and experiences were fantastic. There were people from all over the world, some who gave incredible and uplifting speeches and some who gave us their wacky life experiences, like the American guy, who held a PhD, lived in a Mexican barrio, had a sex change and was now a lesbian. Different strokes etc.

By Saturday evening the place was simply pumping with expectation and enjoyment. The crowd had swelled to perhaps 7,000 people, clustered in little campsites and gathering in the volcanic lahar created amphitheatres and the various stages set to cater to the range of tastes and performance genres. Artists like Dave Heglun had been working on some of the huge volcanic boulders spat out by Taranaki, carving them into lifelike shapes or decorating them with kowhaiwhai patterns. Other carvers worked in wood, carving pou whenua, traditional and contemporary totems – in time the area will be a park of art and artistry. The combination of aural and visual creativity had an impact on one’s soul. The mood was just great and it permeated every nook and cranny of the place. No booze was sold on site and although alcohol was permitted it was used appropriately, as a social lubricant rather than as the prevailing raison d’etre that sometimes seems to swamp such festivals. True, at the front of the stage, particularly when there was one of the top groups playing, there would be the odd cloud of dope but drug taking didn’t seem to be a feature of the gathering and I didn’t see anyone trashed during the entire four days. People were lovely, open, friendly and respectful to each other -it was as if we had all silently agreed to suspend the interpersonal crap that is a feature of everyday society. Every now and then Kiwa would ask people to pause and take time to pick up some rubbish, and a thousand young kiwis would cast their eyes to the ground and gather the inevitable detritus, the rubbish that accompanies such an event.

Spirit of Bruno Lawrence

One of the features of Parihaka was the attention paid to the kids, nga tamariki. For a start they were well provided for in their own zone, where they were entertained by their own performing artists Artful Circus, Junk and Disorderly, and the Traveling Tuatara to name just a few. Additionally, their needs and interests were woven into the daily activities. For instance in the kai village, where people had gathered for their late afternoon meals, I saw a guy arrive with a whole pile of plastic buckets and conduct an impromptu drum class with a whole crew of interested kids.

Kids Zone

There was something for everyone, healing forums, a ‘rongomau zone’ celebrating the spirit of peace and spiritual harmony with some fantastic dj’s and mix masters; Adham Shaikh giving tribal dub groove, Antix (Hayden and Barton Strom) from Slowburning Studios in Auckland with their ‘organic minimal groove’, BrazilBeat Sound System (DJ Mara), a mash up of funk, house, roots & drum’n’bass, electronica with the Nomad (Daimon Schwalger). Besides this and the main stage there was the Visionary Stage. Our camp site was in earshot and I picked up bits of the lovely Toni Huata, local Hawke’s Bay lad Ben Throp, but there were about 40 other acts that I would have liked to have heard but…there you go, the cup overflows.

As you’d expect the Mainstage (Te Atamira Nui) was just laden with talent. My brother Tigi Ness and his band Unity Pacific played on the Friday night. I just stood right up front mid-stage and just drank in the sounds and listened to the stories of our shared youth, full of social action and challenge. Tigi’s son Che Fu joined with his dad for a set, and then followed on with his own performance backed by the Krates. We all caught up backstage and just a few words to each other confirmed our whanau love for one and other. Emma Paki finished the night off for me. Sometimes when Emma performs it can be a bit of a lottery but that night she was on top of her game and her voice was sweet and mellow.

Late on Saturday I hooked up with Te Ringa Mangu (Black Hand) Dun Mihaka. This old warrior is one of my heroes of street action. The first time I met him was pretty scary. I’d just hooked up with the Blacks. It was the night that led to me being offered my patch. We’d just had a fight with the V8 Boys in Hopper St and we were milling around on the corner. Dun came up to our group. He had just been released from prison and to me looked like Mohammed Ali. In those days he was all fired up by the writings of Elvridge Cleaver and slightly pissed to boot. He started pointing at me and going on about the ‘white devil’ and so forth. I didn’t fancy the consequences of this guy belting me and was unsure as to what to do. I think it was Denis Newport, on e of our fighting chiefs of the day who said, “Hey Dun, he’s with us. You’re not”. I knew I had joined a non-racist organization. In any case within a short time I came to see Dun as my sort of political activists and supported him in many of his anti-monarchist ventures and protests. Here we were now, older men, enjoying each other’s company and that of the next generation. Taape and Munz’s lady Jenny, and his daughters had arrived and so with Dun in tow our whole crew wandered down to the mainstage to soak up the sound and atmosphere.

For me the pick of Saturday night mainstage were Batacuda Sound Machine, a fifteen piece outfit comprised of musos from Brazil, Chile, Great Britain and Aotearoa. These guys are a full on show in their own right with funky beats, and lots of Latino grooves. They have a hot as horn section, and had the crowd absolutely bouncing. But my MVP award goes to Kora, this band of brothers, literally, who hail from Whakatane. I caught them first when they played at Taradale last year at a Beats festival. We welcomed them as is our tradition for visiting musos who play near Otatara, and they replied, acapella, with a waiata they’d just written. It was a magical moment. Their harmonies were superb and, later that night when they played I knew that these guys were a cut above most other reggae bands on the scene, including the topline act that night, Katchafire. By the time Kora played at Parihaka they seemed to have lifted the bar even higher. Whilst they come out of the reggae genre they’ve taken their music somewhere else, building on their natural vocal harmonies c and strong rhythm section, and infusing drum’n’bass, electronica, funky riffs, rock, and pacific beats. Their live act is awesome, very theatrical, with the lead singer, Stu Kora, having the onstage presence of a young Bob Marley. Nuff said, Kora are HOT and getting hotter.

The other sound that caught my ear was little Bushman with the ever amazing Warren Maxwell. Well I’m not exactly a music critic, and this recount may have bored you shitless, just like the closing act on Sunday night, Dave Dobbyn, did for most of us. I know the man is a legend, and I like him as a human being but crikey, on that last night he seemed to have lost his mojo. It may have been subtly planned as a denouement and if it was it did the job and what had been a fantastic festival faded softly away and we all went to bed. I’ll leave the last word to Jenny Rankine of Sandringham who was motivated enough to write to the New Zealand Herald and in a letter (published Jan 12) said that the Parihaka International Peace Festival was “even friendlier than Womad and as well organized. If these three days were Maori sovereignty in action bring it on”.

With Parihaka over I worked on a gig called “Summer Hummer” with my friend Frankie Stevens. It featured ‘The Feelers’ and ‘Goodnight Nurse’ as the lead acts and we ran it at Flaxemere College, a low decile school-“where good things are happening”. Flaxmere is one of those suburbs with a poor reputation and this becomes something of a self fulfilling prophecy. The idea of this project was to raise people’s spirit and sense of belief in themselves. We used it as an opportunity to not only raise funds for the College – the Mad Butcher was one sponsor and most of the costs have been underwritten by Trust House and the Flaxmere Licensing Trust- but also as a chance to introduce people who are doing good things in Flaxmere, the College Board, the community patrols, Heretaunga Health, a local health providers and so forth. We had a number of local performers, Daniel Munro a sweet voiced kid who you are going to hear a lot about, local krumpers and local hip hop, rap and vocal groups. These kids enjoyed the benefits of a big stage, top line sound systems and professional mixing. There had been some apprehensions about a strong patched-up Mob presence and fears of violence. However its amazing what can be achieved if you ask politely and respectfully for support and co-operation, so I did, humbly, seeking the co-operation of each of the local chapter presidents. Although Flaxmere is a Mob stronghold and there were a number of Mob members present at the event they respected the kaupapa and came as family men. We had about 2,000 people and the whole gig was a great success. It has increased the social capital of the Flaxmere community and has laid a platform for a similar event next year. The College deserves huge credit for taking something of a risk and being prepared to think outside of the box, as do the funders, Trust House.

As I told you last year we’re organizing a big St Patrick’s Day at Waiohiki. We’ve just purchased an old hall from a school for our youth development project and we need about $20,000 to spend on that, and also, as the Waiohiki Community Charitable Trust is a partnership with the Ngati Paarau we believe that 50% of our fundraising should be directed to the rebuilding of the Waiohiki Marae.

We’ve called the day Hui and Huilli. It starts off with a all faith Church service. This is an appropriate way to start the day – with karakia. Next follows a programme we are calling Korero Airihimana. It derives from the traditions of oratory and storytelling common to both cultures, Maori and Irish. The idea is that people of Irish descent will tell the story of how they came to New Zealand, and for those of Maori descent where their whakapapa might link with the Irish. Each speech, story, korero, will be followed by a waiata, a song or performance. Sir Tipene O’Regan has agreed to play a role. If you’d like to participate then just reply to this site, or phone Tareha on 027 2689724. We will also have a Celtic and Maori Art Exhibition, and later in the day our local MP Chris Tremain has agreed to be our auctioneer for an Art Auction with 30% of the sale going to the fundraising. You can look up the catalogue on www.waiohikiartsvillage.com. Fane Flaws has some great prints, Para Matchitt and Jake Scott are contributing work as is Jeff Thompson and that photographer well known here, Brian Sweeney. Make a bid at any time. Finally in the evening over at the Napier Golf Club will be Ceili and Kai hosted by my longtime Friend Frankie Stevens. We have a great line up of talent including local Jazz legend Mr. John Mullany. The wonderfully named Brannigan Kaa is brining his band and we have lots of treats in store for our guests including an after dinner speech by our Governor General, Anand Satyanand. It’s a $100 a seat if you want to come. Just let me know by email to the NZ Edge site contact@nzedge.com or again, phone Tareha 0272689724.

Bill Manhire once wrote;

Hone Tuwhare has adopted a sort of rhyming Maori Irish greeting, which he uses from time to time. He takes the Maori phrase kia ora and follows it with the Irish word begorrah. So from time to time Hone will say, ‘Kia ora begorrah’ and it works very well.

Oh well folks, that me, Kia ora, begorrah. D

.

<!–nextpage–>

Tags: Denis O'Reilly  Hui & Huilli  Parihaka