Saturday, October 24, 2009

Don't pretend-consult - you won't get your statue built if you do

Well it looks like the giant maori warrior has hit a bit of a problem. I had hoped that they had consulted maori.

"Tainui are developing their own cultural icon, despite the local community board's recently announced plans to create a sculpture of a giant Maori warrior.

The tribe has commissioned master carver Wikuki Kingi Jr, son of the late Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa chairman Wikuki Kingi, to create a 3 metre by 3 metre sculpture that will feature the moko of the second Maori King, Tawhiao.

Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc chief executive Hemi Rau said the moko sculpture was not being built to replace the community board's giant warrior sculpture.

He said that "the region's icon should reflect its uniqueness," and he did not believe the planned Maori warrior would best reflect the region.

"Ngaruawahia should reflect its cultural significance rather than something that is considered generic."

"It has to be relevant to the area that it portrays."

The moko sculpture was commissioned as part of the 150-year anniversary of the Kingitanga movement and has been in the pipeline for 18 months."

These are true words. I mean local maori know how they want their culture portrayed - don't they? If the local tangata whenua say that a statue should reflect the regions uniqueness as opposed to being generic - that is fair enough isn't it? Yes it is and this community should have listened to maori.

"Ngaruawahia Community Board chairman Bryce Sherson was surprised to learn of Tainui's plans for a independent sculpture yesterday when speaking to the Waikato Times.

"I find it quite amazing," he said. "(It) seems strange that they would go out on a tangent on their own."

And this is the big problem right here. It wasn't maori that went off on a tangent, bryce - it was you!

"The community board has been developing plans for the Maori warrior sculpture since 2005, when the board held a competition for locals to suggest an `icon' for the town."

How patronising of you - a competition? There are already icons for the town - you just don't know about them because you have your own agenda and you want maori to fit in with you.

"Mr Sherson said the board had invited Tainui's involvement from the beginning, even asking for the tribe to provide a model for their Denis Hall-designed sculpture, which Tainui didn't "because they couldn't find anyone"."

Yeah bloody maoris couldn't find anyone - well guess what bryce - consulting with someone means you listen to what they say and take it into consideration. You don't just ram their square peg into your round hole. And you want maori to fit in with your timeframes? - they might actually have a different timeline than you and if you say you are consulting with them - then take that into consideration.

Reminds me of the saying,""Hey guys lets work as a team and do it my way."

The battle of the statues! It is already over - take the lessons about true consultation rather than lip service from this bryce. Go back to maori with a contrite attitude and listen to what they are saying - they are saying it for a reason.

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