Te Ahi Kaa

Sunday 20 December 2015, with Justine Murray

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Te Ahi Kaa 2015 - The Year That Was

E aku manu taki, E aku manu taiko, i rere mai ki tēnei peka o te rākau, nei ra ka mihi ki a koutou katoa.
Ko te tūmanako ka pai te haere o ā koutou wā o te raumati.
Tauti mai ano ki te hōtaka whakamutunga mo tēnei tau.

As the show wraps up for another year, we present a few highlights from stories featured on Te Ahi Kaa. Have a lovely Summer break.

Ranui Ngarimu says this years Te Matatini was about saying a big thank you to everyone who supported them in the aftermath of the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.

Ranui Ngarimu says this years Te Matatini was about saying a big thank you to everyone who supported them in the aftermath of the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.

Photo: Ranui Ngarimu

Kapahaka groups from here and Australia gathered en masse at this year's Te Matatini performing arts festival at Christchurch's Hagley Park. Ngai Tahu hosted the three day event, and used the platform to say thanks  to the nation who helped out after the 2011 earthquakes. Chairperson of the Waitaha Cultural Council Ranui Ngarimu talks about the history of performing arts in the region.

The next Te Matatini is hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu in 2017.

Dr Tony once had 7500 patients on his books when he ran his rural practice in Opunake.

Dr Tony once had 7500 patients on his books when he ran his rural practice in Opunake.

Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

When Dr Tony Ruakere attended Medical School at Otago University in the 1960's he clocked up thirty one return hitchhiking trips from Taranaki to Dunedin. While school had it's challenges, it was Urenui born Te Rangi Hiroa that would inspire a career in medicine.

A highlight during his career was establishing the Te Ati Awa Medical clinic with around seven thousand patients on the books.

Now well retired, In 2014 he was made a member of the NZ Order of Merit for his services to Māori Health. Dr Ruakere talks about his life spent at Puniho.

The Koha Table is described as a garage sale without the coin, and about giving and receiving.

The Koha Table is described as a garage sale without the coin, and about giving and receiving.

Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Rianna Hautapu is a young mum that lives in the heart of Cannons Creek, Porirua. The area is made up of mostly State housing flats, but there's a kaupapa that is practiced at a community level every week. The Koha Table is run under the auspice of The Koha Shed, Porirua. Rianna, along with Paula McEwan and Daisy Lancaster collect donated goods and lay it out at the front of their home or shop, free to anyone, It's a garage sale without the coin, as described by Paula.

The local Arise Church donate boxes of Weetbix, and a nearby supermarket donate bread. Paula explains the concept of The Koha Table.

The Perry Brothers have used their experiences in Te Kuiti to influence their music.

The Perry Brothers have used their experiences in Te Kuiti to influence their music.

Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Songwriters and Brothers Regan and Sasha Perry grew up in Te Kuiti. They remember the musical talents of certain Māori families and took notice. As young kids, the brothers busked down the mainstreet and performed at the local school gala days.

Regan went on to study music in Hamilton and headed overseas, at one point he played Flamenco guitar at a 'flash' hotel in Japan, before making contacts and creating music in the states. 

In 2009 Regan released his first self-titled album. The close brothers have gone through their fair share of struggle and were both were homeless at one point in their lives. Sasha has overcome drug addiction.

From their local pub at Mount Maunganui, the brother's share their story.

Flaxmere born and raised, Tipene is giving back to his community through uplifting music about struggle and how to rise above it.

Flaxmere born and raised, Tipene is giving back to his community through uplifting music about struggle and how to rise above it.

Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Hip Hop artist and rapper Tipene Harmer writes about a myriad of things. There's his hometown, his family and his honest and frank lyrics about his childhood:
On West Side Hori he raps:

I was raised on the West Side of Flaxmere
And when I'm in the hood I reminesce on how we were back then
It's where everybody's stuck in the same rut
We didn't have much but it was always just enough
It's where everybody knows your name
The place I call home where we all learned to grow through the pain


This year, Tipene helped set up Flaxmere Music Academy, a platform for young kids to be involved with music production, writing and performing. Although many people in the recording business have urged Tipene to move to Auckland or overseas to advance his career, he disagrees with that notion and chooses to live and work from Hawkes Bay.

Dean Hapeta aka Te Kupu remains the frontman of Upper Hutt Posse that formed thirty years ago.

Dean Hapeta aka Te Kupu remains the frontman of Upper Hutt Posse that formed thirty years ago.

Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

E Tu, Stand Proud, Kia Kaha, Say it Loud was the catch cry of Upper Hutt Posse's first single release. E Tu was released in 1988 on the show Radio With Pictures. According to the bands front man and lyricist Te Kupu (Dean Hapeta) the song changed their lives almost overnight.

Thirty years on, Upper Hutt Posse has a few less members, and while Te Kupu is still the front man, in recent years he has travelled the world collecting indigenous stories that relate to the Hip Hop culture. At his house in Raumati, Te Kupu spends time recording at his home based Matakahi studios.

Wellington Tenths Trust Chairman, Morrie Love at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Wellington Tenths Trust Chairman, Morrie Love at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray


Under the cloak of darkness, iwi, politicians, and dignitaries gathered to officially open the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The development began in 2012 and was built above the Arras Tunnel. The park includes more open space for recreational activity.

The design of the park tells the dark history of Māori and Pākeha conflict.  Bricks made by the prisoners of Parihaka in the late nineteenth century, were purposely set and displayed inside the walls at the front of the park. Chairman of the Wellington Tenths Trust, Morrie Love explains the design of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Taaniko Nordstrom and her sister in law Vienna Nordstrom run their portraiture business Soldiers Road Portraits from their home in Papamoa. The pair photograph people styled in the likeness of Māori portraits reminisent of the Victorian period. Kirituhi (stenciled moko sans whakapapa), Kakahu (cloaks), or pendants are usually worn, along with colonial clothing influences such as top hats, high neck white blouses and balloons skirts.

Taaniko Nordstrom and Vienna Nordstrom

Taaniko Nordstrom and Vienna Nordstrom

Photo: Soldiers Road Portraits

Taaniko and Vienna's work has featured in national publications and social media. The pair have taken their business kaupapa and philosophy to America, Australia and Europe.

Dr Palmer at his home on Matakana Island.

Dr Palmer at his home on Matakana Island.

Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Te Ahuru Mowai is a two part series that looked at issues of suicide and Māori. Dr Hauata was a keynote speaker at a conference held in Tauranga earlier this year where he addressed issues of tikanga practices carried out at some marae.

From his home on Matakana Island, Justine Murray talks to Dr Palmer.

Inia te Wiata

"Porgy (Inia Te Wiata) gets a warm welcome back to Catfish Row after police have taken him away for questioning. No-one is willing to tell him that his woman Bess has run off with Sportin' Life - the dope peddlar from New York". 1965 or 1966: Te Wiata, Beryl :Photographs of Inia Te Wiata (PAColl-6795). Ref: 1/2-190159-F

Photo: Beryl Te Wiata/Alexander Turnbull Library


George Gershwins musical Porgy and  Bess toured successfully to NewZealand in 1965, the show featured famous baritone Inia Te Wiata (1915 -1971). Inia played Porgy and his cast mates included Don Selwyn (1935 - 2007), Hannah Stappard, and Apirana Taylor.

Before the tour kicked off,  drama unfolded behind the scenes with the hard line New York producer Ella Gerber took with the cast. At the high point of the drama, Inia Te Wiata called the cast into his dressing room to give them words of encouragement in the midst of the storm. Contributor Steve Danby presents an insight into the 50th anniversary since Porgy and Bess toured the country.

During the New Zealand tour of Porgy and Bess, some members of the core Māori cast spent one week recording the Bruce Mason play, Awatea commissioned by New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. Awatea was re-broadcast on Te Ahi Kaa.

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