Re Claire Stewart’s letter in the Central Leader, May 1.
Yes, we all, I would hope, applaud celebrating the memories of those fallen during wars, and yes, we do that in different ways.
But to call a kapa haka group disrespectful during a Waikumete Anzac Dawn Parade could also sound quite ignorant (without trying to be disrespectful to you), but should be a high honour to you and your lost soldiers, forefathers or whoever gave their lives for you.
I am a guy, white as it seems in the mirror, brought up in a Maori community, and never for one moment thought the way you do. In fact, I find it sad that you do not understand what the kapa haka means today, let alone what it meant many years ago, the ideal of its conception among Maori is one thing that has never changed.
The haka was designed to scare the living ‘‘hell’’ out of adversaries, and even during World War II you will find that most, if not all, Kiwi soldiers stirred to the sound of a haka.
They were reminded of who they were, they were no longer Englishmen, they became New Zealanders.
Yes, I did some time as a serviceman during my years, and never failed to be inspired by the sound of ugly guys trying to defend their land, they were supposed to look ugly, and they were supposed to sound loud.
If you had read a tiny bit of Maori war history, you will find that the German enemy feared them enormously, especially at night, the sound the Maori haka made then, and still does, make hairs on our necks stand up.
Without the noise you complain about, many of the veterans, the dead, and warriors of today, may never ever feel the unity this country once had.
Yes, long may we remember them, but do not once forget some of the concepts of war.
The Maori had it sorted before you were even an atom, the guys that fought the last great war did it for me and you and every generation . . . they fought often with the sound of a haka, and I hope that sound never leaves their graves, they deserve it, they heard the haka and went for it.
Dignity and respect for whom, you or the dead? Auckland there is no longer general protection for significant trees.
Instead, any notable trees that the community wants protected must be identified and listed under the current District Plan or the forthcoming Unitary Plan.
The reality is that in many parts of Auckland, and specifically in Puketapapa/Mt Roskill, very few trees are identified and protected.
The balance has swung too far, with many notable trees now being at real risk.
Nonetheless, we have to work as best we can within the current rules.
To this end I encourage residents who want to nominate notable trees for protection under the Unitary Plan to submit before the cutoff date of May 31.
Nominations need to be backed by a strong case, stating why the tree is significant, and as many details as possible.
Residents should contact their nearest local board office for assistance with this process.