Maori seats decision ‘should be for Maori to say’

National President, Prue Kapua spoke to Radio New Zealand saying Maori seats decision ‘should be for Maori to say’ and institutional racism after her opening address to the 65th National Conference of the Maori Women’s Welfare League in New Plymouth.

This year’s conference has featured speeches from Her Excellency Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM Governor General of New Zealand and Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner.

Esteemed Maori lawyer Moana Jackson spoke to the conference on Thursday about Matike Mai Aotearoa which is a working group about constitutional transformation. Moana Jackson has been described by Dr. Margaret Mutu as a ‘legal philosopher’ and a ‘magnificent mind’.

This afternoon, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler will speak about ‘The Treaty and the Constitution’. On Saturday, Amiria Reriti will facilitate a panel on ‘Women as Negotiators’. The league has a number of role models in this area who were called to negotiate for their iwi, including Mahia kuia Pauline Tangiora who is set to receive the Bremen International Peace Award.

See the full 65th National Conference Aotea 2017 programme. Next year’s conference will be held in Gisborne. Women and girls 12 years and older are welcome to join the league.

Mahia kuia Pauline Tangiora set to receive the International Bremen Peace Award in Germany

Rongomaiwahine kuia and league Life Member, Pauline Tangiora is no stranger to peace and hard work. The prestigious International Bremen Peace Award will be presented to her by the Schwelle Foundation in Germany, this November. The award recognises her work in New Zealand and overseas.

Connecting to Rongomaiwahine through her famous Mahia whaler great great grandfather John, “Happy Jack” Greening who married her great great grandmother Wikitoria Te Hei, Pauline has served Rongomaiwahine as one of seven negotiators in the Wairoa iwi treaty settlement. Rongomaiwahine is an iwi in it’s own right but were forced to negotiate with other Wairoa iwi. She is also affiliated to Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngai Tamanuhiri.

As a woman who is deeply connected to her own iwi, she has shared her knowledge with indigenous peoples all over the world, helping Australian Aborigines, indigenous peoples of the South Pacific, and the San people in the South African Kalahari. Her works of peace have included standing with indigenous people in Mexico against the army; campaigning alongside water protectors in Brazil; comforting children in Iraq, victims of chemical warfare.

Pauline is no stranger to hard work in New Zealand too. She has been a Life Member of the Mahia branch in the Tairawhiti region of the Maori Women’s Welfare League since 1986. According to Michael Neilson’s Gisborne Herald article, ‘Pauline was instrumental in getting books for prisoners into prisons’ and ‘has become increasingly concerned about the effects of Maori children who have been in state care.’ She is a mother of 14 children, with 52 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren

For more information about our awesome kuia Pauline Tangiora and the work that has led to this honour, click on the link to read Michael Neilson’s entire article in the Gisborne Herald.

Tatau tatau

Sister of Maori King Tuheitia dies aged 63

The Maori Kiingitanga is today mourning the loss of one of its own, the sister of King Tuheitia, Tomairangi Paki.

In a statement released by Turangawaewae Marae, it was confirmed she died peacefully this morning. She was 63.

“Kiingi Tuheitia and the Kiingitanga are deeply saddened to share with you that his older sister Kiritokia ete Tomairangi (known as Tomairangi) Adrianne Gail Paki passed away peacefully this morning.”

The older sister of the Maori King, she was well-known for her love and ongoing work in performing arts, particularly in kapa haka for the Waikato/Tainui region.

Last year that work was honoured when she was given the Life Member award from the Tainui Cultural Trust.

Paki had been a staunch and passionate supporter of kapa haka for more than four decades; continuing the passion held by her and the King’s late mother, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

Paki was a tutor for the respected Taniwharau kapa haka group back in the 1980s.

In 1981, the group, which was originally formed to support the Maori Queen, took out the top honours at the then-New Zealand Polynesian Festival; now known as Te Matatini.

Old video footage of that winning performance shows her in her prime: at the front, in the middle, singly loudly and leading the group with pride.

Taniwharau would later go on to travel to Europe to accompany and support the Maori Queen through their kapa haka performances.

Jason Kereopa, among the new generation of Taniwharau members, paid tribute to a woman who was not only royalty among Maori, but royalty within kapa haka.

“She’s a stalwart of the league of kapa haka, especially in Huntly,” he told the Herald.

“We’re only a little place, but we’re rich in kaupapa. Growing up, we had our Taniwharau roopu, they were kaumatua and she led them.

“She was the leader and she took them to the heights of kapa haka back in the day.”

Taniwharau would be dis-established by the late 1980s, but would be revised again by a new generation in the ’90s.

Kereopa said Paki remained close to the group; teaching and offering advice that brought power and finesse to their performances, he said.

“She was strict and straight to the point. Those of us who understand this kind of tutorship; that’s exactly what we wanted.

“She was a beautiful woman and if you had time to sit with her, she would share a lot of her experiences about kapa haka.”

In later years, she suffered the effects of stroke, but that did not stop her from her role in offering advice and what Kereopa described as her “quick-minded wit.”

Paki will be taken to Te Puea Marae in Mangere, South Auckland, later this afternoon.

She will lie in state there before being taken to Waahi Pa, in Huntly, tomorrow; where her tangi will be held.

Despite the sad news, Kereopa said they were expecting a huge celebration for her life in the coming days.

“In the end, there’s mourning and then there’s celebration,” he said.

“We will celebrate her life, and there’ll be a high percentage of kapa haka, celebrating through haka.

“She deserves it.”

NZ Herald

Gender Equality in New Zealand – Making It Happen

The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa NZ invites you to join us to hear about significant Gender Equality Bills currently before Parliament.




Location:  Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA), Hillary Room – 77 Thorndon Quay, Wellington:  ph (04) 472 5759

Time:  12 to 1pm

Date:  Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Member of Parliament, Jan Logie, will discuss her two Member’s Bills – the Domestic Violence-Victims’ Protection Bill and the Equal Pay Amendment Bill – and what she hopes these will achieve for New Zealand women.

Tea and coffee available – bring your own lunch.

Donations to the UN Women projects for Ending Violence against women and girls in the Pacific are welcomed.


RSVP (by 13 April) to

Thank you to VSA for offering use of their venue for this event.