Tag Archives: Lawrence Wharerau

AhiparaFeature

Solving a Mystery: The Ahipara Women’s Fire Brigade

- By Lawrence Wharerau (Kaiwhakataki: Programme Coordinator, Māori, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

I have an affinity with Northland – I love the bush, the people and the sea too, and it’s not just because I’m from down them ways. One of my favourite places on earth is Ahipara, by the sea at the southern end of Te Oneroa a Tohe aka Ninety Mile Beach and sheltered by the Tauroa Peninsular to the west. The Herekino Forest has its eastern flank and it is 14kms northeast to Kaitaia, with Pukepoto in between. Shipwreck and Ahipara Bays are famous surf spots and they were once popular places for gathering toheroa.

Some years ago (as in over 15 years ago), I was going through the film collection at The Film Archive (as Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision was then known), when I came across an amateur film called Ahipara Women’s Fire Brigade, circa 1955, which piqued my interest. I had never heard of this brigade and initial enquiries gave little evidence about what they were about nor who these women were. At the time I was curating for a ten marae screening tour of Northland for the project Te Hokinga Mai o Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua ki Ngāpuhi.

The Ahipara Women's Fire Brigade. Back row: Harriet Pure, Hinemoa Te Paa, Linda Curie, Doris Hales. Middle row: Api Kīngi, Joyce Hunt, Jackie Saunders, Mary Hanlon. Front row: Peggy Adams, Agnes Rakich. Photo by Bruce Rogers, supplied courtesy of Te Ahu Museum and Archive, Kaitaia.
The Ahipara Women’s Fire Brigade. Back row: Harriet Pure, Hinemoa Te Paa, Linda Curie, Doris Hales. Middle row: Api Kīngi, Joyce Hunt, Jackie Saunders, Mary Hanlon. Front row: Peggy Adams, Agnes Rakich. (Photo by Bruce Rogers, supplied courtesy of Te Ahu Museum and Archive, Kaitaia.)

The seven-minute film starts with a wide shot overlooking Ahipara from the top of Whangatauatia Mountain, which dominates the environs to the south of the seaside village and is the gateway to the Ahipara gumfields. Then it shows several of the brigade members going about normal domestic duties: hanging washing, ironing, gardening, and the like. Cut to a rubbish pile on fire, a call is made to the local fire station, the klaxon fire alarm is activated, and then it’s all on. It’s down tools and aprons and a mad rush to ready the fire tenders, a Land Rover with trailer and a flat-bed truck, packing the required equipment, and heading off to the incident. Hoses are run out and the fire is attended to with a crowd looking on.

Ahipara Women's Fire Brigade (New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, 1965).
Ahipara Women’s Fire Brigade (New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, 1965).

You can watch the film on our online catalogue, here

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MatatiniFeature

Te Matatini 2017

- By Lawrence Wharerau (Kaiwhakataki: Programme Coordinator, Māori, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

Every two years the crème de la crème of kapa haka artists put their reputations on stage and on show. Dubbed the Olympics of traditional Māori performing arts, Te Matatini is an essential biannual booking in many Māori calendars.

This year’s festival (Feb 23-26) was hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu, at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park. The event ran across four days, with 47 teams of 40 members each competing in pool rounds for the first three days. The finals on the last day then featured the top three performing groups from each pool.

The competition was fierce and the performances even more so, as groups competed for the auspicious and highly coveted Duncan MacIntyre trophy presented to the overall winner.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage Manatū Taonga and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision's tent at Te Matatini 2017.
Ministry for Culture and Heritage Manatū Taonga and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s tent at Te Matatini 2017. (Image: Ministry for Culture and Heritage Manatū Taonga)

 

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision were invited to have a presence in the corporate sponsors area by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage Manatū Taonga along with Creative New Zealand. As Kaiwhakataki – Programme Coordinator, Māori, I curated a number of screening programmes to be played out on a large monitor in the tent we shared with MCH and CNZ. Pou Ārahi for Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Honiana Love, also attended as part of the archive’s work developing iwi relationships. Continue reading

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World Day for Audiovisual Heritage: E Pari Rā – The Tide Surges

World War One commemorations have provided the impetus for a number of projects at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. UNESCO’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage gives us a moment to celebrate this work undertaken to ensure the preservation of, and access to, audiovisual materials relating to New Zealand’s experience of World War One.

In this blog post, the fourth in our World Day for Audiovisual Heritage series, the archive’s Taha Māori department reflects on a waiata composed during the war, E Pari Rā.

Read the first, second, and third parts in the series.

When I was asked to consider writing for the combined Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision and Australian Film and Sound Archive Anzac World War One online project, I was miffed and excited at the same time. Miffed because I wasn’t sure where to start with any of the briefs that might be sent my way, and excited by the same.

One of the items assigned to me was E Pari Rā, a waiata written by Paraire Tomoana in 1918.

Listen to E Pari Rā here

The tune was familiar, as were some of the lyrics, from my days serving in the New Zealand Territorial Forces. How many parades had I been a part of where this tune set the cadence, who really knows?

So I started first by listening to the sound files supplied by Sarah Johnston, part of the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision sound archiving team. In the recordings the son of the composer Taanga Tomoana suggests the waiata was written for a friend of his father’s, Maku-i-te-Rangi Ellison, who asked Paraire to pen a lament for his son who fell during the WWI efforts to defend the Empire. This Paraire agreed to, with the view that the song lament all soldiers in all campaigns.

On listening to the audio file I gathered a deeper understanding and appreciation for the sentiment and meaning behind the waiata, how Paraire drew inspiration from the ebb and flow of the tides in and around Heretaunga and Ahuriri, and how this is a phenomena the soldiers in far off campaigns would have experienced while fighting in far off countries too.

Taanga gives a vivid picture of the story behind the penning of the waiata.

I conducted some further research by reacquainting my friendship with one of Paraire’s descendants, Ngātai Huata, daughter of the padre for the 28th Māori Battalion, Wi Te Tau Huata. It was Ngātai who confirmed for me that the waiata was indeed for all soldiers, and not written solely for Whakatomo Ellison, as has been mentioned in other places. Continue reading

www.anzacsightsound.org launch

Last night the New Zealand launch of the new www.anzacsightsound.org website took place at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Wellington.

The website, titled Anzac: Sights and Sounds of World War I, has been produced in partnership by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. On the site visitors can experience the sights and sounds of the Anzac corps and the World War I era: a curated selection of archival films, songs, recorded interviews, documents and photos have been expertly restored and digitised for the website.

Below are few photos from the launch evening.

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Commemorative arch, designed and built by artist Tony De Goldi.
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The arch was modelled on those built for special occasions during the World War I era. They were often adorned with flowers, streamers and other decorations. A floral arch on a wooden trellis is shown in the background of this image from the 1916 film, Nelson Daffodil Parade (watch the film here).
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The Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision cafe space festooned with Anzac poppies.
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Guests in the cinema. Thanks to all who came along!

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MP Scott Simpson prepares to launch the www.anzacsightsound.org site.
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Diane Pivac and James Taylor of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision give a tour of the www.anzacsightsound.org website.

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Te Waipounamu Marae Film Tour

By Marie O’Connell (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Audio Conservator)

 

On Tuesday I attended a Te Waipounamu Marae Film Tour – Ōtautahi ki Awarua showing held at Rehua Marae on Springfield Road in Christchurch. It was well attended by about 120 people.

 

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The footage shown was more than I expected and revealed eeling and whitebaiting techniques from the past, whilst showing the abundance of this food. I was fascinated by the methods used with preserving the muttonbirds and how expertly they were wrapped up in woven baskets for three years.

 

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