TE B.A., TE M.A. TE TAKUTA RANEI?
Ko Hoani Te Ngaere ahau. I whanau mai au i Murupara. Ko taku kainga whakatipu tena. E tipu ana te manuka i aua wa. E haere ana tena kai te poaka kapene-kuki. He kainga tino Maori a Murupara i aua wa, he kainga pai. Inaianei hoki he taone kei reira. He papara-kauta kei reira, he toa, he tiriti, he hiko, me era atu tohu o te taone hou.
Ko Murupara o mua taku e mohio ana. Ko Ngati Manawa te iwi, ko Tawhioau te maunga, ko Rangitaiki te awa, ko Rangitahi te kura, ko Hoani Te Ngaere te tangata. He kura Maori a Rangitahi i aua wa, te tino kura o Niu Tireni katoa. Koina toku whakaaro.
I taua kura ka mohio au ki etahi o nga mahi rangatira a o taua tipuna; ara, ki te mahi whakairo, mahi tukutuku, mahi kowhaiwhai, ki te haka me era mahi a ringa. I reira hoki ka mohio au ki te korero Pakeha, ki te tuhituhi, ki te korero pukapuka, ki te whika, me etahi atu o nga mahi hoha o tenei mea o te kura. Na taku tau ki te mahi, na te marama o taku hinengaro ka homai he karahipi maku. Ka tukuna ahau ki Te Aute.
Na, he kareti rongonui a Te Aute, he toa mo te whutupooro i nga wa o mua. I aua wa hoki e kiia ana mehemea i akona koe i Te Aute, he tangata whai matauranga koe. I enei ra kaore e penei ana te korero a te tangata. Kaore au i te mohio he aha i rereke ai. Ki toku nei whakaaro he pai tonu to matau ropu i puta mai i Te Aute. Engari kaore pea he Apirana Ngata, he Te Rangihoroa ranei i waenganui i a matau. He ika nunui aua tangata, he hapuka! Ko matau he kahawai, he inanga ranei. Engari, ki taku mohio, mehemea he inanga matau, he inanga korikori, he inanga pakari e kore e kainga noa e te tuna.
Ae, ko Hoani ahau. I au e tuhituhi nei kua mutu taku haere ki te kura. Kei te ngaherehere ahau e mahi ana inaianei, kei te mira a Minginui. Na, ko te take i tuhi ai au, na te mea he korero taku. Ko taku hiahia kia mohio mai koutou he aha i tau ai tenei manu ki nga rakau o Minginui.
I au i Te Aute ka tae mai te whakaaro ki au, me haere ahau ki te whare wananga o Akarana kia riro mai ai te B.A., te M.A., te takuta ranei, i au; kia noho ai ahau hei ika nui mo te iwi Maori. Ka whakaaro au, na, ki te riro mai te
B.A. M.A. OR
I am John Te Ngaere. I appeared into the world at Murupara. That was the place where I was reared. The place was overgrown with manuka in those days. Murupara was a real Maori village then, a delightful place. In these days of course there is a town there. A hotel is there, streets, electricity and those other signs noticeable in a modern town.
It was the Murupara of old-fashioned times which I know well. Ngati Manawa was the tribe, Tawhioau was the mountain, Rangitaiki was the river, Rangitahi was the school, and John Te Ngaere was THE man. Rangitahi was a Maori school in those days, the best in all New Zealand. That was my opinion.
At that school I picked up the rudiments of the more chiefly activities of our ancestors; I refer to carving, lattice work. rafter patterns, haka and other forms of hand work. There also, I learnt to speak English, to write, to read, to calculate and do other bothersome subjects taught at schools. Because I worked diligently and because I had a keen mind a scholarship was given to me. I was then sent to Te Aute.
Now Te Aute is a college of great renown, a champion at football in former days. In those days it was said that if you were taught at Te Aute you were an EDUCATED person. People don't seem to say the same these days. I don't understand why things are different now. To my mind our group which qualified at Te Aute, was not bad at all. Of course there probably wasn't an Apirana Ngata or Peter Buck among us. Those men were big fish—gropers! We were only kahawai or perhaps whitebait. But, I should say, if we were whitebait, we were wriggling whitebait, we were hardy whitebait which would not be easy food for eels.
Yes, I am John. As I write now I have finished going to school. I'm in the forest now, at a timber
B.A., te M.A., te takuta ranei i au, ka tu au mo te paremata pera i a Ngata. Maku e hiki te ingoa pai o te Maori, maku e korero nga take, maku e tuhituhi nga korero hohonu a te iwi, pera ano i a Ngata. Tera pea, na te pai o aku mahi ka whakahonoretia ahau e te Kuini ki te Taa, ka whakaturia au hei Pirimia mo Aotearoa. Ka takahi au i nga huarahi o te ao. Ka haere au ki Ingarangi, ki Amerika, ki Ihipa ki te korero ki a Naha, ki Inia ki te korero ki a Neru, ki Haina ki te kohete i a Mao, ki Ruhia ki te tohutohu i a Kurutewhe pehea te whakahaere whenua. Ae, maku e hapai te iwi, maku e whakamama nga raruraru. Maku, ka riro mai he whare hou mo nga Maori katoa o Aotearoa, he motoka, he terewihione, he pouaka hukapapa. Enei mea katoa
mill in Minginui. I wrote because I have a little story to tell. I am anxious that you should know how it came about that this bird alighted upon the trees at Minginui.
Now, when I was at Te Aute the thought came to me that I should go to the university of Auckland, so I could get a B.A., M.A., or Doctorate and so become a big fish of the Maori people. I thought that when I had got B.A., M.A., or Doctor I would stand for parliament just like Ngata did. I would elevate the fine name of the Maori, I would debate on important matters, I would commit to writing the esoteric knowledge of the people just like Ngata did. Perhaps because of my good work the Queen would honour me with Sir and I should be made Prime Minister of New
ka taea e au. Ka whakaaro au, ae, e tika ana kia riro mai i a tatau enei taputapu o te ao hou, hei utu mo te whenua i murua e te ao hou. Na, kaore hoki e tika ana kia noho te nuinga o tatau ki nga mahi paruparu, ki nga mahi uaua. Me whakakore atu ena tikanga. Ka taea e au te whakatu he Maori hei rangatira mo nga mahi katoa o Aotearoa, ko nga mahi paruparu ma nga Pakeha. Ae, me hiki te iwi ki nga mahi pai, ki nga mahi nui noa atu te moni. Ae, ka taea e au. E kii ana hoki te tangata ma te matauranga ka taea nga mahi katoa, mana ka mama o tatau raru-raru. No reira me whai au i te B.A., i te M.A. te takuta ranei. Ka mahi au, a, ka hipa nga tau e wha. Ka riro mai nga tiwhikete nei, ka huakina mai te kuaha ki au.
Haere ana ahau ki te whare wananga o Akarana. Ka whakaaro ahau, e pai ana to haere Hoani. Poto noa te wa inaianei ka riro mai te B.A., te M.A., te takuta ranei. Kaore e roa inaianei ka tae ahau ki te whare paremata kia riro mai ai he whare hou mo nga Maori kato, he terewihione, he pouaka hukapapa. Ka whakahonoretia ahau e te Kuini. Ka ui mai te tangata ki au, “Tena koe, e Ta Hoani Te Ngaere!”
I taku taenga ki te whare wananga ka mohio ahau e iwa nga wahanga o te B.A. Me whai e toru ia tau, ia tau. E toru tau ka taea te B.A. E what pea ka taea te M.A. Na, ka whakaaro au, e what tau ke mo te mahi nei! Mehemea ka whaia e au e what nga wahanga ia tau, ia tau ka taea pea te B.A. me te M.A. i nga tau e toru. Ae, me penei. Ka riro koia nei hei kaupapa maku.
Na, ka rongo au i etahi e korerorero ana. Ka mea tetahi, “Me whai kia toru nga wahanga ia tau, ia tau. Ma te tangata tino marama te nuku atu.”
Ka mea ano tetahi, “Ei, kia rua mo te tau tuatahi. Kia waia koe ki nga tikanga o tenei kainga ka whai ai i te toru.”
Ka whakaaro au, ai, enei tahae! Kei te tino maharahara ratau. Kaore ratau e penei i au neil. Karawhiua kia wha, kia wawe te mutu o te mahi nei. Tena ko ta ratau, e rua i te tau, ai, he whakaroaroa noa iho tena mahi.
Taihoa ake, ka ki mai tetahi o nga tohunga o te whare wananga ki au, “E hia au e whai ana i tenei tau, Hoani?”
Ka ki atu ko au, “E wha.”
Ka mea ia, “E wha? Ka taea e koe te wha? E mohio ana koe ki te mahi nei?”
Ka whakahoki au, “Ka taea e au.”
Ka ki mai ano ia, “E whai ana koe i te aha?”
Ka mea atu au, “I te B.A., te M.A., te takuta ranei. Kaore he tikanga ki au ko tehea.”
Ka titiro mai taua tohunga ra ki au, ka mare paku nei, ka mea mai, “Me ki e whai ana koe i te B.A. Na, he aha whakaakoranga hei ako mau mo tenei tau?”
Ka whakahoki au, “Ko te reo Maori, ko te reo Ingarihi, te anthropology, me to philosophy.”
Ka maremare ano taua tohunga, “Ka taea e koe enei?”
Zealand. I would travel the byways of the world. I would go to England, to America, to Egypt to talk to Nasser, to India to confer with Nehru, to China to argue with Mao and to Russia to give Krushchev a pointer or two about how to run a nation. Yes, I would uplift the race and solve all its problems. By my efforts every Maori in New Zealand would get a new house, a motor car, television and a refrigerator. All these things I would manage.
I thought, yes, it is right that we should have these articles of the new world, because the new world was responsible for the disappearance of our land. Also, I didn't think it was proper that most of us should have the dirty jobs and the difficult jobs. I would correct this anomalous situation. I could establish Maoris as bosses for all the jobs in New Zealand and leave the dirty jobs for the Pakehas. Yes the whole race must be elevated to the better jobs and to jobs paying heaps of money. Yes, I could manage all this. Is it not said that through education all things are possible; by it, our anxieties are relieved. Therefore I must pursue a B.A., M.A., or Doctor.
I worked at Te Aute until at length I gained the certificates to open the door to the university of Auckland. If I did not gain these certificates I would not be able to pursue a B.A., M.A., or Doctorate. Well, I did get these certificates and so the door was opened to me.
Off I went to the university of Auckland. I thought, John you're progressing very nicely. It won't take so very long now to get a B.A., M.A., or Doctorate. Before long I will be in parliament and every Maori in New Zealand will get a new house, a television set and a refrigerator. The Queen will honour me. People will say to me, “Greetings, Sir John Te Ngaere!”
When I got to university I discovered that there were nine parts to a B.A. You had to take three of these each year. It would take three years to get a B.A. Perhaps four to get M.A. This made me think, good heavens, it takes four years to get this thing! Perhaps if I took four parts each year I would get both B.A. and M.A. in three years. Yes, this is what I would do. I let this be my plan.
Now I overheard some fellows yarning. One said, “Take three units each year. Only the really clever can manage more!” another one said, “Look, just take two for the first year. Wait until you become accustomed to the procedures of this place before pursuing three.”
I thought, yes, these fellows! They're not sure of themselves. Why don't they go at the job like me. Take four and get the job over with. Working things their way, two each year, is just plain procrastination.
Sometime later, one of the professors of the University said to me, “How many units are you going to take. John?”
I replied, “Four.”
He said, “Four? Can you manage four? Do you
Ka mea atu au, “E, ka taea! E mohio ana ahau ki te korero Maori. No reira e tika ana me ngawari te reo Maori ki au. E mohio ana hoki ahau ki te korero Pakeha. E tika ana me ngawari te reo Ingarihi.”
Ka ruru tona mahunga, ano kei te tino pouri ia, ka mea mai, “Ae, he nanakia tonu koe ki te korero Pakeha. Engari ki taku whakaaro kaore koe e tino marama ana ki te uaua o te mahi nei. Na, ka pehea te anthropology? He aha koe i pirangi ai ki te ako i tenei?”
Ka mea atu au, “Ki taku rongo he ngawari noa iho te anthropology. Koina ahau i pirangi ai ki tena.”
Ka ki mai ia, “E ki, he ngawari! Taihoa, Hoani, ka kite koe mehemea he ngawari, he uaua ranei!” Kua ahua riri taua tangata, ka mea mai, “Kua mutu ta taua korero. Haere koe ki waho!” Ka whakaaro ahau, he aha ra, i riri ai te tangata nei ki au? Ki kona au rapirapi ai i taku mahunga kore rawa ahau i mohio he aha te take mo tna rari.
Na, ka timata nga mahi whakaako. Ka tutaki au I etahi Maori kua tino tangata-whenua i te whare wananga nei. Ka ki mai tetahi ki au. Tena koe e hoa!” Ka whakahoki atu au, “A, kia ora ra!” Ko ia, “E pehea ana?” Ko ahau, “E, kei te pai!” Ko ia, “E pehea ana te mahi nei ki a koe?” Ka mea atu au, “E pai ana. E tama, ngawari noa iho!” Ka haere aua Maori nei.
Pai katoa ki au te noho i te whare wananga o Akarana. He kainga tino parekareka. He nui o nga mahi whakangahau—te pikitia, te kanikani, te takaro, te haere ki te hotera! Te nui hoki o nga kohine, Pakeha, Maori, Inia, kei reira katoa, kanapanapa mai ana nga whatu! E, me korero tenei kainga, kaore i pai ake!
Kia hipa nga marama ka timata taku maharahara. Nako te raruraru nui ko tenei. Kaore ahau i tino marama he aha nga korero a nga tohunga o te whare-wananga. I etahi wa ka korero Ingarihi, i etahi he reo noa atu. Kaore ahau i mohio he aha aua reo, no hea ranei. He ahua rite tonu etahi o nga korero ki nga karakia o mua. Kaore e mohiotia atu he aha nga kupu.
Ko te tohunga whakaako i te philosophy te mea tino he rawa atu. Ahakoa pehea, kore rawa ahau i mohio he aha te kiko o ana karakia. No reira ka whakaaro au me wehe maua ko te philosophy. Haere atu ana te philosophy.
Ka ki mai tetahi o aku hoa Maori ki au, “E Hoani. kei te whai tonu koe i o whakaakoranga e wha?”
Ka mea atu au ki a ia, “Kao. Kua mahue te philosophy i au.”
Ka ki mai ia, “Katahi ka tika to mahi. He nui rawa te wha. Kia kaha inaianei kia paahi ena e toru. Kei te pai koia te mahi nei ki a koe?”
Ka mea atu au, “Tino pai rawa atu!”
Na, ko te raruraru tuarua ko te anthropology. Ki taku mohio kaore te tohunga whakaako i tino pai mai ki au. He aha ia i penei ai ki au kaore ahau i mohio. Ko tetahi whakaaro i pa mai ki
konw what is entailed?”
I said to him, “I'll manage.”
Then he said to me, “What course are you pursuing?”
So I replied, “B.A., M.A., or Doctor. It doesn't matter to me which.”
That professor looked at me, he gave a little cough, and said, “Well, let us say you are pursuing a B.A. Now what subjects are you studying this year?”
I replied, “Maori, English, Anthropology and Philosophy.”
And that porfessor coughed again, “Do you think you can manage these?”
I said to him, “Why, certainly! I can speak Maori! and so Maori should not be too difficult. I can speak English. It should follow that English won't be too difficult.”
He shook his head as though he was in deep sorrow and he said, “Yes, you speak English passably enough. But I can't help thinking you don't appreciate the difficulties ahead of you. Now, tell me, what about anthropology? Is there any particular reason why you should want to study this subject?”
I said to him, “I have heard it said that anthropology is a very easy option. That's why I want to take it.”
He exclaimed, “Indeed, easy is it! By and by, John, you'll discover soon enough whether it is easy or difficult!” The fellow appeared to be angry. He said, “The interview is over. Will you go out now?” And I thought, now, why should this fellow be angry with me? No matter how long I scratched my head I could find no reason for his anger.
At length the lectures began. I met some Maori fellows who had been long enough at university to become hosts instead of visitors. One of them said to me, “Greetings, friend!” I replied with, “And greetings to you!” He said, “How are you?” He: “Oh, fine!” I: “How are you liking this work!” I said to him, “Oh, very fine. Look boy, it's no trouble at all.” Those Maori fellows went on their way.
Being at university was a joy to me. It was a most entertaining home. The number of enjoyable occasions there were! There were pictures, dances, games and visits to the hotel! And the number of girls who were there—Pakeha. Maori and Indians with eves that twinkled so! Talk about this home, there is none better!
The months glided by and then I began to get a little uneasy. The biggest trouble was this. I wasn't too clear what the professors of the university were saving. Sometimes they spoke English and at other times they would speak an entirely different language. I never knew what the language was or where it came from. Some of their lectures were not unlike the incantations of bvgone days. You couldn't catch the individual words.
The professor lecturing on philosophy was the
au ko tenei. Kei te hae taua tangata kei riro mai i au te B.A., te M.A., te takuta ranei. Koira ia i korero parau ai kia kore ai e mau i au ona matauranga. Ka mahue maua ko te anthropology. Ka noho e rua kei te toe.
Ka mahi, a, ka tae mai te wa wehi, te wa mo te whakataetae. E tama, ka whakarerea au e aku atua na ratau nei ahau i awhina i Rangitahi, i Te Aute! Kaore ahau i pahi. Haere atu ana te B.A., te M.A., me te takuta, me aku wawata mo te iwi Maori!
14th Jan., 1961.
Written at Bay of Islands Te Haumi Motor Camp.
worst case. No matter how I tried I could NOT get the gist of his incantations. So I thought philosophy and I should part. Away went the philosophy unit.
One of my Maori friends later said to me, “John, are you still taking your four subjects?”
I said to him, “No. I've left philosophy behind.” He said, “You did the wise thing. Four were too many. Concentrate now on three and pass them. Does this studying business agree with you?” I replied, “Most certainly!”
My second lot of worries came with anthropology. I felt that the professor didn't like me too much. Why he should feel this way toward me, I didn't know. One thought that entered my mind was this. The fellow was jealous because I might get a B.A., M.A., or Doctorate. That was why he talked nonsense, so I couldn't catch his knowledge. So Anthropology and I parted company. There were two left.
I worked and worked and at last that terrible moment arrived, the time for the examinations. Man, the gods which assisted me through Rangitahi and Te Aute deserted me! I didn't pass. My dream of getting a B.A., M.A., or Doctor melted away; so too my great plans for the benefit of the Maori people!