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  • Te Huihui Tran

Māori & Pasifika News: NZ/Aus Kapa Haka Comp, Samoan Dengue Outbreak, Māori Wards

Words by Te Huihui o Matariki Chi Huy Tran (he/him) | Taranaki Tūturu, Te iwi o Maruwharanui, Ngāti Maniapoto


Kapa Haka Across the Seas

The power of kapa haka transcends oceans, connecting the Māori diaspora in Australia with their ūkaipō. Three rōpū from Te Whenua Moemoeā each left an indelible mark on the competition a few days ago. Manawatu Mai Tawhiti, Te Kapa Haka o Te Hau Tawhiti, and Te Atawhai Puumanawa stood out with their beautiful performances, a testament to the vibrant cultural exchange between Aotearoa and Australia. This exchange not only preserves traditional Māori performing arts, but also reinforces the cultural identity of Māori living abroad. It's a celebration of unity, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of indigenous traditions in a modern world. By honouring both the land of Australia's First Peoples and their own whakapapa, the kapa haka performers embody the spirit of kaitiakitanga (guardianship), ensuring our tradition thrives for generations to come. They will be heading to Ngāmotu-Taranaki for Te Matatini in Feb 2025.


Dengue fever outbreak in Samoa

Samoa spent last week bracing for a dengue fever outbreak declaration. With over 250 cases, primarily in Upolu's northwest region, the nation urges continued protective measures. Symptoms include high fever, nausea, rash and body aches. Authorities are mobilising a national cleanup campaign to destroy mosquito breeding grounds. The latest report highlights 22 new cases, totaling 40 in March, with children aged 5-9 and seniors over 60 most at risk.


Northland Pushback: Mayor Criticises Government's Māori Wards Changes

Far North mayor Moko Tepania has condemned the Government's proposed changes to Māori wards, with Northland councils gearing up to resist. Under the plan, binding referendums are mandated for Māori wards, allowing councils to axe them without consultation before 2025 elections. Tepania has lamented the erosion of council autonomy, and increased community burden. Ngāti Kuri chairperson Harry Burkhardt advocated for preserving Māori wards, emphasising their role in community representation and participation. The Far North District Council's Māori ward has been hailed for boosting grassroots involvement, and for supporting environmental initiatives. They are set to formally oppose the Government's plans.


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