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Ko Mere Nūtana me te Tāmaki Māori Women’s Welfare League

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Maori Home Front Blog Avatar
Angela Wanhalla
10 Hōngongoi, 2020

 

 He tini ngā rōpū o te iwi Māori i whakatūria i ngā tau o te Pakanga Tuarua.  Tua atu i ā rātou mahi pakanga, kohi moni hoki, ka hāpainga ngā kaupapa tōrangapū, me ngā mahi e pā ana ki ngā tikanga Māori, pērā me te kapa haka.  Heoi, kāore ētahi āhuatanga o ēnei rōpū e tino mōhiotia ana e mātou, arā, i pēhea ā rātou mahi whakahaere, me te whakapā mai o te pakanga ki tō rātou whanaketanga.  Ko te tūmanako, mā tā mātou kaupapa rangahau nei ka whakaputaina mai he pitopito kōrero kia whakaaturia ā rātou mahi ki Aotearoa nei i te wā o te pakanga.

E waia ana pea tātou ki ētahi o ngā rōpū Māori e mahi ana i waenganui o tērā rautau. Hei tauira, te Māori War Effort Organisation (MWEO, he mea whakatū i te tau 1942), ngā Māori Women’s Health Leagues (i te tau 1937), te Rōpū Wāhine Māori Toko i te Ora (i te tau 1951), tae atu ki te Kaunihera Māori o Aotearoa (i te tau 1962).  E kaha ana hoki ngā mahi a ngā Māori Women’s Institutes ki te Tai Rāwhiti me te Tai Tokerau i ngā tekautau 1930 me 1940.  Kei warewaretia hoki ngā rōpū i roto i ngā tāone, pērā me te Ngāti Pōneke Young Māori Club (he mea whakatū i te tau 1937) me ngā rōpū tākaro o te iwi Māori, hei tauira, mō te tēnehi me te korowha (haupōro) i puta mai i ngā tau i waenga i ngā pakanga e rua.  I aro mai hoki ēnei rōpū ā-tikanga, ā-tākaro hoki, ki ngā take tōrangapū; i tautoko ō rātou mema i te MWEO, me ngā take e pā ana ki ngā Māori e noho ana ki ngā tāone, ki te hau kāinga hoki.

Nō te tekautau 1940, ka whakatūria he rōpū i Tāmaki-makau-rau e te iwi Māori mā te iwi Māori.  I te tau 1942, ka whakahaeretia e te Aotearoa Māori Club he rūma noho, he tari kimi mahi, ā, ka whakaratohia he wāhi moe, he kai, he mahi rēhia hoki.[1]  Nā Mātire Hoeft i ārahi te United Māori Women’s Welfare Society, he mea whakatū i te tau 1943, ā, i ara mai hoki Te Kotahitanga o nga Maori o Niu Tireni (New Zealand Māori Movement) i taua wā.[2]

Ehara i te mea ka puta mai ngā mahi whakahaere o te wā pakanga i te kore.  Nā ngā mahi a Ngāi Māori e noho kē ana ki ngā tāone, me ō rātou hononga ā-iwi, nā te kaha me te hautū o ētahi tāngata hoki i piki mai ai aua rōpū.  Hei tauira tētahi wahine e noho ana ki Tāmaki-makau-rau, ko Mere Nūtana/Newton tōna ingoa, nō Tainui me Te Āti Awa.

Mai i 1939 ki 1944, he mema a Mere nō te Kaunihera o Onehunga. E pēnei ana pea nā runga i tāna tū ki te kōrero mō ngā take Māori i Tāmaki-makau-rau mai i te tekautau 1920, hei kaimahi toko i te ora, hei kaiwhakamāori raihana i roto i te Kōti Whenua Māori.[3]  He karaka, he kaiwhakamāori hoki nō te Kōti tāna tāne, ko Charles Paretahinga Newton (Tainui); he tiamupiana tēnehi ā-kura tāna tamāhine, ko Delia.  He tangata whiwhita tōna taokete, a Keiha Nūtana, nō te Aotearoa Māori Club; ā, he kaitono motuhake tāna wahine, a Katarina Nūtana, mō te tūru Māori ki te Hauāuru i te tau 1949.  Tērā tētahi atu taokete, ko James Rukutai, he kaihautū nō te tākaro rīki o Tāmaki-makau-rau, ko te tiamana hoki o Te Akarana Māori Association; he mema tāna wahine, a Bella, nō te rōpū whakahaere o Te Akarana Māori Association, ā, ‘a popular and valued social worker among her people.’[4]  Ina arongia ngā kāwai o tō Mere whānau, ka kitea, he whānui ōna hononga o roto i te iwi, tae atu ki ngā rōpū tōrangapū, tākaro, tiaki tangata hoki.

Nā tāna mahi hei hekeretari o te peka Epsom-Oak o te Pāti Reipa i ngā tau tōmuri o te tekautau 1930, i mui mai ai ngā tini tāngata tōrangapū ki tōna whare kōrero ai.  E tū ana tōna kāinga ‘on the hill overlooking Onehunga and the Manukau harbour, [it] is well known for its beautiful trees and shrubs, including magnificent punga and nikau, and also for its hedges and fine flax bushes. The garden has often been thrown open for social functions, for which it provides an ideal setting, and also for tennis parties.’[6] Tū ai he hui ngahau i ia wiki i ia wiki ki ngā rūma o te peka Epsom i tautohea ai ngā tini take: ngā kura me te mātauranga, te mana wahine o te ao hurihuri nei, te noho ohaoha-motuhake o te wahine, ngā rātonga whare kōhanga, te mea te mea. I a ia i te Kaunihera o Onehunga, ka kaha aro ia ki te hauora wāhine me nga take kimi mahi.  Ki tōna whakaaro, nā te rironga ki te tūru Kaunihera, me te whakawhiwhinga ki te tūranga Tiei-pī (mana whakaaio), ka whakatairangatia ‘the status of Maori womanhood . . . giving her personally wider opportunities in her social welfare work and in public life.’[7]

Tae atu ki ngā tau tōmuri o te tekautau 1930, kua roa ā Mere mahi ā-hapori, ā-tōrangapū, mō te iwi. Mai i te tekautau 1920, kua tohe ia ki te whakapai i te noho o ngā Māori o Tāmaki-makau-rau.  Nāna i whakatū te Tāmaki Māori Women’s Welfare League i te tau 1930, kia kitea whānuitia tēnei mahi āna.[8]  E kīa ana, ko tēnei te ‘first organisation in New Zealand to be restricted entirely to Maori women’.  Ko Mere te tumuaki tuatahi, ā, ko te whanaunga o Te Puea Hērangi, ko Te Paea Rewha, hei kanohi kairangi.[9]

Puta noa te tekautau 1930, ka kaha tautoko te rōpū nei i te iwi o Ōrākei e tohetohe ana kia kaua ō rātou whenua e tangohia e te kāwanatanga.[10] Nō te Paheketanga Ohaoha Nui, ka whakamōhiotia e rātou te āhuatanga o ngā wāhine, taitamāhine, kore-mahi ki Tāmaki-makau-rau me ērā atu wāhi o te motu.  Ka akiaki hoki rātou kia whakapaingia te noho o ngā kaimahi Māori ki ngā māra Hainamana i Māngere, ko te tūmanako, kia hangaia he whare e nohoia ai aua kaimahi me ō rātou whāmere.

I te tau 1929, ka tū he tirotirohanga i te whakamahinga o ngā Māori ki ngā māra hua whenua o ngā Hainamana. Ka āta tirohia ngā ‘moral dangers’ o ngā wāhine Māori e mahi tahi ana me ngā ‘Asiatics’. Engari, ka whakahoki atu a Mere, me aha aua wāhine?  Ki te katia ā rātou mahi māra, ka matekai rātou.[11]  Kāore e pīrangitia ngā ture “that will deprive some of our own folk from earning an honest living in Chinese gardens”; e ai ki te League, he pai ake kia whakatūria he āpiha toko i te ora kia tirotirohia ngā mahi me ngā whare noho ki ngā māra hua whenua.[12]   Me waiho mā te wahine Māori e whiriwhiri ngā wāhi e mahi nei rātou.

Ka tino aro hoki te rōpū nei ki te pōharatanga me te āhei rēti whare.  I ngā tau tōmua o te tekautau 1930, ka tarai ngā mema o te rōpū kia whai wāhi noho ngā whānau Māori e noho ana ki Māngere.  Ko te pīrangi, kia hangaia he whare noho ki te Piriti o Māngere (Māngere Bridge).  Ka tāpaea e Mere he pīhi whenua e tata ana ki Kiwi Esplanade, engari, ka whakakāhoretia.  Nā reira nā Te Paea i tuku he whenua i te mutunga o tētahi rori, ‘practically away from traffic and public view’.[13]. Ko te tino whāinga he hanga marae mō te iwi.

Nāwai rā, ka tū te Māngere Māori Hostel Committee, ā, ka tahuri te iwi ki te mahi moni, arā, mā ngā konohete, ngā hākinakina, me ngā kanikani.  He tini ngā mahi nei i raro i te mana o Te Puea Herangi.[14]

Nō te tau 1965, nā ēnei mahi i tuwhera ai a Te Puea Memorial Marae ki te Piriti o Māngere.  He tākoha tuku iho nā Mere me tōna rōpū.  Nā Te Paea Rewha te whenua i tuku i te tekautau 1930, nā Mere Nūtana ‘bequeathed her estate to provide a building’ i tapaina nei te ingoa o Te Puea Hērangi.  Arā, nā ngā wāhine tokotoru i tiakina ai ā rātou tāngata.[15]

I te hanganga o te Te Puea Memorial Marae e kitea nei te whāinga o tō Mere rōpū kia mau, kia whakahaumanutia ngā tikanga Māori.   Kei te haere tonu tētahi o aua tikanga o taua wā i tēnei rautau, ko te manaaki i te hunga kore-mahi, kore-whare hoki. Arā, nō te tau 2016, ka manaakitia, ka whāngaitia e te marae he tāngata kore-whare nō Tāmaki-makau-rau.[16] Tae atu ki Hune, 2020, kua āwhinatia ngā tāngata e 480 e kimi whare ana.[17]. Mā tēnei momo mahi, ka whakatūturutia ngā mahi whakahirahira a aua wāhine mana o mua.[18]

 Whakaahua: (wāhanga) Mere Newton. Onehunga Borough Council Portrait, 1941-44. OHB 009/23, Auckland Council Archives.

 

[1] ‘New Maori Club’, Auckland Star, 25 Hānuere 1943.

[2] Auckland Star, 23 Ākuhata 1944.

[3] ‘Women’s Suffrage and Local Government’, http://heritageetal.blogspot.com/2018/11/womens-suffrage-and-local-government.html

[4] ‘Death of Mrs Rukutai’, Auckland Star, 25 Hepetema 1936.

[5] I te tau 1936 i whakatūria ai te Komiti Māori o Onehunga o te Pāti Reipa: Auckland Star, 1 Ōketopa 1936.

[6] ‘Maori Woman J.P.’ Auckland Star, 2 Ākuhata 1937.

[7] ‘Maori Woman J.P.’ Auckland Star, 2 Ākuhata 1937.

[8] ‘Maori Women’s League’, NZ Herald, 22 Hūrae 1930.

[9] Poverty Bay Herald, 26 Hūrae 1930. Auckland Star, 10 Pēpuere 1936.

[10] ‘Maori Regrets. Orakei Settlement’, Auckland Star, 2 Hūrae 1932.

[11] Auckland Star, 11 Hune 1931.

[12] Auckland Star, 11 Hune 1931. Tērā ētahi kōrero anō mō te League me ngā take e pā ana ki ngā māra hua whenua, kei Barbara Brookes, A History of New Zealand Women, Wellington, 2016.

[13] ‘Mangere Maoris. Land Given for Pa’, Auckland Star, 14 Hepetema 1931. Mangere pa - Transfer Part Mangere Village, Lot 8 to Te Paea Paro by Tuhokai Takirua Hota for Hostelry site, 1932-1947. (R19527121), Archives New Zealand, Wellington.

[14] See Auckland Star, 26 Noema 1931; Auckland Star, 2 Āperira 1932; Franklin Times, 31 Ākuhata 1932; Auckland Star, 13 Āperira 1934.

[15] See: https://www.flickr.com/photos/archivesnz/48475608691

[16] https://www.maoritelevision.com/te-puea-memorial-marae

[17] https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/we-have-keep-going-te-puea-marae-helps-480-people-into-homes-in-last-four-years

[18] Hurimoana Dennis, ‘Aue te Maemae: Exploring Te Puea Marae’s ‘Te Manaaki Tangata Programme’ as an indigenous response to homelessness in Tāmaki Makaurau’, Masters of Applied Practice (Social Practice), Unitec Institute of Technology, 2019.

 

 

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