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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Takataapui TV: Earthtalk @ Awhitu

Posted in: Worth Checking Out
By Takataapui TV - 29th July 2008

The next episode of Maori Television's LGBT programme Takataapui will be broadcast at 9:30pm on Monday 4 August:

Earthtalk@Awhitu on the southern entrance to the Manukau harbour is a politics-in-action property and the home of Charmaine Pountney and Tanya Cumberland, two pakeha lesbians, whose life and actions reflect their desire to help nurture and heal the land and their commitment to honour the Treaty of Waitangi.

The land is being replanted with native forest and wetland species, including a special collection of heritage weaving flaxes grown in partnership with Ngaati Te Ata, the original tribal people of this area.

Politically charged challenges from radical feminists and women from the Black Women's Movement about institutionalised racism in Health and Education in the 70's fell on receptive ears. Both former Head of Auckland Girls' Grammar School Charmaine and Regional Manager for the Department of Social Welfare Tanya heard these messages, added them to their own philosophies and committed to a direction in life that many people can only dream about.


"I went off to a women's health hui on the North Shore. And I saw a Treaty of Waitangi workshop advertised and thought, oh no, I'm here to relax and enjoy myself, so I went to workshops on massage and herbs and things like that. But during one of the plenary sessions, Titewhai Harawira and some of her team marched up onto the stage and said to the 700 of us, mainly Pakeha women, gathered there: 'How dare you have a gathering to talk about women's health in NZ without acknowledging how your system is killing our Maori women!'

"And people were absolutely shocked – moved to tears or totally resentful and angry, or just a whole mixture of responses. I was moved to tears and made a commitment then and there, that is was time for me to go and do some treaty of Waitangi workshops" - Tanya Cumberland.

"Because, Ngaati Te Ata had a tribal policy document that said – we don't want people just buying and moving here – this is our land – we've never given it away – And we would like to be consulted about what people want to do on our land. And so we did.

"And the tribal meeting was really interesting because the reactions ranged from one of the elders saying: 'well, no Pakeha's ever asked us for 150 years, you must be alright, you'd better come …" - Charmaine Poutney

Takataapui is broadcast on Maori Television each Monday night at 9:30pm, then repeats on Freeview's Stratos channel at 10pm.

Takataapui TV - 29th July 2008