Oct 17: Donna Awatere-Huata and Mamae Takerei
Sunday 17th October, 2010
Marae INVESTIGATES Jodi Ihaka interviews Donna Awatere-Huata and Mamae Takerei
Points of interest - PANEL DISCUSSION:
- Takerei "Maori culture in the view of noa and tapu is very precious to us"
- Huata "on the one hand you have to say great Te Papa for raising this issue and being respectful but on the other hand have not had one situation for where women are the packhorse we're cooking and cleaning and then on another case when there are taonga involved we've got to be scared of those unclean women and there was too much of that sense of women being demonised just for being women.
Points of interest - Marae INVESTIGATES Stories:
Carbon Cash Cow - Reporter Tahuri Tumoana
- Iwi with forests have the potential to earn billions.
- It's worth more than combined Treaty settlements.
- Downside - carbon credits locked to forestry for ever - potentially selling out to other generations.
- "Maori looking for quick fix"
- "3 trillion dollar potential globally - potential for Maori huge"
- Priorities should be to Maori first - then to NZ - global should be third
The interview has been transcribed below. The full length panel discussion and stories from this morning's Marae Investigates can also be seen on TVNZ Ondemand here
Marae Investigates is repeated on TVNZ 7 at 6.10pm and 10.35pm
on Sunday nights, 12.35pm on Mondays, and Saturday at
DONNA AWATERE-HUATA & MAMAE TAKEREI interviewed by JODI IHAKA
IHAKA Tena korua. Thank you for coming here. Donna how were you first made aware about this issue about taonga and tapu noa at Te Papa?
HUATA Well you know it just cam across my Facebook and I think Facebook is like the new Marae anyway so I thought it was quite appropriate anyway and I just responded with my own thoughts and someone must've picked it up and next thing I was on Te Karere and now I'm here
IHAKA And so what is your view of tapu noa?
HUATA Look first up Jodi I have to say we've got to congratulate Te Papa for respecting the kawa even if in my view they didn't quite get it right the fact of the matter is that people like Hema Temara have been giving them good advice most of the time and the kind of respect that they are showing our taonga lets congratulate them and you know the last thing we all needed was for this thing to be picked up by the pink neck brigade and used as something to affect Maori that's the last thing we need.
IHAKA Mamae what is your understanding of tapu noa?
TAKEREI I should be able to understand it very clearly simply because I was reared I was born under it I grew up in it, and like donna with regards to the museum and on the Marae, there is a certain protocol kawa that you adhere to, but I also want to reinforce and support the statement made my donna that if it were not for Maori in museums the situation could be worse.
IHAKA What does tapu noa actually mean - for people who are unaware or not educated about it?
TAKEREI Quite simply Tapu Noa is to simplify it, is it means to make common noa - tapu is sacred. If we were to be able to explain to everyone out there it becomes confusing because common is noa and there are certain process that you use to make something sacred or deems to be tapu in Maori terms - Noa to make common - noa so there are processes for that.
IHAKA Some people who may not know anything about what tapu noa means find it could be perceived as flakiness or something that's not quite real, and so who gets to talk about this?
TAKEREI Frankly this is a nice way to describe it coz a lot of people think Maori culture is flaky, but it also has a wealth of experience and iconic examples of how we Maori perceive ourselves to be from the cosmology and those deities that create those forms and from it the human kind begins to respond to it I don't think there's anything flaky about that. For all that's said and done to understand and be aware that Maori culture in the view of noa and tapu is very precious to us. Its how that whole core that we revolve around how we begin to teach and educate people to try and understand it, its a whole cultural paradigm.
IHAKA Mamae u said you were raised with this knowledge with this tikanga. Donna some of the comments about you this week some of the critics have actually come out and said you were raised as a pakeha, are you fully aware of this tikanga?
HUATA Very much so I was born and bred at Ohinemutu Pa, most people know with my 41st cousins, I was brought up under the mantle of our Marae, and we were brought up to understand those tikanga but at the same time our great great grandmothers already made changes there used to be a time when our whanau when they menstruated would've gone off to the kauta and snuggled up there and sung a few waiata and they were relieved from the burden of cooking hunting for kai of looking after kids and all of that and by the time I had come along in our whanau anyway, for generations the women had changed that and they didn't have the luxury of lying in the kauta and I think that consideration that was given to women in those former times because it could be painful we just don't have that luxury of that anymore so I was brought up on the one hand at the pa living with tikanga but on the other hand that had many nannies and aunties that cooked while they menstruated cleaned food gathered and worked while they were hapu so it was kind of just how it was how it was brought up I have 4 daughters I want them to be able to live a full life and I guess on the one hand you have to say great Te Papa for raising this issue and being respectful but on the other hand have not had one situation for where women are the packhorse we're cooking and cleaning and then on another case when there are taonga involved we've got to be scared of those unclean women and there was too much of that sense of women being demonised just for being women.
IHAKA So what exactly are some of the things have either of you heard about that have happened to women that have breached this tikanga?
TAKEREI Well you know I can go back generations, for too long that whole ideology around L.O.R.E, there's that whole tikanga supposed to have been born of that, we see examples for women like what Donna said who's going to cook your food, who's going to do your cooking all those generations before our time is that you know I didn't know of men that did the cooking especially in the 1800s.
IHAKA Exactly Mamae - now look the NZ Herald has actually written in Fridays paper an editorial says "Not too Maori culture - not too much to ask" - Now the minister of culture of heritage had the opportunity to tell all of NZ about respecting Maori culture but chose not to do that what do you think about that?
TAKEREI Well in reality you keep reiterating regurgitating respecting Maori culture, it is the broth of this country without it there's a high focus of multiculturalism but for the fact of the matter is that as the first occupiers of this land, but the fact of the matter is that Maori culture ahs been taken to the world, has gone to the four corners of the world, prior to this country becoming multi cultural is that there's a difference as the indigenous culture of the land it belongs to us, so yes those people in the govt they have a duty to enforce and to make sure that our culture is the culture of the land.
IHAKA Kia ora Mamae thank you for that. Do you think he's nervous he's afraid?
HUATA I think the reason he hasn't responded he's nerve racked they just don't know how to respond, its like john key when he was with Paul Henry the other day he's shell shocked and I think the minister of culture and heritage is shell shocked because they haven't been on this journey, good on them for going into coalition with the Maori party but really they're at the start of a long journey for them and I don't think we can look to them for leadership I think that we've got to look at as Maori women is to our own people I think this is a debate that we need to be having on our Marae.
IHAKA Indeed. Just one more question do you think the police should be armed?
HUATA Absolutely not I'm sorry to say more Maori are going to be shot dead soon.
IHAKA What do you think of that Mamae?
TAKEREI It will go from one problem to another.
IHAKA Alright then , thank you for joining me and Scotty on
the programme. Kia ora.