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Hone Harawira's Ae Marika 26 August 2008

Hone Harawira's Ae Marika 26 August 2008


Once in a blues moon you get the opportunity to go to a ‘once in a lifetime’ concert. Well, last Sunday was that opportunity. The concert was a tribute for Hone Wikaira (Sonny Day) who died last year and is buried over Motukaraka.

Sonny was a legend in the music business – from the Maori big bands, rock and roll, Hendrix, through the nightclub bands, the cabaret scene, jazz, country, the blues – you name it, he did it all.

The line up at the concert included Hello Sailor, Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby, Larry Morris, Che Fu and the Dirty Little Blues Band, Tina Cross, Tama Renata, Billy TK, Emma Paki, Truda Chadwick, Midge Marsden, Tommy Fergusson, Josie Rika and a whole host of others. But for me the top act was Sonny’s first big band – the Sundowners – in their first reunion in 40 years and featuring our own Marsh Cook on the sax.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know – I’m showing my age here, but a fabulous evening, great company and wonderful memories.

Saving the Taniwha

The New Zealand Rugby Union’s decision to dump Northland from the First Division was supposed to be based on criteria that the 14 provinces were expected to meet. The bottom two would get the boot.

Northland came in eleventh, which suggests either the NZRU can’t count, or we got shunted because the same fools that oversaw the debacle at the World Cup just didn’t want us in their new picture.

I attended a dinner the other night hosted by the Northland Rugby Union, where MPs Shane Jones, Phil Heatley, Winston Peters and myself, were told in polite but firm tones to do everything we could to put Northland back in the top flight.

Then I took part in the haka put on by Te Puu Ao in front of the packed grandstands and on live national television – a real Maori way of letting the NZRU know what we think of their decision, and appropriate for me because 55% of Northland’s players are Maori.

The game was bloody awesome as well. Old-stager David Holwell played another gutsy and determined game, posting all of Northland’s points in an excellent promotion of rugby, and ending with Northland pounding away at the line but just failing to catch Bay of Plenty in the last seconds of the match.

I hope to catch up with Northland’s other MPs down Parliament this week, and we’ll see if we can put together a plan to put Northland back where we belong.


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