Since posting the Blog “State of Kapa Haka in Poihakena and Australia” two weeks ago, a good deal of advice, support and ridicule has been received via different channels. Bringing the conversation into the public realm is positive as opposed to sweeping the issue under the carpet as has been the case over the past competitions. There are still unanswered questions from 2012 as a result of ACT hosting and Queensland commentators have also expressed their disappointment.
One comment made the point that problems rather than solutions were put forward. My view is that a democratic approach must be taken so that everyone can have a say on how things ought to work.
The overwhelming theme of the feedback focused on the fact that there is a “major issue”. Continuing to avoid the issue, or hoping that it will go away, or work itself out is not healthy for kapa haka or for the one fifth of all Maori who live in Australia.
With NKTT on the verge of making public the host region of the next national competitions in Australia now would be a good time to focus on getting everything right. Actions to move towards a more democratic situation would be as follows ;
- Validate (or invalidate) NKTT or establish a new entity as the entity to represent kapa haka in Australia and make appropriate decisions on behalf of all of the regions.
- Validate and legitimise the processes the national body use to form its committee and make it’s decisions.
- Ensure all regions are included in the decision making process for the national body.
In all honestly, this situation could have been avoided had open dialogue been mutually practiced.
Entities such as Incorporated Associations have rules and guidelines to support healthy operations of groups towards their objectives. There are also guidelines for members with which to operate within committees and members should be the catalyst for change and the barometer for performance.