‘Te Ao Hou’ publishes here the text of two memorable speeches made last February by His Excellency the Governor-General, Sir Bernard Fergusson. The first is the speech which he made on 6 February, before a large crowd of Maori and Pakeha gathered at Waitangi on the occasion of the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Waitangi Day, 6 February 1964
E nga iwi o te motu, mai i te Rerenga Wairua ki Murihiku, whiti atu ki Wharekauri, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou!
E nga mate o te motu, Haere, Haere, Haere. Tena tatou e Whakanui nei, i te Hainatanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi, i te ra i kiia ai te korero nei, ‘he iwi kotahi tatou.’
(To the Maori people throughout the land, from the North Cape to the Bluff and those on the Chatham Islands, Greetings, Greetings. Greetings to all of us who today commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the day on which the expression was made, “We are one people”.)
Here once again we stand on this historic ground. One hundred and twenty-four years ago today Captain Hobson and his party came up that path, over there, from the beach that bears his name, to meet the assembled Chiefs and people and to bind us all into one.
Here once again are gathered many of the descendants of those who made history on that February day. Here are the children's children's children of such men as Kawiti and Henry Williams, Rewa and James Busby, Pomare and Richard Taylor. Though not descended in blood from any of these, I feel I have some link; for there died in London less than a month ago my aunt, Lady Fergusson, Henry William's grand-daughter. And only this morning I met a man aged 94 whose father, aged ten, was present at the signing of the Treaty.
I am one of those countless thousands of others, Maori and Pakeha, who, though not descended from the men of Waitangi, have cause to bless their memory for what they achieved on this sacred ground. Whatu-nga-rongaro he tangata, toitu he whenua. ‘Men pass, places remain.’ Here in this place we recall the men who have passed, and dedicate ourselves afresh to the spirit that inspired them. Their hopes were high for us who follow them. In a great measure their dreams have been fulfilled, far more perhaps than they ever dared to hope. There still remains something to be done.
Some of you may have heard my broadcast to the Maori people at the beginning of this New Year. You may remember how I told you of the Maori chief who gave me his mere as a patu to be wielded, not in strife, but in the campaign to bring Maori and Pakeha still closer together. Here it is. To that cause of Kotahitanga, which is dear to my heart, I dedicate it once again in your presence. And as the Representative of Her Majesty who was here herself in person last year, the great-great-grand-daughter of that Queen whose mangai or mouthpiece Captain Hobson was, I greet you all, and commend to you, and through you to all New Zealand, the spirit and tradition of Waitangi. No reira kia ora ano tatou katoa.
On 5 February at Otiria Marae near Kawakawa, Sir Bernard Fergusson opened the great carved meetinghouse ‘Tumatauenga’ as a memorial to those New Zealanders, Maori and Pakeha, who died in the two world wars. Here is the speech which he made on this occasion.
The Opening of ‘Tumatauenga’
E te marae e takoto nei, tena koe!
E te whare e tu nei, tena koe!
E nga mate o tumatauenga o tenei marae o te motu:
Haere, Haere, Haere.
E nga iwi e pae nei, te Taitokerau: Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou!
Ka nui te koa o te ngakau, kua tatu mai ano maua ko taku hoa rangatira ki tenei marae. Kua tangata whenua ke maua,
No reira kia ora koutou katoa.
In the name of Her Majesty the Queen, I greet you all. I am here first and foremost as her mangai.
But I am here also as a person, and as a soldier; and as such I pay tribute to the Maori soldiers who fell in Gallipoli and in France nearly fifty years ago, and to the fallen of the Maori Battalion in the last war. Less than three years ago, beside Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, who should have arrived in New Zealand nine days from now, I stood at the foot of Takrouna: the rocky hill which was captured in 1943 by a small taua from the Maori Battalion with dash, skill and gallantry. Later, and also in attendance on Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, I stood in the cemetery near by at Enfidaville, where the bodies of Maori warriors and of fighting men of my own Regiment, the Black Watch, lie side by side, their warfare over. Queen Elizabeth herself had three brothers in my Regiment, in the war of 1914, of whom one was killed; and two nephews in the war of 1939. Indeed, we are all ‘one people’.
Enfidaville, and the other military cemeteries where Maori soldiers are buried, are a long way from here. But I am sure that you feel, as I most certainly feel, that their spirits are with us this morning; that they too are present here on Porowini; and that in a few minutes, when we enter Tu-Mata-Uenga, they will be crowding in with us.
Now, I have heard, since I arrived yesterday in the country of Ngati-Hine, that there was a thought among you that this new and beautiful House should be called, not Tu-Mata-Uenga, but Maunga-Rongo, meaning Peace and Understanding. This was the thought of Riri Kawiti: and let all of us now on this marae think of him at this moment, who but for grievous illness would have been here.
After long deliberation, you have decided otherwise. Tu-Mata-Uenga is to be its name. But I suggest to you that all the power, and skill, and mana of Tu-Mata-Uenga be harnessed from this moment to the cause of Maunga Rongo.
Those men of Gallipoli and France and North Africa and Italy still remain an inspiration to us. It is they who have inspired the building of Tu-Mata-Uenga; and Tu-Mata-Uenga, whenever we enter it, should inspire us to perform all the things that they would have wished to achieve if they had come back to us.
I can think of several such things. Most of them, especially those who came from Te Taitokerau, were men of the land. Let us make the best use of the land, and farm it well and sensibly and fruitfully. But for them, it might not still be ours. Let us give to our land the work and the imagination it deserves. Let us make a success of this. ‘Ko te puna i keteriki: Te rere i Tiria.’ All of us can climb Tiria if we really try.
A second field which we must work is the field of Education. As I said in my message to the Maori people at the New Year, and indeed as my grandfather said to the people of Waikato-Maniapoto when he went to Ngaruwahia more than ninety years ago, Education is the one sure key to the future of every race. I appeal to the young to take advantage of the new opportunities afforded them by the Maori Education Foundation. I appeal to the kaumatua to use all their great influence to encourage the young to do so: to go to the secondary schools, the universities, the technical and agricultural colleges, the medical schools.
Thirdly and once again, let me preach the gospel of Kotahitanga. There was unity on the field of battle; there is unity among the dead far off in Enfidaville; let there be unity above all among the living. ‘Ka mimiti te puna i Taumarere: Ka toto te puna i Hokianga.’ What is good or bad for the Maori is good or bad for the Pakeha. We are all one: Tatou Tatou. God Save the Queen. Kia ora koutou katoa.