Four women, four men and two high school students will take the lectern on Sunday to give their diverse opinions on what can be learned from the series of meetings in the region during October 1769.
The group comprises architect and Historic Places Tairawhiti chairman James Blackburne, former Gisborne District Council chief executive Judy Campbell, artist Steve Gibbs, teacher Laurie Harrison, sociologist and tour guide Anne McGuire, museum kaitieki (custodian of taonga Maori) Tapunga Nepe, public service manager Mere Pohatu, deputy mayor Rehette Stoltz and senior school students Holly Hope of Gisborne Girls’ High and Rongonui-Atea Kahurangi of Gisborne Boys’ High.
Historic Places Tairawhiti committee member and lawyer Joe Martin will MC the event at Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club and expects a thought-provoking talkfest similar to those of the past two years.
“We encourage all people with an interest in our history and this discussion to come along on Sunday. We’d like to pack out the venue.
“In their six-minute slot, each speaker is likely to have a different take on the happenings here and what we can learn from these today and into the future.
“In this district during October 1769, the Endeavour crew made three significant landings — at Turanganui a Kiwa, Anaura Bay and Uawa Tolaga Bay — and had several on-sea meetings. Their experiences were varied.
“One of the remarkable and positive legacies from that time is the collection of botanical specimens made by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander.
“Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) holds a collection of several hundred of the plant specimens. Auckland Museum holds another.”
Once collected, the specimens had to be described before they wilted, then were dried and stored for preservation.
Artist Sydney Parkinson had the job of accurately illustrating the specimens. He sketched them, made notes on their colours, then did complete drawings, and finally full colour illustrations.
“During the voyage, until he died of malaria caught in Java, Parkinson completed nearly 950 plant drawings and colour illustrations of 269 of these.”
Banks later employed five artists to complete the full colour illustrations following Parkinson’s notes on coloration, and 18 engravers, who, after 13 years, completed 738 engravings. Te Papa holds a full set of the 183 colour prints in the New Zealand plants section.
First Meetings Korero at Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club on Sunday from 3pm to 5pm. Cost $5 at the door.
Mere Pohatu: Born in Gore, of Ngai Tahi descent, Mere’s family shifted from a rolling country farm at Waikaka valley to a miniature Pyrenees-looking farm on the outskirts of Ruatoria in the 1960s. “What was our Dad thinking?” she says. A public servant for three decades — mainly in Gisborne — she has also been a commentator in iwi paper Pipiwharauroa since its modern inception. A mum and now taua to two mokopuna, Mere is the Ministry of Maori Development Ikaroa Rawhiti regional manager.
Judy Campbell: Judy is a senior manager who has worked in the public and not-for-profit sector for the past 30 years. She has been a chief executive in a number of organisations including Gisborne District Council. Her career has concentrated on organisations with a strong bicultural focus or need. She is currently working as a consultant helping organisations address issues of strategic and financial sustainability.
Holly Hope: Holly is a Year 13 Gisborne Girls’ High student who has studied history since Year 11. She has thoroughly enjoyed the topic since her first lesson, she says. She loves studying all types of history and plans to continue with history next year at the University of Otago as part of a combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws.
Laurie Harrison: Laurie has worked in mainstream, te reo immersion education and Catholic schools in Gisborne and south Auckland. His most enriching teaching experience, he says, was the 10 years he spent working in Te Whanau Reo Maori at Te Kura Reo Rua o Waikirikiri. He teaches history and social sciences at Gisborne Girls’ High School.
James Blackburne: James is an architect who grew up in Gisborne and, after graduating from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Architecture, returned in late 1992 to work for NZ Historic Places Trust. He started work as an architect in 1993 and has a passion for heritage architecture and modern design.He is president of Historic Places Aotearoa and chairman of Historic Places Tairawhiti and Tairawhiti Heritage Trust.James has also served on numerous NZ Institute of Architects advisory groups.
Tapunga Nepe: Tapunga is of Rongo-whakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri, Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Ngati Kahungunu descent, and part of the Maori language revitalisation movement generation. He received matauranga whangai (intergenerational knowledge transfer) o te ao Maori from local kaumatua, particularly kuia mohio (knowledgeable women) — the repositories of tribal history and knowledge.Tapunga is Kaitieki Maori at Tairawhiti Museum, where he contributes to te ao Maori through the care of taonga and collaborative exhibitions pertinent to iwi, hapu and whanau.
Rongonui-Atea Kahurangi: Rongonui-Atea is a Year 13 student and prefect at Gisborne Boys’ High School. Once he leaves school, he hopes to further his education at the University of Auckland studying a conjoint degree — a Bachelor of Global Studies, majoring in Transnational Cultures and Creative Practice and a Bachelor of Music. His passions and interests include kapa haka, volleyball, public speaking and music.
Steve Gibbs: Of Ngai Tamanuhiri, Rongowhakaata, Rongomaiwahine and Ngati Kahungunu descent, Steve was born and raised in Gisborne. He has spent his professional life as an artist-art educator, and is a curator, designer, sportsman and coach. Associate professor at Toihoukura School of Contemporary Maori Visual Arts since 1995, his current art practice is based on the impact of colonisation and navigating the process of cultural recovery, locating and analysing objects exchanged with Tupaia and Cook in 1769, while the Endeavour lay becalmed off Whareongaonga on October 11, 1769.
Anne McGuire: Anne is a sociologist and tour guide with a vast working knowledge of history — Maori and European — and a deep understanding and passion for Maori culture. Born and raised in Tolaga Bay, she is Te Aitanga a Hauiti Hauora chairwoman and a Hauiti Marae trustee. She owns and operates Tipuna Tours and is an educator contracted to the Maori Qualifications Service of NZQA, EIT, Otago University and Hauora Tairawhiti. Anne is also a member of the Hauora Tairawhiti’s mortuary advisory group.