An­zac haka

Central Leader - - LETTERS -

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.

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