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Letters to the Editor

What does the community want?
The last two issues of the Focus have had articles and letters related to the AGM of the Domain Society.

I was on the Domain committee for many years and co-ordinated the January summer gala for about eight years until 2015, at which time I was elected as a Life Member. I have no current affiliation but am interested in ensuring that the wide Mangawhai community is aware about the set up of the Domain and what might happen in the future.

Under the rules and legal framework that established and continued to operate the Domain for more than 40 years, the land and facilities were and are owned by members of the Domain Society and with a committee elected by members. There are no other areas of land within Mangawhai that are under such legal management.

Since established, the Domain was managed to allow for a wide diversity of organised and casual recreational activities. Yes, there were occasional minor disputes over the ‘rights’ of, or conflicts between, certain groups but these were always resolved. Fundraising was from the annual summer gala and some grants from community funding organisations and KDC. Special interest clubs (especially the tennis club) invested in their own permanent facilities on small portions of the land.

The future of the Domain would seem to be:

Ÿ With active participation of the wide Mangawhai community, continue to have a functioning Society and committee that manages the Domain for a wide range of active and passive recreational activities, including the Gala Day.

Ÿ Certain special interest groups within the community assume control of the Society and committee and undertake steps to ensure that the Domain is in effect reserved for those special interest groups. Under this option the general Mangawhai community does not continue to have use of the Domain for the current wide range of organised and casual activities. Gala Day may not be permitted.

Ÿ The community cannot organise itself to have a fully functioning Society and committee under the terms of its constitution and the land and facilities are in effect transferred to KDC. The future would then be very uncertain. Purely speculation on my part but all or much of the Domain could be sold off by KDC and become unavailable to the community.

What will happen is dependent on what the community wants, and is prepared to work towards.

John Dickie
Mangawhai Heads


Can someone give us the heads-up?
There has recently been yet another lot of reportedly ‘old Maori skulls’ returned from an overseas institution. Included was a toi moko (tattooed head) – one of many repatriated over recent years.

In view of the well-recorded lucrative trade in heads (tattooed or not) during the 1700-1800s, I have some questions, as an avid student of New Zealand history.

First, how do we know all these remains are Maori? Do they have the Polynesian skull shapes and rocker jaws? Have they been forensically examined and had DNA analysis done?

You see, if they have round, high vault craniums, pyramidal shaped nose cavities, square-shaped eye sockets and longer narrow overall skull shapes, they certainly are not Maori.

The chances are, they are Turihu or Waitaha skulls from the killing fields of yester-year. Any of the toi moko which show reddish or blondish hair, are certainly other than Maori.

Are we, the public, going to be given the full story on these repatriated human remains?

Perhaps the ‘experts’ can explain.

B Jones

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