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No. 16 (October 1956)
– 50 –
 

In the Smallest Clubhouse of New Zealand

(continued from page 32)

Ancient Songs

After a while the members became a little tired with the modern action songs they knew. They were not really Maori enough; it was not quite the way their ancestors felt.

Both Bill Waiwai and Mac Moses come from Waimaku, near Lake Waikaremoana, where the genuine old pao and patere are still often heard and these are powerful expression of the old Maori culture far more stirring than the action songs. They invited John Rangihau, who is now Maori Welfare Officer in Whakatane to visit them one weekend because he knew these patere well. This was the first occasion that they had ever asked, or been given help from people in official positions and even Mr Rangihau's visit was as much that of a relative as of an official. They spent the weekend working hard at the patere and now they know them; their main club song is this ancient song:

Uia te manuhiri me ko wai
Moi e haere mai
Te whiti te ua te haua
Moi e haere mai
Whakarongo au ki te tangi
a te heteri
I roto i te pa e
Ko ko koia e tu e
Ko ko koia e ara e
Ko ko koia e nga tangata
Ko whakatahuri rawa
Ki tua o moi angiangi
Anga mai ai te riri
Aue e e e e ara e

This is performed both as a patere and as an action song. For the action song the words “aue hi aue ha” are put before the last line.

Inspring Visit

Later, when the club needed piupiu, a teacher had to be found. As there was none in Mangakino, Mr Waiwai invited his mother who is eighty years old to visit him and this old lady was a wonderful inspiration to the club. Although the people were all far away from their homes, they felt as if once more their kaumatua were amongst them. She left behind her not only a knowledge of piupiu-making but also a memory of the gentle spirit of the past that had come to the Tuhoe club.

After a year's work, the club is still housed in a small hut, which has been given the appropriate name of Te Awhina Hall; large scrolls, on which the club songs are printed in a clear hand, hang all along the walls and in a corner lie the club's few properties, the sticks for the stick games, musical instruments, piupiu. There is a table for the Chair, and benches along the walls. The night of our visit there were thirty people, because our arrival was not known, but often there are over a hundred in this small room.

All the activities are run under the tribal committee's auspices, but they are so numerous that we were only able to talk to a few of the many walkers and organisers. The chairman, Wari Ward is the administrator of the club; during the day he is in charge of the office at Maraetai dam, and he is a born organiser. He is afraid the club may have tackled too many things at once; perhaps more results could have been achieved if there had been fewer activities, but the club members love to roam over the whole field of human knowledge trying now one thing and then another and Mr Ward is I think, glad that everybody is so enterprising.

Those who give their lives to social work always feel the same: there is so infinitely much to be done that nothing seems to be quite enough, there is always some problem left, something to be learnt, some unhappy families, some unsatisfied people, some who are lonely, some boy who waits outside the pub for his father and who warms his feet by the piecart radiator.

 

New Hostel for Tauranga

(concluded)

ation of well-presented Maori entertainment and the Maori people have gained in stature from their pride attendant on that fact.

But undoubtedly the greatest benefit which has been derived is the resurgence of interest in the Tauranga district, among young and old alike, in Maori culture, even though in modified form to suit present conditions. Every marae in the district has now its own group of performers, whereas, till now, these things were little more than memories locked deep in the nostalgic past of the old folk. The values may be reckoned, not so much in pounds, shillings and pence, but in those spiritual values which cannot be assessed.