Archive for the 'Basil Keane' Category

Queen Victoria’s Māori godson

Diana, William, Charles and buzzy bee,1983

Diana, William, Charles and buzzy bee, 1983 (pic: New Zealand Herald)

Royal news has been abundant in recent weeks with the birth of a royal baby for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, and William’s brother Prince Harry visiting New Zealand. William’s visit as a toddler in 1983 and the gift he received of a buzzy bee is an iconic New Zealand image. Te Ara has an entry focusing on the royal family, which has provided New Zealand’s head of state since 1840.

A lesser-known historical link between British royalty and New Zealand is that Queen Victoria had a Māori godson. In 1863 Wesleyan lay preacher William Jenkins organised a Māori performing party to travel to England. He planned to give lectures which they would accompany with waiata and dances.

Though the party believed they would be well treated, it was not to be the case. Jenkins travelled first class, while the Māori performers lived in appalling conditions aboard the Ida Zieglar in a journey that took 100 days. The tour continued with tensions between Jenkins and the Māori group.

In July 1863 the party met with Queen Victoria, who saw that one of its members, Hariata Pōmare, was pregnant and asked to be the child’s godmother. Hariata and her husband, Hare Pōmare, agreed. On 26 October 1863 the baby  a boy  was born. He was named Albert Victor after the Queen and her deceased husband, and was presented with this cup and cutlery as a christening gift.

Hariata Pōmare, Hare Pōmare and Albert Victor Pōmare (baby)

Hariata Pōmare and Hare Pōmare with their baby, Albert Victor Pōmare (pic: Alexander Turnbull Library)

The couple then had their first-class fare to New Zealand on the Statesman paid for by Queen Victoria.  Despite his promising start in life, Albert Victor Pōmare was soon to face tragedy. His father, Hare, died in Wellington hospital soon after the return to New Zealand. A few years later, his mother also died.

Albert Victor ended up in an orphanage in Auckland. The Queen paid for his tuition at St Stephens. One story has it that he went on to go to sea, and either settled in Canada or died in California. But the truth is lost in the mists of time.

Celebrating Waitangi 175

Waitangi 175 logo

Waitangi 175 logo

On 6 February 2015 New Zealand will commemorate the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

A logo has been developed for the 175th, which depicts the kōtuku (white heron) in flight in a morning blue sky, representing the progress of the past 25 years while looking forward to the bicentenary in 2040.

Te Ara has an entry on the Treaty of Waitangi by acknowledged Treaty expert Claudia Orange.

It also has a large number of biographies of people involved in the signing of the treaty in 1840. A number of them can be seen in the biographies portrait gallery (scroll down the page to view), including Tāmati Wāka Nene, William Hobson, Te Ruki Kawiti, Rangi Topeora and James Busby.

NZHistory has the Treaty sheets and signing locations, and will be rolling out short biographies and biographical notes about signatories over the next few months, beginning on Waitangi Day.

Bicentenary of New Zealand’s first Christmas sermon

Samuel Marsden preaching the first Christmas sermon in 1814 (click for image credit)

Samuel Marsden preaching the first Christmas sermon in 1814 (click for image credit)

On Christmas day 1814, Reverend Samuel Marsden preached the first sermon in New Zealand to local iwi. His service was held under the patronage of Ngāpuhi chief Ruatara who also acted as his translator. Marsden began with Psalm 100 and then preached from Luke 2:10: “Behold I bring you glad tidings of great joy”

At Christmas time, the hymn Te Harinui, which is a hymn based on this first sermon, is heard in churches around New Zealand.

On 21 December this year Governor General Jerry Mateparae opened the Rangihoua Heritage Park in Northland. This opening was timed to recognise the bicentennial (1814-2014) of the first sermon.

Ko te kupu te mauri o te reo Māori

Te kōhanga reo o Waiwhetū i te tau 1985 (click for image credit)

Te kōhanga reo o Waiwhetū i te tau 1985 – Waiwhetū kōhanga reo, 1985 (click for image credit)

Tērā te kōrero a Tā Timi Henare,
Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori.
Ko te kupu te mauri o te reo Māori.
E rua ēnei wehenga kōrero e hāngai tonu ana ki runga i te reo Māori.
Ko te reo, nō te Atua mai.

Ko Te Wiki o te Reo Māori tēnei, ā, ko te kupu o te wiki te kaupapa. Āpōpō – koinei te kupu tuatahi hei whakahua ake mō te reo o te wiki.

Ahakoa, ko te kupu mō te wiki nei, ko ‘āpōpō’, i te tuatahi ka titiro ki tainahi. I te tau 1972 ka tukuna te petihana mō te reo Māori ki te Pirimia i Whare Miere. I te tau 1975 i whakaritea Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. Nāwai rā, ka puta mai tētahi o ngā hua o te petihana, ko te ture mō te reo Māori 1987.

Kei te pae tukutuku nei o Te Ara ngā tuhinga kua whakamāoritia. Mō te kaupapa nei, arā, mō Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, kua whakaputangia ngā tuhinga Māori mō te hapori. Arā anō te Tangihanga, Te mana o te wāhine me Ngā poropiti.

Nā, ko Tautoko ngā rangatira mō āpōpō ki te kōrero i te reo ināianei.

Tērā te kōrero a Tā Timi Henare,
Ko te reo te mauri o te mana Māori.
Ko te kupu te mauri o te reo Māori.
E rua ēnei wehenga kōrero e hāngai tonu ana ki runga i te reo Māori.
Ko te reo, nō te Atua mai.

The language is the life force of the mana Māori.
The word (te kupu) is the life force of the language.
These two ideas are absolutely crucial to the Māori language.
A language, which is a gift to us from God.

This is Māori Language Week, and the framework is a kupu (word) of the week. ‘Āpōpō’ (tomorrow) is the first kupu to be focused on this week.

Although the word for the week is tomorrow, it is useful to first look to what has happened in the past. In 1972 the petition for te reo Māori was delivered to the prime minister at Parliament. In 1975 Māori Language Week was established. A little over a decade later, one of the outcomes of the petition for te reo Māori would be the Māori Language Act 1987.

On Te Ara there is a large quantity of Māori content that has been translated. As part of Māori Language Week all the Māori entries written for the Social Connections theme – including Tangihanga, Te mana o te wāhine and Ngā poropiti – have been published in Māori. Furthermore, all of the biographies of Māori from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography have been translated.

Nā, ko Tautokongia ngā rangatira mō āpōpō ki te kōrero i te reo ināianei.

All these resources can be used, so ‘tautokohia ngā rangatira o āpōpō ki te kōrero i te reo ināianei’ – support the leaders of tomorrow to speak te reo today.

Graphically speaking: cartoons, comics and graphic novels

An image from the graphic novel, Maui: legends of the outcast (click for image credit)

An image from the graphic novel, Maui: legends of the outcast (click for image credit)

We’ve just published two interesting and related entries: Cartooning and Comics and graphic novels.

While researching using historical newspapers I have often come across cartoons that portray negative stereotypes of Māori. Trevor Lloyd is one example of how the lens through which Māori are seen in cartooning can be problematic. While Māori have often been the subject of cartoonists, it hasn’t been common for them to be involved in cartooning. Harry Dansey of Ngāti Tūwharetoa was a regular cartoonist for the Taranaki Daily News in the 1950s, but a fellow journalist noted that he lacked the ‘cruel sense’ needed by a great cartoonist.

From personal experience, I have grown up with Tom Scott‘s cartoons and more recently have become a fan of Mike Moreu, particularly because I enjoy his more detailed (and artistic) drawings.

In New Zealand the fear of comic books and their effect on children has been around for a long time. In the late 1930s, while British-style comics, with more explanatory text, were considered superior, American-style comic books with speech balloons were referred to as ‘alien’ or ‘yellow’. In the 1954 Mazengarb report on teen delinquency, comics were seen as potentially harmful. There was even a comics advisory committee set-up in 1956, which banned hundreds of comics from being imported.

I’m not sure any of the comics I read had a particularly corrupting influence. As a kid I read a number of New Zealand comics. I enjoyed Bogor, a comic strip about a woodsman and his hedgehog mate. I also loved the Footrot Flats series about Wal Footrot and his trusty dog, Dog. I also remember reading about Terry Teo in Terry and the Gunrunners. My favourite comic, though, was from overseas. It was 2000 AD, particularly the stories featuring Judge Dredd.

Later I came to read various graphic novels from overseas. One that has won critical acclaim is Watchmen, written by Alan Moore. It presents a dystopian alternate reality that questions whether a society with superheroes would be better or not. I was put onto Art Spiegelman’s Maus by a friend. It is a powerful graphic novel, based on the author’s parents’ experience of the holocaust. Unusually, characters are depicted as a type of animal based on their race, for example Jews are depicted as mice – maus being the German word for mouse.

A number of graphic novels have been produced in New Zealand, but my favourite is Maui: legends of the outcast. Illustrator Chris Slane teamed up with Ngāpuhi poet and academic Robert Sullivan. Chris Slane’s visual interpretation of the demigod Māui and his stories is dark and visceral. Slane is supported by the extraordinary interpretative text supplied by Sullivan, which moves the Māui stories from their standard children’s fairytale narrative to a rendition that gives a deeper cultural insight into the stories.

Take a look at both these newly published entries to see New Zealand’s stories told visually, whether it be in the form of a long graphic novel, or a snappy one-panel cartoon.