16 Dec 2018

Nga kōrero o te tau: Te Ahi Kaa highlights of 2018 - part one

From Te Ahi Kaa, 6:05 pm on 16 December 2018

We revisit conversations with Geoff Milner from Northland's Ngati Hine Health Trust, artist Marilynn Webb and police officer turned secondhand clothing entrepreneur Ra Mead.

From the beat to streetwear

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Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Ra Mead is a police officer-turned-entrepreneur whose passion for vintage American streetwear eventually lead to her setting up a small business, Thrift’d Streetwear in Hamilton.

For over fourteen years Ra worked in the Waikato region as an officer, but her love for Trade Me and vintage clothing lured her away from that career, she took maternity leave where her hobby grew, a full garage and with more Facebook 'likes' every day she decided to start a business.

Now, Ra travels to Los Angeles a few times every year with a couple of suitcases and heads to the thrift stores. If she can’t make it she has shoppers in the city who scout out op shops on her behalf.

The clothing at Thrift’d Streetwear in Hamilton is reminiscent of the music and sports culture of the 1990s and includes the labels Karl Kani, Fubu and Cross Colours, more popular wear includes Fila, Starter and Nike.

Te Ahi Kaa visits the boutique-style shop.

Māori artist Marilynn Webb in conversation

Te Waka Toi Awards November 17, 2018 Te Marae at Te Papa in Wellington

Te Waka Toi Awards November 17, 2018 Te Marae at Te Papa in Wellington Photo: 2018 Mark Tantrum

The annual Te Waka Toi awards honours excellence and leadership in Māori arts.

This year Marilynn Webb (Nga Puhi) was the recipient of Te Tohu mō Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu in recognition for her contribution as an educationalist and renowned printmaker and artist.

Marilynn spent most of her childhood in Opotiki and says it was an idyllic carefree lifestyle there in the 1950s.

She talks to Te Ahi Kaa about her upbringing and career.

Emerging filmmaker Isaac James Te Reina Cleland is another 2018 Te Waka Toi recipient. He talks about how growing up in a gravekeeper’s house has affected his storytelling.

Ngāti Hine: a whānau approach to promoting change in Northland

Geoff Milner (Ngāti Pōrou) is at the helm of Ngati Hine Health Trust.

Geoff Milner (Ngāti Pōrou) is at the helm of Ngati Hine Health Trust. Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Geoff Milner runs Northland's largest Māori organisation – Ngāti Hine Health Trust – which provides dental services, disability assistance programmes and the local iwi radio station Ngāti Hine FM from Te Kao to Whangarei.

In the early days of the role as CEO, Geoff remembers taking a drive with staff who identified areas in the region where methamphetamine use was reportedly high.

The stark reality of the Northlands drug problem was one of the trust’s priorities that lead to the development of Te Ara Oranga - a Northland council and police initiative to combat the supply and use of methamphetamine. 

Geoff – who is Ngāti Pōrou – tells Te Ahi Kaa that taking on the CEO role was a little daunting given he has no whakapapa (genealogical) links to the area.