The Māori today - 1964

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Tono kōrero mai

Announcer Airini Grennell of the N.Z.B.C. in Christchurch, presents the first of a three-part documentary programme, 'The Māori Today", a survey of the Māori people in 1964. (None of the programme participants are identified, but it can be assumed they were probably all Canterbury residents.)

Airini Grenell begins by observing Māori are no longer in the country, but now also in the towns, and because of this, there have arisen social and economic problems as Māori have to adapt the the European way of life.
Māori have left the pā and the communal way of life in order to find work and as a consequence have moved in to the city.

An unidentified Māori man talks about his family who are now split between their traditional land and those who have moved to cities for work. He trained as a wool classer after his family settled in Christchurch, along with his sister who is a dressmaker. He says the multiple ownership of Māori land is a problem.

An unidentified elderly woman talks about having lived in a pā all her life. One of her sons has married a pakeha woman and women in the pā belong to both the Māori Women's Welfare League and Country Women's Institute.

A man talks about large hui and tangi not being as commonly held now. He works as a slaughterman and enjoys his work and it has enabled his children to get more secondary education than he had. He and his wife intend to remain living in the pā.

Another man talks about living at the pā and farming, ever since leaving the Navy. He also works for the Ministry of Works until the farm pays or itself. He comments on how has gets on with pakeha people, saying he has never had any problems.

Land for farming has been abandoned because of the complicated land title system. and the industries around the pā are no longer functioning, hence the drift into the urban areas by Māori.

Some Māori have become transient workers, moving around the country to work on harvests in the tobacco and other crops.

A man from Urewera country says he left to go to work and learn more about the pakeha way of life. He was shearer in Gisborne but then married a South Island girl and says he was surprised to find little Māori life there. He is now fish processing.

A prison officer talks about becoming involved in Māori Tribal Executive work. He became interested in Māori crime problems and has studied at the University of Canterbury.

A woman who is an advisor on arts and crafts with the Department of Education, talks about the Māori arts and culture she promotes.

A man who is working as a crane operator on the Benmore Dam project says many other Māori ex-servicemen are working with him. Many came from the Malaya Force. He says the money is good and they are able to save, living in an isolated community. The races mix freely there.

A man from Horowhenua who works in the Māori Land Court in Christchurch, also teaches Māori language and culture at the WEA. The students are mostly pakeha and the classes are very popular. He believes most pakeha would like to see Māori language taught in all schools.

A man who is a businessman in the seafood industry says he has not been discriminated against in his line of work.

A man [from the Housing Department?] talks about the policy to integrate Māori housing within non-Māori residential areas.

A church spokesman talks about the role the church has to play in helping Māori adjust to city life. He says providing Māori trade-training hostels is an important role the church is fulfilling in providing a home and stability for young people who have just moved to the city.

A man talks about the difference between integration and assimilation. He says integration is the goal, with the pakeha moving towards the Māori just as the Māori has always been expected to move towards the European. He says the pakeha hasn't realised yet that he has to move as well. He believes if elementary Māori language was introduced in all primary schools, it would be a good first step towards valuing Māori culture.

A man talks about the need for more Māori in professional work, such as law and accountancy, but he believes this will come with time and education.

A man talks about the New Zealand government's Colombo Plan to assist developing countries, and says Māori need their own version of this plan to assist them. He says socially Māori and Pakeha still live in separate worlds and not enough is being done to integrate them.

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Year 1964

Reference number 44236

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
Grennell, Airini, 1910-1988, Presenter

Duration 00:30:00

Date 06 Feb 1964

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