Tag Archives: women

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

Continue reading

The Birth of Talkback Radio in New Zealand

- By Sarah Johnston (Client Services Co-ordinator, Radio – Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

"Women’s Hour" personalities from NZBC commercial stations in 1960. Doreen Kelso of 2ZB Wellington, seated second from right (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Documentation Collection).
“Women’s Hour” personalities from NZBC commercial stations in 1960. Doreen Kelso of 2ZB Wellington, seated second from right (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Documentation Collection – RNZ Photographic Collection).

Talkback radio has long been cornerstone of late night commercial broadcasting. It can be a familiar voice for lonely shift workers and insomniacs, an outlet for people with strong opinions of all kinds or just a friendly ear for anyone wanting a chat.

In this country, it began just over 50 years ago and recordings in the Sound Collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision tell the story of the roots of talkback. You can hear me talking about them to Jon Bridges on RNZ’s Jesse Mulligan programme here – or listen to the recordings below.

Talkback radio began very modestly in October 1965, on the commercial network stations of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (one of the predecessors to Radio New Zealand). It was part of what had been known as The Women’s Hour. This was a slot every weekday afternoon around 2pm, which featured a local female host presenting topics thought to be of particular interest to female listeners. This programming had begun back in the 1940s and by the 1960s stations in the main centres and over a dozen regional towns –including Timaru, Nelson, Whangarei, Napier and Invercargill – all had their own local Women’s Hour host. While its focus was very heavily on domestic issues such as sharing recipes and home hints, the slot also featured studio guests, visiting celebrities, book reviews, radio dramas and the vital local advertising aimed at female shoppers.

In Masterton in the mid-1960s the Women’s Hour host was the redoubtable Jessica Weddell, who was just starting out in radio, but who would later move to Wellington where she would become the Kim Hill or Kathryn Ryan of her day, as a national current affairs interviewer. In an interview later in her career,  she explained how she was a talkback “guinea pig” and the first to trial this revolutionary idea of allowing listeners to call the studio:

Jessica Weddell – excerpt from Directions 70 – Jessica Weddell, National Radio, 9 August 1994

  Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Earthquake Ripples

Raelene Rees and Michelle Mac-William from Women in the Rebuild reflect on some of the social issues affecting Cantabrians in the wake of the 2010 / 2011 earthquakes (“Women in the Rebuild,” 12 February 2015, Plains FM).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

You can hear full episodes of “Women in the Rebuild” here.

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently.

8

Otago Museum’s “Hākui: Women of Kāi Tahu” Exhibition

By Sarah Johnston (Client Services Coordinator – Radio, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

The lives of fifty Māori women of Te Waipounamu (the South Island) are the focus of a new exhibition at the Otago Museum, which is enriched by sound recordings from the radio collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

Hakui7

Hākui: Women of Kāi Tahu was developed over two years by the museum in close partnership with whānau and papatipu rūnaka around the South Island. 

The exhibition opened on November 20 to coincide with the biennial Hui-ā-Iwi gathering that saw over 2,000 iwi members arrive in Dunedin for the weekend celebration of Kāi Tahutanga.

The term hākui is an acknowledgement of respect and a form of address to a female elder, and this exhibition celebrates mothers, aunties, grandmothers, taua, great aunts, great grandmothers, and tūpuna wāhine.

Fifty women are profiled in the exhibition, and their accomplishments shared through taoka*, photographs, memories and sound recordings. Interactive elements also feature, inviting visitors to step inside Aunty’s kitchen, hear the pronunciation of Māori words and placenames, and plenty more.

Curator
Migoto Eria (Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Kahungunu), Curator, Māori at the Otago Museum, listening to one of the archival sound recordings from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

Migoto Eria (Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Kahungunu), Curator, Māori at the Otago Museum, says the process of deciding which of the women to focus on was led by the iwi, with a steering committee representing local rūnaka set up in 2013.:

“The hākui featured in this exhibition have facilitated the growth and nourishment of their mokopuna; they have protected and shared their knowledge; and they have provided vital guidance and support to their iwi,” she says. “So it has been an honour to work closely with whānau and rūnaka on this important kaupapa.”

Last year Migoto contacted us at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s radio collection in Christchurch, to see what sound recordings we might hold relating to these wāhine. Continue reading