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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 26, 2006

Anne Delamere, influential Maori civil servant, dies

Tears today for the passing of one of Maoridom's most visionary and inspiring leaders.

Anne Delamere from Te Arawa and Te Whana a Apanui died in Wellington today after a long illness.

Miss Delamere joined the Maori Affairs Department after getting out of the Air Force in 1950, and she devoted her life to the welfare of Maori people.

She was instrumental in the formation of the Maori Women's Welfare League and participated in a wide range of Maori and community orgasnisations. In 2004 she was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Former Kohanga Reo chief executive Iritana Tawhiwhirangi says Miss Delamere was a mentor to her when she joined the department in the 1960s, and her wisdom was widely sought inside and outside the department.

Mrs Tawhiwhirangi says Anne Delamere's advice set the direction for the Maori Affairs Tu Tangata strategy of the late 1970s.

"She just said if things are to change, we must move from focussing on the problems of our people and we have to look at how we can touch their lives to bring out the positive development of our people. Out of that policy emerged kokiri centres, kohanga reo, kura, wananga, and all sorts of other initiatives that are in place today," Tawhiwhirangi said.

Anne Delamere will be taken to Pipitea Marae tomorrow.


The Maori cultural advisor to the Corrections Department says a call for a boycott of government powhiri is too late.

The Maori Party says Maori employees in government departments should stay away from powhiri that aren't done properly.

Charlie Tawhiao says that already happens.

"Most Maori public servants will recognise where powhiri, whakatau, whatever you want to call them, have been performed almost as a cabaret rather than respecting the inherent cultural values implicit in thawt process. The option is always available to Maori staff not to attend these things," Tawhiao said.


A milestone in Maori modernism is being revisited at Waikato Museum this weekend.

40 years ago the museum put together a ground-breaking exhibition of contemporary work by artists including Ralph Hotere, Para Matchitt, Selwyn Muru, Fred Graham,John Bevan Ford, Cliff Whiting, Arnold Wilson and Muru Walters.

Now the museum is presenting Aukaha - 40 Years On, featuring those artists and some of their contemporaries.

Co-curator Leafa Wilson says the generation of artists represented in Aukaha challenged established views of Maori art.

"They were using something that wasn't foreign, it was just different. The means with which Maori stories were usualy were out out were through kowhaiwahi panes, tekoteko, the carvings. Now they were coming out through paintings, two dimensional, not always three dimensional, not always craft based," Wilson said.


Distinguished kuia Anne Delamere, a major behind the scenes influence on Maori policy over the past half century, died in Wellington today after a long illness.

Miss Delamere joined Maori Affairs in 1950 after getting out of the Women's Auxilary Air Force, and one of her first tasks was to help set up the Maori Women's Welfare League.

Former Maori Affairs deputy secretary Neville Baker says Miss Delamere was an important link between the department and other government and private agencies, showing them how to work with Maori people.

"Very much to the fore was the whole philosophy that Maori women were instrumental in helping families with their education and health and employment and so forth. Anne was able to harness the strength of Maori women, not unlike Whina Cooper in many respects," Baker said.

Neville Baker says Anne Delamere will be remembered as an extremeley dignfied person who was rrespected by all who came into contact with her.


The axe has finally come down on staff at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Non-teaching staff heard today that 330 middle management and support jobs will go, leaving the country's largest Maori tertiary institution with about 750 positions.

Teaching staff will be culled later.

Wananga chairman Craig Coxhead says as a result of consultation, some regional jobs were saved, but head office will be smaller.

He says it's about survival.

"And that's what it's all about, the organisation ensuring it is viable. We were at a level where we were was over-staffed, so we are looking to get that level right. Also rationalisation of properties, course development, so this orgasination is around tomorrow.


The Maori coach says good luck to the five Maori players named in the All Black train on squad.

Troy Flavell, Marty Hola, Luke McAllister, Johnno Gibbes and David Hill are those named three days out from the official announcement of the All Black squad to play first test against Ireland.

Maori coach Donny Stevenson pays tribute to all five players.


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