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24 February 2008

Hui-tanguru 24

"Ka tika ki muri, Ka tika ki mua"

"If behind the scenes is running smoothly, then all will be well at the front"
Explanation by Wharehoka Wano (Taranaki, Te Atiawa and Ngati Awa)

"I think as film maker we should always be that (pioneering and ground breaking) otherwise you're sleeping, walking with your eyes closed"
Barry Barclay September, 2007.

Barry BarclayTwenty-one years after he directed the first Maori dramatic feature, Ngati, Barry Barclay was raring to sink his teeth into other projects, including an approach to businesses for $30 to fund a film making venture. He was a prolific writer and film maker. His accomplishments were many, and yet for Barry, he was more excited about stories emerging from grassroots communities rather than accolades at Cannes.
With his death earlier this week (19 February) Aotearoa has lost one of its more visionary and unique sons. He describes to Te Ahi Kaa how he discovered the world of art, and how he tried to portray the world he saw.

On October 15th 2007, the New Zealand Police carried out a number of arrests, evoking the Terrorism Suppression Act and the Arms Act. Despite the wide geographical spread and cultural variants of the suspects, the term "Urewera 16" was seized upon by the media. A month later, the Solicitor General (David Collins, QC) found there was insufficient evidence to convict the suspects under the Terrorism Act, but the "Urewera 16" continued to be bandied about as the blanket term for those arrested perpetuating an image to the public of Maori, and worse yet, a particular iwi, as terrorists. Four months on, additional people have been charged with firearms offences relating to the police raids, reigniting the "Urewera 16" label and Terrorism. Moana Jackson, spokesperson for the defence legal team, discusses the political and media implications of the arrests.

"Racial screening at Waitangi Marae" is the title of a TVNZ website article that describes the decision of the Te Tii Marae trustees, which barred Non-Maori Media organisations from the Marae (commonly referred in the media as the "Lower Marae"). The decision, made a few years ago, was a result of frustration felt towards the media and the method of covering the events at Waitangi. Images of Protestors, Maori Wardens and Police clashing, and angry incidents involving politicians, were often splashed across television screens and on the front page of the dailies. But is that all that happens there? Te Ahi Kaa speaks to a person who has spent the past 12 years organising events at Waitangi, but has never featured in any media coverage, Mainstream or Maori.

The biennial New Zealand International Arts Festival kicked off today, and for the next three weeks, the Capital enjoys its usual smorgasbord of theatre, dance, exhibitions, and music. Amongst it all, are events with a distinct Maori flavour, including Te Karakia, Tama Tu Tama Ora, and The Trial of the Cannibal Dog. Wharehoka Wano (Taranaki, Te Atiawa and Ngati Awa) is one of the Maori Programme Advisers for the festival, his third time. He tells Te Ahi Kaa what to expect from this years International Festival of the Arts, and what a little Maori spice adds to mix.