Archive for the 'Emily Tutaki' Category


Morvin Simon at Manatū Taonga, 2009

Morvin Simon at Manatū Taonga, 2009

E rere kau mai te awanui, mai te kāhui maunga ki Tangaroa. Ko koe ko te awa, ko te awa ko koe. E te koroua, Morvin, ka tangi, ka mamae te ngākau. Haere ki tō whare e, ki tō tipuna. Haere, haere, haere atu rā

It is with great sadness that I heard about the passing of Morvin Simon. Morvin is a very well-known composer and had a great presence in the kapa haka world.

Born at Kaiwhaiki on the Whanganui River, Morvin was educated at Upokongaro School and Hato Paora Māori Boys’ College. His love of both kapa haka and Hato Paora is apparent through the many years he has dedicated to the college teaching and composing waiata. He is largely responsible for the beautiful sound associated with the college.

Morvin also dedicated his time to adult kapa haka and led the senior kapa haka rōpū Te Matapihi, who have sung some of his most famous compositions such as ‘Taku whare e’. Morvin and Kura’s children and mokopuna continue to perform with Te Matapihi, ensuring their legacy will last.

Morvin’s contribution to kapa haka was formally recognised in 2012 by Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, who awarded him an honorary degree in Māori performing arts. Following that, Morvin and Kura were awarded MNZM and QSM honours for services to Māori in 2013.

Morvin’s most well-known song across Aotearoa is ‘Te aroha’, and it will be a reminder of a great man lost.

Te aroha
Te whakapono
Me te rangimārie
Tātau tātau e

Kua hinga te tōtara i te Waonui a Tāne. Moe mai rā e te koroua

Netball: from grass fields to indoor courts

We’ve just published a new story on netball to coincide with the last game of the New World Quad Series and the start of the Fast5 Netball World Series.

Netball – or women’s basketball, as it was known until 1970 – is thought to have been introduced to New Zealand by the Reverend J. C. Jamieson in 1906. Originally it was played by teams of nine players each, on grass courts with baskets for goals. It wasn’t until New Zealand’s first international match against Australia in 1938 that the New Zealand team was introduced to seven-a-side. However, it took over 20 years for the seven-a-side game to resemble the netball we see played today.

Playing women's basketball (later called netball) on a grass court, 1920s (click for image credit)

Playing women's basketball (later called netball) on a grass court, 1920s (click for image credit)

Our rivalry with Australia since that first encounter has continued and led to some of the most exciting netball in history. The first world tournament held in 1963 saw us lose to Australia in the final, but one of New Zealand netball’s most influential figures, Lois Muir, was a part of that team. Lois Muir coached the Silver Ferns, our national team, for 15 years, during which they won two world titles (albeit one shared with Australia). Now, named in her honour, there is the Lois Muir Challenge, which was created to fill a gap in our domestic competition. The Lois Muir Challenge showcases some of our younger talent who hope to play in the ANZ Championships and then the Silver Ferns.

New Zealanders can begin playing netball from the age of five in their local competition and move up through the grades. Thanks to the creation of indoor venues in bigger towns, netball is no longer just a winter sport and can be played inside. If you’re fortunate to live near one of these venues, then I’m sure you’re just as grateful as I am that you don’t have to battle the elements on those cold and wet mornings! Indoor venues also provide indoor netball leagues. Indoor netball is a fast-paced six-player game, for which the court is divided into halves (instead of thirds) and shots can be taken from outside the circle. Netball is no longer an all-female sport, with men participating in mixed-grade netball. Although national competitions have been running for women’s netball since the 1920s, they have only recently been introduced for mixed grade and male netball.

Our best competition yet is the ANZ Championship created in 2008. Ten teams compete: five from New Zealand and five from Australia. The ANZ Championship provides some of the most thrilling netball being played not only by our netball elite, but new talent as well. This year we saw the introduction of a move dubbed the ‘Harrison hoist‘, the Wellington Pulse’s surprise win over top-of-the-table Adelaide Thunderbirds and our very own Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic win overall.

New Zealand has been having a great run at netball so far this year. We’ve won our first ANZ Championship and our first Constellation Cup. Currently the Silver Ferns are competing in the New World Quad Series, with a game on Thursday 1 November against our fiercest rivals: the Australia Diamonds. Now we just need to focus on retaining our gold at the next Commonwealth Games and defeating Australia in 2015 to reclaim our world title.

Kahungunu kapa haka competition

Kapa haka group

Over the last couple of months, I have been travelling between Wellington and Pōrangahau to attend kapa haka practices with Tamatea Arikinui. It is one of six kapa haka groups practising for the Kahungunu regionals. The competition will be held on 13 March at Te Aute College and the top two teams will go through to Te Matatini. There are 13 regions, and each are having their own regionals.

The performances consist of seven different types of waiata (songs).

  • Waiata-ā-tira – choral singing
  • Whakaeke – choreographed entry
  • Mōteatea – traditional chants or dirges
  • Poi – movement with poi (ball attached to string)
  • Waiata-ā-ringa – action song
  • Haka – war dance
  • Whakawātea – choreographed exit.

The regionals are being held all around the country from now until August. Kahungunu regionals are now only a week away and, with our dress rehearsal over, it’s time for us to rest our voices and bodies to prepare for the big day.

Te Ara on Flickr – we want your Taranaki snaps

One of the images to look forward to in our Hawke's Bay Flickr exhibition

One of the images to look forward to in our Hawke's Bay Flickr exhibition

Our Flickr work has taken us to many places – with our Hawke’s Bay entry nearly complete and launching this week (Thursday), we are now starting to work on the Taranaki entry.

We love people contributing their images, and we’re now looking for images of Taranaki. It doesn’t matter what it is, we want to see it. Some possibilities are photos of people, places, towns, landscapes, beaches, animals, farms or buildings.

We’ll use images we source from Flickr either in the main entry or a Flickr exhibition, such as this one we created for Otago. Our exhibitions use a Flash slideshow called Pictobrowser to pull the Flickr images into the entry. It has been a helpful tool in allowing us to showcase other images of the regions that we haven’t been able to use in the entries.

So far we have three very successful exhibitions – for the West Coast, Southland and Otago. Hawke’s Bay will be up very soon, and our Hawke’s Bay exhibition pool will give you a taste of what’s to come in the exhibition!

We now have over 200 Flickr contacts who contribute regularly. We hope you’ll join us and start adding images to our pool:

Overseas adventure

Souda Bay war cemetery in Crete (click for full image on Flickr)

Souda Bay war cemetery in Crete (click for full image on Flickr)

I’ve recently returned from Europe after spending five weeks travelling. We were in Greece for a family wedding, but also ended up tiki-touring around western Europe.

My family has quite a few connections to Europe, mainly through war, so we made an effort to pay our respects to a few of these places.

First, we travelled to Ireland – my great-great-grandmother, who married Īhāia Hūtana in Waipawa, was Irish – so we went to her birthplace Dun Loaghaire just outside of Dublin.

We then travelled to London and managed to go to Guildford. Clandon Park in Guildford is home to the original Hinemihi meeting house from the Tarawera eruption (my partner is a descendant). Ngāti Rānana Māori Club use her as their ‘base’ in England. She is truly beautiful up close!

After that we made our way towards Greece, visiting places like Paris, Venice, Vienna and Munich.

After the wedding we travelled to Chania, Crete. We paid our respects at the Commonwealth cemetery, Souda Bay. We have family who fought on Crete and an uncle who died there during the Battle for Crete.

Lastly, we travelled to Rome. We had a day’s outing to Cassino. My pa, like many others, fought in Cassino as part of the Māori Battalion (and was later captured in Florence). So it was amazing to see Monte Cassino and be able to walk around the monastery. We also visited the Commonwealth cemetery in Cassino – one of the largest in Italy, with more than 4,000 people buried there.

I am now missing the sunshine and settling back into working life.