Kōrero: Wark, Elizabeth Cecilia (Betty)

Whārangi 1: Haurongo

Ngā whakaahua me ngā rauemi katoa o tēnei kōrero

Wark, Elizabeth Cecilia (Betty)

1924–2001

Ngāpuhi; kaimahi hapori

I tuhia tēnei haurongo e Helene Connor, ā, i tāngia tuatahitia ki Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau i te 2018. He mea whakamāori nā Te Haumihiata Mason.

Neke atu i te 30 tau a Whaea Betty Wark e mahi tahi ana ki te hunga rangatahi Māori ‘noho tūraru’ ki Tāmakimakaurau. I ahu mai ia i te ohinga uaua, ka oke ia ki te whakatupu taiao whānau mō te rangatahi huhua noa i raru nei te noho i te hekenga a ngāi Māori ki ngā taone i waenga o te rautau rua tekau. I Arohanui, te kāinga noho i whakatūria tahitia, i whakahaeretia anō e ia, ka kitea e te rangatahi Māori he moenga mō rātou, he kai wera, he āwhina mō ngā raru pūroi, me tētahi ara atu ki te mātauranga, ki te hono atu anō ki te ahurea Māori kua tīmata te ara mai anō.

Whakapapa me ngā tau tōmua

I whānau mai a Elizabeth Te Wheao ki Ōmanaia, tētahi kāinga iti ki te tonga o Hokianga, i te 6 o Hune 1924. Kīhai ana mātua i mārena. Ko tana matua ake ko Cyril Chapman, ko tana whaea, a Nau (Mabel) Rini Te Wheao (i mōhiotia anō ko Nau Barbara Mutu Riwi), ko ōna tātai nō Ngāpuhi. I a ia e tamariki ana, kīhai a Betty i tino mōhio mō ōna mātua ake. I tūtaki ia ki tana whaea i a ia ka 21, ki tana matua i a ia ka 27. I whakatupuhia a Betty hei tamaiti whāngai, ka hoatu ko te ingoa whānau o tētahi o ana whānau whāngai, a Te Wake, hei ingoa whānau mōna.

Ka waru ngā tau o Betty, ka hūnuku ia i te taha o tētahi whānau whāngai ki Motutī, tētahi kāinga mamao ki te raki o Hokianga. I whakatupungia ia ki te hāhi Katorika, ka haere ki te Kura Māori o Motutī, me te mahi i ngā mahi ahuwhenua i mua, i muri anō o te kura. Ki a ia, kāhore ia i pīrangitia, kei waho atu ia o te whānau, ka tonoa ia kia moe ki tētahi wharau rokiroki. I tūkinohia ia e tana matua whāngai Pākehā, taha hinengaro, taha tinana, taha taitōkai, kīhai ia i mōhio ki te noho rarau, ki te aroha rānei.  

I te tau 1938, kua 14 ōna tau, ka whiwhi a Betty i tētahi karahipi kāwanatanga hei haere ki te Kāreti Kōhine Māori o Hato Hōhepa i Greenmeadows, pātata ki Ahuriri. I kaha te kōkiri a Hato Hōhepa kei te atawhai i te tangata te ara wairua, ka noho ngā none hei tauira mō te wahine toa ki a Betty, he wā hoki tēnei i tau ai tana noho. E ai ki a ia, nā rātou i matatika ai ana whanonga, i whakahī ai tana tū i tā te wahine Katorika Māori tū, i whai whakaaro ai ia ki ngā raru o te porihanga, i ngākau tapatahi ai ia, i ngākau pono ai. I iriiritia a Betty i a ia e noho tauira ana i Hato Hōhepa, ka tapaina tōna ingoa ko Cecilia. Haere ake, ko Elizabeth Cecilia tōna ingoa.

Te noho whaea me te mārenatanga

I mutu te kura a Betty i te paunga o te tau 1941. Ka ono marama e whakangungua ana ki ngā mahi a te tapuhi ki te Wairoa, i mua i te haerenga hei ringa whakapai whare. Ka rarau tana noho ki Ahuriri, ka tūtaki ia ki tētahi kaumoana Merikana a Charles Turner i tētahi kanikani. Ko ia tana ipo tuatahi, pārekareka ana ki a ia tā rāua noho ko rāua anake i te tohu a Charles i te ngaronga ōna i ngā mahi a te ringa raupā o ia rā. Ka hūnuku ia ki Waipukurau, atu i reira ki Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara, kia tata atu ai ki a ia. Ka taumau rāua, kīhai i roa ka hapū a Betty. Ka hinga a Charles i te whawhai i Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, e 22 ōna tau, ka aroha anō. Mahue pūkatokato ana a Betty, e tatari atu nei ki ngā rā ki tua e noho tahi ai rāua ki Amerika.

Ka whānau mai te tama a Betty rāua ko Charles, a Brian Turner (Te Wake) ki te hōhipere o St Helen’s ki Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara i te tau 1944. Korekore ana he āwhina toko i te ora, he mahi, he wāhi tiaki tamariki mā ngā whaea kāhore he tāne i taua wā. Me te aha, noho tamaiti whāngai ana te mātāmua a Betty, pērā anō i tana whaea. Ka waiho tana tama hei tamaiti whāngai mā te whānau Te Wake, ka hūnuku a Betty ki Tāmakimakaurau ki te kimi mahi. Ko ētahi o ana mahi i te tīmatanga ko te mahi hāwini i te Hōhipere o Tāmakimakaurau me te whakarato kai i ngā wharekai. 

Ko te ipo tuarua a Betty ko tētahi tangata nō Ingarangi, ko Henry Smith. E ai ki a Betty, he tangata ngākau aroha, he tangata mārire a Henry, heoi, kīhai ia i hiahia mārena i a ia, nā wai ā, ka hoki ia ki Ingarangi. Ko Henry te matua o te tama tuarua a Betty, a Danny, i whānau mai i te tau 1948. Ka hūnuku a Betty ki Waihī, ka whakatupuhia a Danny e tētahi whānau, kia wātea ai a Betty ki te mahi tonu. Ka hoki ia ki Tāmakimakaurau i te tau 1950, ka kitea he wāhi noho mōna, me tētahi mahi tari.   

I tūtaki a Betty ki tana tāne mārena tuatahi, tētahi kaumoana kaihoko o Kānata, a Conrad Kenneth Powell, i tētahi kanikani. Ka mārena a Betty rāua ko Conrad i te 28 o Mei 1951 ki Tāmakimakaurau, ka whānau mai tā rāua tama, a Conrad, i te tau 1952. I te whakatau a te tāne kia hoki ki Kānata, ka whakatau a Betty kia noho tonu mai ki konei. I āhei atu ia ki te takuhe a te wahine mahue, ka puritia e ia a Conrad.

Ka tūtaki a Betty ki tana tāne mārena tuarua, he taitāhae nō Ingarangi, a James Gordon (Jim) Wark, i waenga o ngā tau 1950. I hiahia a Jim kia mārena rāua engari e noho tūpato ana a Betty. I whānau mai tā rāua tama tuatahi, a Robert, i te tau 1959, me te tama tuarua, a Gary, i te 1961. Nā wai ā, ka mahue tūturu a Betty rāua ko Conrad, ka moe rāua ko Jim ki Tāmakimakaurau i te 21 o Noema 1966. Nā Jim i rongo ai a Betty i tāna i ingo ai, arā, te tau me te haumaru o te noho, ka mahi rāua ki te waihanga i te momo kāinga kua roa nei e wawatatia ana e Betty.

Māoritanga me te tōrangapū o te ngākau

Tae rawa ki te tau 1960, kua rarau te noho a Betty rāua ko Jim ki tētahi wāhi i te puku o te taone o Tāmakimakaurau, ki Freemans Bay. I konei ka tīmata tana puāwai, e ai ki tāna i muri iho, te puāwai kia ‘tū tangata’, ka kitea tōna ‘Māoritanga’.1 Nā ngā wheako o tōna ohinga kua motu ngā here ki tōna ūkaipō Māori, kāhore ia i mōhio ki ōna whakapapa kia taipakeke rawa ia. Ka puāwai haere ia i te wā o te aranga mai anō o te ao Māori i ngā tau o te 1960 me te 1970, me tana whai wāhi atu ki ngā rōpū Māori noho taone. Ka āta whai wāhi atu ia ki te pekanga o Ngā Wāhine Māori Toko i te Ora i Ponsonby, me te Pokapū Hapori Māori o Ponsonby. I haere anō ia ki Te Ūnga Waka, te whare karakia me te marae Katorika Māori i Epsom. Ka whakahoahoa a Betty ki ētahi kuia Māori maha tonu, nā ēnei hononga i kaha ake ai te tupu o tana tuakiri Māori.  

Nā ana mahi tahi ki ngā rōpū Māori noho taone, ka kaha rongo a Betty he kawenga ōna ki te hapori, ki te noho taurite a te tangata me te ‘tōrangapū o te ngākau’ (ngā mahi a te hunga ringa raupā o te hapori). He wā tēnei e whakahoungia ana a Freemans Bay, e turakina ana ngā whare tawhito kia wātea ai te whenua ki te whakatū whare hou. Nā tēnei āhuaranga, ka mate te wehe atu a te hunga Māori kīhai i nui te moni i ō rātou whare rīhi. Ka māharahara a Betty ki te oranga o te hunga rangatahi kua mate ki te rapu kāinga kē, kāhore he mōtika, pērā i a ia i tōna ohinga. Ka whakauru atu ia ki te Freemans Bay Advisory Committee, i noho nei hei māngai mō te hunga rīhi i ngā whare o te Kaunihera Taone o Tāmakimakaurau ki te whiriwhiri me te whakarite i ngā kaupapa here mō te rīhi whare me te wātea o te whare. Ko tana mahi i runga i te komiti nei te tīmatanga o tana noho hei kaimahi hapori, hei kaitaunaki anō. 

I te mutunga o ngā tau 1960 ka āwhina a Betty ki te whakatū i tētahi whare noho mō te hunga rangatahi Māori i mate ki te kimi kāinga kē i te whakahounga o te taone, i runga i te tautoko a ngā Wāhine Māori Toko i te Ora me te hāhi Katorika. I whakahaeretia e ia te whare noho i te awatea, ka hoki ki tana whānau i ngā ahiahi. I te tau 1974 ka āwhina a Betty ki te whakatū i te Arohanui Incorporated, tētahi whakahaere o te hapori i whakawātea kāinga noho, i āwhina hoki i te hunga rangatahi e tonoa atu ana e ngā kōti, e ngā whare herehere, e te Tari Toko i te Ora me ētahi atu wāhi. 

I tautokohia ngā mahi a Betty e Jim Wark, engari ka māharahara ia ki te nui o te wā e ngaro ana a Betty i te kāinga. Ki a ia, e whakararu ana ngā mahi a Betty i tā rātou noho tahi ko ā rāua tama, kua tīmata te aurara atu ki ngā take whānau. I rite tonu te noho a te tangata kāinga kore ki te kāinga o ngā Wark, ka noho papa, ka whakararuhia te noho a te whānau. I tana whakatuwhera i te whare noho o Arohanui i Ponsonby i te Mei 1976, ka whakarerea e Betty a Jim me ana tama, ka hūnuku atu ki te whare noho hei kaiwhakahaere. I noho hoa tonu rāua ko Jim Wark mō ōna rā katoa, me tana whakapā atu tonu ki ana tama; nā wai ā, ka whai atu te pōtiki, a Gary, i ngā mahi a tana whaea i Arohanui.

Arohanui

Ko Arohanui, te whare noho o Betty mō te hunga rangatahi ‘noho tūraru’, tōna aronga nui mō te toenga o ōna rā. I huri haere a Betty me tana hoa mahi a Fred Ellis i ngā tiriti i ngā pō o te takurua, me te whāngai i ngā ‘tamariki o ngā tiriti’ ki te hupa kūtai me te parāoa takakau, me te whakahau i a rātou kia haere atu ki Arohanui. I pērā tonu te tokomaha, ka hono atu anō ki ō rātou whānau, i kitea rānei he wāhi noho mō rātou i wāhi kē. He tokomaha te hunga rangatahi i whāngaihia, i whiwhi moenga, i ‘manaakitia i runga i te aroha’ i Arohanui, ka mutu, i ngana tonu a Betty me ētahi atu kaitiaki, kaimahi anō kia wairua pai, kia taiao whānau te whare noho mō te hunga noho ki reira.

I te tupu tonu o Arohanui ka tīmata te tono pūtea āwhina i te kāwanatanga, ka tīmata anō te rōpū kaitiaki ki te whakawātea i te akoranga mō te reo matatini me te pāngarau. Ka whakapakaritia e Arohanui ana akoranga mō te ahurea me te reo Māori, ka tīmatahia anō ētahi kaupapa auaha mō te hauora me te whakakori tinana, i tahuri atu ki ngā hākinakina whawhai me te mau rākau a te Māori. He tokomaha te hunga noho ki reira kua riro i te hongi wairou, i te pūroi me te waipiro, ka tirotirohia e Betty ētahi kaupapa hei āwhina i a rātou e ora ai i ngā mate nei.

Atu i ngā tau whakamutunga o te 1960, ka kōrerohia ngā mahi a Betty i ōna wā e te ao pāpāho, me te tohu i a ia ko te ‘whaea ki ngā tama ngaro’ me te ‘Mother Teresa’ o Tāmakimakaurau.2 I te tau 1986 ko ia te kaupapa o te pakipūmeka pouaka whakaata Give me a love. Ko Bill Saunders te ringatohu, ka whakaahuatia e te hōtaka tētahi marama kotahi o te noho ki Arohanui. Ka whakaatungia te ngākau titikaha me te ngākau aroha o Betty, tana mōhio, tana tono i te kauanuanu, me te whakatikatika i ana tāngata ki tā te whakatikatika o mua.  

Te wā ki te Kaunihere Taone o Tāmakimakaurau me te whakamihia e te iwi

E 62 ngā tau o Betty i te kōwhiria ōna hei kanohi mō te takiwā ki Ponsonby ki te Kaunihera Taone o Tāmakimakaurau (1986–9). Kāore i tino pai ki a ia te mahi i raro i ngā here o te noho kaikaunihera, me tana rongo tonu i tana noho rāwaho i te mea ko ia anake te wahine Māori. Ko ōna pūkenga nunui ko te mahi tahi ki te tangata me ngā take whare.

I whakamihia ngā mahi a Betty ki te hunga rangatahi i te hapori i te whakawhiwhia ōna ki ētahi tohu, tae atu ki te Queen’s Service Medal, i uhia ki runga ki a ia e te Kuīni tonu i te tau 1986. I te 1996 ka whakawhiwhia a Betty ki te hōnore tiketike o te Trustees Executors Senior Achiever’s Award, e whakamihi ana i te 50 tau o āna ratonga tūao ki te hapori. Ka kī ake a Betty i roto i te wairua ngahau, kīhai ia i tika hei mema mō te whakahaere nā rātou te tohu, arā, te Retired Persons’Association: ka pātai ia, ‘Rītaea, he aha tērā?'.3

Māuiuitanga whakamutunga me tōna matenga  

Ka kitea te mate pukupuku i ngā pūkahukahu o Betty i muri tata mai o tana huritau 76 i te Hune o te tau 2000. I haere tonu ngā ‘mahi ngākau’ o tōna oranga kia iwikore rawa ki te mahi tonu. I mate a Betty Wark i te 16 o Mei 2001, e 76 ōna tau, e karapotia ana e tōna whānau. Ka takoto ki te Marae o Ngā Whare Waatea i Māngere, ka whakahaeretia ngā karakia o te Requiem Mass mōna. Ka whakahokia tana tūpāpaku ki te marae o Motutī, ki tōna papakāinga. I hiahia hoki ia ki te Hokianga, kia hono anō ai ki ōna whakapapa. I hiahia hoki ki tōna kāinga tūturu.

Kua hinga atu te Tōtara

ki te wao nui a Tāne.

E te Māmā Betty,

haere, haere, ngaro atu.

The mighty Tōtara has fallen.

She stood proud and tall in Tāne’s forest.

She provided shelter for

the homeless and food for the needy.

Her heart was filled with love

and tenderness as she

showered affection on those around her.

Ma Betty’s gifts are endless

to those whose needs are many,

so rejoice that we were blessed

by this beautiful Angel of Mercy.4

Kupu tāpiri
  1. Quoted in D.H. Connor, ‘Writing ourselves “home”: biographical texts: a method for contextualizing the lives of wahine Māori: locating the story of Betty Wark.’ PhD thesis, Auckland, 2006, p.198. Back
  2. Ibid., p.260. Back
  3. Ibid., p.276. Back
  4. Extract from Betty Wark’s Death Notice, New Zealand Herald, May 17, 2001. Back
Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Helene Connor. 'Wark, Elizabeth Cecilia (Betty)', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2018. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/6w2/wark-elizabeth-cecilia-betty (accessed 18 May 2021)