Mahia woman tipped for Local Hero of the Year

A passionate Mahia local who dedicates her time to the community is a finalist for the 2017 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year.

Pauline Tangiora who moved back to Hawke’s Bay in 1980 said the award was for the people of Mahia, Napier, Hastings and Hawke’s Bay.

“I am so grateful for the support everybody has given me and it is not an award just for me but for everyone in the district.”

The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their eighth year and work to acknowledge people like Mrs Tangiora who use their passion for New Zealand to make the country a better place.

Mrs Tangiora, a Maori elder from Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, is an active member of many community groups including Maori Women’s Welfare League and Lifeline Telephone Support.

She was a vital part of EIT for more than 30 years, helping youth and their families develop for life and study.

“It is the love of my life supporting these people as there is so much going for them.”

“What’s amazing is their parents then learn to follow in their childrens footsteps when before they never thought they would study. It is fantastic to watch and so rewarding.”

Mrs Tangiora dedicates her time to helping these families and works to help them in all facets of life.

“I try to help youth move on with their lives as they often find it challenging. We look at a range of areas such as family, the environment and health. You can’t just put things in boxes.”

Mrs Tangiora has also been a key contributor at both a local and international level on human rights, spiritual leadership, peace and conflict resolution and indigenous issues.

She was the former president and is the current vice president of Women’s International League for Peace Freedom Aotearoa, a former representative for the World Council for Indigenous Peoples and a committee member of Rigoberta Menchu Tum Nobel Laureate Indigenous Initiative for Peace.

“I have learnt how to deal with everything internationally and nationally. My father always said to me ‘keep your mouth shut and listen’ and that’s the best advice I got, as you never stop learning.”

Mrs Tangiora was acknowledged for her positive influence on the lives of many locals and her ability to give back to the community wherever she could.

Artworks by Chinese and Maori women going on show

An exhibition featuring Chinese and Maori women’s artworks is staged in East Auckland in February.

The Chinese and Maori Women Art Exhibition at the Asia Cultural Centre, in Pakuranga, is organised by the International Women’s Association NZ in conjunction with Nga Wahine Atawhai o Matukutureia Maori Women’s Welfare League, and Te Mahurehure Cultural Marae Society.

As the second Chinese Maori Culture Day initiated by the association, it aims to promote cultural exchange between Chinese and other New Zealanders, especially Maori.

The 100 artworks of paintings, calligraphy, photos, sculptures and handcrafts are collected from association members, other NZ Chinese women, and the two Maori organisations.

“Women are more soft and sensitive, making their artworks distinct from men’s,” association chair Jennifer Liao says.

She believes many exhibitions are dominated by men and this one is a good chance to start conversations about “getting women out of the house”.

“We see this exhibition as a chance to motivate and encourage other women to explore their hobbies and balance their lives,” Liao says.

About 60 per cent of the works are by Chinese artists and the rest by Maori.

The association hopes the inaugural show can trigger more similar events involving different groups.

Association member Joy Chen is excited that her painting will be included in an exhibition for the first time.

“If I can do it, others can also do it,” she says.

“It’s a good opportunity for women to showcase themselves. Through this platform we can build connections among Chinese women, as well as with Maori.”

Auckland firm Pin Cross Cultural Design Solutions is helping with the event.

Its director Kylie Liu, also an association member, says: “Maori and Chinese have a long history of friendship.

“This exhibition offers a great opportunity for many new immigrants to understand and experience the New Zealand culture through art.”

Founded in early 2014, the association had its first appearance at culture day at Ruapotaka Marae, in Glen Innes, last year, in which Chinese and Maori people experienced each other’s dance, food and handcrafts.

The Chinese and Maori Women Art Exhibition displays for a month from February 11 at the Asia Cultural Centre at 308 Ti Rakau Drive, Pakuranga.

CYF restructure may ‘breach Treaty’

National President’s interview with Radio NZ:

One of the country’s most prominent Māori groups is urging the government to halt its radical restructuring of child welfare services.

The Maori Women’s Welfare League says reforms outlined in Cabinet papers appear to weaken the role of whanau, hapū and iwi in ensuring children stayed as close to family as possible.

It is considering lodging an urgent claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in a bid to delay a bill on the restructure of Child Youth and Family.

President Prue Kapua has written to Social Development Minister Anne Tolley, asking her to hold off introducing the legislation until Māori have been properly consulted.

Ms Kapua said the proposed changes were alarming and affected Maori more than any other group because they made up the majority of children in state care.

They may be in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, she said.

“In taking children out of the whanau, hapū involvement – that would be a breach of the Treaty.

“The issue of consultation is really important here too.”

The government plans to introduce legislation before the end of the year.