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14 Mahuru (September) 2008

"Kia hora te marino kia whakapapapounamu te moana, kia tere te kārohirohi I mua I tōu huarahi."
May the calm be widespread may the seas glisten like greenstone and may the shimmer of sunlight forever dance across your pathways.
Voiced by: Marcia Murray

Why would you return to a school where you were one of five Maori and your nickname was nigger? Colin Maihi (no Tainui), heads the Maori unit at New Plymouth Boys High school after boarding there in the 1970s. He recalls his schooling days with Maraea Rakuraku and the qualities he believes he has that were evident when he was a student.

Rongowhakaata, Rapiata Darcy Ria recalls how he was brought up in 'a total pakeha environment'. It wasn't until he was an adult that he turned to his Maoritanga, and learnt Te Reo. Ria was spurred on by Apirana Ngata who wanted more Maori employees of Native Affairs (later to become the Maori land court) to translate court documents such as leases. That first act of encouragement later earned Darcy his 1st grade ticket as a licenced Maori Interpreter. Darcy was one of the recipients of the Kingi Ihaka Tohu at the recent Te Waka Toi awards. Darcy is also Kaumatua of Te roopu kapahaka o Waihirere.

Karlo Mila appeared at the recent Christchurch Writers Festival. She reads Victory to the people: Nikolasi is born and will re-join Te Ahi Kaa next week when her latest collection, A Well Written Body (Huia Publishers 2008) is reviewed.