Ah, the smell of a stadium packed to the rafters with expectant families all riveted to their seats while their darlings are up on the stage belting out the latest tunes and twisting and turning to the choreographic demands of their leaders – I just love it when the kapahaka comps comes around again!
I couldn’t make it for the whole day, but I managed to catch a bit of Te Puu Ao, Muriwhenua and Te Whare o Puhi and I enjoyed every minute of it. The energy, the commitment, the passion, the fire, the sheer joy of being Maori is a wonder to behold. Pity most Pakeha never come to watch this stuff. It’s a part of our world that I think anyone could like.
Note to the Far North and Whangarei Councils – we need a bigger indoor entertainment venue. Aniwaniwa can seat 1,000, Kensington can fit 2,500, but Kapahaka can pull 5,000 easy …
Saturday was also my mums 80th birthday, that’s why I had to come down late and then shoot off early from the kapahaka back up to Whakapara for an afternoon of special memories, ribald and boisterous jokes, choice waiata, an awesome kai, and a pictorial slide show that brought back recollections of another, more peaceful time …
My mum’s been through a lot in her life but the most memorable thing for me is that she has always been a wonderful mum and the best grandmother a mokopuna could ever ask for. So it was nice just to be able to relax with old family friends and those who have stood alongside her over the years, and just enjoy the day.
The next day I was on my way up to my Aunty Pani’s 80th in Motukiore when I got ambushed by a bunch of Hawaiians in Kawakawa – so, family being family, we hooked ‘em up and they came along as well. Aunty Pani is a special person who has been close to my whanau for many years, helping look after all of us like we were her own, so it was great to be able to pop in and see her too – and choice having the Hawaiian’s sing as well!
One other thing … I note an interest being expressed in mining in the far north by our mayor and some of our iwi leaders. No fuss there. Leaders have an obligation to consider all of our economic options, but those in power also need to be mindful of the environmental impacts of the options they are considering.
And mining is an economic option that deserves serious environmental consideration – particularly given the ugly remains of open cast mines around the country, the downstream problems caused by mining chemicals leaching into our waterways, the massive opposition to proposals to mine the DOC estate, the Pike River disaster, the Petrobras scandal on the East Coast, and the negative publicity around the highly contentious “fracking” procedure.
Put that together with the reality that mining requires massive overseas investment for very little economic return, and that jobs for locals are at the lower, dirtier and more dangerous end of the spectrum, and the picture begins to look a lot more grubby than rosy.
This is not the time to work through all the issues, but I suggest political leaders of all persuasions consider the implications of mining in the north before making any commitment to opening our region up to such an activity.