Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 2 (Spring 1952)
Previous Section | Table of Contents | Next Section

The New World

the maori affairs department SPRING, 1952

– 1 –


NO. 2

The public has been very kind to the first issue of Te Ao Hou. Some people have been critical in a friendly way, and what they have said has been most valuable. We have added a woman's section this issue, but the introduction of popular features takes a lot of time. Next issue there will be more popular features. We are slowly visiting the various tribes and getting stories from them, but those not yet dealt with should not think they are forgotten. Subscription copies will in future be sent promptly.

Contributions from readers are coming along very nicely. What about the lighter topics—sports, socials, weddings and so on? Stories, and especially photographs, will be most welcome.

The last three months have not been uneventful in the Maori world. The great Apirana Ngata Memorial hui has been reported here in detail; on this very solemn occasion all thoughts turned to the past.

Memories were also revived at the announcement of the abolition of the Maori Land Boards.

In Auckland, meanwhile, the Maori of the future is trying to find his way. The women of the Welfare League carried out a large-scale fact-finding survey of Maori housing, showing great vigour in a crucial cause. Nobody knows what the outcome will be. One certainty is that people who show such vigour are far from being lost or getting swamped in their difficulties. Does the Auckland Maori always get enough credit? Do people reflect often enough how difficult life must be for homeless young people coming from primitive country conditions unprepared, coming simply because they need work? Do people reflect how little there is for such young people to turn to, in spite of the social work which has been so successful, and how little the behaviour of the great bulk of them is really, seriously, worth panicking about?

There is, incidentally, no evidence of these people losing their Maori culture and identity. A very interesting editorial in the New Zealand Herald said recently that the Maori language is in for a real revival. From the comments on the Maori section in Te Ao Hou No. 1 we quite believe it. We have increased it this time. Various other Maori-language books are appearing or are being prepared. More Maori is being taught than ever before. Most important of all, there are signs that the young people are more interested in their language.

– 2 –



Ka nui ra te manakitia o te putanga tuatahi o Te Ao Hou. Ko etahi ano i amuamu mo nga tuhapa o te pepa nei, otira he whakatupato enei ki te Etita. Ko nga mea hou o te putanga tuarua o Te Ao Hou he wahanga motuhake ma nga Wahine. Ehara i te mahi hanga noa iho te timata i tetahi ahuatanga hou mo ta tatou pepa. Hei te pepa mo te wa o Te Kirihimete e puta ai te nuinga a nga ahautanga hou tera e raroto ki te tokomaha o nga kaikorero o Te Ao Hou. Kei te takahia nga marae o te Motu e Te Etita ki te kohi haere i a koutou korero na reira kaua e amuamu mo te kore e rato nga korero e taia ki nga marae katoa, taria te roanga o te wa.

Kei te taoro te haere mai a te korero hei taanga ki Te Ao Hou, engari kaore he korero mo nga mahi ahuareka mo nga marena, mo nga kanikani me era tu mahi. Me tuku mai ano enei tu korero me nga ahua hoki, tera e manaaki nuitia e te tangata.

He nui tonu nga haruru o Te Ao Maori i roto o enei marama, otiia ko te mea tino nui rawa ko te hui hurahanga o nga Pohatu whakamauma-harantanga ki a Ta Apirana Ngata, hoki ana nga whakaaro ki te hunga kua mene kei te po.

Kei te hau mai nga rongo mo nga mahi a te rangatahi i Akarana, na nga wahine o Te Ropu Wahine Maori Toko i Te Ora ko te whakarapopototanga i nga ripoata mo nga whare me te ahua o te noho a te tini o te Maori e noho mai nei i Akarana. Ma wai e tohu ka pehea ra te mutunga o taua ripoata? Ahakoa peheatia ta ratou ripoata ko te wairua o te rangatahi e hautu mai nei i Akarana e kore e haumaruru. Aroha ana te whakaaro iho mo te hunga e noho kore whare mai nei i Akarana, te hunga na te whai kia whiwhi oranga nana i kawe mai ki te taone mahi ai. He taitamariki te nuinga o taua iwi a hemanawa ana nga whakaaro me pehea ra me pehea ra.

Ka nui te oho o te Maori ki te whai i nga taonga a o ratou tipuna. Na tetahi nupepa ara na te New Zealand Herald te korero inatata nei kei te ara mai ano te Reo Maori. E tika ana pea tenei inahoki kaingakau ana te whakamihi a te tangata ki nga wahanga reo Maori o Te Ao Hou. Kei te nekehia ake nga wahanga Maori o ta tatou pepa. Kei te whakaete mai hoki nga pukapuka huhua reo Maori kei te nui haere te whakaakona o te reo Maori me te kaingakau o te hunga taitamariki ki te whai kia mohio ratou ki te korero Maori.

– 3 –

Picture icon

Watching the dedication ceremony, Tikitiki.

Maori World Shows Gloom
at Loss of Sir Apirana

The most important event in the Maori world during the last quarter was undoubtedly the gathering at Tikitiki and Waiomatatini on July 13, commemorating the death of Sir Apirana Ngata. Although a few interesting plans and aims for the future were discussed at this hui, it was mainly an occasion for memories.

Many of those present had worked with Sir Apirana on projects often bringing spectacular changes in the lives of Maori communities. Others had known him only from a distance, but all had personally experienced his leadership and his spirit. None of these visitors could see Puputa or Pukemaire Hills without being the more vividly reminded of the greatness of Apirana's leadership.

On Saturday, July 12, visitors from all tribes arrived at a large number of East Coast pas, stretching from Waiomatatini and Ruatoria as far as Te Araroa. That night was spent in listening to speeches in the meeting houses, and dancing in the adjoining halls for the younger generation. At Tikitiki there was great activity behind the scenes; there was a meal for some 3000 people to be prepared, and all through the night one could see smoke rising and people working around the hangis.

On Sunday morning the weather was perfect. At nine in the morning large crowds started to arrive at the Tapatahi pa, overlooking Tikitiki. Soon the marae was filled to capacity with cars, buses and trucks, and the vehicles began to be parked up the road rising towards Pukemaire. The official party arrived a little after ten, with the Prime Minister (the

– 4 –

Rt. Hon. S. G. Holland), the Hon. E. B. Corbett and Mr. H. Dudfield, M.P., and the Leader of the Opposition (the Rt. Hon. W. Nash), accompanied by the Hon. C. F. Skinner, the Hon. E. T. Tirikatene and Mr T. Omana, M.P. By this time there were between 2000 and 3000 people on the marae.

The welcome hakas were performed by schoolchildren from the Ruatoria and Tikitiki Schools, and followed with a spirited haka led by Pine Taiapa, and composed by the late Sir Apirana Ngata in honour of Lord Bledisloe for the great hui at Waitangi in 1934.

Of particular interest, this fine haka, besides recalling one of the great moments in the life of Sir Apirana, was intended as a handsome compliment to the Prime Minister, who was the chief guest of the hui. The welcome speeches for the Ngati-Porou were recited by Hamana Mahuika, Arnold Reedy and Pahau Milner (deputising for Hone Ngata, who was in ill health). Turi Carroll spoke for Ngati-Kuhungunu and Rei Vercoe for Te Arawa. Mr T. Omana, M.P., and Mr H. Dudfield, M.P., also delivered speeches.

Picture icon

The Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. S. G. Holland, handing over the Ahuwhenua trophy to Mr Kopua Waihi, the winner for 1951. Mr Waihi was awarded the prize for breaking in difficult country and making an efficient dairy farm of it, which is now entirely free of debt. Production from the farm is going ahead every year. Apart from dairy cows, sheep are kept and an orchard is maturing.

Most of these speakers had been closely associated with the late Sir Apirana. They had seen him champion his ideas among his own people in the early days, when they were still far from generally accepted. They had seen the farms and meeting-houses spring up around them on the East Coast, and they had witnessed the revival of arts, crafts and traditional knowledge. Later, they had seen other Maori tribes follow the lead, and found themselves in the forefront of a powerful national movement.

First of the guest speakers was the Hon. E. T. Tirikatene, who paid a tribute to the late leader in the name of the South Island Maoris. He was followed by the Rt. Hon. W. Nash. Mr Nash caught the feeling of the gathering well when he recalled a saying frequently used by the late Bishop Bennett: ‘Put the shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.’ Knowing that Tapatahi was the very marae on which Sir Apirana Ngata had expounded his greatest projects, he felt that this, to the Maori people, was indeed holy ground.

Rich in memories the ground certainly was; everyone's thoughts were drawn back to the past. Strength could be drawn from this, as the Hon. E. B. Corbett said in his speech: ‘Time is well spent in casting back the mind upon those men who have shown their people the way, and held singular places in their community and the life of the nation.’ But then Mr Corbett also said: ‘Sir Apirana Ngata was the greatest of all Maoris. We shall never see his like again.’ This was undoubtedly the dominant thought at the hui. Many of the speakers said: ‘There will never be a hui like this again. This is the last great hui on the East Coast.’


This was an expression of grief, natural enough at the time. Did it go further? Is this really the present mood of the East Coast? To the visitors it appeared to be partly so. The gloom that still lies over Ngati-Porou, two years after Apirana's death, appeared as a very painful and powerful unspoken tribute to his memory.

The Prime Minister noticed this feeling, too, when he commented on the saying that ‘this was to be the last great hui’, and declared: ‘These gatherings are the Parliament of the Maori people. It would be a great pity if they did not continue. Sir Apirana would wish them to continue. Gatherings like this should continue to be held from time to time, to discuss the affairs of the Maori people.’ He continued: ‘We think of the example Sir Apirana gave of adventurous leadership, and must hope that those who take up his work will not fail in inspiration. We know that his work will live, and we believe that his example will not be forgotten by the young men who must come forward and dedicate themselves—as he did in his youth—to the service of their people.’

After the speeches the official party and some of the prominent people present climbed the little knoll known as Te Patoiti, where the beautifully carved St. Mary's Church stands. It

– 5 –

Picture icon

Unveiling of the memorial.

is a memorial to the men who fought in the First World War, and was opened in 1926. The planner, naturally, was Apirana Ngata. The front of this church is turned away from the Waiapu River, probably because the steepness of the hill makes access to the side facing the river more difficult. Yet the finest view over the whole of the historic valley is from that lower side of the church. The memorial to Sir Apirana has been built on this side, overlooking the river and directly facing his native Waiomatatini. It has a strategic position that was also recognised in bygone ages. The Hauhaus were entrenched on this spot, and were defeated here by Apirana's ancestor, Major Ropata.

The memorial is a simple stone obelisk, on which words are engraved which have the following meaning in English:

This stone was erected by the people in memory of SIR APIRANA NOHOPARI TURUPA NGATA, born on the third of July, 1874, deceased on the 14th of July, 1950. It testifies to the love that was felt for the vine that bound the churches and the tribes of the Maori people together, the pillar on whom Maoridom rested, the guiding star of the people.


Elder, Farewell.
Father of the Maori Battalions of the two wars,
Go to your ancestors who rest in the world of darkness,
Leave pain and gloom behind you.

A torch of wisdom is chiselled on the stone, and forms the main decoration. Apirana became a leader through his wisdom and learning. He was looked up to for his knowledge, in both Maori and Pakeha fields. So, from its strategic position, this torch of wisdom now overlooks the Waiapu Valley.

Only a chosen few could climb the knoll, Te Patoiti, and have a close view of the dedication service of the memorial. The others stood below, across the road, on the paddock in front of the marae entrance. They watched the splendid robes, the solemn chanting and praying, the delivering of the speeches, the singing of the hymns. They were fascinated by the moving ceremony on the hill, which they could partly follow.

Bishop Panapa conducted the service, and made a short speech, mainly about those possessions in New Zealand which belong to the Maori race, and the Maori race alone. He spoke especially of the Maori language. Then the Very Rev. J. G. Laughton read a lesson from the new Maori Bible.

Sir Apirana had led the committee that made this translation; it had been his last great work of scholarship. This dedication ceremony was the first service at which the new Maori Bible was read.

At the end of the service the group by the church sang the hymn that used to be Sir Apirana's favourite:

E te Atua, kua ruia nei o purapura pai.’
O God thou hast sown thy good seed

The sound floated down to the spectators below. The Prime Minister removed the precious cloaks from the obelisk. The party near

– 6 –

the memorial then dispersed. Some stayed by the obelisk, sobbing.

During this meeting at Tikitiki there was little time for the discussion of current problems. These remained in the background, although a few questions, not of fundamental importance, were brought forward.

One request made to the government was for a Maori contingent to go to the Coronation next year. The Prime Minister appeared favourably disposed to this.

Another request was for the sale of Hereheretau station by the Crown to Maori trustees, to administer it for veterans of the First World War. There was some talk during the hui of using the proceeds from the farm, not for direct distribution to the many veterans, but for an ‘Apirana Scholarship Fund,’ to enable Maori students to follow university and post-graduate courses, and also to study overseas. No decision was reached, but the government seemed prepared to consider selling Hereheretau.

Picture icon

Religious service at Waiomatatini.

After the meal at Tikitiki a long procession of buses, cars and trucks started on the dusty, winding road to Waiomatatini.

This remote place used to be Apirana's home and retreat. Here is the famous ‘Bungalow’ where Apirana, in his richly carved and decorated study, so often—with many friends, in long discussions—thought out his plans and found solution for grave problems. People have a special reverence for the name Waiomatatini. That reverence becomes stronger as they approach the meeting-house Porourangi. Puputa rises directly behind it, a steep hill richly covered in untouched bush. Puputa is just as it was some generations ago; it belongs to the Maori world of old. Apirana is buried here. Porourangi impresses by its power, and by its beauty delights those who come closer.

At Waiomatatini little happened that can be adequately described in a magazine. Some 1500 people arrived from all over the island, including all the special friends and the closer associates of the leader. The ceremony was simple and quiet. The Very Rev. J. G. Laughton gave a long address, in Maori, describing Apirana's life. This address will long be remembered. Hymns were sung by the people, led by a group of clerics, standing in front of the meeting-house. The gravestone was dedicated. In small groups the people slowly climbed to Puputa's top, and paid their respects at the graveside. Groups continued to go up and down until darkness fell, and a meal was served with charming hospitality.

Many of the Parliamentary party stayed at Waiomatatini until late in the evening, among them Mr Corbett and Mr Nash. Those of the people who did not have necessary business to attend to stayed all through the night, listening to many excellent speeches in Apirana's memory.

– 7 –

Picture icon

Waiomatatini: the visitors.

Ko Te Hui Hurahanga I Te
Pohatu O Ta Apirana Ngata

Katahi ano pea te hui penei rawa tona ihi tona wehi i te hui hurahanga o nga pohatu whakamaharatanga ki a Ta Apirana Ngata, ta te iwi nui kei Tiki Tiki, a ta te whanau kei Waiomatatini, i te 13 a nga ra o te Hurae ka taha ake nei. Ahakoa he nui tonu nga take i korerorerotia mo te painga o te iwi ko te kawenga nui ia a nga iwi o te Motu ki nga marae o Apirana ko te aroha.

I reira katoa nga morehu kaumatua o te motu, nga hoa Pakeha o Apirana nga iwi na ratou i tautoko nga whakaaro nunui o to tatou kaumatua nana i hiki te iwi i roto o nga tau. Tu tahanga ana nga whare o Apirana, ngaro ana tona reo karanga, reo mihi ki nga iwi o te motu.

No te Hatarei te 12 o nga ra o Hurae ka whakaeke nga manuhiri tuarangi ki nga marae maha o Ngatiporou mai i Hiruharama ki Te Araroa, ka pai ra te iwi putuputu tonu ona marae. Ko te nuinga ia o nga ope i Tiki Tiki me ona marae maha.

Uina ake i te Ratapu ka mutu te rangi atahua katahi ano ta te Rangi manaaki i a Ngatiporou i ana whakararu, he hui na hoki he marangai, he hui na he marangai. Mai i te iwa o nga haora o te ata ka timata te whakaeke a te tangata ki te marae o Tapatahi ara ki te marae o Rongomaianiwaniwa. Pipiri ana te tutu a nga motoka a nga pahi he hanga reka ki te matakitaki te nohonoho a te tangata huri rauna te marae tana 3,000 pea. I te tekau o nga haora ko te ope o te Pirimia o Te Rt. Hon. S. G. Holland ratou ko ona hoa, ko te Hon. E. B. Corbett, te Minita Maori, ko Mr H. Dudfield, Te Mema Paremata mo Turanga, ko Te Kaiarahi o Te Apitihana ko Te Rt. Hon. W. Nash, ko Te Hon. C. F. Skinner, ko Te Hon. E. T. Tirikatene a ko Tiaki Omana te mema

– 8 –

Maori mo Te Rohe Pooti o Te Tairawhiti.

Na nga tamariki o nga kura o Ruatoria me Tiki Tiki nga manaaki tuatahi ki te ope o te Pirimia, i muri iho ko nga manaaki a Ngati putanga a ko te haka a Te Urunga o Te Ra ko Kiringutu, i hakaina ra ki Waitangi i 1934 hei mihi ki Te Kawana ki a Lord Bledisloe mo tona aroha ki te tuku i te whenua o Waitangi hei koha ki te Motu. Ka tae ki nga kupu ra ‘Purari paka’ ka mingomingo kata te Pihopa o Aotearoa ko ia hoki te kaiwhakamaori ki te Pirimia. I tawaitia a Apirana e nga nupepa o taua wa o te tau 1934, mo nga kupu o taua haka engari ko te whakamarama ki te Pirimia he manaaki nui tenei ka homai a Kiringutu ki a ia. Kua taki ngarongaro ki te po te iwi nana i haka a Kiringutu ki Waitangi.

Ko nga whaikorero a Ngatiporou manaaki i te ope o Te Pirimia i a Te Hamana Mahuika, i a Nehe Rire, i a Pahau Mirina ko te kaumatua ko Hone Ngata na te mate ka ngaro. Ko Turi Kara te kaikorero mo Ngati-Kahungunu me ona rerenga, ko Te Reiwhati Vercoe mo Te Arawa a ko Tiaki Omana raua ko Mr H. Dudfield mo nga rohe o raua ana pooti. Kotahi tonu te rangi o te korero he tangi he mihi ki to ratou kaumatua ki a Apirana, nana i whakarata te Pakeha. I puta nga korero mo ana mahi ahuwhenua i tipu atu i te riu o Waiapu koa hora ki nga iwi o te Motu, ki ona whare whakairo e tutu haere ra i nga marae o Ngatiporou a huri rauna te Motu, hei pupuri i nga taonga o nehera i te whakairo i te tukutuku, me ana mahi huhua noa atu i waiho ai a Ngatiporou hei tauira ma nga iwi o te Motu.


Ka paenga te wahanga ki a Ngatiporou me nga iwi ka tutu mai ko nga kaikorero o te ope o Te Pirimia. Tuatahi tonu ko Tirikatene ka mihi ki nga iwi ka tangi ki tona kaumatua he tangi mana ake, a na tona iwi noa Ngaitahu. I muri iho ko Te Kaiarahi o Te Apitihana ko Te Rt. Hon. Walter Nash. I roto i ana mihi ka puta i a ia te korero a Pihopa Peneti ‘Tangohia ou hu motemea ko te wahi e tu na koe he wahi tapu’. I ki ai a Te Nahi i tenei korero motemea e mohio ana ia i tipu atu i te marae o Rongomaianiwaniwa etahi o nga whakaaro nunui o Apirana mo te iwi Maori na reira he wahi tapu tera ki roto i ona whakaaro. Ka whakapu aroha te whakaminenga he hokinga no nga whakaaro ki nga koha nuinui noa atu a Apirana.

Ka tu ko Te Minita ko Te Kopata a ko tana korero. ‘He mea pai ano me hoki whakamuri o tatou whakaaro ki te hunga i tuku i o ratou tinana, i o ratou hinengaro i o ratou kaha mo o ratou na iwi Pakeha, Maori. Ka kite tatou ko Apirana Ngata te tangata tino rongonui o roto i te iwi Maori, e kore tatou e kite ano i tetahi tangata penei’. Ko te whakaaro nui ra tera o te whakaminenga me te korero hoki ko te hui whakamutunga tera e huihui ai nga mangai o nga iwi o te Motu ki era marae.


Ka mutu katoa a ona hoa ka tu ko te Pirimia ko Te Horana ki te whakautu i nga mihi ki tona tinana a ki te whakapuaki hoki i ana tangi a i nga tangi a te Kawanatanga ki to ratou hoa o roto i nga tau ki a Ta Apirana Ngata. Ko tana whakahoki ki te nguha a nga iwi ko to ratou whakaaro koia ra te hui nui whakamutunga o te Motu i penei na, ‘Ko nga hui penei te Paremata o te iwi Maori’. Ko te whakahoki a Te Pirimia ki te tono a Pahau Milner me whakaaro te Kawanatanga ki te tuku i tetahi ope Maori ki te karaunatanga o Te Kuini pera ano i te haerenga ra ki te Karaunatanga i tona tipuna i a Eruera VII ka mea ia, he korero tinihanga ra, e mataku ana ia ki te whakaae ki taua tono kei haere taua ope ka hakaina ko ‘Purari Paka’ ka mau ki te herehere ka tau te whakama ki te Kawanatanga. Ahakoa ra kaore ia i te wareware ki te iwi Maori kaore e pera rawa te tokomaha o te ope me tera i haere ra ki te karaunatanga o te tipuna engari ka haere he Maori i roto i te ope o Niu Tireni.

Ka mutu nga manaaki ka piki te Pirimia ratou ko tona ope ki te puke o Patoiti e tu mai ra te Whare Karakia whakairo whakamaharatanga a Ngatiporou ki ona tamariki i hinga atu ki te Pakanga nui, 1914–18, ko ia nei tetahi o nga whare a Apirana. Ko muri o taua whare kei te anga ki Waiapu a kei reira te Pohatu whakamaumaharatanga a Ngatiporou ki to ratou matua ki a Ta Apirana Ngata. Ka mutu te tunnga pai, marakerake ana tana titiro ki te ngutuawa o Waiapu ki nga parae o te riu o Waiapu, ki Te Awanui, ki Waiomatatini nga wahi i arohatia ai e tona ngakau. Kei raro iho tona pohatu i Pukemaire te pa i hinga ai i tona tipuna i a Nehe Ropata Wahawaha te Hauhau.

Ko Te Pohatu a Ngatiporou ina noa ake a ko nga kupu Maori kei runga e mau ana anei na:

He kohatu whakamaumaharatanga
na te iwi ki a

ta apirana nohopari turupa ngata i whanau i te 3 o hurae, 1874, I mate i te 14 o hurae, 1950. He tohu aroha ki a ia ki te aka tuhonohono i nga haahi me nga hapu o te iwi maori te poutokomanawa o te maoritanga te

whetu marama o te iwi. ‘ka areare koa puanga i tona rua.’

– 9 –

Kei nga taha o taua pohatu e mau ana nga mahi Maori me te rama o te maramatanga, ko Apirana hoki te rama nana i homai te maramatanga ki Ngatiporou ki te iwi Maori. Ko ianei tona ahuatanga ki te Pakeha ki te Maori ko te rama o te maramatanga na reira ahakoa kua ngaro tona tinana ko tona maramatanga kei te tiaho tonu.

Ko te nuinga o te whakaminenga i raro iho i te puke o Patoiti e tu ake ana e whakarongo ake ana ki te Karakia. I te Pihopa o Aotearoa i a Panapa te kauhau, na te Very Rev. J. G. Laughton i panui te rongopai i te Paipera Maori ko Apirana ra tetahi o te komiti nana i whakatikatika te reo Maori o te Paipera Tapu, ko tetahi tenei o ana mahi nui whakamutunga. Na te Pirimia i hura te Pohatu. Ko te himene whakamutunga a te koaea ko ‘E te Atua kua ruia nei au purapura pail’. Ko te himene tenei a Apirana i a raua ko Pihopa Peneti e rere ana i runga i te ka o te Pihopa ki te unga kaipuke rere rangi i Nepia i wehe ai raua, ano te ahua kua mohio iho a Apirana kua tata te mutu ona ra.

Ka mutu te tina ka huri nga iwi ki waiomatatini ki te hura i te Pohatu a te whanau, he tohu aroha ki to ratou papa, kei runga i tona tinana kei te roro tonu o te whare pohatu o tona tipuna o Nehe Ropata Wahawaha. I manaakitia nga ope ki te roro o Porourangi a he hanga aroha te taina o Apirana a Renata ki te tu mai ki te manaaki i nga iwi o te Motu. Ko Te Pirimia anake o tona ope i ngaro i tenei whakaminenga. Ko te karakia i te roro o Porourangi a na te Very Rev. J. G. Laughton te kauhau i te reo Maori. Ka mutu te karakia ka piki ki Puputa. Na te Very Rev. J. G. Laughton i hura te pohatu. Ina noa ake te pohatu a te whanau mo to ratou papa a ko nga kupu kei runga e mea ana

‘He Tohu Aroha
i WHANAU i 3 o nga ra o
Hurae, 1874
i MATE i 14 o nga ra o
Hurae, 1950

Ka mutu ka taki hokihoki etahi o nga iwi ko etahi ano ia i noho iho ki Porourangi.

Kaore noaiho he take pera rawa atu o tenei hui. Kotahi ano te take i whakahaeretia i te po ko te take mo te Tahua Moni a nga hoia o te Pakanga tuatahi. Ko te whakaaro nui o te hunga i reira me tuku nga toenga o taua tahua moni hei punga mo tetahi karahipi me hua ko ‘Te Ta Apirana Karahipi’ otira i te mea kaore ano tenei take i tatu noa me waiho ona korero hei korero ma Te Ao Hou mo tetahi atu wa. Ko te whakaaro ia he tino whakaaro rangatira.

– 10 –

Picture icon



A recent news item in a Bay of Plenty newspaper drew attention to a problem that, whatever its economic aspects, is one of great human interest to the country in general. It concerned the future of the satellite town of Mangakino, which came into existence as a measure to house and cater for the labour force employed on Government hydro-electric schemes.

It was, until recently, just taken for granted that the bulk of the population would be moved elsewhere when the present project was completed, but now there is a growing demand for the establishment of a permanent township, and the Maori Tribal Committee representing the owners have already been approached regarding granting of long tenure. Earnest efforts are being made to gain the permanency of the present shopping-centre, which will serve an ever-increasing farm district, and to try to establish light industries which will absorb the present, or a new, labour force.

At the moment, there is little point in issuing statements about the future of the town, since no one is in the position to foretell even the most probable events. Anything can happen in the 21 years before the original lease expires, and there is nothing to indicate definitely that Mangakino will either expand considerably or vanish from the face of the earth. The development of the Pouakani block, however, on which the town now stands, is a different matter altogether, and it may yet prove to be that the futures of both are inextricably bound together for the common good. Together they have shared an interesting past, as we shall see, and in the light of that past the abandonment of Mangakino may not be treated lightly.

Up to the days of Richard John Seddon, the Wairarapa Maoris had owned from time immemorial a lake to which they had given their name, and from whose waters they wrested a meagre living by catching eels. The lake emptied into the sea through a narrow channel at its southernmost tip, and it was the Maori custom of blocking this up that first led to trouble. Once a year, at a time the water's level had risen anything up to ten feet, the Maoris opened up the channel and allowed the lake to flood out, with the result that the eels became sluggish on contact with salt water, and were easily caught.

Unfortunately for all concerned, many of the adjacent paddocks belonging to pakeha farmers were flooded also, and as can be imagined, some pretty strong words were bandied around between homestead and marae before

– 11 –

the Government was called in to investigate. It must have been an embarrassing moment when, after due investigation, it was found that the land didn't belong to the settlers, anyway. It was, and always had been Maori land, and no proof existed that it had been lent, leased or sold to the pakehas. The main point under discussion, however, was that the annual flooding of productive land could not be tolerated, and the Government cast around for something to give the Maoris in exchange for the lake. A block of land called Pouakani, in the centre of the North Island was offered and accepted.

It was typical of the people and the times that a great hui, which the Prime Minister attended in person, should follow on the heels of the agreement, and many speeches were made to glorify this eventful occasion in the history of the Wairarapa; for it was naturally intended that they should immediately migrate to the north, and settle on the new land. It was impressed on them that this was to be a real heke, a migration, and not spasmodic infiltration or a visit like the swallows in the spring. They would have to bury some of their dead there, and thus hallow the ground, and sink their roots. But nothing happened for many years, and it began to look as though the Wairarapa didn't want Pouakani, in which case there were plenty of other people around who did.

The Lands Department, for one, had ideas about taking it over; and the Waikato people, seeing it neglected for so long, were beginning to cast envious eyes over its rich, rolling pastures. Not that anyone could blame them.

It wasn't until after the war, when the Morningside Timber Co. became interested in, and eventually bought about 6,000 acres' worth of saleable timber that Pouakani got the attention it deserved. Then the Wairarapa Maoris, in consultation with a judge and officers of the Maori Land Board, set about forming a committee of owners to organise the agricultural development of the block under the most favourable conditions of tenure.

The State Hydro-electric Department began its friendly and successful negotiations with the owners, which resulted in 600 acres being leased for use as a temporary township, as well as a further area for the dam site and the area that was to be flooded. Regarding the township site, which is now Mangakino, the understanding is that the Works Department will hand it back to the Maoris after 21 years. Out of a total of just over 30,000 acres, therefore, there was still a considerable amount of land available for farming, even discounting the bush area, that never would be suitable for agricultural purposes.

Be Sure of your Copy

Altogether, the suitable farming land was estimated roughly to be about 12,000 acres, and, to help develop this, the first batch of young single men arrived from Wairarapa, and got to work on grassing and fencing. Incidentally, these young men were carefully chosen, since they were to be the first trainee settlers when the training farm was established. Behind the scenes, the committee of owners tackled the question of leases, selection of settlers, training, shareowners, casual employees and all the other problems arising from the venture. The Department of Maori Affairs field staff, meanwhile, went ahead with the specialist work, concentrating particularly on 376 acres which had been reserved, and cut into two training farms for dairying purposes. The development of the block went ahead rapidly from then on.

At the time of writing, Pouakani is now a working proposition, and since all this has been accomplished in less than two years, it reflects credit on the Wairarapa Maoris and the Department. But we must let the figures speak for themselves.

There is at present 11,500 acres in grass, and 40 miles of fencing, on which is planted about

Picture icon

Woolshed of the Maori Affairs Department's farming scheme, Pouakani, near Mangakino. At Pouakani the Department also maintains a farm training school where twelve Maori farmers are at present undergoing training.

– 12 –

15 miles of shelter trees. There is some 20 miles of roading. One of the dairy training farms last year milked 144 heifers, which yielded over 15,617lb of butterfat, valued at £2,000. The first six trainees who were ‘graduated’ from the training establishment are now settled on their own farms, and each went to a new house and a milking-shed fully equipped with a modern plant. Each of them has taken a trainee, thus expanding the instructional range of the scheme even further, and accelerating the rate of occupation. In all, the scheme is now carrying stock of approximately 2,700 steers, 18,000 sheep and 550 dairy cattle; but with the pastures becoming more consolidated, it will be necessary to step up the carrying capacity immediately.

The financial figures are formidable, total expenditure up to date being over £417,000, which mainly covers buildings, clearing and grassing, fencing, roading, water supply and implements. Finally, it is estimated that Pouakani will be able to sustain about 50 or 60 farms—mostly dairying—though some sheep stations may be established in the back country. And when all is achieved, it will be a most fitting ending to a story that began with a lake, a blocked channel and some Maoris who loved eels.

– 13 –


The war clouds of World War II had hardly rolled away over the horizon after VE-Day, followed by VJ-Day. Countless members of weary and disillusioned folk, after long years of strife and anxiety, followed by months of want and uncertainty, were left, many of them, spiritually bankrupt—the prey of materialistic forces. How to stir new hopes and rouse the people to fresh endeavours was the immediate problem.

This was the atmosphere in which the British and Foreign Bible Society in New Zealand found itself. It was faced with the task of providing for the moral and spiritual recovery of many in all lands. But while facing up to this tremendous task it was not unmindful of the needs of the Maori people in this land. This, of course, was in line with the broad policy of the society, and consistent with steps taken previously. For all this the Maori people generally should be for ever grateful.

Following on the cessation of hostilities in World War I, the late Bishop Herbert Williams, then Archdeacon of Waiapu, was given the task of bringing out a new edition of the Maori Bible. To his everlasting credit he took over the double burden of editing and supervising the work through the press without flinching. But it was too big a task for one man, even a man of his calibre. There were men like Sir Apirana who were ready and willing to help if they were called upon. The result was the edition of 1925, which, unforunately, was full of typographical errors. The Society, without any thought of revision, set about the task of having these mistakes corrected before re-publication.

Individual copies of every book of the Bible were printed, and a panel of scholars of the language invited to do the work. Men well known for their scholarship, standing and interest responded to the call, and did a good job of work. In the process of this work, which meant a very close scrutiny of the whole text of the Bible word by word, these men felt that something more than a mere correction of errors should be carried out. In other words, a revision of the Maori Bible was called for.

In response to this demand, the society thought fit to call a conference of selected members of the three main Churches concerned to study the question further. This conference met in Wallis House, Lower Hutt, Wellington, on March 9–12, 1946, under the chairmanship of the Rev. David Calder, who was secretary of the society at the time. The conference was of one mind regarding the need of revision, and the following were selected as the Maori Bible Revision Committee:


  • The Very Rev. J. G. Laughton, C.M.G. (ex-Moderator and Superintendent of Presbyterian Maori Mission)


  • The Right Rev. F. A. Bennett, C.M.G., L. Th. (Bishop of Aotearoa)

  • The Rev. Eru Te Tuhi (Superintendent, Methodist Maori Mission)

  • Sir Apirana Ngata, M.A., LL.B., Litt.D.

  • Mr William Bird, M.A. (former Senior Inspector of Native Schools)

  • The Rev. Te Hihi Kaa, L.Th. (Waipawa Maori Pastorate)

  • The Rev. W. N. Panapa, L. Th. (Taupo Maori Pastorate)

The presence of Sir Apirana on the revision committee put a new complexion altogether on the work of the committee, and ensured that, for all time, the new edition would be a standard work on the Maori language. His leadership, capacity for work and organising ability made itself felt, and his was the impulse

– 14 –

which drove the work relentlessly on to its completion in three years. Now that he has passed on to join the ‘great cloud of witnesses’, an extract from our chairman's report should be quoted here:

‘No words can adequately express the gratitude of the revision committee, nor its admiration for the work of Sir Apirana Ngata in this great undertaking. He is a scholar of the Maori language without peer, he knows it in all its idioms, he is master of its poetry and historical background, and from the moment he entered the ranks of the revision committee he has thrown himself into its work with boundless enthusiasm, and with an energy that fairly astonishes his fellow members. To him, also, is due the initiative of the splendid effort of the Maori people to raise £3,000 towards the costs of the revision and publication of this new edition of the Maori Bible….’


The committee was a representative one, and much is owed to all its members. Sir Apirana himself was the first to admit that team-work and the pooling of experiences were of vital importance in such an undertaking. Subsequently, Mr Pei Te Hurinui Jones was co-opted as a member of the committee. A Maori linguist, and an authority on Maori lore and history, he represented the Tainui dialect, in which the Old Testament of the Maori Bible was written by men like Dr Maunsell.

Arising out of the same conference, two further resolutions should be noted here and quoted in full. These should dispel all the criticism and misunderstanding which arose from different quarters during the course of our work. The first resolution was moved by the Right Rev. the Bishop of Aotearoa, seconded by the Rev. Eru Te Tuhi, and agreed to:

‘That this committee is of the opinion that the Very Rev. J. G. Laughton, Superintendent of the Maori Missions of the Presbyterian Church, should be sent to London to see the revision of the Maori Bible through the press, and further, that, if the British and Foreign Bible Society approve of this proposal, the authorities of the Presbyterian Church be asked to release him from his present duties for the necessary time.’

In the second resolution it was laid down that:

‘This committee, convened in the Frederic Wallis House, Lower Hutt, in connection with the revision and re-publication of the Maori Bible, puts on record its conception of the task to which the committee, as being the production of the most perfect edition of the Maori Bible within the capacity of its members, by the removal of all typographical errors, by the clearing up of obscure passages in the text, and by casting the same in characteristic Maori idiom where desirable, the English Authorised Version of the Bible and the Maori translation thereof, being the basis from which the committee works. For clearing up difficulties in the text, the committee recommends to its members the use of the English Revised Version, and also to have recourse to the original Hebrew and Greek, Dr Moffatt's translation being used as a guide if thought desirable.’

Thus authorised and armed for its great assignment, the committee settled down at once to its own methods of procedure in carrying out this great work. From the outset three great principles were laid down for the general guidance of the committee:


Every decision made to amend, alter, or add to the text in the process of improving or clearing up, as laid down in our charter, must be the decision of the whole committee.


The original dialect or dialects in which the Maori Bible was first written must not be tampered with, but remain paramount.


The actual sittings of the committee in its revision work to be of one week's duration, and to be held in open forum, in all important Maori centres, in rotation.

There was quite a flutter in Northland and other sections of the Maori community about the new revision. Some made the rather worn objection that what was good enough for our fathers was good enough for us. However, there was a real concern that the original dialect would be changed, and the literary merits of the old Bible would be replaced by a conglomeration of all the dialects represented by the members on the committee. Canon Wiremu Keretene wrote a touching letter from the Bay of Islands to a member of the committee, saying: ‘I have just concluded my lament over the passing of the dialect of our fathers: so let it be, you and I can at least give it a decent burial.’ The decision not to tamper with the original dialect or dialects, however, was very satisfying to our people in the north.


The idea of holding sittings in meeting-houses, or places accessible to the public, proved to be an excellent one. It gave our people the opportunity of listening in, and of making some contribution to the work of revision. Further-

– 15 –

more, it gave the new edition of the Maori Bible the necessary publicity, to the extent that it was being discussed through the whole Island. Critics who voiced their opinions from afar, and were not interested enough to attend in person one of the many sessions held all over the country, were condemned out of their own mouths. Our experience was that anyone with a real contribution to make did come, and was entirely satisfied, whether his suggestion was adopted or not. Looking back on this self-imposed procedure, I know it certainly entailed more work, and took up much more time. But I feel strongly that none of us on the committee would have had it otherwise. It gave complete satisfaction to ourselves and the Maori people as a whole.

The work proceeded apace, according to schedule. By the year ended November 30, 1947, the society was able to report as follows:

‘The revision committee has gone on steadily with the task, and the typescript of the revised New Testament is now in London, and proofs have been promised within the next six months. Work on the Old Testament revision is well forward, and the members of the committee have given a great deal of their time ….’

The committee members were all given an individual share in the task of revision. As a beginning, each member was allocated one book each of the New Testament, and told to carry on his revision verse by verse, in accordance with a few simple rules. Special forms were printed at Bible House, Wellington, according to instructions from the committee. Notes and comments were made on these forms by each reviser. Here is an example of the actual notes of Sir Apirana on the revision of St. Matthew's Gospel:

Notes on Maori text

In. Insert
Del. Delete
Re. Recast as in revision
Ref. Refer to
Sub. Substitute
Trn. Transliteration
A.V. Authorised Ver. (E)
R.V. Revised Ver. (E)
87 Maori 1887
H.W. Maori 1925
W.D5 Williams Dict. 5 Edit.
Ngi Ngapuhi


Chap. Ver. L. Note
1 1 1 In Ko at beginning of verse.
3 2 Del., after Tamara
5 2 Del., after Rahapa
Picture icon

Bishop Panapa meeting the people of Ruatoki (November, 1951).

5 3 Del., after Rutu
6 2 Alter cap W to w
6 3 Del., after Uria
8 3 Sub. Ohiaha for Utia. Ohiaha in 87 A.V. Ozias. Better transliteration.

These notes were sent to our typists, who retyped the entire Maori Bible according to the instructions given. Eight copies were taken, so that the proposals made by the revising member could be put before all committee members separately. I shall quote some verses from Matthew I. as they came from the typists' hands.

ko te rongopai ki te ritenga a

  • Ko te pukapuka o te whakapaparanga o Ihu Karaiti, tama a Rawiri, tama a Aperahama.

  • 2 Whanau ake ta Aperahama ko Ihaka; whanau ake ta Ihaka ko Hakopa; whanau ake ta Hakopa ko Hura ratou ko ona tuakana, ko ona teina;

  • 8 Whanau ake ta Aha ko Iehohapata; whanau ake ta Iehohapata ko Iorama; whanau ake ta Iorama ko Ohiaha;

  • 16 Whanau ake ta Hakopa ko Hohepa, ko te tahu a Meri; whanau ake te Meri ko Ihu, e kiia nei ko te Karaiti.

Upon receiving his copy of the typescript, each member would study the new revision, and make notes for submission to the next session of the full committee. So it may be of interest to readers to know that the final revision of those four verses above after the session of the committee was as follows:

– 16 –
  • Ko te pukapuka o te whakapapa o Ihu Karaiti, tama a Rawiri, tama a Aperahama.

  • 2 Na Aperahama ko Ihaka; na Ihaka ko Hakopa; na Hakopa ko Hura ratou ko ona tuakana, ko ona teina;

  • 8 Na Aha ko Iehohapata; na Iehohapata ko Iorama; na Iorama ko Ohiaha;

  • 16 Na Hakopa ko Hohepa, ko te tahu a Meri; whanau ake ta Meri ko Ihu, e kiia nei ko te Karaiti.

My own suggestions on these verses, finally adopted by the full committee, reads: ‘It is worth while going back to the original, as in the 1844 edition, it is more Maori, simpler, and reads better, while still retaining the implication of “begat”. Actually, the only place where “whanau ake ta” applies is in verse 16, where it can be said that “whanau ake ta Meri ko Ihu”….’


With our modus operandi clearly set out, this seems a fitting place to pay a tribute to our typists, who did a wonderful job of work right through. We started off with three—Miss Frances Mitchell, of Ohinemutu, Miss Moe Poata and Mrs Tom Kaua, both of Gisborne, who carried on to the finish. Mr Bird always spoke at our meetings of the good work of the girls, and moved a vote of thanks in appreciation of their labours. But on more than one occasion there was a smile on Sir Apirana's face, when his own typing measured up (as he put it) to that of the girls. He did the major part of the typing himself in the beginning, and all through he saw to it that enough typescripts were available to carry on. Members will not easily forget our session in ‘The Bungalow’ at Waiomatatini, when the soft clatter of the typewriter was heard up to two o'clock in the morning. Sir Apirana was seeing to it that we had enough script to last out the session there. But that does not in the least detract from the fine performance put up by these good ladies.

Was the revision of the Maori Bible fully justified? If so in what way? Busy men like Sir Apirana, John Laughton, Bishop Bennett, Eru Te Tuhi, and so on, giving over three years to such a task, should be sufficient answer to the question. In varying degrees we were all busy men. One can only give some of the more salient points which made the work of revision very satisfying. There were, of course, verses throughout the older version which seem to miss the point altogether. To take a very simple example there is the oft-quoted phrase, more used than any other at a Maori tangi. ‘Ta koutou i tenei ao he matemate, otira kia maia, kua taea hoki e ahau te ao.’ Translate that back to English you get: ‘Your lot in this world is (simply) to die, but be of good cheer, etc.’ That seems far removed from the English version, ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, etc.’ We made the slightest alteration here by changing the word mate-mate into mamate (misfortune) but what a difference! It now reads: ‘Ko te koutou i tenei ao he mamate (misfortune) etc.’, which any Maori scholar will appreciate to the full.


One thing which afforded the committee much pleasure was the restoration to the Maori Bible of the use of the specific particle ‘ko’. Right from the beginning, Mr Bird insisted that ‘ko’ should be restored to its rightful place, not only from the grammatical standpoint, but because it is the correct Maori. And so we started off with the title, ‘Ko te Paipera Tapu,’ and inside the title page, ‘Ko te Paipera Tapu ara ko te Kawenata Tawhito me Kawenata Hou.’ Anyone looking at that quite dispassionately would agree with us that it meant more than the mere restoration of a particle, but the restoration of the old dignity of the Maori Bible. And so the work went on, adding ‘ko’ to the title of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, and the text of the Bible itself. One recollects the innumerable ‘ko's' added in one morning's sitting of the committee which brought forth the remark that it must have been dropped as a measure of economy in the printing! Unworthy thought! But when the particle was dropped, and why, are two questions to which we have not been able to give an answer.

But we found that our main quarrel with the former version was in the lack of emphasis, or, in countless instances, misplaced emphasis. I suppose that is a besetting sin in any work of translation. In the process of transferring the thought from one tongue to the other, invariably the emphasis is lost or misplaced. That was the case with our Maori Bible. The corrected version more often than not consisted simply of the same words arranged in a different order.

Let us look in for a moment at a full meeting of the revision committee. The tables are covered with books—all the authorities, dictionaries, concordance and so forth. Each member has a typed carbon copy of the particular portion under review. One member is reading aloud from his script, and enjoying it because it is all in his dialect. Eru Te Tuhi has the 1925 edition before him, and notes any departure

– 17 –

therefrom, however slight. Dan Kaa revels in his Hebrew text, and usually starts an argument somehow, but has to be reminded that it is the Maori Bible that is under revision. Manu (Mr Bird) has his beloved Authorised Version in hand, with its beautiful English. The Bishop keeps a close check on everything, with his eyes on the 1887 edition. The chairman, who holds the master copy, concentrates on his script for any correction or change, but at the same time keeps the Revised Version ever before him, in order that he may appreciate the new revision that is being read out aloud. Sir Apirana's alert mind hovers over all. If he is not taking the reading, he may be humming an old Maori waiata, seeking for the one word required in a certain context.


Were there any serious arguments? Plenty. On two occasions we had recourse to Professor Knight for his opinion, which he gave willingly, much to the appreciation of the committee. Perhaps it is too much to expect seven ordinary men to be otherwise. But there was not a single thing that we did not all agree to in the end, and our fellowship together was something we shall never forget.

The practice of reading aloud was a very important factor in our work. It was the final test we imposed on the work of revision: how did it sound in our Maori ears? After we had had a full discussion as to meaning, emphasis, grammar, punctuation, it was read aloud. That was the final test. Maoris have great ears for understanding the spoken word, great ears for the music and subtleties of unwritten language. This is one of the things ingrained into their very being for centuries, through sitting on the marae, and hearing real oratory spoken by their elders. It must be realised that the Maori language was, and still is a language for speech-making. It is essentially a speaking language. And one of the chief aims of the committee was to try and put back into the Maori Bible something of the sweet musical tone and cadence, rhythm and poetry of the Maori language.


On March 20, 1950, after the rangiatea centennial celebrations at Otaki, we held our last meeting at Bible House, Wellington. Our work of revision had been completed a week before Christmas, 1949, at a final meeting at Ohope, Whakatane. But at last, the headquarters of the society, in London, was ready for Mr and Mrs Laughton to come over and start on the work of publication. Other than the business of passing and adopting the balance sheet, we had come together to farewell them both before they went overseas. Our hearts and prayers went out to them, as we realised only too well the very exacting work to which they were committed, the many weary days and nights of mere proofreading, with all its monotony and eye-strain. At last in June, 1952, the first copies of the new Bible arrived in New Zealand. Before this article is printed the general edition will be on sale in this country.

In conclusion, one cannot do better than again quote from the Chairman's report:

No edition of the Maori Bible since the first has been looked forward to with such eagerness as that at present being prepared. Maori minds and money and devotion are being given to it. In a new sense it will be the Maori Bible. Some of the funds subscribed have come from groups of Sunday School and public school children. These are tokens which hearten the members of the committee in their labours, which often call for long and concentrated research regarding the meaning of a single word, or the right turn of a single phrase. It is for the generation which these children represent that the members gladly apply themselves to their heavy assignment, that the word of God may come to them and to the generations after them, clear as crystal, and sweet as the water of life, through the medium of their mother tongue.

– 18 –

he tipuna no ngati-raukawa

Ko tenei tangata ko Wairangi no Ngati Raukawa. Ko tona kainga ko Rurunui i te takiwa o Wharepuhunga. Nga wahine a Wairangi tokorua ko Parewhete, ko Puroku. I a Wairangi e ngaro ana i Kawhia, ka tae mai tetehi tangata rangatira o Ngati Maru, ko Tupeteka te ingoa, he whanaunga ki a Parewhete. Ka noho manuhiri te tangata nei i Rurunui. E rua nga po e noho ana i te kainga, i te ata ka titiro atu a Puroku a piri ana to kakowai i te paparinga o Tupeteka, no Parewhete. Kua mohio a Puroku kua taea te wahine ra e Tupeteka. Ka hoki a Tupeteka ki tona kainga ki Te Aea. I muri tonu i a ia ka tae mai a Wairangi. Ka korerotia e Puroku, ‘Ko to wahine kua hara ki tetehi tangata, ko Tupeteka te ingoa. I kitea e au ki te kokowai o Parewhete e piri ana i te paparinga o Tupeteka.’ Katahi ka riri a Wairangi ka patua e ia a Parewhete. I te po ka oma a Parewhete; haria ana e ia etehi kokowai; ka haere tonu i te huarahi o Tupeteka; ka tae ki tetehi mania, ka pania te kokowai ki te awa o Waikato, ka pukaia iho tetehi o nga kakahu, ka haria etehi. Ka whiti ki tera taha o Waikato, haere tonu. Ka tuhia tetechi kokowai ke te pari ki Parikarangaranga, kei te takiwa o Turangamoana. Ka whiti i Waihou ka tae ki Te Aea. Ka moe i tana tane i a Tupeteka. Ka kimi te iwi nei a Ngati Raukawa i a Parewhete, na ka haere etehi i te ara o Parewhete, ka haere noa atu etehi. Ka kitea te manuka i pania ki te kokowai—Te Manukatutahi. Haere tonu Ka tae ki Aniwaniwa ka kitea nga kakahu. Ka mohiotia kua riro ki Te Aea ki te takiwa o Te Aroha. Ka hoki era ki Rurunui, ka korerotia atu ki te iwi, ki a Wairangi hoki, ‘Kua riro a Parewhete ki Te Aea, i kitea e matou ki te kokowai, ki nga kakahu.’

Huihui tonu iho a Ngati Raukawa, ka rupeke. Ko nga tangata kei roto i te iwi ko Tamatehura, muri iho ko Wairangi muri iho ko Upokoiti a muri rawa ko Pipito. Ko te nui o te iwi nei, hokowhitu. Ko te rakau a te iwi ra, he patu paraoa he meremere, he patu kowhatu, me a ratou patu roroa, he tewhatewha,


an ancestor of ngati raukawa

Now this man, Wairangi, belonged to Ngati Raukawa. His home was at Rurunui, in the district of Wharepuhunga.* Wairangi had two wives, Parewhete and Puroku. Whilst Wairangi was absent at Kawhia there arrived a certain man of rank of the Ngati Maru tribe, Tupeteka by name, and he was kin to Parewhete. This man remained as a guest at Rurunui. Having stayed two nights at the village, in the morning, when Puroku glanced at him, she noticed adhering to the cheek of Tupeteka some red ochre which came from (the face of) Parewhete. Then Puroku knew that that woman had yielded to Tupeteka. Tupeteka returned to his home at Te Aea. Immediately after his departure Wairangi arrived. Puroku told him, ‘Your wife has committed sin with a man named Tupeteka. I knew it by Parewhete's red ochre adhering to the cheek of Tupeteka.’ Then Wairangi became angry and he beat Parewhete.

In the night Parewhete fled, taking with her some red ochre. She fled along the path taken by Tupeteka. When she came to a plain she painted some of the ochre upon a manuka, hence the name Manukatutahi. On she went until she came to Aniwaniwa, on the Waikato River, where she left one of her cloaks, taking the others with her. She crossed to the other side of the Waikato and went on. She painted some more red ochre upon a clift at Pari-karangaranga, in the district of Turangamoana ; she crossed the river Waihou and reached Te Aea. There she married Tupeteka.

The Ngati Raukawa people searched for Parewhete, and some followed the path taken


*About thirty miles S.S.E. of Cambridge.

†These falls are about fifteen miles S.E. of Cambridge.

‡Near Matamata Railway Station.

– 19 –

he taiaha, he pouwhenua, he koikoi me era atu rakau. Katahi ka haere ki Te Aea.

Kua mohio te iwi o Te Aea tera a Ngati Raukawa e haere atu. Ka taka te whakaaro i a Tupeteka kia hanga he whare hei kohuru. Te teanga atu o Ngati Raukawa kua oti te whare, he wharau; i hanga ki te tahatika o Waihou i raro iho o te pa nei o Te Aea. Ka whaona te wharau nei e te hokowhitu ra. Ko Wairangi te tangata whakamutunga ki te tomo i te whare. Ka titiro a Wairangi, ko nga poupou o te whare he kohurihuri kahikatea. Katahi ka rere a Wairangi ki te tute i te whare, kore rawa i ngaoko. Katahi ia ka whai kupu, ‘He whare kohuru tenei!’ Ko te tohu tuatahi tenei i mohio ai a Wairangi, he kohuru te mahi a te iwi ra.

Picture icon

Drawing by H. D. B. Dansey.

Te nohoanga o te hokowhitu nei i roto i te whare, ka tukua e te pa te karere ki roto o Hauraki kia tikina mai kia patua a Ngati Raukawa. Ka whiu te kai a te tangata whenua, ka haere te iwi ra ki te kai. He kotahi te kumara i roto i te rourou ma nga tangata tokorua. Ka pau, ka noho i to ratou whare. Hi ake te ata, ka hoatu ano he kai ma te iwi ra. He kotahi kumara ma te tangata kotahi. Ka pau, ka noho awatea noa, ahiahi noa. I te ata ka rangona te ngawe o te kuri, e ai te whakaaro, ‘El taihoa, ka whiua te kai nei’. Na kua kitea te amoamo o te tuna kaui. Ka


by her, whilst others wandered aimlessly about. The manuka painted with red ochre, the Manukatutahi, was found. Going on they came to aniwaniwa and saw the cloak. Then they knew she had gone in the direction of Te Aea, in the district of Te Ahora. They returned to Rurunui and told the tribe and Wairangi also, ‘Parewhete has gone to Te Aea. We know by the red ochre and the clothing that we found.’

Ngati Raukawa immediately gathered together and were all assembled. The men (of importance) amongst people were Tamatehura, then Wairangi, then Upokoiti, and youngest (of the brethren), Pipito. The number of the people (selected) was one hundred and forty. The weapons they were armed with were whalebone, greenstone, and ordinary stone clubs, whilst the longer ones were tewhatewhas, taiahas, pouwhenuas, spears, and other weapons. Then they set out for Te Aea.

The people of Te Aea knew that Ngati Raukawa would visit them. The thought occurred to Tupeteka to build a house for murdering (them in). When Ngati Raukawa arrived the house had been completed—a wharau which was built upon the flat land beside the Waihou River and below the pa of Te Aea. The party of one hundred and forty men entered this house. Wairangi was the last man to enter. Wairangi looked and noticed that the side posts supporting the rafters were composed of solid trunks of white pine. Then he threw his weight against the side of the house to shake it, but it never yielded in the slightest. Then he spoke, ‘This is a house for murder.’ This was the first sign by which Wairangi knew that people planned treachery.

When the one hundred and forty men occupied the house, the pa sent a messenger to Hauraki that they should come and kill Ngati Raukawa. The home people prepared food and the visitors went to partake thereof. There was one small round basket containing one kumara, to two men. When their food was eaten they rested in this house. In the morning more food was given to these people. There was one kumara to each man. When it was eaten they sat on through the forenoon until night. Next morning there was heard the howling of dogs, and their thought was, ‘Ah, by and by, a feast will be given’. Then they saw dried eels being carried (on a pole held horizontally over the shoulders of two men). They were seen emerging from one side of the pa, going towards the other side of the pa, and turning behind the houses. Then they were seen again and disappeared again, and the visitors said, ‘There are two carryings of fish’. They appeared several times, though in reality they

– 20 –

kitea kua puta i tetehi taha o te pa, kua haere whakatetehi taha o te pa ka huri ki tua o nga whare. Na ka puta ano ka huri ano, kua ki te ope ra ‘E rua nga amo ika’. He maha nga putanga; kaore ia ko aua tuna ano, engari he tangata ke nana i amo i tena putanga, i tena putanga. Ko nga kuri he mea patu kia ngawe, kahore i patua kia mate. He mahi nei he pupuri i a Ngati Raukawa kia tae ake te ope patu i a ratou.

Ka haere ka ahiahi kua tae mai te tangata o Hauraki, kua korero, ‘Kiki tonu a Waihou i nga waka o nga iwi o Hauraki. Kei te ata ka eke mai ka patu.’ Heoi ano, ka rongo a Pare-whete i te korero ra, katahi ka puta te aroha o te wahine ra ki a Wairangi me tona iwi. Katahi ka heke iho, ka tae mai ki a Ngati Raukawa. Katahi ka tangi, ka tangi hoki a Wairangi me Ngati Raukawa katoa. Ka mutu te tangitu a te wahine ra katahi ka tapapa atu ki runga i nga turi o Wairangi, ka haehae i nga ringa ki te mata kia heke iho ai te toto ki runga i a Wairangi, kia tapu ai i ana toto, kia kore e kainga. E haehae ana ko ana kupu enei:

He aha koe i haere mai
I te rourou iti a Haere,
Te noho atu ai koe
I te tokanga nui a Noho.

Ka mutu te tangi a te wahine ra, ka hoki. I whakarongo a Wairangi ki nga kupu o te tangi a Parewhete, ko te tohu tuarua tenei i tae mai ki a ia. Ka rapu te iwi ra, kitea iho e ta ratou rapu, he kohuru. Katahi ka tukuna ta ratou taurekareka kia haere i roto i te iwi o Tupeteka e whawhati rautao ana, e kohi kowhatu ana mo te hakari. Haere ana te tangata ra, uru ana a ia ki roto ki te hunga whawhati rautao, a e mahi tahi ana. Kaore i roa e mahi haere ana kua patai ia ki te hoa, ‘Mo awhea ra te whiu kai nei ma Ngati Raukawa?’ Ka kiia atu, ‘E tatari ana kia tae ake te ope, kei te hoe ake i roto o Waihou. Ka tae ake ka patua a Ngati Raukawa. Ma tera ke te kai e mahia nei, ma Ngati Maru.’ ‘Na, hei awhea ra te tae mai ai kia hohoro ai te patu iho i enei, i a Ngati Raukawa?’ Ka ki mai te hoa, ‘Kei te ata po, ka eke, ka patua.’ Katahi ka wehe haere te taurekareka nei ka hoki, kua po hoki. Ka tae ki a Ngati Raukawa ka korerotia, ‘Kei te ata ka huaki. Ko te kai e mahia mai nei ma tera ke ma Ngati Maru.’

I roa te iwi nei e nohopuku ana kaore he hamumu, kaore he aha. Roa rawa kua tu a Tama-te-hura ki runga, ka ki, ‘Me haka’. Ka whakatika mai a Wairangi ka whakaae; muri iho ko Upokoiti, muri iho ko Pipito. Whakaae katoa me haka. Ka tu a Tamatehura, ka whakahua i te haka:


were the same fish, but different men carried them on each re-appearance. The dogs were beaten to make them howl; they were not killed. This was for the purpose of keeping the Ngati Raukawa until the war-party to kill them arrived.

As it approached evening the man from Hauraki returned and said, ‘The Waihou River is crowded with the canoes of the people of Hauraki. In the morning they will arrive and attack.’ Then it was that Parewhete heard these words, and her love revived for Wai rangi and his people. Then she descended and came to the Ngati Raukawa. She wept, and Wairangi and all Ngati Raukawa wept also. When the woman had finished her crying standing, she came over to Wairangi and leant across his knees, cutting her arms with obsidian flakes so that the blood would trickle down upon Wairangi and render him sacred that he might not be eaten. As she cut her flesh, these were her words:

Oh, why didst thou come
With the small basket of the Traveller,
But rather stay away
With the large basket of Stay-at-home.

When the woman had finished weeping she went back. Wairangi had listened to the words of the lament of Parewhete, and this was the second sign that he received. The people consulted, and as a result of their consultation suspected treachery. Then they sent their slave to go amongst the people of Tupeteka, who were gathering ferns and stones for the hangis (ovens) for the feast. The slave was not working very long before he asked his neighbour, ‘When will the feast be given to Ngati Raukawa?’ He was answered, ‘We are waiting for the party which is paddling up the Waihou River. When they arrive the Ngati Raukawa will be killed. The feast we are preparing is for them, the Ngati Maru.’ ‘Ah, and when will they arrive so that we may speedily destroy these Ngati Raukawa?’ The other replied, ‘In the early morning they will arrive and attack.’ Then the slave gradually worked away and went back, for it had become dark.

When he got back to the Ngati Raukawa he told them, ‘In the morning they attack. This feast that is being prepared is for the others, for Ngati Maru.’

For a considerable time the people remained silent; they never spoke and they never stirred. After some time Tamatehura stood up and cried, ‘Let us (beguile them) with a haka.’ Wairangi stood up and consented, and then Upokoiti and Pipito. All agreed that they should dance hakas. Then arose Tamatehura and repeated a haka:

– 21 –

Puhi kura, puhi kura, puhi kaka
Ka whakatautapa ki Kawhia
Huakina, huakina.

Ka ki tera, hei tana ka huaki. Ka noho ki raro. Kei runga ko Upokoiti, ka whakahua i tana haka:

Ko Te Aea o ia rangi e
Ko Te Aea o ia rangi hui ake
Ko Te Aea o ia rangi.

Ka ki hei tana ka huaki. Ko Pipito, ka whakahua i tana haka:

Ka whakakopura rua a Rangi-hape,
Teina o Tupeteka, e
Huakina, huakina.

Ka tohe hei tana ka huaki. Katahi ka tu ko Wairangi ka whakahua:

Tahi ka riri, toru ka wha
E matamata hopukia
Homai ra to whiri kaha, toro kaha
Kia wetewetea, wetewetea
A te, a ta, a tau.

Ka whakaaetia e te iwi hei ta Wairangi ka huaki. Ka tukuna e Wairangi tana taurekareka ki a Parewhete kia piki ki runga i te tuanui o tana whare i te ata, kia kore ai e patua. Ko te koha tenei a Wairangi ki tana wahine. Tae ana te taurekareka, hoki mai ana.

Picture icon


Ka akona nga haka e te hokowhitu tae noa ki te hahaetanga o te ata. Katahi ka whakaputaina. Hokowhitu, e whitu ano nga kapa. Ka tika te haka i waho o te whare, ka timata te takahi me te aue noa iho. Te rangonga o te iwi o te pa i te haruru, ka oma iho ki te matakitaki haka. Katahi ka puta a Tamatehura, ka


Red feather, red feather, feather of kaka.
The battle will rage towards Kawhia.
Attack! Attack!

He said his haka should be the signal to attack. He sat down. Then arose Upokoiti and recited his haka:

It is Te Aea of every-day (fame), ah,
It is Te Aea of every-day fame, we meet together,
At Te Aea of every-day fame.

He said at his haka they should attack. Then Pipito arose and recited his haka:

Defeated (?) will be Rangi-hape,
Younger brother of Tupeteka, O!
Of Tupeteka, O! Of Tupeteka.
Attack! Attack!

He demanded that the attack be made at his haka. Then Wairangi arose and recited:

At the first comes the battle, the third and the fourth,
Oh grasp (their) spear points.
Give us your strong rope, your strong snare
To be unfastened, (to be) torn apart.
A te! A ta! A tau!

The people agreed that Wairangi's haka should be the signal for attack. Wairangi sent his slave to Parewhete to tell her to climb on to the roof of her house in the morning, so that she would not be killed. This was Wairangi's token of regard for his wife. The slave accomplished his object and returned.

The hakas were practised by the one hundred and forty until the breaking of dawn. Then they went outside. The one hundred and forty were drawn up in seven ranks. When the ranks were dressed correctly outside of their house, they began to tramp and to make a noise. When the people of the pa heard the thud of feet they rushed down to view the haka. Then out sprang Tamatehura to the front with loud yells, grimacing at the heavens above and at the earth beneath. Out (of his house) came Tupeteka and sat with Parewhete upon his raised platform of state. He saw Tamatehura with eyeballs protruding upwards and then downwards. He asked Parewhete, ‘Is that your husband?’ the woman replied ‘No’. Tamatehura was the director of all the hakas. When Tamatehura had finished his haka, out sprang Upokoiti and led his haka, ‘It is Te Aea of everyday fame’. Again Tupeteka asked, ‘Is that your husband?’ The answer came, ‘He is not’. Then appeared Pipito. Again Tupeteka asked, ‘Is that your husband?’ Again the woman answered, ‘He has not yet come out.’ When Pipito's haka had ended, then came the appearance of Wairangi. When he emerged from the house his eyes were so large and bright, that, as the star Kopu is in the

– 22 –

hamama te waha, ka pukana ake ki te rangi, ka pukana iho ki te whenua. Kua puta a Tupeteka noho ana i runga i tana atamira raua tahi ko Parewhete. Ka kite i a Tamatehura e mawhiti ana nga karu i runga i raro. Ka patai ki a Parewhete, ‘Ko to tane tera?’ Ka kiia atu e te wahine, ‘E hara’. Ko Tamatehura te kai whakahau i nga haka katoa. Ka mutu te haka a Tamatehura, ka puta ko Upokoiti, e tataki ana i tana haka, ‘Ko Te Aea o ia Rangi’. Ka patai ano a Tupeteka, ‘Ko to tane tera?’ Ka whakahokia mai, ‘E hara’. Ka puta ko Pipito. Ka patai ano a Tupeteka, ‘Ko to tane tera?’ Ka ki atu ano te wahine, ‘Kahore ano kia puta’. Te mutunga o te haka a Pipito, ko te putanga o Wairangi. Te putanga mai i te whare e mawhiti ana nga karu, ko Kopu ki te rangi, ko Wairangi ki raro ki te whenua. Ka rere ano te patai, ‘Ko to tane tera?’ Ka whakahokia e te wahine, ‘Ae! koia tera’. Katahi ka haere iho a Tupeteka, me tana wawae haere i te tangata, a ka puta ki mua tonu ki e aroaro o te haka. Takoto tiraha ana i reira ki te matakitaki. Ka tahi ka timataria e Wairangi.

‘Tahi ka riri, toru ka wha.’ Ko nga patu poto a te hokowhitu nei i huna ki muri i nga tuara, i titia iho ki roto i nga tatua kotara. Te taenga ki nga kupu whakamutunga o te haka a Wairangi ‘A te’—kua mau nga ringa ki nga patu, ‘a ta’, kua maunu mai—a tau, kua huaki te ope, kua patu i te tangata. Te tangata tuatahi tonu ko Tupeteka, i mate i a Wairangi. Ka patua te iwi o Te Aea, ka hinga tera pa i te ope a Wairangi. Ko etehi i patua ki roto i te wai. Ko nga rauwhare me nga wawa i rukea ki roto i te awa. E toru nga piko e toe ana, ka eke eke ai te iwi o Hauraki. Ka tutaki i te toto, i te rauwhare, i te wawa o te pa, kua mohio kua hinga te pa, ka whati.

Ko Parewhete i piki ki runga ki te tuanui o te whare, ka ora. Ka riro mai i a Wairangi tana wahine, ka hoki ki tona kainga ki Rurunui.


heavens, so was Wairangi below on the earth. Again the question flew, ‘Is that your husband?’ Back came the answer from the woman, ‘Yes, that is he.’ Then Tupeteka descended, and thrusting aside the crowds of people, he came quite close to the front of the (ranks of the) haka. Here he lay down upon his back to watch. Then Wairangi began:

‘The first is for battle, the third and the fourth.’ Now the one hundred and forty men held their short clubs concealed behind their backs, stuck in their war belts. When they came to the concluding words of Wairangi's haka—‘a te’—their hands grasped their clubs; ‘a ta’—the clubs were drawn forth; ‘a tau’—the party attacked and began to kill. The first man to be slain was Tupeteka, who was killed by Wairangi. The people of Te Aea were killed and that pa was taken by the force of Wairangi. Some were slain in the water. The thatch and rushes from the houses were thrown into the river. Three bends of the river remained ere the forces from Hauraki would arrive. They met the blood, the thatch, and rushes from the pa (drifting down), and knowing the pa had fallen, they fled.

Parewhete had climbed upon the roof of her house and was saved. Thus Wairangi regained his wife and returned to his home at Rurunui.

From Vol. XIX, No. 4,

Journal of the Polynesian Society.

A custom practised by the Maori people to revive persons apparently drowned was recently found most efficacious.

The Maori custom is to hang the drowned person by the heels with the head down, and just clear of a fire, from which the smoke can circulate freely to the drowned person. It was recently tried on a child in the far south, and was successful.

– 23 –

The Story
of the

Picture icon

‘Korero’, by E. Mervyn Taylor

The marae, buildings such as meeting-houses and halls, with appurtenant amenities, have always been the chief pre-occupation of a Maori community. Until these are provided the community will not seriously take up other problems, and will not freely contribute to funds for these other affairs.’

Sir Apirana Ngata said this during his great speech at Ruakawa Pa, Otaki, shortly before his death.

It is a point pakehas often do not appreciate. They think of Maori progress almost solely as adaptation to pakeha jobs and pakeha environment. This is certainly important, but marae buildings take much money and cannot be completed without a good deal of vigour and energy. The first thing any Maori community will do to show its vigour and energy is to build a fine marae. One can be sure that where there is a marae of a high standard, there is also usually a community which takes a creditable part in the pakeha side of life.

There has been no period during which the Maori left off building meeting-houses. During European times, there certainly were ups and downs, and meeting-houses tended to be built in waves. One such wave was around 1870, when everyone seemed to be building meeting-houses, and after that few were built until the end of the century. After another lull, there was a great upsurge in the nineteen-twenties. This tendency of building meeting-houses in waves may well go back to a period before the coming of the pakeha. The life of a pre-European meeting-house would be about thirty years. After that time it needed rebuilding. When one community decided to rebuild, others would follow out of a spirit of competition, and so a wave would start.

In pakeha times, this first happened around 1870. A great number of famous carvers were working at that time in different tribes: Wero and Te Ngaru amongst the Te Arawa; Tamati Ngakaho (builder of Porourangi); and Hone Tahu, on the East Coast; Hori Pukehika, at Wanganui, and many others. The enthusiasm of the tribes was probably partly due to the leadership of Te Kooti, who was very anxious to see meeting-houses built, and also to the tide of Maori national feeling at the time. Te Kooti was responsible for the big houses at Te Kuiti and Matatua Pa (Ruatahuna), and many others. It is said that many communities used to get their meeting-houses ready when Te Kooti was to visit them. But Te Kooti was very critical, and quick to find fault in meeting-houses; there are several stories of houses in which he refused to sleep. So it was with the famous Takitimu House, in Martinborough. Te Kooti said no one would sleep in it, and that it would remain as a house for spiders. Not long after, a fire destroyed Takitimu, and it is said it had never been used.

Another wave of meeting-house building occurred between 1890 and 1900. At that time a large number of minor carved houses were built in various parts. This upsurge occurred at about the same time as the ‘Young Maori Party’ and perhaps was influenced by it. There was then a definite decline in the quality of the carvings, which did not equal that of Te Kooti's time.

The revival occurred in the 1920's and was associated with the arts and crafts movement of

– 24 –

that time. The school at Rotorua not only revived the practice of building carved houses, but also built them up to a high standard. Carving came into its own again, but that was not all. Modern European methods were now first applied to Maori community buildings. Walls were made higher, ventilation was improved, steel and concrete were used for the structure. Marae buildings became permanent instead of temporary.

One of the first big projects of the Rotorua school artists was Te Poho o Rawiri, at Gisborne, and later followed the Pomare and Carroll memorial houses, Waitangi, Te Kaha and many others. Te Arawa also continued its tradition of building fine houses. Most, but not all of these houses received Government subsidies of some sort. Since the Maori Social and Economic Advancement Act was passed in 1945, a subsidy of pound for pound became a regular facility. At this time the main wave of carved meeting-houses was once again past, but one major meeting-house renovated under the Act was the Whakato House at Manutuke.


‘A reasonably equipped marae,’ said Sir Apirana at Raukawa Pa, ‘must necessarily include the assembly place as the central feature, and also provide up-to-date amenities such as dining-place, sanitary conveniences and water supply. There must also be some beautification, as that is an important psychological factor. Sports grounds for the youth of the race must also be provided.’

These ideas are of course not traditional, but modern. They are a proof that the Maori is not content to follow the past but has adapted useful pakeha ideas freely in his own tribal life. The building of dining-halls started late last century, but the first ones were earthen-floored affairs, without any ornamentation, intended just to keep the weather out. The Lady Arihia Ngata Memorial Hall, at Waiomatatini, was the first ornamental dining-hall. It was washed away when the Waiomatatini Creek flooded. Many more were built all over the country; the dining-hall became the social hall for dances and every sort of informal gathering. The meeting-house is now mainly a ceremonial and a sleeping hall. The dining-hall gets over the problem of tapu. In many meeting-houses dances and suchlike functions are still not held for fear of violating tapu.

The dining-hall is now the most indispensable building of a marae. Many smaller communities now tend to build their dining-halls before they have meeting-houses. This is an interesting new development.

The Maori Social and Economic Advancement Act has given a tremendous impetus to the building of dining-halls. Many dozens of such halls have been subsidised and built during the last few years, and Maori community life has been given a great new stimulus in this way.

Turangawaewae marae (Ngaruawahia), was the first properly laid out marae on a big scale, followed shortly after by Poho o Rawiri (Gisborne). On such maraes one finds lawns, shrubbery, sports fields, tennis courts and so on. Sanitary facilities are also essential; these had come to many maraes before this time: it had been one of the functions of the Maori councils to have these installed. Whenever new buildings are put up nowadays, the Health Department requires proper sanitary facilities.


Since the Act was passed in 1945 over £100,000 has been paid out in subsidies. In the years 1949 and 1950, especially, the applications came in hard and fast, and many projects were started. There is a slight lull now, which is natural after so much activity. The projects were mostly marae buildings—either new work or renovations—but many other marae improvements were also carried out. Sports grounds are a common item. The Ngati Manawa, Koriniti and Peninsula Committees, amongst others, asked for substantial grants to improve their water supplies. Maori arts and crafts work features sometimes in the subsidies, but far more rarely than one would imagine. The emphasis seems to lie on utility most of the time.

The subsidies under the Act are different in nature from those paid to pakeha local bodies. The great difference is that the Act permits subsidies on revenue earned by committees and executives, whereas a pakeha local body has to apply for subsidies on total projects. This does not mean, of course, that subsidies can be paid for projects of which the government does not know and approve. If that were so, the pakeha local bodies would have something to complain about.


One of the great differences between pakeha and Maori local body work lies in the way it is done. A county or borough lets a contract for a job, and gets it done all at once. A tribal executive or committee, calls on everybody to help in the work; materials are bought, and the work proceeds as men and materials become available. It is a slower method, but a very much cheaper one. If one sees the fine community buildings in sometimes quite small Maori communities one must reflect that such

(Continued on page 56)

– 25 –

Picture icon

Some of the main carvings of Tamatekapua, famous meeting-house of Ruatahuna. First built in Te Kooti's days (1870), this meeting-house was renovated recently, but the old carvings have been kept.

Picture icon

The opening of Raukawa meeting-house at Otaki (1936).

– 26 –

The Hon. Sir Apirana Ngata:

By A. R. Fraser, a.r.c.a., a.r.b.s.
A bronze model by Alex. R. Fraser, A.R.B.S. This work was made some years before Sir Apirana's death, and was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, in 1948. One copy stands at present in the meeting-house Porourangi, at Waiomatatini, and another copy has now been placed in Parliament House, Wellington.

– 27 –

Picture icon

Maori leaders at Waiomatatini during the recent memorial hui. Left: Pahau Milner; Right: Arnold Reedy. These two men, both close friends and collaborators of the late Sir Apirana, took a prominent part in the hui.

Picture icon

Carved sitting room of the late Sir Apirana's house at Waiomatatini. Lady on right: Mrs Te Kani Te Ua, oldest daughter of the late Sir Apirana, and three of the grandchildren.


Picture icon

Below: The late Sir Apirana with a favourite granddaughter, Wiki White.

– 28 –



Turangawaewae Pa covers only some twelve acres; yet few contributions to Maori progress during the last thirty years have been greater than the building and unceasing improvement of this pa.

Great Maori leaders who finally emerged as national figures have always been devoted to the advancement of their own people. Sir Apirana Ngata began by establishing farming among his own Ngati-Porou. His ideas were spread by the support of his tribe, and this meant not only ‘moral’ support but support in terms of hard work and hard cash.

The late Te Puea Herangi, grand-daughter of King Tawhiao, followed a similar pattern, but with a difference. This difference lay in her conviction that the Maori Kingship could be made the core of Maori life among the Kingite tribes. The message of the Maori Kingship, as Te Puea understood it, can be plainly seen at Turangawaewae. Seldom can the Maori art of expressing ideas through the design of carvings, buildings and maraes have been more effective.

The visitor first notices the forbidding palisades; he is struck by the strength—almost the disdain—expressed in the carved ponga heads facing him at regular intervals.

The visitor enters the marae: meticulous care and punctilious tidiness. Goodness only knows how often they mow the lawns, trim the edges, remove the weeds: not even a piece of waste paper on a pathway. The effort made to achieve all this tidiness with voluntary labour may be imagined.

The main buildings are Mahinarangi meeting-house and Turongo, the ‘King's House’. Mahinarangi, completed in 1929, is from the outside an ordinary meeting-house. Many tribes contributed to its construction, and the decorations include features of all tribes. Its proposed use was as a King's council chamber. The large platform was intended to seat King Koroki and the arikis, and the rest of the King's Council were to occupy the remainder of the hall. Soon, however, Mahinarangi became a state reception hall. It was filled with carpets, mats and very comfortable furniture. Works of art, donated by visitors from all parts of the world found a place in it.

The entire space of the platform was occupied by the King's varied store of treasures. The combination of objects that one sees in this decorous but impressing reception chamber must be unique. In spite of the comfortable armchairs, settees, rugs and carpets, the hall bears no resemblance to a drawing room. In spite of cloaks, weapons, souvenirs, model canoes, and hundreds of miscellaneous objects with a history, one does not think for one moment it is a museum. On an Axminster carpet, next to a Chesterfield, stands an object that looks like a bizarre but magnificent carving, about five feet high. It is a distorted kauri root, found in a swamp near Panguru.

In Mahinarangi one is in the presence not only of many famous Waikato ancestors but one also observes the relations with many prominent persons, Maori and Pakeha, not only in New Zealand, but all over the world, and one particularly notices the many gifts from other islands in the Pacific.

One Maori leader said recently: ‘Without Mahinarangi, Turongo would not have been built.’

Turongo is built as a Court. In outline, it resembles an English manor but the decorations express the Maori Kingship to perfection. The symbolic carvings were not this time made in collaboration with artists from the whole island, but by Waikato men of the Tainui canoe only. The strictest rules of tapu were followed: the tukutuku, after being prepared by the women, was installed by the men. Special storehouses, shaped like pataka, were built directly under the roof for the most sacred heirlooms.

The carvings show the complex and illustrious ancestry of the Waikato arikis. The seven cornered dome is made to symbolize the seven canoes from which they claim descent. Figures representing the captains of the several canoes stand out boldly at each of the corners. In the central windowpane of the main door the King's arms are painted. The main state chamber is the dining-room. Here, the decoration is extremely rich and powerful. Even the slide

– 29 –

Picture icon

The marae, with Mahinarangi and the King's house (Turongo) in the background.

between dining room and pantry is elaborately carved—in fact, it is one of the finest carvings in the hall. One looks admiringly at the precious table mats, the splendid tukutuku, and the richness of every detail; no labour was too great.

The impression is of a monumental work, especially as one finds it among the Maoris of that district where the collecting of money for communal projects—at least until fairly recently—was enormously difficult, because there simply was no money. Most of the King's Pa was built by free labour on a most extensive scale. For long, what money was spent had to come from sources like the ‘Whitebait Fund’, accumulated by Ngati Tipa and Ngataierua fishermen, who put aside a penny for each pound of whitebait they sold.

The careful maintenance of Koroki's house with its roomy halls, its well-appointed kitchen, and beautiful grounds, is an act of continuous devotion and homage to their King on the part of the Pa inhabitants. But far more activity is seen than mere maintenance. On the Saturday morning of my visit a truck arrived with bricks for a garage; men were finishing a new wharepuni ‘Pare Hauraki’ for visitors to the annual Coronation Day gatherings—the lining was just being put in. The carvers had finished their work, but the slabs were still in the workshop. Everyone seemed confident the house would be finished by October. These wharepuni, of which three are already complete, are in themselves fully fledged meeting-houses, although the decoration inside is simple, in accordance with their function—that of sleeping-houses. In the carvers' workroom there

Picture icon

Treasures at Mahinarangi: in the foreground, King Tawhiao.

– 30 –

Picture icon

Ceremonial house of King Koroki.

were no fewer than three craftsmen who had preferred the arts of their ancestors to the Ranfurly Shield match; on other Saturdays the number of carvers is much greater. Also working was the lady who keeps the shop at Turangawaewae; this shop is run on the strictest lines, and its proceeds help in the maintenance and development of the Pa.

This, then, is the outward appearance of the heart of today's King movement. It is very good housekeeping on a large and impressive scale. It is possible for the tribes who recognize the King's leadership to find in Turangawaewae Pa an ideal to imitate and aim at. In the Waikato idea of Kingship the King is not kept in great luxury, and the people's efforts are not spent in attending on his person. Many of the buildings erected with such labour at Ngaruawahia are for communal use, others for ceremonial use in receiving the prominent chiefs. Neatness and decency in communal life—that is perhaps the best way of describing it.

How Turangawaewae Pa was built up with immense hard work—there were certainly no ‘handouts' for the builders of this pa—is a wonderful story which cannot be told in this article. As all suitable land for a pa on the historic site of Ngaruawahia had been confiscated after the war of the sixties, this area had to be bought back. The purchase price had to be earned by Te Puea and her people by collecting flax in the swamps, and when the purchase price was earned once, the vendor raised the price, and it had to be earned again. Then blackberry had to be cleared; a whole hill had to be shifted to even out the ground; the earth had to be carried away in baskets, ‘Chinese fashion’, so it was explained to me. Sanitation and modern living had to be introduced. In one great effort after another the halls and meeting-houses were built.

– 31 –

Turangawaewae is by no means considered complete as yet. There are many plans for improvement, both in the public buildings and in home construction. For this reason the Turangawaewae sawmill project was started: the Pa now owns a fully fledged sawmill, and a tractor of the heaviest type. Te Puea planned to have this mill used for the cutting of timber required in the pa, either for meeting-houses or homes. There is no doubt that in Dave Katipa the project has a competent works manager. If it proves successful, the communal way of life at Turangawaewae will become much easier to manage, because essential supplies and a source of ready money will always be at hand. It is for this reason probably that Te Puea was so keen to have the sawmill established during her lifetime.

In Turangawaewae the traditional Maori arts and crafts are practised in an organized and extensive manner. I have mentioned the carving. The chief carver, Hoani Herangi, runs a workshop with a neat and modern look, where the carving required in Ngaruawahia is made, and also jobs for other maraes needing work done. At present a big project is in hand for renovations to the famous carved houses of Tuwharetoa, at Waihi, on the shores of Taupo. Before starting on such a work, the chief carver will listen to the elders of the other tribe relating the stories of their principal ancestors. The house is then planned to express the desired ideas. Hoani Herangi is educating several

Picture icon

The new Turangawaewae sowmill.

Picture icon

Carving workshop at Turangawaewae.

pupils. All these craftsmen earn their living at good permanent jobs, one on the railways, another in the mines, and so on, and carving is an occupation for evenings and weekends. The whole workroom has a modern and lively feel; carving looks far from a dying art here. It is looked upon as a tapu work, and no carvings are made for sale to pakehas.

The women have similar work groups for tukutuku and weaving. Some people are worried because not enough of the younger generation are learning these crafts, but there are some, and there are always enough hands at Turangawaewae for the time-absorbing task of collecting and preparing the flax. A good supply of well-tied bundles is always hanging ready for the skilled workers.

What of the future? The tribes have accepted the Maori Social and Economic Advancement Act; the settlement of the Waikato claims against the confiscation of their land has resulted in co-operation by the Waikato with the Government. Obviously attitudes are changing. Yet the achievement of Turangawaewae can easily remain, and develop under the new circumstances. This highly cultivated spot has always shown, if one looks beneath the surface, a blend of the two cultures. And what a painful, lonely task it was for the people of Turangawaewae to achieve that blend! It was a rare sort of social pioneering, through which chaos was changed into order.

– 32 –

Picture icon

Granddaughter of King Tawhiao.

– 33 –


We greatly regret to record that shortly before we went to press the death occurred at her home at Ngaruawahia of Princess Te Puea Herangi.

Born, in 1884, the granddaughter of Tawhiao, the second Maori king, Te Puea became the outstanding chieftainess of Waikato and Maniapoto tribes and the greatest Maori woman of the last half-century.

For her outstanding leadership, and her untiring and selfless devotion to the interests of her people—even when she was in failing health and, more recently, seriously ill—she won the great admiration and respect of Maori and pakeha alike.

Te Puea identified herself particularly with the Maori King movement, and she was responsible for establishing the movement's headquarters at Ngaruawahia.

There beside the sacred spring from which Tawhiao used to drink, she gradually built Turangawaewae, which is today the finest tribal centre in New Zealand, and a fitting memorial to the departed chieftainess's foresight and industry.

Te Puea was an energetic worker, particularly in encouraging her people to develop their land resources. She also took an active part in promoting Maori arts and crafts, and hygiene. In 1937 she was awarded the C.B.E. for her contributions to the welfare of the Maori race.

Many tributes have been paid to Princess Te Puea's wonderful character and outstanding leadership; and the esteem in which she was held by Maori and pakeha was further and finally apparent from the many people who went to Ngaruawahia to pay her their last respects.

The story of the tangi and of the life of Te Puea, with photos, will be told in the next issue of Te Ao Hou.

Oho ana te mauri i te rongo kua moe a Te Puea Herangi i te moenga roa, i mate ki tona kaenga i Ngaruawahia i te po o te Ratapu te 12 o nga ra o Oketopa, 1952.

I whanau a Te Puea ki Whatiwhatihoe i te tau 1884, he mokopuna na Tawhiao te tuarua o nga kingi o Waikato. He wahine wehi he wahine kaha ki te hiki i nga mahi mo ona iwi a he wahine i paolo ona ronga ki te Ao nui tonu i runga i ana mahi.

Kei te tangi te Ao Maori me te Ao Pakeha mo tenei wahine, mo ana mahi nunui a kitea ra ka pau ano ona kaha i te mate kawe tonu tona koiwi. Ko ia te manawa o Waikato nana i tuhonohono nga iwi, nga mana ariki i mau tonu ai te taonga a Waikato tona ariki nui te Kingi, a nana i whakatangatanga nga kuaha o nga whare pa o Waikato.

E takoto mai nei a Turangawaewae me ona whare, a Mahinarangi a Turongo nga tipuna o Waikato na Te Puea enei hei taonga whakahirahira mo ona ariki hei pohatu whakamaharatanga hoki ki a ia te wahine nana i matakite enei taonga.

I whakapaua e Te Puea ona kaha ki te whakapai i nga whenua o Waikato i raro i te kaupapa ahuwhenua a Ngata. I uhia te kahu rangatira o Te Kingi te C.B.E. ki runga i a ia i te tau 1937.

Kua puta nga tangi a te Motu ki to tatou kuia a kei te whakaeke nga iwi ki tona marae ki Turangawaewae ki te riringi i o ratou roimata te Pakeha me te Maori.

Haere e kui, haere. Haere ki o matua tipuna i te po.

– 34 –
– 35 –


The Chatham Islands were the home of the Moriori, who are still the mystery people of New Zealand. Their artistic relics still excite the greatest admiration, and the little that is known about them whets the curiosity, for they were a singular people. Recent evidence seems to show that they came to New Zealand no earlier than the main migrations in the thirteenth century, and also—quite definitely —that they were of Polynesian descent. They probably travelled right through New Zealand before the majority of them settled in the Chatham Islands. Why did they die out? That is also a mystery. It is known that the invasion of the Taranaki tribes caused great slaughter amongst them, but whether this was due to any basic inferiority of the Moriori is hard to say. Tradition has it that a famous chief of the Moriori laid it down that arguments should cease as soon as blood was drawn, and it is said the Moriori followed his command.

Few people in New Zealand realise that five hundred miles east of Christchurch, across wild and empty seas, lies a fully constituted county of the Dominion. Its council administers a thriving farming community of five hundred people that is very much like many a New Zealand back country district. Much has been written about the group of islands, chiefly about their early history and the terrifying list of shipwrecks, but little is known by the ‘man in the street’ of life and conditions existing today.

The group of islands, ranging from one of 355 square miles in area to mere rocks, the home of the giant albatross, was named by a Lieutenant Broughton, of H.M.S. Chatham, and claimed on behalf of His Majesty King George III, in 1791. The islands were then occupied by numerous Moriori. Maori invaders from New Zealand, on fishing expeditions, found the Moriori a poor defender of their land, and in 1835 a large party from the Taranaki tribes, in a commandeered ship, the Lord Rodney, occupied the main island, killing or enslaving the inhabitants. Disease and degradation took their toll, and in 1933, the Moriori became extinct with the death of Te Rangitapua (Tommy Solomon).

Shipwrecks have been frequent, because of the position of the islands on the early shipping routes from Australia to Cape Horn, dur-

Picture icon

Moriori tree carving on ‘kopi’ tree (Chatham word for karaka) on northern coast of Chathams. Carvings, made on live trees, did not affect their growth, and this one is of considerable age.

– 36 –

Picture icon

Hangi at Waitangi. Ovens are being opened.

ing the days of sail. Treacherous on-shore winds and strong currents have brought many a fine ship to her doom, and, even today, with modern steamers, the waters around the group are regarded with respect. The convergence of two great ocean currents—one, warm from the tropics, and the other, cold from the Southern Pole—is responsible for a rigorous climate. The prevailing wind is the south-west, bringing cold, showery weather and, during the winter months, hail and sleet. Fogs are frequent. There is, however, a reasonable balance of sunshine. It will be news to many that the annual rainfall is less than that of Wellington. Rainfall is evenly distributed over the year, and averages between 30 and 40 inches. Frosts are a rarity, but the southerly gales place many an icy finger across the land.

The lack of natural shelter allows the gale to sweep across the flat island without hindrance. Destruction of the native bush has been so extensive that only a few isolated acres remain, causing a shortage in firewood, and timber for fencing posts. The need for a conservation programme is apparent, and plantations of imported trees would do much to stop the retarding effect of the cold, salt-laden winds. Behind such shelter native growth could revive, and evidence of this can already be seen on Weisner's station at Kaingaroa. Mr Weisner is a conservation-conscious farmer, and has shown what can be done with the right treatment. Behind a thick belt of macrocarpa, native plant life is regenerating, and a banana-passion-fruit vine, covering a wide area and reaching to a height of twenty feet, has in season a good crop of well-formed fruit. Lemon trees flourish in the large garden. On the Henga Station, too, conservation has returned valuable results. Managed by the Lanouze family, the Henga farm is an example of what can be done with careful fencing to safeguard the coastal bush from damage by stock. Also on this farm one can see a young pinus nursery thriving.

The Chatham Islanders are a race of their own. Some can claim descent from the Moriori, some from the Maori, some from the original German missionaries, and even from Spanish whalers, but, today, they have become a new race with a pleasing accent to their speech, not altogether Maori, but typically local. They are a friendly and hospitable folk, but at the same time, they are reserved towards strangers, particularly towards those from the ‘mainland’. Visitors in the past have not helped to break down this reserve, being only too willing to criticise and ridicule. After an initial coolness, however, they soon become friendly and co-operative, willing to listen to any helpful suggestions that might improve their environment. In a small community such as this, it is inevitable that intermarriage should be common. Family names are, as a result, few, and almost without exception date back to the earliest arrivals. The Tuuta and Tuanui families have ties with the early Maori landings, while the Seymours and the Wischarts claim the German missionaries as their ancestors.

Social life is much the same as that which exists in any back country district in New Zealand. Five years ago, before the roads were formed, transport was difficult and visits to the only centre of activity. Waitangi, were necessarily few and far between, but with the coming of the roads, life for the Chatham Islander became at once more varied and interesting. High prices for their wool coincided with the improvements, and the islanders welcomed civilisation with open arms. Frequent organised gatherings are held, and local enterprise

– 37 –

1 Arthur Lockett, direct descendant of the Morioris, is a lay reader at St. Augustine's, and a Justice of the Peace.
2 The Chatham Islands County Council at its monthly meeting at Waitangi.
3 Waitangi racecourse: main grandstand and finishing post.
4 Children of Te Karakau School planting trees.
5 George Tuuta, public figure of the Chatham Islands, is the owner of the Te Pohue farm, shown at the top of this article.
6 ‘Bring and Buy’ on the Chatham Islands. The County Clerk, Mr Pat Prendeville, is the auctioneer.

– 38 –

has made it possible to have picture screenings each Saturday night in the fine Memorial Hall.

The family is strictly self-contained. There are no butcher shops, dairies or bakeries. The people live, literally, off the land, killing their own meat, baking their own bread and making their own butter. Stores are ordered from Lyttelton, and, with high shipping charges, the cost of living is high. The staple diet once was mutton and potatoes, but improved conditions have altered all that. New additions to the family's diet are fruit, sweets, saveloys and bacon.

With the improved conditions came big advances in housing. New homes are being built, and existing ones are being brought up-to-date. Diesel lighting plants have been installed in a number of houses, and in others, battery sets are in use, assisted by wind-chargers.

The dilapidated shack, so typical a few years ago, has now almost disappeared, giving way to modern homes of standard design. The Maori Affairs Department is assisting the islanders with loans and designs.

The chief occupation of the residents is, of course, sheep-farming, with fishing a good second. Who has not heard of the famous Chatham Island blue cod? Mainland interests have two modern freezers in operation, and the industry is growing. Shipping is always a worry, both of fish and sheep. Normally the island ships about 2200 sheep, 2000 bales of wool, and about 500 tons of fish.

No rates are paid by the islanders, but a levy is imposed on all tonnage imported or exported, and produces about £5000 a year, which is largely used on the roads.

The islanders have been fortunate in the officials who have been appointed to the island's services. These people have almost without exception done much to improve the conditions.

There is one constable, but offences are largely against by-laws, and a new lock-up has not yet been occupied, except by occasional stores.

Medical attention is provided by a resident doctor appointed by the Canterbury Hospital Board, while the Sisters of Mary (a Catholic Order) staff a seven-bed hospital.

Shipping services have not improved much in recent years, mostly because of the unreliable conditions on the coast necessitating long delays, and long delays can become costly, but a flying-boat service, operating once a month during the summer months, has brought a luxury means of transport to the island.

Picture icon

Children of Te One School.

– 39 –

Tokens from
the Past
He Pitopito Korero

Picture icon

A small sand-stone vessel, Rotorua.drawing by Mrs Natusch.

Mr W. J. Phillipps of the Dominion Museum, has a reputation for finding out about rare and interesting Maori objects of which few people have any knowledge. He has promised to let Te Ao Hou have some notes for each issue, describing Maori works of art or utensils that are out of the ordinary, and here is the first instalment.


From the collection of Mrs R. J. Law, Levin, we have been loaned a small sandstone vessel with broken projections at the ends. Inside, the sandstone is somewhat darkened, seeming to indicate that this container has been used to hold tattooing pigment. The vessel is in general of a kumete shape or may be said to resemble a waka huia without the lid. Grooves around the end projections suggest that it was usual to suspend the small vessel with its contents from the roof of the whare. Dimensions are: total length 4½ inches, width 2½ inches and greatest height 1½ inches. This vessel came from Kawaha Point, Rotorua.

There must have been numerous small vessels for tattoo pigments, although possibly large paua shells were also used. One or two beautifully carved wooden bowls are extant (of which those in the Wanganui Museum and the Oldman Collection are examples), but stone ones are extremely rare.

Article next page.

Picture icon

The Mantell Canoe—Matara (Dominion Museum Photo).

– 40 –

Bringing the Mail Ashore
One Hundred Years Ago

Wellington's first mail-carrier was a canoe. It was named ‘Matara’ (distant), probably in reference to the letters which came in immigrant ships from a distant land. Its crew was a small, carefully chosen band of Maoris, who knew their harbour in its many moods, and could be relied upon to get the mail to land safe and dry.

This canoe was used by Mr (aftrwards the Hon.) W. B. D. Mantell, Postmaster, Wellington, as early as 1841. The berthing-place was at a spot opposite Mulgrave Street. In later years the Hon. W. B. D. Mantell filled many important posts (including, on occasions, that of Acting-Curator of the Museum in Sir James Hector's absence); but the canoe he first used was retained as a cherished memento in the family, until, in 1932, it was presented to the Dominion Museum.

Unfortunately, it was stored outside, on a flat part of the roof of the Mantell home, so in the passing years it has suffered much from weathering. The timber of the canoe is totara, which, though durable, tends to crack and split unless kept painted or oiled.

Elsdon Best, in the Dominion Museum Bulletin, No. 7, describes the Mantell canoe as a small vessel of the tiwai class (31ft. long). It had evidently once been fitted with top strakes (rauawa). This would be necessary for use on Wellington Harbour. Best also remarks that this small vessel is remarkable for its sheer, or upward curvature to prow and stern which amounts to 11½ inches—that is to say, a line drawn taut from prow to stern is 11½ inches above the sides of the canoe in the middle. The keel is sharp at the ends, but is flat in the middle.

Picture icon

Prizewinning entry: three district councils of the Maori Women's Welfare League entered as competitors at the Waikato Winter Show in Hamilton this year. They were the Maniapoto, Waikato and Hauraki councils, who all put forward one exhibition stall showing Maori homecrafts and one stall showing Pakeha homecrafts. Winner of the exhibition was the Maniapoto council, whose attractive Maori crafts exhibition is shown here.

– 41 –


New Zealand flax, scientifically known as Phormium Tenax, and well known to the Maori as harakeke, was the most useful plant that our ancestors found here, in this pleasant ‘land of the long white cloud.’ Unlike most other plants, every part of it was used for some definite purpose. From the fibres of the leaves, mats and baskets were plaited and garments woven; the gum and rhizome were utilised in medicines; the flowers provided nectar which even young maidens enjoyed; the pollen, it is said, was used as face powder by the young women, and even the stalks had a useful purpose. Could another plant be so useful? The tui relishes its sweet, delicious nectar and the Maori pioneer could not find a better substitute for the tapa cloth from his far distant tropical home.

The climatic conditions in this land were not kind to the paper mulberry tree, of whose bark clothing is made in Central Polynesia. The Maoris tried hard to propagate it, but it would not flourish. Those plants which did grow were stunted, and so few that they were discarded altogether. Flax took its place. Coconut and pandanus leaves from which baskets and mats were made, could not be found in this land by the pioneer. Flax plants, however, solved his plaiting problems. He found, too, that in plaiting flax the old techniques of Hawaiki could be used with very few alterations.

As a child teaches himself to master the hammer, so did the old Maori familiarise himself with the limitations and possibilities of this new material. In making baskets and mats, however, he had one great advantage; he already knew how to plait. All he had to do was to adapt the old technique to the new material.

In other aspects of flax crafts, however, the Maori weaver had to invent, and in due course the inventions became widely known and practised throughout New Zealand.

This article and the ones that follow will give some insight into flax crafts. Before these crafts are described, however, I intend to deal with the flax plant itself; anyone interested in the crafts must first have a thorough knowledge of the plant.


The Leaf

The flax plant belongs to the lily family, and this accounts for the similarity in shape between the leaves of the flax and the leek, which is also a member of the lily family. Towering up to ten feet in height, the leaves are sword-like in

– 42 –

shape. That portion of the leaf struck by the sunlight is usually of a glossy green colour, and that part which is not, is of a whitish green. The edge of the blade is always bordered by a thin line of reddish-brown, which is a valuable aid to identifying the numerous varieties of flax. Some leaves are more pointed than others and some are differently coloured, here being two more identification aids. Fibres are not all of the same texture. Flax that grows on hilltops and slopes (Phormium Colensoi) has more brittle and coarser fibres than that growing in swamps. This variation in texture is an important fact to consider, when dealing with plaiting and weaving.

The Roots and Rhizome

The roots are very lengthy, reddish-brown in colour towards the rhizome, and orange nearer the ends. Fairly smooth in structure, the main roots have numerous small depressions on the outer skin, and when squeezed feel spongy to the touch. The rootlets running off do not conform to a set pattern, but appear more or less alternately around the root. The rhizome from which the renowned harakeke medicine is made is covered with myriads of tiny hair roots which attach themselves very securely to the surrounding soil. To cut the rhizome into pieces one has to use an axe or saw, as it consists of a hard, stringy wood-like material.

The Flower

The Phomium Tenax blossoms from November to January, and the flowers are dull red or yellow in colour. Sometimes—about December —the dull red changes to a beautiful, bright blood-red. The korari, or stalk, at this time of the year is of a purplish colour and the flower spikes appear on alternate sides of it. From January onwards the flower begins to lose its petals, and gives way to a banana-like seed-box, which contains the tiny black seeds. This seed-box is at first a lustrous purple in colour, but later becomes a deep, shiny black, which in turn changes to brown. At the base of the flower is the sweet nectar, which attracts the nectar-eating birds such as the tui and the bell-bird, and in this way the plant is cross-fertilised.


The flax plant grows abundantly in swampy areas and on the banks of running streams, where it is at its best. Those growing on hillsides are a different variety, and were hardly ever used for plaiting and weaving.

According to some authorities the old Maori experts recognised 15 varieties of flax. Of these, the most superior leaves, whose fibres were used for fashioning the korowai and aronui cloaks, belonged to the varieties known as oue, tihore, rukutia, huruhika and huhiroa.

To find the oue plant look for a leaf which is narrow, deep green in colour, and with the edge and keel coloured like the karaka. The huhiroa has a bluish-green leaf, bordered by a black or deep brown line, and which tapers gradually to a point. Tihore, Rukutia and Huruhika appear to be different names for the oue.

A variety easily recognisable is the Parekoretawa which is a variegated plant, with bright green leaves striped lengthwise with a sulphur colour. Other than being a valued ornament, this type had no use at all.


The flax medicine was the Maori counter part for our present Epsom salts. It was a laxative guaranteed to produce results—sometimes very violent results!

To prepare it, obtain a rhizome, preferably from a flax plant growing on fairly dry ground. Clean and cut off all the roots and root-hairs attached to it. Now with an axe cut the rhizome into small pieces, and boil in half a quart of water. Let it boil until the water assumes a reddish-brown colour. Strain the liquid through gauze or some other suitable strainer, to remove all insoluble material, and allow to cool. Pour this into a suitable bottle and it is now ready for use.

One tablespoon is sufficient for adults, while children should be given only a teaspoonful, unless no results are obtained. If too much is taken the results are so violent that a binding agent must be taken to stop it. The antidote for this state of affairs is to rush off to the nearest manuka patch, and secure a handful of manuka seed-boxes—the hard, ball-shaped boxes left on the plant after the flower disappears. Crush these as much as possible and then eat them. Manuka seeds, for their medicinal function, are just as efficient and reliable as flax medicine is for its peculiar purpose.

An alternative method of preparing flax medicine is to place the rhizome into hot embers, and cook it like a kumara. When cooled eat a portion of it, and the results, I believe, are the same as for the liquid preparation. How much one should eat of the cooked rhizome I do not know. Anyone keen on assisting humanity might like to test it and work out the exact prescription!

To the taste, the flax medicine is extremely bitter, but whether it is worse than Epsom salts is a matter to be debated.

Flax gum, found at the butts of young leaves, also had some useful purpose. The gum proved to be an excellent cure for minor cuts, scratches and cracked hands. When smeared over the

– 43 –

Picture icon

Drawing by Juliet Peter.

wound it formed an impervious covering, thus protecting the wound from bacterial attack. It was extensively used by the old Maoris for burns.


During the old days there were various uses for the stalks. At present there appears to be no use made of them, except of course to make toys such as aeroplanes and windmills.

Looking back over my own young days I can still picture clearly roaming about the swamps, with gangs of four to six, seeking out the dry flax stalks from which to make our toy monoplanes. On such occasions we would sometimes wage war against another gang, using as weapons the flax stalks as substitutes for spears, and these were so light that they did not hurt you. Another common weapon for these sham battles was the rito harakeke, the very young shoot found generally in the heart of the flax bush.

The midrib of the rito was pulled off to about four inches from the cut end, and this piece was held in the left hand. To fire the weapon the piece in the left hand was very quickly pulled right off with the right hand, thus causing the rito to shoot through the air and strike, with luck, some unsuspecting ‘baddy’ in the eye! It was a very effective dart.

In the days of yore the korari was regarded as a rakau (stick) of much importance. It was clothed with a mysterious mana, for it was said the Patupaiarehe (or fairy folk) made their canoes of it. This might have been due to the Maoris' poetic way of explaining something he could not understand, like the buoyancy of the korari when floating in the rippling water of the lagoons. So light was it that it floated like a cork, and consequently responded to the least disturbance in the water; thus the association, in all probability, with the strange fairy folk.

The uses of the korari were these:

Elementary taiaha drill

At a young age all boys were put through an elementary course of taiaha drill by the experts. Dry flax stalks were used, being light and easily manipulated by the boys. Each boy was given a stalk which was slightly longer than his own height, and with it practised taiaha parries and thrusts, the mastery of which was important and vital if he wished to remain alive in his manhood.

Rama or torch

The stalks were cut into equal lengths and bundled. Each bundle was smeared with oil or fat, and then lit. Such torches were used on very dark nights when eeling.


Bundles of stalks were attached together to make rafts for crossing a river. Rough boats, called moihi, were also built of these.

– 44 –


Na Reweti T. Kohere enei korero i tuku mai, nana ano hoki i whakamaori. Kua puta ke taua korero ko te reo o Waikato te reo Ma ori tino pai o nga reo Maori katoa, a ko tenei ano hoki ta Apirana Ngata korero. No muri mai ka kite ia i nga korero a Reiri Matene, hoa wahine o te Tumuaki o nga kai-whakawa i nga ra i a Pihopa Herewini. Ko nga kupu a Reiri Matene he mea tango mai i tana pukapuka i huaina ko, Our Maoris.

Ki te Reo Ingarihi:

‘The Waikatos are a fine set of people, tall and well made. They are remarkable too, for the delicacy of their pronunciation. One thought of the Italian saying, Lingua Toreana in bocca Romana, when listening to them.’

Ki te Reo Maori:

‘He iwi ataahua a Waikato, he roroa te tangata, he pai hoki te whakatupu. He mea whakamiharo ano hoki te ngawari o to ratou reo. Ki te whakaronga ki a ratou e korero ana, ka mahara te ngakau ki nga kupu a te iwi o Itari, e mea nei Lingua Toreana in bocca Romana.

Kahore au e mohio ki te Reo Itariana engari pea te Etita, mana e whakamoari nga kupu Itariana. Kaua era atu iwi e hae mo enei korero whakamihi mo o tatou whanaunga, ehara hoki i Waikato, na te pakeha ke, a naku hoki na Ngati Porou. Ki toku whakaaro ko te Reo Maori te reo pai atu o nga reo katoa.

Kia mahara hoki tatou ko te reo o te Kawenata Tawhito ko te reo o Waikato na Te Manihera hoki i whakamaori. Whakarongo ina ki te Kawerata Tawhito.

E korerotia ana e nga rangi te kororia o te Atua,

A e whakaaturia ana e te kikorangi te mahi a ona ringa.

E puaki mai ana te reo o tena rangi, o tena rangi,

E whakaatu mohiotanga mai ana hoki tena po, tena po.

Kahore he hamumutanga, kahore he kupu,

Kahore e rangona to ratou reo.

R. T. Kohere

East Cape


Waiata a Harata Tangikuku Na R. T. Kohere i Tuhituhi


E timu ra koe, e te tai nei,

Rere omaki ana ki waho ra;

Hei runga nei au tiro iho ai,

Nga roro whare ki Mihi-marino

Naku iana hoe i kakekake,

Nga rangi ra ka huri nei.


E tangi ra koe, e te kihikihi,

Tenei koe ka rite mai ki a au;

Me huroto au kei ro repo,


Tera koia me to Tawera,

Whakakau ana mai ki uta ra;

Hohoro mai koia hei hoa moe ake,

Moku ra e tiu nei;

Me porangi au e keha ana,

Me haurangi kai waipiro,

Me tahuna rere i te amo hau,

Me perehia rere ki tawhiti.


Tiro iho nei au ki ahau,

Rinoi ra e te uaua,

I te koha kore o te kai ki ahau,

Heke ra waho ana i te kiri ora;

Waiho au kia poaha ana;

He rimu puka kei te akau.

Nga Whakamarama:

He mea tino nui ki te pakeha te titotito maku e ki, te wawata. Ma te wawata e timata, ma muri e whakatinana, ka tutuki te wawata. Ko etahi tangata nunui o te pakeha he hunga titotito ara ki tona reo he poet. Ko te waiata a Harata Tangikuku e tino eke ana ki te poetry. Me ata aru nga whakamarama.

– 45 –

Harata Tangikuku:

No te Whanau-a-Ruataupare ki Tokomaru tenei wahine, ko te koka o Wi Perwhairangi. He wahine tohunga ki te titotito waiata; ka tika mona te ingoa poetess.

E marama ana i runga tonu o nga kupu o tana waiata, he wahine mate, he nui te mate, a e marama ana hoki he huango tona mate, ki etahi iwi he kume. I a ia e noho ana i te taumata i Manawai, Pohaitapu, ko etahi wahine e haere ana i te akau, e ahu ana ki Waihoa, ki Te Mawhai, ki te ruku koura, ki te ripi paua, ki te karo kina, ki te kohi pupu. He tino mahi tera nana, i a ia e ora ana, otira i te nui o tona mate kihai ia i ahei. Ka tangi ia, ka waiata.

Nga Kupu o te Waiata:

Rere omaki, hohoro ki te heke

Mihi-marino. Ki te korero a Apirana Ngata kei Tuparoa ke tenei wahi, ko te taumata ke i noho ai a Harata Tangikuku ko Manawai, Pohaitapa. No nga mahi whakawhitiwhiti waiata ka uru Mihimarino ki te waiata nei, ka kapea Manawai.

Te Kihikihi, i whakarite a Harata Tangikuku i a ia ki te kihikihi ki te huroto ara ki te auatuku, ki te kaka, ki te porangi, ki te haurangi, i te tahuna ara ki te pua raupo, ki te perehia, ki te rimu puka. Ka kiia enei whakarite e te pakeha he simile, he metaphor, he tino tikanga no te poetry. He tino tika enei kupu na te huango. Me ki ake e au ko te tino mate o nga mokopuna a Harata Tangikuku he huango, a he tokomaha o ratou kua mate.

Tawera, he whetu ki te pakeha ko Venus.

I te nui o te mate o Harata Tangikuku, kihai ia i moe, ka oho ko ia anake, ka moe katoa tana whanau. No tana tirohanga atu ki waho ki te moana ko Tawera. I tona mate, i tona mokemoke, ka powhiritia e ia te whetu kia hohoro mai hei hoa moe mona, i a ia e porangi ana, e haurangi ana i te nui o tona mate. He pakiwaitara tenei ahua o a tatou korero otira he tino tikanga tenei no te poetry ara te pakiwaitara.

Harata Tangikuku's Lament

Flow out, ebbing tide,
Flow far out to sea;
And here I sit and gaze,
On doorsteps at Mihi-marino;
How oft did I thee cross,
In days gone by.

Sing on thou cicada,
For thou art like unto me,
I'm like a bittern blowing in a swamp,
I'm like a kaka that chokes.

Is it Tawera I discern,
Hurrying across the sea?
Speed on thou star,
And stay with me the night,
For I am sore distrest;
I rave as one possess'd,
I reel as one drunken,
I'm as raupo down blown by the wind,
I'm as perehia that scurries afar.

When at myself I gaze,
My bones stare at me,
For food to me is useless,
It may as well be untasted;
Leave me then a thing void,
As crackling seaweed on shore.

Explanatory Notes:

Because of its fine language and poetry, of its apt similes and metaphors, descriptive of an emaciated asthmatic, of its appeal to the imagination, and also of its plaintive tune, I have decided to make Harata Tangikuku's Lament my initial contribution to Te Ao Hou.

Harata Tangikuku, the mother of the chief, Wi Pewhairangi of Tokomaru Bay, was a Maori poetess. From her use of similes, it is obvious she suffers from asthma. She would join a party of women on their way to the rocks to dive for crayfish, to gather sea-eggs and pauas, but because of her emaciated condition she cannot. She resigns herself to her fate, ‘a thing void’ ‘as crackling seaweed on shore’. It is needless to mention that the translation is not literal and is without rhythm and metre.

First Maori priest to be invited to work in a Polynesian island is the Rev. John Tamahori, of Wairoa, a Maori priest of the diocese of Waiapu. The Rev. Tamahori left recently to serve in Tonga.—Evening Post.

* * *

A two-day course in Maori arts and crafts was held by the Maori Women's Welfare League in Hastings recently. The course included demonstrations and instructions in tukutuku work, and kit and mat-making. In the evenings, educational films were shown and talks given on cultural and historical subjects. The instructors of the craft work were Maori women of the organisation, but assistance was also given by tutors of the Adult Education Service.—Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune.

– 46 –

Why Where the Maori
Land Boards Abolished?


Ko Turi ano tenei. Ka tangi te mapu a te tangata o Te Tari motemea ko te Turi ano tenei nana ra nga patai mo nga mahi a te Tari Maori i panuitia ra ki te putanga tuatahi o Te Ao Hou. Ka maunu te potae o Turi ki runga i te tepu o taua apiha e whakatau ana ki runga i te tepu o taua apiha e whakatau ana ki runga i te turu i te ngaro ke te tangata nona a ka timata te kari o ana patai.

He aha tenei e rongo nei au kua whakakorea nga Poari Whenua Maori?

He tika tena. Kua whakataua e te Paremata tetahi Ture hei whakakore atu i aua Poari Whenua Maori a ko o ratou mana, me a ratou mahi me nga moni hoki kua tukua ki te Kaitieki Maori.

Ko pehea matou i raro o tenei Ture?

Kaore noa iho he rereketanga. Ahakoa kua whakakorea nga Poari ko a ratou mahi ka mau tonu, ma te Kaitieki Maori e mahi a ko nga Apiha Tieki o nga Tari o nga Rohe, i mua ake nei i huaina ko nga Kai-Rehita, ona mangai. Mo te taha ki a koutou moni reti kaore he rereketanga me ahu tonu atu ki nga Tari Maori pera ano i mua ake nei a me kawe ano hoki o koutou hemanawatanga ki reira.

Ma wai e whakatikatika aku tono awhina moni ki te Poari? Ka haere rawa ranei nga tono ki Poneke a tera e roa noa atu pea te wa ka puta mai nga whakatau?

Ka pera tonu ra nga mana tuku moni o te Kaitieki Maori i o nga Poari ra. A pera ano i mua ake nei ko nga tono awhina hei hanga whare hei whakapai whenua me tuku ma te Poari mo nga take Maori, kei Poneke, e whiriwhiri. Otira e whai mana ana te Kaitieki Maori ki te tuku i ana ake moni i runga i te mokete mo nga take tika a kaore e taka ki raro i nga here o te ture ahuwhenua. Me kawe a koutou tono mo nga awhina ki nga Apiha


I hope, said Turi, you don't mind answering a question.

Oh no, quite the contrary, said the official. We are here to please.

Well, then, I have heard a lot of discussion about the Maori Land Boards recently. It is true, is it not, that they were abolished on September 30?

That is quite true. Parliament had passed an Act abolishing the Maori Land Boards and transferring all their rights, duties, powers and liabilities to the Maori Trustee.

What difference will that make to us?

Very little. Although the Boards are abolished, practically all their operations will be taken over by the Maori Trustee, and handled in districts by the District Officer, as the Maori Trustee's representative. In the case of rents, a beneficiary will go to the same office and deal with the same clerk as always, and any problem will be handled by the District Officer.

Who will now arrange that Board loan for me? Will the application now have to go to Wellington instead of being decided here, and will there be a lot more delay?

The Maori Trustee will, generally speaking, have the same powers of lending as the Boards used to have. As in the past, Maori housing and land development loan moneys are controlled by the Board of Maori Affairs, in Wellington, but the Maori Trustee can lend moneys for general purposes and on a straight-out mortgage basis without the necessity, say, for coming under a development scheme. However, applications for loans of any kind should be made at District Offices and the District Officer will consider them and send them on to Wellington with his recommendation. This is no different from the former system, since Board loans have for many years been subject to approval by the Board of Maori Affairs, and have had to be sent down to Wellington.

– 47 –

Kaitieki o nga Tari o Nga Rohe ma ratou e whiriwhiri e tuku ki Poneke me a ratou kupu tautoko. I ki ake ra au kaore he rereketanga i nga ahuatanga o mua ake nei motemea i tukua katoa nga tono awhina moni ma te Poari Mo Nga Take Maori i Poneke e whakatau.

E pai ana ra tena. E mohio ana au ki te Perehitene o Te Poari Whenua Maori o toku rohe engari ko Te Kaitieki Maori nei ko wai ia?

Ko Tipi Ropiha, ko ia te Tumuaki o Te Tari Maori a Te Kaitieki Maori hoki. Ko tenei tuunga ko Te Kaitieki Maori no te tau 1921 i whanau ai i te rironga mai o te mana whakahaere o nga take Maori ko te Kaitieki mo Te Katoa ra te kai whakahaere i mua atu i taua wa—penei i nga whakahaere mo nga whenua Rahui Maori penei i etahi a nga whenua o Taranaki. Mo tetahi wa roa noa atu he tari motuhake te Tari o Te Kaitieki Maori engari no 1934 ka whakakotahitia ki te Tari Maori. No 1946 ka whakaratotia nga mahi a Te Kaitieki Maori ki nga Tari Maori i nga rohe. Apiti atu ki nga mahi kua riro mai nei i te Poari ko etahi o nga mahi a Te Kaitieki Maori he tieki i nga rawa a te hunga kei raro iho i te 21 tau te pakeke, te hunga kei nga whare porangi, nga rawa a te hunga mate kore wira a ko te whakahaere hoki me te utu i nga moni reti o nga whenua rahui Maori.

Ko tau korero ahakoa kua whakakorea nga Poari Whenua Maori kaore noa iho he rereketanga ki te iwi Maori. A he aha i whakakorea ai aua Poari?

Ko te tima tanga mai o nga Poari nei no te tau 1900 a i huaina i tera wa ‘Ko Nga Kaunihera Mo Nga Whenua Maori’ i whakaturia hei riihi hei hoko ranei i nga whenua i tukua ki aua Poari. Ko etahi o nga mema o aua Poari he Maori he mangai no nga iwi me te Perehitene na te Kawanatanga i whakatu. I roto o nga tau ka ririri nga iwi mo o ratou mangai ki runga i aua Poari a nawai ra a i te tau 1913 ka whakakorea atu nga mangai Maori o nga iwi ka noho ko nga Tiati o nga Kooti Whenua Maori me nga Kai-Rehita anake ki aua Poari. No konei tonu ka timata mai nga amuamu kia whakakorea atu nga Poari rokohanga ka tu he Kawanatanga ke a ko etahi atu ahuatanga ka haere tonu aua Poari. He whai take tonu ra nga Paori a i oti nga mahi i roto o nga tau.

No te timatatanga o nga mahi ahuwhenua me nga mahi hanga whare a te Tari Maori ka tukua ma nga Poari era mahi ki nga rohe. Kaore he whakawa i oti pai aua mahi a e haere tonu nei.

Ko te tino take i whakakorea ai nga Poari he whaka whaiti i te mana whakahaere o nga mahi a Te Tari Maori. Ka tau inaianei te

(Kei te wherangi 50)


Just one point. I know the President of the Board, but I do not know this Maori Trustee. Who is this Maori Trustee who is to decide on my loan?

Mr Ropiha, who is head of the Department, also holds the office of Maori Trustee. The position of Maori Trustee was constituted in 1921 to take over from the Public Trust Office all Maori matters, and particularly the administration of Maori reserves—for instance the West Coast Settlement Reserves in Taranaki. For a long time the Maori Trustee office was a separate department, but in 1934 it was amalgamated with the Department of Maori Affairs. About 1946 it was found necessary to split up his work, which had previously all been done in Wellington, and provide for it to be handled in districts at the District Offices of the Department. Apart from the work now taken over from the Boards, the Maori Trustee acts as trustee for Maori minors, and persons under disability, and may be appointed to administer Maori estates, as well as administering Maori Reserves and paying out the rents from these.

You have said the abolition of the Maori Land Boards makes practically no difference to the Maori people. Why have they been abolished then?

The Boards were originally set up (under the name of ‘Maori Land Councils’) in 1900 for the cutting up, leasing, and sale of Maori lands vested in them, and were composed of representative Maoris and an appointed president. A good deal of quarrelling and animosity arose out of the election and appointment of Maori members, so that the number of these was whittled away, until, in 1913, it was provided that the Boards would consist of the Judge and Registrar of the Maori Land Court district only. About this time there were moves afoot to abolish the Boards but because of a change in government, and because the Boards were legal bodies and could hold land, etc., this step was not taken. The Boards as they existed were convenient bodies to carry out different jobs as they arose, and gradually acquired a number of miscellaneous powers and functions.

When land development and the Maori housing scheme started, the Department had only a very small organisation outside Wellington. For that reason the enormous amount of field work, accounts work, and so on that suddenly became necessary outside Wellington was largely given to the Maori Land Boards to handle. In performing these functions the close contact of the Boards with the Maori people concerned was of great benefit, and much valuable assistance was given to Maori farming and housing, in particular.

(Continued on page 50)

– 48 –




My son, who attended the ceremonies at Tikitiki, brought me a copy of Te Ao Hou. I had been expecting its appearance for some time and now it has come. I glanced through it and for an initial number it is creditable. Reading matter is one of the great needs of the Maori people, and I am sure Te Ao Hou will help to fill up the void in Maori life. I enjoyed reading the account of the conference of the Welfare League. The League is taking to some extent the place of the defunct Young Maori Party. On the East Coast the Mothers' Institute has held sway for years, and I doubt whether they will change.

Thank you for the mention of my books and the complimentary things you said about them. The books are very popular. One educated girl said to me, ‘Thank you for the Proverbs. Do you know I never knew one of them before I read your books.’ I am enclosing my annual subscription, and I am sorry I am unable to send more.

R. T. Kohere.



Quite enjoyed your first issue of Te Ao Hou. Please find enclosed 10s. subscription. I have been studying genealogy for five years now, and I am survey officer of the Mahia Genealogical Association.

We not only survey local, that is to say New Zealand, genealogies, but also genealogies of different people that may have in some way connections with our Maori people. In my survey work I have come to the conclusion that the Maori people are definitely connected with two brothers of the house of Israel, or descendants of Jacob. The two brothers are Ephraim and Manassah, sons of Joseph and Judah.

In the year 600 B.C. Amam Ku and his four sons, of whom Amam Kalam was one, left Kapa Kapa-na-Kane—that is, Jerusalem—and travelled overland till they reached the borders of India. From here they made a boat, and Amam Ku sailed with his family. The south-east monsoon blew them forth until they struck the Antarctic current. Eventually they arrived on the shores of South America, near where the city of Valparaiso stands today, on the Chilean coast. He named the place Kahiki Ku, after himself. Amam Ku died in this land, and his son, Amam Kalam, was the leader. The nation grew, and migrated from the mountainous country to a more fertile land (Peru).

It is from here, through wars with the descendants of his other brothers, that the descendants of Amam Kalam left Peru for other places under the leadership of Opukahonua, in 230 B.C.

They migrated to Easter Island, and eventually the descendants sailed for Tahiti. Rangi, or Wakea, is a descendant of this group.

Another migration from America in 55 B.C. was that of Hawaiiloa, Tiki I and Tangaroa. Their journey landed them on the Islands of Hawaii, named after their leader Hawaiiloa.

Up to this time these people, in my opinion, were white, as their Asian ancestor, Amam Ku was.

These are the migrations and connections as our genealogical society sees them.

We are asking you to publish this letter, to invite questions and arguments about these views.

Paumea H. McKay.



—In the initial issue of your magazine a contributor, G. S. Roydhouse, makes the statement concerning the late Sir Peter Buck: ‘In point of fact, his father's name was William Henry Neal, better known … as “Buck” Neal and his wife as Mrs “Buck”.’ ‘It was from this nickname,’ your contributor added, ‘that Peter gained his European surname.’

As I am engaged, with approval expressed by Sir Peter prior to his death, in writing his biography, I am naturally interested in this statement, and would be glad if either Mr Roydhouse or yourself would produce evidence in support of it. My own view is that it is untrue, that it would never have been made if Sir Peter were living, and that there is no evidence to support it. Your contributor does not only suggest that William Henry Buck was known as Neal, but that Neal was his correct name—not Buck.

I have been in touch with Sir Peter's relatives, and my information is that his father was William Henry Buck who, though Irish-born, came here from Australia in the early 'sixties, and fought in the Waikato War. His father was Henry Buck, civil engineer, of Dublin (some of whose letters are in my possession).

– 49 –

The latter's father was the Rev. Dr John Buck, a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and the occupant of three livings within the gift of the College. Adam Buck, the miniaturist (to whom sat George IV), was a cousin of Dr John Buck's. There is no mention, as far as I am aware, of the name of Neal in the family tree.

Mr Roydhouse also states that Sir Peter's mother was Ngarongo ki tua. It is true that Sir Peter referred to Ngarongo in print as his mother. But, actually, she was his foster-mother. Sir Peter Buck's mother was Rina, a cousin once removed to Ngarongo. The child was certainly reared by Ngarongo, who has been described to me by those who knew her as a cripple, because Rina died early. That Rina was his mother is confirmed by a whakapapa in Sir Peter's own handwriting, which I found among his personal papers in Honolulu, also by the statements of Maori informants still living at Urenui. Therefore, Kapuakore was not Sir Peter's grandmother but, to use Mr Roydhouse's own phrase, ‘in point of fact’, his great-aunt. Of course, she was his kuia, and he regarded her as such. I have an unpublished tribute to her by Sir Peter, which is among the most delightful of his writings.

Neither can Lady Buck be referred to as a ‘nursing sister’ during the First World War. A more appropriate term would have been to describe her as a V.A.D. However, that is a minor point.

Mr Roydhouse paid me the compliment of repeating a statement that I published some years ago, but which I have since known to be incorrect. It was not the Rev. J. C. Andrew, of Ica Station, Wairarapa, who was responsible for Sir Peter entering Te Aute College. Sir Peter denied that statement, which I had published in good faith. In point of fact, he wrote his own application, and waited six months before it was acknowledged. Going to Te Aute was entirely his own idea. On arrival there he was asked who had written the application, and replied: ‘I did.’

Unfortunately, Sir Peter Buck is already a subject for legend. As your journal is the first to my knowledge to have published the statement that his name was really Neal, I hope you will either substantiate it or give my letter the same publicity. Also, some of Sir Peter's friends of long standing feel that a journal such as yours which, obviously, aims to set a standard, should have refrained from addressing him familiarly as ‘Peter’: either his title should have been used or he should have been referred to, simply, as Buck.

Eric Ramsden

The statement that Sir Peter Buck's father's real name was William Henry Neal is entirely Mr Roydhouse's responsibility. Mr Ramsden suggests all this would never have been published had Sir Peter been alive. Of course Te Ao Hou would, in that case, have gone to Sir Peter for information and advice. But that is now impossible, and only a full investigation of all the facts will reveal the truth about William Henry. Correspondence on this subject is now closed.—The Editor, Te Ao Hou.


Sir,—I am a pakeha who wishes to go on record as one who is grateful to the Maori people. They rounded out my education when, as a child, I first had anything to do with them, and it appears to me that they have a great destiny.

When I started at my second primary school I had never seen, as far as I could remember, a Maori, although I must have seen some at my birthplace, Otaki. At this new school there were over a hundred Maori children.

It was here that I first saw the haka, the poi dance, and the action song, and although we were not the biggest school in the district, we had the best haka party. When prominent people, or the School Inspectors visited the school, we entertained them with poetry and song, but only so that we could save the best until the last. Our star items were hakas, poi dances and action songs—action songs with the rhythm beaten out with pot lids. It did not matter what was used to mark the time, the grace of movement fascinated us all.

Our football team had Maori stars, its hero was a Maori All Black, and the Maoris added to games which became bitter a joke or a laugh which saved the day. As children we never realised how often our Maori friends laughed.

Our one trouble was that our Maori footballers passed the age limit while they were at school, and could no longer play. We lost the championship one year because of a Maori boy's birthday. In those days many Maori children started school late, and we had a boy who started in “Tiny Tots” (as they were called), when he was thirteen. After twenty years the Maori people have come a long way, and now this only happens rarely. The last time I visited my old school none of the Maori children were out of their proper standard for their ages.

I can remember in those days how many Maoris found English harder than the pakehas. Many of their parents had never been to school at all, and could not help them. Such expressions as ‘I came by walk it’, and ‘the calf

– 50 –

he is deaded’ were very common. It is no longer so. The subject in which Maoris excelled over everybody else was art, and the next subject to it, writing. Did the long tradition of the Maori, which produced the carving patterns in wood and the weaving patterns in flax, find its expression in drawing and writing? Without doubt the patience which was part of the skill of a carver had endured into their grandsons and grandaughters, for their work was remarkable for the care it showed.

By the time I left primary school I had been taught to listen to the music of the Maori language from those who were still able to speak it. Each morning the roll was called, and our headmaster used to read the Maori names first, all at once, and compare them with the more jerky English names: Ruru, Katene, Rangi, Mua, Puketapu — what musically soft names they were! It was good for us to hear the music of another language.

One of the events we most looked forward to each year was the making of a Maori oven. Every year the new children would watch, but what gave us most pleasure was the look on the faces of the older children, new to the school, who had never seen one before. Each of us brought food to cook, and it was delicious—even more so because of the excitement of fire, red-hot stones, steam, and more steam. Opening the oven itself was like undoing a mystery packet. Many of the Maoris themselves had never seen a Maori oven, and they were no less interested.

While I was at this school the district had a very large tangi for a relative of a chief. People came from all over the North Island, and many of the women wore the mourning green. For a few days the Maori salutation was seen many times in our small town, and the lamenting for the dead man was heard at night.

It was fortunate that our Headmaster was a man who knew some Maori, and loved Maori customs. He took pains to explain their history to us as well as their customs, the ones we were supposed to learn as part of our lessons. He told us of Sir Peter Buck and Sir Maui Pomare, as well as of the legends. At that time the Maoris had left their decline behind, and were increasing in numbers. When I left school two Maori children had reached Standard VI, and only one had left the school to go on to High School. Now it is a different story, and there were more Maori students in my class at the University than there were in my last standard at primary school.

I began by saying that I was grateful to the Maori people, and I conclude by repeating that I am grateful. You have a lot to teach us and I, for one, hope that you will retain your traditional customs and arts, and let them grow into a new Maori culture. Someday, perhaps, New Zealand will find that her artists are Maoris as well as the men who man the factories and farm the land. The Maoris will come into their heritage again 'as New Zealanders.





(Continued from page 47)

The chief reason for abolishing the Boards now lies in the desire to simplify the handling of Maori matters, to cut down the number of bodies concerned, and also to avoid overlapping of work on the administrative side. Instead of the Department, seven Maori Land Boards, and the Maori Trustee, there will be only the Department and the Maori Trustee, and although the work of the Maori Trustee will be largely done in the districts, under the supervision of the District Officer, it will be in accordance with a common policy laid down by the Maori Trustee. The change will also free the Judges of the Maori Land Court from their administrative duties as Presidents of the Maori Land Boards, and enable them to concentrate on their judicial duties.

From the point of view of the Maoris and of the general public who deal with Maori matters, the change will not appear as much more than a change of names.

The Europeans are taking the top half of social security—the age benefit—and the Maori people are taking the bottom half—the family benefits—Rt. Rev. W. N. Panapa, at Napier, October, 1951.

* * *

Collection of Maori rates in Rangitikei County was a record last year, over 85% of the rates struck being collected within the specified time. — The Wanganui Herald.


(Mai i te wherangi 47)

mana whakahaere ki te Tari Maori me te Kaitieki Maori, ahakoa ko nga Apiha whakahaere o Nga Tari o Nga Rohe kei te mahi i nga mahi a te Kaitieki Maori ko te kaupapa o nga mahi na te Kaitieki Maori. Ka watea inaianei nga Tiati o nga Kooti Whenua Maori ki nga mahi anake o nga Kooti.

Ki nga Maori a ki te katoa noa iho o te tangata ka mutu ano te rereketanga ko te ingoa—kua kore nga Poari Whenua Maori ko Te Kaitieki Maori inaianei.

– 51 –

No. 2

Everybody connected with Te Ao Hou must offer his profound apologies for our first Crossword Puzzle—the proofreader did not notice the misprints, the artist failed to black one square and put one numeral in the wrong position. It was all a terrible flop. This time the crossword has been really well checked. Readers can have a try at it with renewed confidence.

Some courageous people did send in solutions, and of these E. M. Johnston, 1 Reihana Street, Orakei, Auckland, wins the prize. The other contestants did marvels in detecting errors, but made at least one mistake of their own. The prize will be again one guinea for the correct solution. If more than one solution is received, the winner will be determined by lot.

Picture icon

solution to last puzzle

CLUES (all answers are Maori words)


1 Full name of Lake Taupo
6 Drag
8 Fruit
9 Help
10 Bring
11 That place
12 Vine
16 Earthquake
17 Count
19 But
20 Carving Pattern
21 He
22 There
23 Fill
26 Make it sharp
28 Waited for
29 Wrong
30 Herring
32 Only
33 Paddle
34 Serves you right!
35 A bird
36 The
37 The South Island


1 Your
2 Repay
3 Because
4 Milky Way
5 Be elevated
6 Rod in tukutuku
7 Supernatural folk
8 Bird spear
9a Time
13 Fire
14 I don't know
15 Heart (fig.)
18 Front
21 Devour
23 A tribe
24 Gently
25 Lead
27 Eel trap
31 Sneeze
32 World
36 Stand

– 52 –

Ki te haere koe
i runga i nga
huarahi i nga po

e tika ana kia ata kitea koe e nga kaiarahi motowaka.

Ina etahi tohutohu:


Mehemea he huarahi hangai me haere ma te taha KATAU kia ata kitea mai ai koe e nga motowaka e ahu mai ana ki a koe.


Me haere ma te taha ki WAHO i nga hurihanga.


Me haere ma te taha rawa o te huarahi.


Me mau i nga kakahu hama a me mau nupepa ma ranei a i tetahi kameta ma yanei kia tere ai koe te kitea.

Kia tupato kei mate koe!

Picture icon

(Inserted by the Transport Department.)

– 53 –

The Woman's World


One of the most painstaking and exacting pieces of voluntary social work in the country during this year was an exhaustive housing survey carried out by the Waitemata District Council of the Maori Women's Welfare League. Many people have shown alarm about Maori housing conditions in Auckland, and now a considerable body of very useful facts is available about some 2,500 people in need of homes—many of them in desperate need. The greatest value of the survey lies perhaps in the personal data collected for each of the families, and in the challenge to the country at large which is conveyed by the survey.

The idea started at the April conference of the League when the Under-Secretary of the Maori Affairs Department, Mr Ropiha, asked for definite facts on Maori housing in Auckland. The survey took place in July. During that month, twelve women workers were continuously on the road. All the members of the Waitemata group—close on a hundred—were involved in the survey, either taking turns on the field work, or active in the background organisation. The whole of Auckland as far as Otahuhu was covered. One essential of the survey was that it had to be completed in a month to ensure maximum accuracy. This necessitated the use of rental cars most of the time. The women stood the cost of these. The Maori Affairs Department co-operated by giving the women access to all Auckland applications received by the Department during the month.

The survey covered the great majority of the Maori population of Auckland, but notes were kept only of those in need of homes and willing to give all necessary information to the League investigators. Of these, there were 2,278, in 519 family units. There were also 167 Islanders, in 32 family units. These people, 551 households in all, require rehousing and have filled in State Housing application forms. According to the survey, 368 cases can be classed as urgent—under notice to quit, overcrowded and so on; 32 are in houses condemned by the City Council or the Health authorities.

In addition to what the survey revealed, there were a number of cases unwilling to give


information or fill in forms, or were constantly found not to be at home. Other cases again were missed where the landlord did not admit to having Maori tenants. After the survey, the Waitemata District Council stated:

Picture icon

Drawing by John Zambelis.

– 54 –


Generations of Maori people have enjoyed New Zealand shell-fish that the pakeha has entirely neglected. In spite of the rich supply of pipi, paua and kuku, only oysters have really become part of the pakeha diet, and a major part of New Zealand's fishing industry.

Everyone knows that the old Maori dried the kuku on strips of flax and stored them away for winter food. Every housewife knows several ways to serve the kuku, in a salad, or raw, off the shells, or in a stew. When Mrs W. Paki, of Huntly, sent us her favourite recipe for mussel fritters, we decided to give a recipe of our own, for chowder, a soup that is particularly wellthought of in the United States.



8 mussels, shelled, cleaned and cut in small pieces.

1 medium onion cut up finely.

A few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped.

3 cups of flour.

Milk and water to mix.

Salt and pepper to taste.


Mix the mussels, onion, parsley into the flour and add milk and water to make a batter of a very loose consistency.

If it is stood over-night no Baking Powder is required, but if it is to be cooked straightaway, add 1½ teaspoons of Baking Powder.

Drop by dessertspoonfuls into boiling fat and fry to a golden brown.



2 cups raw cleaned mussels, cut small.

2 cups raw potatoes, cut small.

1½ cups of water.

1 cup of milk.

1 onion finely chopped.

Some finely chopped parsley.

Salt and pepper to taste.


Cook the potatoes, onion and mussels until the potatoes are tender.

Season with salt and pepper, add the milk and heat just to boiling point.

Serve sprinkled with parsley.

This chowder can be made equally well with pauas or pipis, and you can increase the quantity according to the size of your family and the number of mussels you have.

We would be glad to have any unusual recipes from our readers. If you have a dish that your family favours particularly, send it to The Editor, Te Ao Hou, P.O. Box 2390, Wellington.




‘The survey has been done at great personal inconvenience, and has taken weeks of painstaking hard work, both day and night. Our only motive in carrying it out has been the desire to do something to improve the lot of our kinsfolk.

‘We were concerned to find out why the majority had not applied for a State house previously. There appeared to be a variety of reasons for this.

‘Some of the ill-housed persons were above the income limit. Others were worried about living in an all-pakeha community. Like all the others who had not applied they sincerely desired better living conditions. Many others had not applied in the past simply because they felt the position was hopeless, and also because they were lacking in general pakeha “know-how” of the way to apply.

‘The overwhelming majority of Maoris needing houses are from Northland. Economic circumstances have forced them to the nearest city to seek work. There is nothing for them in the rural areas.

‘We also investigated the condition of Pacific Islanders living in Auckland. We make no apology for pushing their case, as they are our cousins and are, we feel, entitled to special consideration.

‘We sincerely believe that the problem cannot be met within the existing framework of Government policy, and we are prepared to co-operate by offering suggestions. At this point, though, we are chiefly concerned with ensuring that the Government is informed in detail of our needs.’

The Maori Women's Welfare League has presented this report to the Minister of Maori Affairs, who is now considering it.

– 55 –

The Koauau Player

When Hinemoa swam to Mokoia Island, she was guided through the darkness by a slender thread of sound from Tutanekai's flute. Visitors to the Auckland Museum can see the very koauau he is supposed to have played, and as they peer curiously at it, they must wonder how such a small instrument could make enough sound to carry across the water from Mokoia to the mainland. In any case the story goes that Tutanekai was not himself a skilled player, and that he was forced to send his love message to Hinemoa through a deputy.

Playing the koauau was always difficult, and it is now very nearly a lost art. The only person who can still persuade a melody from the little flute, is Mrs Ben Wi Neera, of Takapuwahia Pa, Porirua.

Paeroa Wi Neera belongs to Ngati Toa, and she was born at Poroutawhao, near Levin. There she grew up, learning to strip the flax and make the kono, to help with the crops and the children, doing everything in the old Maori way. That village was particularly proud of her uncle, Ngaherehere, who was known up and down the coast for his skill on the porutu and the koauau. Over the years many children gathered round Ngaherehere to have their first lessons on koauau made from tutu wood. Most of them gave up very easily, but Paeroa persisted until she was promoted to the matai koauau she plays to-day. When Ngaherehere made it for her about sixty years ago, it was just a smooth piece of matai about five inches long, carefully bored out, and with three holes running into it slantwise. Like all koauau it was left open at both ends. Then, a few years ago, Mrs Wi Neera allowed a pakeha to carve it for her in the traditional fashion.

People often are confused about the koauau through its English translation, ‘nose flute’. When Mrs Wi Neera played it for Lady Alice Fergusson at Government House, the newspapers insisted that she used her nostrils instead of her lips to produce the sound. But although the koauau was occasionally played with the nose, this technique was extremely difficult, and according to Sir Peter Buck, it was more usual to play it as Mrs Wi Neera does, by blowing across the upper end.

I asked her whether she had tried to teach any of her family to play her koauau.

‘It is too difficult,’ she said. ‘They try, but they can't make the right sound. Besides, they have ukeleles and guitars, and they can manage without the koauau.’

We made several attempts to hear it that afternoon. The koauau cannot be played on casual demand, like a mouth-organ. It requires a great deal of breath and concentration. The first tentative sounds woke her daughter's baby; the second attempt attracted several eager little boys inside, and the moment to hear it had gone.

Picture icon

Mrs Wi Neera

I have since heard some recordings Mrs Wi Neera made several years ago. The clear, full tone convinced me that Hinemoa would certainly have been able to hear Tutanekai's message. But I could tell that the hardest thing is to get started: to control the breath sufficiently with the lips for the melody to flow evenly. The koauau must surely be one of the most difficult wind instruments ever made, and I fully sympathise with all the people who have tried to master it and failed.

Mrs Wi Neera has lived at Takapuwahia for fifty-three years. When she first arrived there, life was very different. There were only a few houses round the water's edge, and the old chapel that still stands by the meeting-house was just being built. It was opened with her wedding to Ben Wi Neera, who is a direct descedant of Te Rauparaha.—Beatrice Ashton.

– 56 –


(Continued from page 24)

jobs could never have been done by contract; only co-operative effort could have created these halls, even with a subsidy.

If one builds in this way, it is not absolutely essential to have the full amount of money ready for a project when it is starting. If a project costs, say, £5,000, a committee may have £1,500 collected and be anxious to start work. The provision in the Act, that revenue is subsidisable, allows the Minister to pay out a £1,500 subsidy on this amount. The work can then start, and the community can later raise another £1,000.

This policy has no doubt stimulated Maori building activities, but it has its own dangers and difficulties. In the past there have been projects that have collapsed after a comparatively short time. There have been houses started when there was not much prospect of the money for finishing them ever being raised, and some enormous halls have been started in very small communities, unable to make full use of them or maintain them. If State subsidies were generally used on such projects, there would no doubt be complaints all over the country, and the Maori people would not benefit in any case.

Two principles have therefore been laid down for the granting of subsidies under the Act. They are:


A building permit must be obtained;


A substantial part of the money needed for a project must be raised before a subsidy is paid. There must be every indication that the committee or executive is able to collect the rest.

A project should be of a size suitable to the community it is intended for. A village of fifty souls does not need a dining-hall the size of the Auckland Town Hall. A good deal of work and money is required for the maintenance of a marae, and a marae should not be too big for a community to maintain.

Picture icon

GREYS is great

– 57 –


Domett Avenue Hostel is a solid wooden building situated in Domett Avenue, Epsom, Auckland, and surrounded by spacious grounds. It is inhabited by some thirty Maori lads apprenticed to trades in Auckland. Organised by two State Departments—the Labour and Employment and the Maori Affairs Departments—the place has had nothing spared to provide the boys with all things necessary to a good home. Sleeping quarters, common room and dining room are all furnished in solid and attractive rimu. Beds have good-looking spreads; the dining room is pleasantly laid out, with tables for four. Bathroom, shower and laundry facilities surpass those in many private homes. If any of the boys should feel tempted to leave their apprenticeships for the lure of high wages, this comfort should help to retain them.

The boys who comprise the first hostel “family” have been chosen from lads of 15–17 years, and come from Kaeo in the winterless North to Whakatane in the south Diverse tribes, creeds and trades are represented.

The hostel was opened without a fanfare of trumpets and avid press photographers, but on January 14 and 15, 1952, the arrivals at Auckland began. They came by tram, bus, car, boat and ferry service. Arrivals began at dawn and continued till well after ‘the witching hour’.

Perhaps the most disconcerting arrival was that of the Whangarei express, on January 17, when seven timid country youths were expected. Two welfare officers had been delegated to station duty, but alas and alack! when the express pulled in, ‘the blood, sweat and tears’ began to flow, for it appeared that the train disgorged every Maori in the North.

The working day for apprentices in many cases begins with early breakfast at 6 a.m. Then, with an excellent lunch already prepared for them, they set off to far distant points of the city, perhaps Otahuhu or Devonport. For an eight-hour day they ply their future trades of carpentry, mechanics, cabinet-making or plumbing, and from early reports are measuring up well with their pakeha workmates. The evening home-coming starts at 4.30 p.m., and by 6 p.m. these thirty boys are spick and span, ready for family dinner, and then, twice a week, off to night school. Friday evening is eagerly awaited—late leave until 11 p.m. A gratifying observation is that the boys are proving amenable to a discipline which is sufficient, but not abhorrent.

– 58 –



Tiaki Hikawera Mitira did not long survive the publication of Takitimu, which preserves the story of the migration of the Ngati-Kahungunu people from Hawaiki to Aotearoa. Takitimu was published in 1944, and the author died within the year, at the age of 74. Mitira was born at Wairoa, was adopted and taken to Thames. He stayed there for 15 years before returning to his birth-place, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was a dairy farmer and Maori interpreter, and in his later years he devoted all his energy and influence to the erection of the Takitimu Carroll meeting-house and the writing of Takitimu. An unusual feature of this history of Ngati Kahungunu is that the book was not published for monetary reward, but was distributed gratis to libraries, Maori colleges and museums. The balance of the edition was sold under the proviso that the proceeds should go to augment the J. H. Mitchell Scholarship Fund for the study of the Maori language in the schools of the Wairoa district. Mitira himself was self-educated, and realised the handicap imposed by lack of early schooling.

Takitimu is of interest to the historian and to the general reader. It is divided into four main sections: Part One sketches the history of the Maori up to the departure of Takitimu and the other canoes of the Great Migration; Part Two is the history of the Ngati-Kahungunu tribe; Part Three contains useful short biographies of Sir James Carroll, Sir Maui Pomare and the Rev. Tamihana Huata; while Part Four is made up of appendices describing important charms, proverbial sayings, the interpretation of dreams and signs, and the Maori almanac. Finally, there are some genealogical tables—a valuable book.


L. G. Kelly (Te Putu) is one of the younger practising Maori writers with more than a dozen learned articles in the Polynesian Society Journal, and two volumes, Tainui and Marion Dufresne at the Bay of Islands, to his credit. Te Putu's mixed ancestry is probably the reason for his choice of subjects, for he was brought to the study of Dufresne through the realisation that he numbers a Frenchman among his forebears. Edward Meurant was an early trader's agent at Kawhia, and later an employee of the Wesleyan Mission. He married Kenehuru, daughter of Te Tuhi—one of the Waikato leaders of the day. Te Putu derives his Maori ancestry through his father, whose mother was a daughter of Edward Meurant and Kenehuru. He is, therefore, of the Ngati-Mahuta tribe of Waikato, and a Ngati-Maniapoto of the northern King County—part French and part Maori, and also, through his father, part Irish.

Picture icon

L. G. Kelly.

Te Putu was born in 1906, educated in Auckland and, when not investigating ancient Maori Pas, or early Maori history, drives a locomotive between Frankton and Auckland. In Tainui; the story of Hoturoa and his Descendants, he traces the history of the Tainui Canoe and its people down to the selection of the first Maori King. The history of the Tainui peoples, their successes and failures, their victories and defeats, their customs and traditions are for the first time securely fixed in permanent form. There is also a foreword by Te Puea, some good maps and interesting genealogies, for Marion Dufresne at the Bay of Islands is an elaboration of an earlier work, In the Path of Marion Dufresne.

– 59 –


Rangiatea, by Eric Ramsden, 25s.; The Story of Te Aute College, by R. R. Alexander, 15s.; How the Maoris Lived, by A. W. Reed, 6s.; all published by A. H. and A. W. Reed, Wellington.

There is an all-time high in the writing of books about the Maori people, mostly dealing with the past. Although it may be unfortunate that the present does not come in for more attention, this flow of books on the past is by no means superfluous. They all contribute to filling a large gap in our knowledge, for our records of even recent Maori history are very poor.

Mr Ramsden, in Rangiatea, tells the story of Rangiatea church, of life in Otaki in early days, of the Rev. (as he was then) Augustus Hadfield, of Te Rauparaha, the King movement, and a host of other subjects. In his long book one will find a wealth of historical material that could not be found anywhere else in book form.

Rangiatea's founder was the Rev. Octavius Hadfield. He first visited Otaki in 1839. He found very few people interested in his message at first, for the people were at that time at war with Te Ati Awa, who themselves were recent converts to the faith. In spite of the unfavourable reception, Hadfield decided to reside in Otaki and build a chapel there. He managed to introduce English customs and manners and stimulated gardening and wheatgrowing. He had streets laid out and sections alloted; a flour mill and a school came into being. In 1848 Otaki was generally considered a model community.

Mr Ramsden states that the idea of building a church at Otaki, similar to the older one at Waikanae, existed as early as 1839, and that at that time already Te Rauparaha expressed himself in support of the venture to emulate Waikanae in this respect. In May, 1844, Hadfield and Te Rauparaha went together to the bush at Ohau, to select trees for the ridge-pole and the supporting pillars. The trees were hauled a considerable distance to Otaki beach. Here they were left until December, 1847. At the arrival of the Rev. Samuel Williams the weeds were cleared from the trunks, and the enormous task of hauling the trees to the church site with ropes was started. Building was then energetically carried on under the leadership of Te Rauparaha, who had by then returned from imprisonment. Other tribes supplied the builders with food. The church was opened in October, 1849, at the return of the Rev. Hadfield from his illness.

Mr Ramsden carries his account of Rangiatea to the present day, giving in a most interesting chapter, ‘Rangiatea is Restored’, an account of the great hui held in Otaki in 1950. He also gives the text of Sir Apirana Ngata's speech on that occasion. This speech, apart from being Sir Apirana's last, was also a particularly important one.


Mr R. R. Alexander, in his story of Te Aute College, is dealing with a subject of great interest. Like the Rangiatea story, this book was written to mark a centenary. Its main purpose was to leave some record of the college in the hands of the old boys, and those of the general public who might be interested. There is a Roll of Scholars, and a generous collection of photographs of old boys. The history of the building, the sports and the curriculum are all given in great detail. To the general reader the pages devoted to the Te Aute College Students' Association are naturally of special interest.

‘Towards the close of 1896 a circular was issued to old boys, asking them to attend a conference to be held at Te Aute in January of the next year. The invitation met with a most encouraging response. Through the committee and the old boys, the Maori chiefs and leading men in all centres got to know of its objects, and were unanimous in support of this novel undertaking. The object was not merely to link the past and present of Te Aute together, but also to discuss questions bearing on the welfare of the Maori race as a whole.’

Mr Alexander gives an account of the many social questions discussed at this conference and succeeding conferences. He continues: ‘Everyone at this time realised that the main method of approach would be to influence Maori opinion. Ceremonial occasions and football matches were made opportunities for the discussion of Maori problems and the objects and claims of the Association. Meetings were arranged to discuss subjects under the following heads: 1, Social; 2, Sanitary; 3, Intellectual; 4, Religious.’

Although all this is interesting, it is clear that the history of the Te Aute Association and the Young Maori Party has, in the main, still to be written.

– 60 –


Many people have asked for information on scholarships available to Maoris. From the small amount of applications that come in for some of the scholarships, notably the special Maori University Scholarships, it would appear that people are not sufficiently aware of their existence.

Parents have an obvious duty to know what scholarships exist, and to make their children compete for them where this is desirable. When the scholarships are won, the parents are also expected to exert their influence to make their child's education a success. At recent conferences an increase in the number of scholarships has been urged, and it will be much easier to bring about such an increase if the present scholars are successful.

Scholarships available to Maoris can be subdivided into two groups: those available to Maoris only, and those available to the whole community. To qualify for scholarships in the second group, Maori scholars compete with Pakeha scholars on equal terms.


1Maori Post-Primary Scholarships

These scholarships have a value of £75 boarding allowance for boys, and £70 for girls. They are tenable for four years. Closing date for applications is July 27. Each year 90–100 are awarded, so that the number current is about 300–330.

Maori boys and girls in attendance at any registered primary school are qualified for the scholarships if—


they are predominantly of Maori descent, i.e., pure Maori or of race intermediate.


they obtained a Primary School Certificate, or equivalent, or higher qualification;


there is no secondary school, district high school or technical school, which (without living away from home) they can reasonably be expected to attend, as holders of free places, under regulations covering free places in secondary schools.

These scholarships are tenable at the following Maori Post-Primary schools:


Te Aute College
St. Stephen's College
Wesley College
Hato Paora College
Parorangi, Feilding
St. Peter's College, Northcote
Northcote College
Wellington College
Gisborne High School
Dannevirke High School
Whakatane High School


Hukarere Maori Girls' High School, Napier
St. Joseph's Maori Girls' High School, Greenmeadows
Turakina Maori Girls' College, Marton
Queen Victoria Maori Girls' College, Auckland
Te Waipounamu Maori Girls' School, Christchurch
Wanganui Technical

2Ngarimu Scholarships

The value is £40 boarding allowance, and £60 cash. The scholarship is tenable for four years. The closing date of applications is announced in the Education Gazette. Any Maori is eligible, regardless of the amount of Maori blood. The Ngarimu Scholarship Fund Board awards two scholarships each year–one to a boy and one to a girl. Usually the top boy and girl in the Maori Scholarship Examination is selected. The winners can attend any secondary school provided the Board consents.

3University Scholarships

This scholarship consists of £40 boarding allowance, £30 cash, full fees, and free passage to and from University once a year. Applications close on March 31. To qualify, students must have a good pass in University Entrance, and a recommendation, by their principal or by an inspector, as being suitable in all respects for undertaking a University course. Up to six of these scholarships are awarded annually.


The following scholarships, bursaries and boarding allowances are awarded to Pakeha and Maori students according to merit:

1Primary and Post-Primary Boarding Allowances

These have a value of 15s. a week. They are intended for:


pupils requiring two foreign languages;

– 61 –

pupils over 15 years of age, following an industrial or agricultural course;


pupils who cannot obtain locally a course in shorthand-typing;


second-year pupils requiring a preparatory course for a technical bursary.

These allowances are tenable on the following conditions:


satisfactory attendance, progress and conduct;


no daily transport to and from school available;


the distance to and from school too great for bicycle or horseback;


no free season tickets have been issued, or conveyance allowance paid;


no other boarding allowance paid by the Government;


payment may be declined if the pupil holds a bursary or scholarship.

2Secondary Schools' Boarding Allowances

These have a value of £40 a year. They are tenable for two years at an accrediting school only. (Any teacher can explain what this means.)

Closing date of application is January 15. Candidates may apply in anticipation of examination passes.

To be eligible for these allowances pupils must have School Certificate or University Entrance. They must be 18 on January 15. There must be a necessity for living away from home. These allowances are not available to the holder of any other bursary, scholarship, grant, or allowance for educational purposes except with the authority of the Director of Education.

Pupils are expected to take a National Boarding Bursary or University Scholarship Course. They may not matriculate, or do University work.

In the second year these allowances may be held at a large accrediting school providing special facilities, even if the bursar can attend an accrediting school nearer home.

3Technical Bursaries

These have a value of £40 a year boarding allowance. They are tenable for one year, with extension to two or three years if progress is satisfactory at schools approved for the purpose. Closing date of application is November 30.

To qualify for these allowances, pupils must have completed a two-year Post-primary course preparatory to the special course proposed, i.e., in agriculture, art, building construction, homecraft or engineering. Pupils must be under 17 on January 15. There must be necessity for living away from home.

These allowances are not available to holders of any other bursary, scholarship grant or allowance for educational purposes, except with the authority of the Director of Education.

4War Bursaries

There are war Bursaries for Post-primary schools, night classes, full-time university or agricultural college course, or part-time university course. They are available to children of deceased or disabled servicemen to enable them to continue their education. They are tenable up to the age of 23 years. Their value is, for Post-primary schools. £30 boarding allowance, £25 cash and £10 travelling allowance. For full-time university or agricultural course there is a boarding allowance of £40, plus a cash allowance of £30, as well as full fees. Part-time university students under these bursaries obtain full fees and £10 in cash.

Many scholarships, bursaries and allowances are available to scholars who pass successfully through secondary school. For every academic interest and every profession, such as medicine, dentistry, agriculture, engineering, mining, physical culture, music, art, etc., there are scholarships available. The full list is too long to print here. Te Ao Hou will always be pleased to give more information if desired.

– 62 –

Touring with the N.Z. Maori Rugby Team

If a visitor to New Zealand were to ask where he could find the biggest gathering of Maoris there would be an inclination to say that the days of the big huis and tangihangas are past. When a study is made to find what is the biggest attraction to bring Maoris from the far corners of New Zealand together, however, it will be seen that the modern counterpart of the hui of other days is the sports gathering, especially when a New Zealand Maori Rugby team takes the field.

July 26, 1952, will always rank as a unique event in the history of New Zealand, when a Rugby football match between New Zealand Maori team and a New Zealand team was staged as a tribute to His Excellency the Governor-General, Lord Freyberg, V.C., and Lady Freyberg.

The cream of Maori and Pakeha players was on parade, and a sparkling display of Rugby football was seen by the 30,000 people —hundreds of whom were Maoris–who assembled at Athletic Park, Wellington, that day.

A vast assembly of buses conveyed Maoris from Taranaki, Wanganui, Maniapoto, Manawatu, Hawke's Bay, and from as far afield as Whakatane and Ruatoria. All were intent on seeing the best of the selected Maoris in a game which has been such a great attraction to our Maori people.

It was at a meeting of the Council of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union that a match, as a farewell tribute to the Governor-General, was suggested, and as there had been no game between a Maori team and a New Zealand team since 1927, it was suggested that this match be played.

Arising from further discussion, it was suggested that a short tour of the Golden Bay, West Coast, Buller and Marlborough districts be undertaken by the Maori players in order to acquire combination and polish. On July 9 the Maori players boarded the s.s. Tamahine at the Queen's Wharf, and left Wellington at 8 p.m., en route to Nelson.

Motueka: Apples, Tobacco and a Victory

The boys very soon became friendly, and despite being told that they were better in bed as a Tonga (Southerly) had not yet blown itself out, they continued in their songs and merry-making until they left the shelter of Whanganui a Tara (Wellington Harbour) and breasted Te Moananui a Kiwa.

It was here that Tangaroa, the God of the Sea, made his presence felt, and within a few minutes not a player was seen on deck. Indeed not a player was seen until next morning, when the ship berthed at Nelson in fine sunny weather. Motueka greeted the players with brilliant sunshine, as well as with a welcome

Apart from training, members of the team derived great interest and pleasure from a visit to the apple dehydration plant, a factory which processes the dried apples which we see in shops throughout New Zealand.

After a talk by the manager of the plant, the team was invited to inspect the interior, and the first sight that greeted us when we entered was the long machines, whose metal fingers were forever stretched out to be fed with apples. The apples were peeled and cored by this machine, and rolled along a chute, where girls inspected them for any further flaws, before they went through the drying process and were finally packed for distribution, overseas as well as in New Zealand.

Among the 40 girls who operated the machines for coring and peeling were many Maoris, and it was but a matter of a few minutes before the Maori boys were sitting down feeding apples to the machine and to themselves, and talking to the girls.

This was a most enjoyable visit.

The next visit at Motueka was to a tobacco grower's farm, where tobacco leaf was being graded. Here again a number of Maori workers were met, and of course relations were soon sorted out. The boys were shown the method

– 63 –

Picture icon

The New Zealand Maori Rugby Team which played the New Zealand Team at the match held in Wellington on July 26 in honour of the departing Governor General, Lord Freyberg. Back Row: P. Hapi (Hawkes Bay), T. Katene (King Country), R. T. Gardiner (Bay of Plenty), A. H. Wright (W.R.F.U.), R. S. Clarke (Northland), T. D. Kipa (Wanganui), G. Parahi (Hawkes Bay). Second Row: N. P. Cherrington (Northland), A. Pryor (Bay of Plenty), B. W. Beazley (Northland), S. K. McLaughlin (Bay of Plenty), E. Murray (Bay of Plenty), B. K. Jones (Wanganui), T. J. French (Auckland), W. Tangira (East Coast). Sitting: S. T. Reid, Selector (M.A.B., Hawkes Bay), T. A. French, Selector (M.A.B., Auckland), A. W. Blake, Vice-captain (Wairarapa), H. T. Reedy, Co-manager (M.A.B., East Coast), J. B. Smith, Captain (Northland), R. M. Love, Co-manager (Wellington), L. W. Hohaia (Taranaki), E. Edwards, Selector (M.A.B., Taranaki), R. Tapa (M.A.B.). In Front: P. N. Jones (Wanganui), A. J. Douglas (Bay of Plenty), K. Davis (Auckland), P. Erceg (Auckland).
Crown Studio, Wellington, Photo.

of grading the leaf, and how the drying kilns were operated.

The process factory operated by W. D. and H. O. Wills was next on the list.

The Huimai Maori Club entertained the team at a very enjoyable dance, a highlight being Percy Erceg, the All Black, on the microphone entertaining the hundreds present.

The first match to be played on the tour was against Motueka-Golden Bay; the Maori team won, 37–3.

Two Maoris played in the Golden Bay-Motueka team—W. Taylor, who went with the Maori team to Australia in 1949, and G. Rangi. Lance Hohaia, Taranaki, captained the Maori team, with Percy Erceg, of Auckland, vice-captain.

Hospitality on the West Coast

On July 13 the team left Motueka for Greymouth by bus, with a stop at Hampden Hotel, Murchison, the scene of the great earthquake in 1929. The journey along the gorges was interesting, and mention was made of the fact that our ancestors must have traversed this route in going to the Pounamu streams on the West Coast.

At Greymouth the team was received by the Mayor and the President and other members of the West Coast Rugby Union.

A very full programme of entertainment and visits had been arranged at Greymouth, the most thrilling being a visit to the Wallsend coalmine, where the players were each given a miner's lamp and then, by lift, dropped straight down 650 feet to the lower levels of the mine. They then walked three-quarters of a mile under the Buller River to the coal-face, where the miners were working.

Visits were made by the team to the convent and High School at Greymouth, to the convent at Hokitika, and to the Kaniere gold dredge.

– 64 –

A Mayoral welcome was also given at Hokitika, and a formal afternoon tea was given to the team by the Hokitika Sub-Union.

Ihaia Weepu, on behalf of the Ngaitahu people of the West Coast, presented each member with a piece of greenstone.

After the match, which the Maori team won by 30–23, a ball held at Gladstone, in the team's honour, by the West Coast Basketball Association, was greatly enjoyed by all.

The journey from Greymouth to Westport along the coastal road with a call to visit the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, was very interesting. The arrival at Westport was an event, as the Mayor and the local Rugby Union had put the Albion Hotel completely at the disposal of the Maori team.

Pictures, dances, and an after-midnight house-party at the home of Mr and Mrs W. Craddock, were greatly enjoyed by all. A visit to the open-cast mine, situated high in the hills above Westport, was made even more interesting by the fact that the overseer in charge was the ex-Maori All Black, Alec Swainson.

Up to this stage the weather had been perfect, but rain fell that night, and continued until just before the match next day, affecting the brightness of the game and the attendance.

It was in this match the Maoris could have been beaten, but the great leadership of Lance Hohaia in the forwards enabled the game to be won by 21 points to 17.

Another Sunday journey from Westport, through the Buller Gorge over Tophouse to Blenheim, saw the team nearing its culminating game, and wisely the managers decided to have only light training. The entertainment provided in Marlborough was dear to the boys' hearts. First, there was a visit to the whaling station at Tory Channel, where a whale was towed ashore, and examined by members of the team. As most of the workers at the works were Maoris, a whole boat-load of kinas had been provided, and the boys enjoyed them.

After a close game at Blenheim against the Marlborough representatives, which the Maori team won, 14 to 13, a most enjoyable hakari was provided by the Ngatirarua Rangitane and Ngatikoutu tribes at Wairau.

The team flew back from Blenheim on Thursday, July 24, in perfect weather. The pilot took the team for a flight over Wellington City before landing at Paraparaumu.

The match at Athletic Park on Saturday, July 26, was a climax for a most enjoyable and interesting tour of New Zealand by a Maori team.

Wellington's Evening Post, reporting this great event, very fittingly called it a ‘Gala Day for N.Z. Rugby’. A fiction writer, said the Post, could not have devised a more dramatic and exhilarating farewell gesture than this match. The Maori team lost the game by 28–22, but, as the Evening Post pointed out:

‘Nobody cared very much about the 6-point margin, or whichever side it favoured….’

Me horoi o koutou ringaringa i mua o te kainga o te whawhatanga ranei ki te kai