Kotahi "Stories of Māori Sydney" Tour

After attending the opening of the business Kotahi Tourism by Hohepa Ruhe and the beautiful Melinda Loe. Being fascinated by the stories that were told that evening I was hooked enough to be the very first person to book on the tour. This morning was it, and so I dragged my family out to the elements to go and listen to stories of Maori in Sydney from first recorded visit in the 1700's. It was a blustery day, but since the weather forecast had promised it was going to be so we rugged up well.

The tour party was small enough (12 adults, 3 kids and 1 dog) that we could all hear Hohepa and Melinda spin their yarns, whilst meandering around the Rocks at a comfortable pace. The tour started at the Museum of Contemporary Arts and it was clear from the beginning that not only had there been a lot of research behind the scenes beforehand, but the story telling had been honed to an art.

The tour was an easy walk, weaving its way around the Rocks and ending up at Observatory Hill with a traditional waiata sung by our official tour guide Hohepa at the end. The history of Maori in Australia some two hundred years ago as respected traders was revealed. Stories of tikanga, tangihanga and te reo being used commonly in Rocks painted a picture of Maori being integral in the landscape of early Sydney.

Thanks to Melinda who was keeping the tour on track, making sure that we were all safe, timing was just right and that nothing was missed. The tour was a well balanced story of information, intrigue and entertainment. The tour party were fantastic and I'd personally like to thank the dog for entertaining our tamariki. The little ones kicked a bit of a fuss as their legs started to get tired, but the tour party weren't at all put off; followed by Mel and Hohepa's example, soon enough the whole party were helping them up stairs, carrying scooters, and generally jollying them along. The very sweet dog lady pitched in and probably saved the day by letting our tamariki walk and pat the dog.

Passion oozed from Hohepa as he told each story and noted each artifact or area where Maori had been involved at the Rocks. This was but one of the captivating things that would bring me back to take this tour again. There are more stories and I can't wait to hear them all.

Poihakena Tours Launch

Last night Tuesday April 15th, it was 221 years to the day since Tuki Tahua and Ngahuruhuru sailed into Port Jackson (Poihakena), how appropriate it was then for Melinda Loe and Hohepa Ruhe to launch Poihakena Tours at the Rocks to share the history of Maori in Sydney from that time.

The smoking ceremony from Uncle Max Euilo, warm welcome to country from Uncle Alan Madden, karakia from Laurie Sarich and waiata from our very own Te Raranga Whanui set the respectful tone for the evenings celebrations.

The research behind the tour comes from Jo Kamira; respected author, lecturer, business owner, noted also for being the first female Maori Police officer in Australia and research that Hohepa and Melinda have uncovered from their vast experience in tourism, indigenous involvement and museums on both sides of the Tasman.

Did you know that many of the Sydney store owners were fully conversant in te reo in order to trade with the many Maori traders that were entering Sydney? During the launch Hohepa shared a glimpse of the stories, I’m absolutely intrigued and have already booked my family for the first Sydney tour.

Go to their facebook https://www.facebook.com/kotahitourism or website http://kotahitourism.com/ to book yours.

Kia ora mo tena Melinda me Hohepa. Ka kite ano

Jo Kamira.jpg

Kotahi Tourism set to launch in Poihakena

   Kotahi Tourism :  meaningful experiences           ·            Connecting people with place      ·            Developing cultural understanding     ·            Creating visitor experiences            Kotahi means ‘be one’ in Te Reo M  ā  ori. For Kotahi Tourism it means we are striving to find the connection between people and place in all that we do.          Our goal is to develop visitor experiences that make people feel a connection to places while also building cultural and environmental understanding.          Kotahi Tourism offers  Poihakena Tours: Stories of Maori in Sydne y, and partners with Ngaran Ngaran Cultural Awareness to offer a 3 day cultural immersion experience on Yuin Country, NSW South Coast,  Gulaga Creation Program.           Our product development services include:            Indigenous tourism       ·            Partnerships, cultural awareness programs, mentoring            Product development         ·            Tours     ·            Education programs     ·            Exhibitions     ·            School holiday programs      ·            Interpretation strategies        About us             Kotahi Tourism Directors Melinda Loe and Hohepa Ruhe have more than 30 years experience in the tourism industry. We’ve worked at major tourism venues including Te Papa Tongarewa – The Museum of New Zealand, Sydney Visitors Centers, The Rocks Discovery Museum and The Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.     Our experience includes product development, business management (attractions and tours) and Indigenous mentoring.             Contact details             Ph:                  +61 2 4456 4848   Mob:                 + 61 405 411 394     E:             info@kotahitourism.com

Kotahi Tourism: meaningful experiences

 

·       Connecting people with place

·       Developing cultural understanding

·       Creating visitor experiences

 

Kotahi means ‘be one’ in Te Reo Māori. For Kotahi Tourism it means we are striving to find the connection between people and place in all that we do.

 

Our goal is to develop visitor experiences that make people feel a connection to places while also building cultural and environmental understanding.

 

Kotahi Tourism offers Poihakena Tours: Stories of Maori in Sydney, and partners with Ngaran Ngaran Cultural Awareness to offer a 3 day cultural immersion experience on Yuin Country, NSW South Coast, Gulaga Creation Program.

 

Our product development services include:

 

Indigenous tourism

·       Partnerships, cultural awareness programs, mentoring

 

Product development

·       Tours

·       Education programs

·       Exhibitions

·       School holiday programs

·       Interpretation strategies

 

About us

 

Kotahi Tourism Directors Melinda Loe and Hohepa Ruhe have more than 30 years experience in the tourism industry. We’ve worked at major tourism venues including Te Papa Tongarewa – The Museum of New Zealand, Sydney Visitors Centers, The Rocks Discovery Museum and The Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

Our experience includes product development, business management (attractions and tours) and Indigenous mentoring.

 

Contact details

 

Ph:             +61 2 4456 4848
Mob:             + 61 405 411 394

E:        info@kotahitourism.com

Community Forum in Sydney

2014 is Election year in New Zealand .

Te Ururoa Flavell from Māori Party, Erina Anderson from www.iwinaus.org and a representative from Oz Kiwi will be at Te Wairua Tapu on Friday March 14 at 6:00 to discuss their policies, views, and how they affect Maori and New Zealanders living on both sides of the Tasman.

 

This is a public forum and all are welcome to attend. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and speak directly with presenters and representatives of parties.

 

Iwi n Aus and Oz Kiwi have been campaigning for rights for hardworking, taxpaying Kiwi workers. New Zealanders living in Australia are disadvantaged by past legislative changes with more being considered, while Prime Ministers John Key and Tony Abbott distance themselves from any discussion surrounding positive legislation changes for Australian based Kiwi.

 

Mana Party, New Zealand Labour Party and New Zealand Expats Party have been invited to attend however have yet to confirm or decline.

 

If you've been to New Zealand in the last three years you may be eligible to vote. Make your vote count. Forms will be available for those who wish to register to vote in the upcoming New Zealand elections.

 

Teowai Ratahi from New South Wales Maori Wardens https://www.facebook.com/nswmaoriwardens will be introducing the speakers and moderator for the evening.  Teowai is passionate about promoting the rights of New Zealanders living in Australia.

Participants will be asked to make a koha of a plate and/or monetary donation to cover the costs of this meeting.

Meeting coordinated by Maori Business Network contact: 02 9519 8755

Australian Tattoo & Body Art Expo

Post a pic of your favourite tattoo on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MaoriNetwork, the three pics with the most likes on February the 28th win a double pass to the expo. Karam Hood from Moana Moko, Ged Makhla and other artists from New Zealand will be showing their art.

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Waitangi Day 'a sham' - MICHAEL SOUTHEY

MICHAEL SOUTHEY

 07/02/2014

What does Waitangi Day mean to me? Well, to be perfectly honest, it's a sham.

Not for the controversy mongers in the media, and not for the small group of radical Maori protestors that people somehow think is representative of every Maori in New Zealand.

It's a sham because it means nothing to a vast majority of Pakeha New Zealanders.

I watched the film 12 Years a Slave recently, and it filled me with all the same emotions I assume most people feel when they watch it and other movies that address the racial prejudice tainting the history of America - disgust, disbelief, sadness.

Discussion always yields the same lines: 'It was such a dark period of history', 'it was so unfair, the way they were treated', etc.

The same comments are made about the Holocaust, the deforestation of the Amazon and the subsequent displacement of the native people.

But mention the Treaty of Waitangi and what reaction do we get? 'I'm sick of all the moaning', 'another day for the 'Mowries' to be in the political spotlight, can't they just get over it?'

Google the Tohunga Suppresion Act 1907, which made being a Tohunga (spiritual, health, and educational leaders of a tribe) punishable by imprisonment.

Or how about the Native Schools Act 1867, which introduced schools where Maori children were only allowed to speak English.

Put yourself in the shoes of my grandfather, who was given an English name in place of the Maori name his mother gave him, and who, to this day, is known by that false name.

If the thought of having your home and language forcibly taken from you still doesn't seem like that big of a deal, imagine being stripped of the right to be called by your own name.

To say Maori never experienced anything worth all of the moaning is wrong and offensive.

I am overwhelmed by the audacity that New Zealanders have to call themselves 'clean and green' and '100 per cent pure New Zealand', or to proclaim how dedicated our country is to conservation of our trees, ocean, and wildlife.

What about a culture? A language? An entire race of people?

Take a clear, unbiased look back at our history and see that the Maori race, the native people of Aotearoa, were almost systematically assimilated by the British, to the point of near-extinction.

If not in blood, then most definitely in language and culture. And yet, New Zealanders seem to value more the existence of an endangered bird or two.

People are slowly becoming aware of our country's history. Gradually, snippets of it have snuck into our education system, and the rise of strong, educated, and opinionated Maori are contributing to it.

People are waking up and realising that our history is bloody, violent, and full of injustice. Injustice that is only now - to some degree - being addressed.

And many New Zealanders hate it. They hate to admit the fact that our history is as ugly and full of oppression as that of America and Australia.

And they hate most of all the fact that they can be connected in any way to the settlers that were responsible. And so they get defensive.

They don't like their fantasy of perfect little New Zealand being shattered. Especially when, on some unfortunate occasions, based purely on skin-colour, they are discriminated against. Especially when, sometimes, they feel displaced in their own country. Horrible, isn't it?

But here's the thing, accepting our history for what it is makes us in no way responsible for it. We are not our ancestors, nor are we guilty of their crimes, so what reason is there to get so defensive about it?

What harm will come to you if you simply acknowledge the fact that some horrible things happened in our past that need to be addressed?

It seems so simple to me - I identify primarily as Maori but do not dispute that I have a British ancestor who was probably responsible for some terrible things.

But that does not make me the same as him. I am who I choose to be and I choose to accept the fact that Maori were oppressed by British settlers.

I choose to believe that Maori need the time to grieve and share their experiences, and that Pakeha need to accept and understand.

I choose to believe that, only once we all, as a nation, accept our past has happened and cannot be changed but that our future is still very much unwritten, that we can become what the signatories of Te Tiriti envisioned us being: at peace.

This is what Waitangi Day really means to me. It is a time to address the history of New Zealand in a positive way, to remember the past but look to the future.

 

Aboriginal elder opposes Maori poles

see our facebook comments https://www.facebook.com/MaoriNetwork

 PLANS to place two four-metre high Maori poupou (carved poles) in Nurragingy Reserve have opened an old wound, says a Darug leader.  Blacktown Council has commissioned the poupou to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its sister city relationship with Porirua, New Zealand in May, this year.  They will be placed in the New Zealand South Pacific Garden gateway in Nurragingy Reserve.  Darug elder Sandra Lee said the council had displayed ignorance of traditional ownerships of the area with a lack of respect to her people.  "This is another of current council's act of deliberate aggression that continues the ongoing public genocide of the Darug people," she said.  "The Maori people know they are not allowed to put their totem poles in another tribal land. I find it strange they didn't seek the permission or blessing of our elders before proceeding.  Ms Lee said the poles could be put in the garden "if they ask for our permission".  She added that she could not get the council to put up a history board of Nurragingy on why the reserve was named after her Darug ancestor, or support for its bush tucker garden.  A council spokeswoman said the reserve had different cultural gardens, including an Aboriginal bush tucker garden, a Chinese garden, a New Zealand South Pacific garden and a sensory garden.  "Given the work was only being done within the New Zealand South Pacific Garden, no consultation with any other cultural groups was undertaken," she said.  "Council recognises the need to consult with community groups on a variety of issues affecting Blacktown City.  "It recently underwent an extensive consultation process with Aboriginal groups in the preparation required for the Native Institute Site Exhibition and the recent Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference.  "Council is also currently undergoing an extensive consultation process with the Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation in the development of the Bush Tucker Garden at Grantham Heritage Park.  "Its Aboriginal advisory subcommittee, a group comprised of representatives of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, provide valuable input to the development of council's plans, programs and policies such as the Reconciliation Action Plan."

PLANS to place two four-metre high Maori poupou (carved poles) in Nurragingy Reserve have opened an old wound, says a Darug leader.

Blacktown Council has commissioned the poupou to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its sister city relationship with Porirua, New Zealand in May, this year.

They will be placed in the New Zealand South Pacific Garden gateway in Nurragingy Reserve.

Darug elder Sandra Lee said the council had displayed ignorance of traditional ownerships of the area with a lack of respect to her people.

"This is another of current council's act of deliberate aggression that continues the ongoing public genocide of the Darug people," she said.

"The Maori people know they are not allowed to put their totem poles in another tribal land. I find it strange they didn't seek the permission or blessing of our elders before proceeding.

Ms Lee said the poles could be put in the garden "if they ask for our permission".

She added that she could not get the council to put up a history board of Nurragingy on why the reserve was named after her Darug ancestor, or support for its bush tucker garden.

A council spokeswoman said the reserve had different cultural gardens, including an Aboriginal bush tucker garden, a Chinese garden, a New Zealand South Pacific garden and a sensory garden.

"Given the work was only being done within the New Zealand South Pacific Garden, no consultation with any other cultural groups was undertaken," she said.

"Council recognises the need to consult with community groups on a variety of issues affecting Blacktown City.

"It recently underwent an extensive consultation process with Aboriginal groups in the preparation required for the Native Institute Site Exhibition and the recent Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference.

"Council is also currently undergoing an extensive consultation process with the Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation in the development of the Bush Tucker Garden at Grantham Heritage Park.

"Its Aboriginal advisory subcommittee, a group comprised of representatives of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, provide valuable input to the development of council's plans, programs and policies such as the Reconciliation Action Plan."

Maori healers visit highly successful

The recent visit from Atarangi Muru and Bill Mundy was successful in bringing traditional healing methods to Australia and engaging a wider audience to the ancient practices of our tipuna. The workshop ran from Friday night until Sunday afternoon with healing sessions open to the public on Friday and Monday.

One recipient of the body work said she "... walked away feeling 3 feet taller". All of the visitors to the healers commented on the serenity and calmness of their presence.

Ata and Bill travel the world sharing their knowledge and experiences and have plans to expand this unique gift that they have been entrusted with. Already there has been discussion surrounding similar locally organized events.

Letter to New Zealand Minister for Maori Affairs Pita Sharples

G02, 1 Layton StreetCamperdown Sydney NSW 2050 14 June 2012

Tena koe e te minita Pita Sharples,

RE: CHINA DELEGATION INFORMATION SHARING REQUEST

Congratulations on the successes gained during the very recent trip to China. It was well noted the relationships that forged during this trip were as a result of this visit as well as successive communication and relationship forging.

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