Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 51 (June 1965)
Previous Section | Table of Contents | Next Section

Te Ao Hou

The Department of Maori Affairs June 1965

This picture shows a rubbing made from a carving. The remarkable thing is that the carving is not a Maori one. It comes from Taiwan (Formosa), over 6,000 miles from New Zealand, and was made by the fierce head hunters in the interior of the island. It is so similar to Maori art that there can be no doubt that a relationship exists between the two styles.

Several writers have pointed out that Maori art appears to have drawn its inspiration from Chinese sources, and in particular from the Late Chou period (roughly 500 B.C.). The discovery of the Taiwan carving makes this seem still more probable.

The rubbing of the carving, together with a photograph, appears in Douglas Fraser's book ‘Primitive Art,’ published in 1962 by Thames and Hudson, London. It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.

– 1 –

published quarterly by the Department of Maori Affairs and sponsored by the Maori Purposes Fund Board.

printed by Pegasus Press Ltd.

n.z. subscriptions: One year 7/6 (four issues), three years £1. Rate for schools: 4/- per year (minimum five subscriptions). From all offices of the Maori Affairs Department and from the editor.

editorial address: Box 2390, Wellington, New Zealand.

overseas subscriptions: England and other countries with sterling currency: one year 10s. three years £1 5s. Australia: one year A13s 6d, three years £A1 11s 6d. U.S.A., Hawaii and Canada: one year $1.50, three years $3.50. Other countries: the local equivalent of sterling rates.

back issues (N.Z. rates). Issue nos. 18–23, 25, and 27–49 are available at 2/6 each. A very few copies of issue nos. 10, 13, 16 and 24 are still available at 5/- each. Other issues are now out of print. (Overseas rates for back issues are available on request).

contributions in maori: Ko tetahi o nga whakaaro nui o Te Ao Hou he pupuri kia mau te reo Maori. Otira ko te nui-nga o nga korero kei te tukua mai kei te reo Pakeha anake. Mehemea hoki ka nui mai nga korero i tuhia ki te reo Maori ka whakanuia ake te wahanga o te tatou pukapuka mo nga korero Maori.

Statements in signed articles in Te Ao Hou are the responsibility only of the writers concerned.

the minister of maori affairs: The Hon. J. R. Hanan.

the secretary for maori affairs: J. M. McEwen.

editor: Margaret Orbell.

associate editor (Maori text): E. B. Ranapia.

Te Ao Hou

Contents June, 1962

The Forbidden Tree, Riki Erihi 10
Lament For Teka, Frederick C. Parmé 55
A Maori Mother's Lament, Margaret Kelly 58
Ngawaero's Patere 20
Maori Clubs 3
The Future of Maori Chant, B. R. Kora 5
Restoration of St Faith's Church, Fiona Kidman 6
The Maori Adolescent, Manu Bennett 7
The First Pakehas to visit the Bay of Islands 14
Glen Brae Play Centre, Tawhio Stafford 19
Transcriptions of Authentic Maori Chant: part four, Mervyn McLean 23
More Paua Recipes 24
Ratana Visit to Te Rere a Kapuni 34
The Eels of Lake Wairarapa, T. V. Saunders 36
Visits to the Underworld in Maori Mythology, Adele Schafer 39
The Relationship Between the Maori and Sanskrit Languages, Adele Schafer 42
The Finding of Te Awhiorangi 45
It's the Chatterboxes Who Do Well at School 49
Some Questions for Maoris and Pakehas 51
Book Reviews 57
Record Reviews 59
Crossword Puzzle 61
Haere ki o Koutou Tipuna 63

COVER: Mrs Puhi-o-Aotea Ratahi, President of the Ratana Established Church, speaking at the meeting at Opunake Marae last Easter. More pictures are on pages 3435.

Illustrations: Page 10, Roger Hart, Back cover, Para Matchitt.

– 2 –


Mervyn McLean and Maori Music

The Editor,

‘Te Ao Hou’.

Mervyn McLean has done our Maori people a monumental good turn in his study of Maori music, and in the articles on this subject which he is publishing in ‘Te Ao Hou’. I am wondering if he is not the person predicted by the late Sir Apirana when he said that some day a person would be able to write our Maori music into European notation. My own surmise is that Mr McLean appears to be that person.

For this reason I ask all lovers of Maori music, that is the music of the tangi, the oriori, the aroha, the kuatau, the patere, and the rhythm of the pokeka, the manawawera, the haka, the peruperu—to support me in a simple request.

We should beg the editor of ‘Te Ao Hou’ to persuade Mr McLean to accept payment for the contributions he is offering; please Mr McLean, do not feel that you cannot accept a fee for your work. You are not commercializing your labour of love. We owe you more than pounds, shillings and pence can ever give.

Kaua tatou e kaiponu i tenei. Manaakitia te tangata e ai ki te korero a nga matua. Ka inoi au kia awhinatia mai tenei take.

Naku noa,



The Forgotten Men

The Editor,

‘Te Ao Hou’.

In the March issue of ‘Te Ao Hou’ I read with great interest the article ‘Where is the Love of my People?’ written by a former inmate of Waikune Prison.

I am myself an inmate at another prison. I agree with his views. I have seen many of our boys stranded through lack of assistance from our own Maori people, and this is not easy to live through.

Many of the men released from prison have nowhere to go, and own only the clothes they stand up in, with maybe a few shillings that they earned during their sentence. It is understandable that we feel shy of Europeans who offer assistance—but who can we turn to, if our own race rejects us?

We are told to keep our culture and Maori-tanga close to our hearts—but as I see it, we are not being given much help, because of this whakama of our Maori people.

In the few months I have been here, I have noticed how many of our Maori boys have come back a second time. They haven't been able to find suitable accommodation and employment, and the alternative has been coffee bars, beer houses, and roaming the streets. Nobody wants them, so they commit crimes, returning to the dismal walls of prison and to the only friends they know. There is an understanding among these so-called friends, insincere though they may be, which too often we cannot find elsewhere.

A Welfare Officer of the Maori Affairs Department is doing a great job at the prison where I am, and there is also a kind Maori lady who is a regular visitor. But these two good people cannot do everything by themselves.

I beg those readers of ‘Te Ao Hou’ who may have sons and mokopunas in these places, to help them by visiting them in prison, meeting them on release, assisting them to become rehabilitated with their families, and assisting them to find employment and accommodation.

Above all, I beg them to find some way of preventing this heart-breaking sight, the repeated return to prison of so many of our young people.



The Maori and Hawaiian Peoples

The Editor,

‘Te Ao Hou’.

Me ‘oukou o Aotearoa la, ka welina o ke aloha!

As a student of Polynesia, and a reader of ‘Te Ao Hou’ for the past four years, I have long been impressed not only with the vitality of the Maori people's endeavours to preserve their Maoritanga, but also with the high quality of ‘Te Ao Hou’, which serves so ably as a sounding-board for the Maori community.

The newly-increased awareness of the need for economic, educational and cultural improvement among my fellow Hawaiians could, it seems to me, profit greatly by consideration of the problems faced and the solutions suggested by our cousins, the Maori.

– 3 –

The similarity of our Polynesian heritage and of the problems confronted today by Maori and Hawaiian alike, can and should result in a greater exchange of ideas between us. The effectiveness of personal contact—such as the appearances in Hawaii of the Te Arohanui Concert Party, and the visits of Mr Brownie Puriri and the Rev. Manu Bennett—cannot be over-estimated.

As the most acculturated, literate and perhaps most influential branches of Polynesia today, Hawaiians and Maoris owe it to themselves—in a shrinking world becoming increasingly ‘Westernized’—to seek a closer and mutually beneficial relationship.

As a step towards increasing an awareness of Maori achievements and trends, I enclose payment for four subscriptions to your magazine, to be sent to colleagues of mine in Hawaii.

‘O wau iho no me ke aloha.


(United States of America)


Here is news of two more Maori clubs. We would be very glad to hear from secretaries of Maori clubs not so far included in this series of articles; please send details to ‘Te Ao Hou’ at Box 2390, Wellington.

The Mawai-Hakona Maori Association Upper Hutt

This association, with about seventy financial members, comprises people living in the Upper Hutt Valley and surrounding areas. It arose from fund-raising activities during the Maori Education Foundation campaign. The first president was Mr Eruera Nathan of Ngapuhi and the first secretary, Mrs Amiria Johnson of Ngati Kahungunu. The name Mawai-Hakona is the old Maori name for the Trentham district.

The objects of the club are briefly to preserve and teach Maori traditional arts, to work for deserving causes in the Upper Hutt district and to encourage good relations between the Maori and European residents of the district. The constitution provides that up to forty per cent of the members may be Europeans. The members come from all the principal tribes in New Zealand—not one is a local Maori. Most of the members are married, the greater proportion of the Maori members being married to Europeans. Some island Polynesians are keen members also.

The club has given a large number of concerts in the past three years to raise funds for charitable and educational purposes and to entertain hospital patients. To a growing extent a repertoire is being built up of items with original words and tunes, the objects being to break away from ‘pop’ tunes and other hackneyed items.

The club meets on Sunday nights in the Silverstream (Whirinaki) Hall.

President: Mr J. M. McEwen.

Deputy President: Mr Huitao Ngaparu.

Secretary: Mr Neville Turner, 14 Jocelyn Crescent, Pinehaven, Silverstream.

Leaders: Mrs Davey Katene Howarth, Mrs Hariata Jaspers and Mr M. Kereama.

Te Rau Aroha Maori Club Murupara

This recently formed club is concerned with Maori culture and also with a number of sports activities, including basketball, tennis, men's hockey and rugby.

Many of the members come from districts such as Gisborne, Ruatoria, Whakatane and Rotorua. There are several active Pakeha members.

President: Mr John Grace (Ruatoria).

Vice-Presidents: Mr James Walker (Ruatoria).

Mr William Reedy (Ruatoria), Mr Tipi Tipiwai (Omaio), Mr Henare Adams (Te Kaha).

Secretary: Mr Dave Tehoukamau (Opotiki).

Treasurer: Mrs Puhau Adams (Te Kaha).

Club Captain: Mrs Mona Tehoukamau (Gisborne).

The maori language is being taught experimentally at the Morewa primary school, North Auckland.

The school is a large one with both Maori and Pakeha pupils. Maori will be taught from the primers through to standard six by incorporating it into social studies and nature study. There will possibly be some formal instruction in Maori in the upper standards, and by the time children reach standard six they should have a vocabulary of 500 or 600 words.

– 4 –

The Future of Maori Chant

IN AN ARTICLE in a recent issue of ‘Te Ao Hou’ (No. 48) Mrs A. Mihi Hill argues that Maori chant is unlikely to survive, ‘because not enough younger Maoris care sufficiently to help it survive’. She also says that ‘today if you want to learn Maori you have to be really keen, and once you have learnt Maori you have to be fanatic to learn the old chants. They are not easy to learn and, many would say, not easy to listen to’.

In my opinion this is such an important subject that all Maori culture group leaders should discuss it thoroughly with their groups and submit their findings to this magazine.

Maori Groups Increasing in Number

Personally, I do not sympathise with her sentiments, and I sincerely hope that not too many will.

Maori culture groups are more numerous today, and will continue to increase in number and popularity. All these groups are concerned with the preserving and teaching of our culture. Some people (including some Maoris) erroneously believe that Maori culture is only a matter of hakas, action songs and poi dances. By neglecting the other branches of our culture, we have neglected to rectify this misconception.

Hakas, action songs and poi dances are the most popular and best known aspect of Maori culture but they are not the most important part of it. From my own experience I feel absolutely certain that no student will derive satisfaction from learning just one branch of any chosen field. Since the majority of students are inspired by their leader, they will eagerly and happily absorb whatever he is willing to impart.

The Damage is Not Irreparable

Unless we are prepared to learn all branches of our culture, we will become foreigners in our own country. Pakeha culture has played havoc with certain branches of our culture, but the damage is not irreparable.

In my own group the ambition of all is to learn whaikorero, for we all realise that this is the supreme test. One can be a tohunga in every other branch of Maori culture, but if one's whaikorero is not up to standard, one's prestige or mana is lost. For this, knowledge of our history and customs is a big help, but knowledge of whakapapa, whakatauki, waiata, pao and patere is practically essential.

Enthusiasm and Pride

We are making slow progress, but we are progressing! What is more important is that the enthusiasm of the group has developed into pride! Where once we sniggered at tape-recordings of the old chants, we are now attentive listeners, absorbing every word and note and enjoying them. Consequently the opportunity to ‘test’ ourselves is eagerly anticipated. We do not find it difficult or monotonous to listen to the chants, nor could we be deemed ‘fanatics’. We are proud of our Maoritanga, so our love for all that is Maori is natural and automatic. For a start, eighty per cent of our members could not speak their own language, and did not care one way or the other whether they learnt or not. Today, it is a different story.

The Need is Greater

Mrs Mihi Hill also stated that ‘because of the impact of the new society there was not the same need or opportunity to gather and sing together’.

With so many young Maoris being compelled to migrate to the cities, I think the ‘need’ today is greater. Make no mistake about it, crime and delinquency is our national problem today. Government-supported Maori culture groups and sports clubs would give teenage Maoris somewhere to go and something to do with their leisure hours, for boredom and too much ‘time to kill’ make them vulnerable.

Culture Groups Not Publicized

Readers will say. ‘There are hundreds of these groups all over New Zealand’. I agree. However though many will deny this, Maoris have an inferiority complex and it is more pronounced in the cities than anywhere else. With their natural shyness and awareness of colour discrimination they soon give up the

– 5 –

idea of enrolling in a group. No publicity at all is given to the existence or whereabouts of culture groups in Auckland, so unless young Maoris are fortunate enough to meet someone belonging to a group, it is reasonable to assume that their leisure time is likely to be spent in a hotel.

Keeping Our Identity

To return to our pateres, paos etc., this is one branch of our culture that remains constant despite the ravages of time. As one of the very few taongas left to us by our tipunas, its value cannot be assessed in pounds, dollars or acres of land, but in love of race and pride of heritage—Maoritanga. This is a taonga no one could corrupt or take away from us, providing our group leaders do not neglect it. I cannot emphasise too much the importance of embracing our language and chants and keeping them Maori, for with their loss, the loss of our identity is inevitable. This is a tragedy that can only be warded off by studying our Maoritanga and in so doing, appreciating it.

In the words of the proverb left to his people by Sir Apirana Ngata:

‘Grow up, little one, in the way of your day and age, your hands grasping the tools of the Pakeha for your physical well-being, remembering in your heart the works of your ancestors which are worthy of being worn as a diadem upon your brow; your soul ever turned toward God, Who is the creator of all things.’

He whakatauki tenei na Apirana Ngata ki a tatau te iwi Maori:

‘E tipu e rea, mo nga ra o tou ao, ko to ringa ki nga rakau a te Pakeha hei ara mo to tinana: ko to ngakau ki nga taonga a o tipuna Maori hei tikitiki mo to mahuna: ko to wairua ki te Atua nana nei nga mea katoa.

Tena koutou, tena ra tatau katoa.

na B. R. Kora

Maunga Whau Maori Culture Group Auckland

At te aute college ten per cent of the boys are now Pakehas.

The headmaster, Mr R. G. Webb, says that he hopes that this increased Pakeha interest in the college will continue to grow, for it has created ‘a very healthy and beneficial balance in the school for all concerned’.

Maori Golf
Association Championships

From the preparations made by the Central King Country Maori Golf Committee and with the help of our sponsors, Dominion Breweries, this year's Maori Golf Association Championships at the Tarrangower Golf Club, Taumarunui (held on 23–26 August) should be a really memorable occasion.

Always a highlight for our Maori golfers, the Championships are catered for on a marae basis. While this is so favourable for visitors and players alike, it calls for a great effort and much planning on the part of the local people. But this is a very good thing, for in many respects it is on these occasions that we see Maoritanga at work.

It is a time when new friends are made, and old friendship cemented, a time when the older folk hand over to the younger. It is, as well, a time when the stories of old are told, especially after the evening kai, and when golfing stories are also told freely.

Kia ora and good golfing.

Rua Bristowe

Adult maoris who are studying for School Certificate or comparable examinations now total nearly 300, according to Mr John Waititi, assistant officer for Maori education in the Education Department.

Mr Waititi knows of 273 from study groups but he believes many others have enrolled in night classes in their centres or are working by correspondence.

The groups and the numbers attending are: Henderson 40, Huntly 18, Morrinsville 20, Hamilton 50, Murupara 40, Wellington 25, Auckland Technical Institute 20, Wanganui 15, Taihape 10, Tamaki 10, individual students know to the department, 25.

The figures are likely to increase soon because of interest in East Coast areas in the ‘back-to-school’ movement.

All centres with evening classes report interest still high, good attendances and evidence of application to spare-time study.

Maori adult students have Pakehas studying alongside them in all night classes. This has answered the only criticism that the movement had drawn, that it was too exclusive, says Mr Waititi.

– 6 –


First Maori Chaplain In Penal Institutions

SOME MONTHS AGO the Rev. Manu Bennett left his position as vicar of St. Faith's Church, Ohinemutu, to become associate chaplain of the Waikeria Youth Centre, near Te Awamutu.

Waikeria is a detention centre for delinquent boys. Mr Bennett's chaplaincy duties cover both Maori and non-Maori offenders, in the same way as any other chaplain, but he has also a special commission to work with and advise on the treatment of the Maori boys there.

A Further Step Toward a Solution

In announcing this, the Minister of Justice and Maori Affairs, Mr Hanan, said, ‘It is my hope that this may be a further step toward making a major break-through in resolving the

Picture icon

The Rev. Manu Bennett Ans Wes [ unclear: ] photo

personal conflicts that the young Maori has to face.’

Mr Bennett is the first Maori chaplain to join the team working under the National Council of Churches in the penal institutions of New Zealand.

Ordained as an Anglican minister in 1937, he is a son of the late Bishop Bennett. From 1944 to 1946 he was a chaplain with the Armed Forces. Later he spent a year studying at a University in Hawaii. He has served in a number of parishes, and in 1958 became vicar of St. Faith's Church, Ohinemutu.

One of Manu Bennett's former parishioners has sent ‘Te Ao Hou’ the following account of his work there.

The Restoration of
St. Faith's Church

When the Rev. Bennett came to Ohinemutu seven years ago, he found that historic St. Faith's Church was in a bad state of disrepair, and that a scheme to preserve it would have to be inaugurated immediately. The course that that plan has taken is a credit to one man's long-sightedness and patience. He tailored no ready-made system for success, but instead formulated a long-term project which was bound eventually to succeed and which in its course has enriched parish life.

Renovation Decided Upon

To renovate the church sounded simple enough, but it was soon discovered that nothing short of re-building was required. This would cost almost as much as a new building. As the desire of all hearts close to this church is to preserve what is there, it was decided to renovate the building, and at the same time to make additions and alterations to add to the church's functional value. To finance the scheme £10,000 would be needed.

The first task was to set the Youth Club concert party on a sound business footing. Although Manu, as he is known to all friends and parishioners, has never forgotten the Concert Party's place in Maori cultural life, he soon created a paying proposition which was to give the first financial impetus to his scheme. His efforts to improve the party's standard

– 7 –

were equalled by his wife Kaa, who was herself an active member.

The next step was the renovation of Te Ao Marama, the very old church hall. This became the permanent home of the Young Women's Fellowship, formed under Mrs Bennett's influence.

The Youth Club is to be congratulated on their devotion to the work of the church. There has been little time for other social activities, and realising this, members have as much as possible endeavoured to make the club a social life within itself. There are weekly rehearsals and one regular weekly engagement. They call their evening ‘A Night in Maoriland’, and create a gala effect. The supper often includes fresh shellfish which they have travelled to the coast during the day to collect, crabs, lobsters Maori bread and sometimes puha.

The women have been busy too, with bazaars and catering for functions. The women of the parish have also had a considerable influence on the design of the renovated buildi [ unclear: ] .

Many New Features Planned

Among the features of the finished building will be a Lady Chapel facing the waters of Lake Rotorua. On these windows will be sandblasted an impression of Christ walking on the waters. There will be a glassed-in, soundproofed room where parents can retire with crying children. As the room will be equipped with speakers, they will not miss the service. It will also house television cameras when necessary.

It is sad that Manu will not be able to see the plan through to its final stage, but he has left with his parishioners an unflagging determination to see a restored St. Faith's standing, as proudly as it has ever done, beside Lake Rotorua.

The Maori Adolescent

The symptoms and patterns by which we identify the adolescent, as laid down by the experts, would seem to indicate that no matter what race or culture forms the background to this individual, he will always stand out as a breed apart. He is the person who stands between two distinct patterns of existence: the existence of childhood, and the existence of adulthood. This is the critical turning-point described by St Paul: ‘When I was a child I thought as a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things.’ The age of the adolescent is the period of the putting away of childish things in order to become a man.

The Period of ‘Storms and Stresses’

Like every other person coming to maturity, the Maori adolescent does not escape the ‘storms and stresses’ of life at this period. With other adolescents, he experiences the physical, psychological and emotional changes which so vividly mark the period of the teenager. In times past, adolescents have been described in many ways. A generation ago a particularly significant description was to be found in the term ‘flapper’, used to designate the female of the species.

It is interesting to note that the dictionary meaning of the word ‘flapper’ is ‘one yet in the nest, vainly attempting to fly while his wings have only pin feathers’. In a way, the fledgling bird and the fledgling human are driven by the same urge: the urge to set forth. In so doing, most young people make it the first time, but some for a variety of reasons need to try two and three times.

During childhood, the average family represented a collective form of security where the father was the ‘shield and buckler’, where the mother gave the life and the father gave the living, where the child accepted his lot automatically. The authority over the group was vested in the father, especially since under normal Pakeha circumstances, the immediate family circle was, by and large, the responsible ‘kinship unit’.

The Maori child needed and received the

– 8 –

same sort of physical and emotional assurance as his Pakeha counterpart, but his responsible ‘kinship unit’ was often a wider one. His grandparents, his uncles and aunts, grand-uncles and grand-aunts shared, as of right, in the upbringing of the child. Even in the tribal situation generally, a keen sense of kinship gave the Maori child an assured sense of belonging.

The Maori child in the past learned how to identify with his community at a much earlier age than does either the modern Maori or the Pakeha child.

New Needs and Goals

Things that the child normally accepts automatically, tend to become irksome symbols of restrictions and subjection to the adolescent. Furthermore, new urges and new dimensions now begin to demand satisfaction on all planes—mental, physical and emotional. The need to have life explained becomes one of the dominant factors, as does also the need to satisfy other new appetites which emerge at puberty. At this time also, there arises a basic need to identify with others of like interests and urges. One of the adolescent's goals is to become emotionally involved in the lives and activities of others of like mind, in order to share in the security which can only come from the group.

He also needs to masquerade his individual oddness in the oddness of the group, for indeed to the adolescent there is nothing so odd as to find childish patterns repugnant, and the accomplishments of adulthood beyond his reach.

Easier Among Primitive Peoples

With more primitive peoples, the ways of coping with the period of adolescence were comparatively simple. For one thing, the group concept was developed to a very high order, for the sheer necessity to survive compelled them to band together in a group. In the group, the sense of kinship was the thread by which they maintained their identity, and for this purpose certain techniques were developed—hence the significance of the flawless ability found in the recitation of geneo-logical tables, regarded as a very accomplished art carrying with it a highly envied status. In this type of society the role of the individual was well defined, as was also the role of each of the sub-groups. Only the children were free of responsibility to the group.

As soon as the child reached the age of adolescence he was taken over and absorbed into the tribal pattern. He would accompany the young men on all the peacetime forages and expeditions, learning by precept and example his responsibility to provide and to share. There was a sort of curriculum for adolescence, and the goal toward maturity was clearly marked by certain tests of accomplishment and bravery which defined for the adolescent the state of manhood.

In the Maori world a great deal of influence from these primitive elements persisted in their changing patterns up until just before World War Two. Until then the Maori community was still fairly compact, and Maori social patterns were still centred around the marae, the hui and the tangi. But with the coming of a national crisis and the need to direct labour to the essential industries, the last bulwark of Maori society fell to the devastating onslaught of western civilisation and culture. With the calamity of World War Two, the Maori community became dispersed — his institutions redundant, and the pattern of tribal cohesion lost. Most tragic of all, the system of patriarchal leadership and authority was left without a constitution.

Displaced as Well as Dispossessed

The Maori now found himself not only dispossessed, but also displaced, and ill-equipped to adjust quickly to the foreign mode of life which was imposed upon him.

Hard on the heels of all these forced external changes, there came an internal phenomenon which was to rock the old canoe to such an extent that the rocking has not decreased in momentum even now. This phenomenon was the great ‘population explosion’ which now hit the race, whose decline in numbers two generations earlier had been a matter for grave concern.

As present history shows, the result today is that the Maori race is a race of young people, without sufficient numbers in the older age-group to create the balance required for adequate social and economic stability. The latest figures available to me would indicate that in a race of something like 180,000 people, sixty per cent are under the age of 21.

Another important aspect of the situation of the Maori is that he belongs to a racially ‘non-effective’ minority group which lives and moves by permission of a ‘dominant group’ whose social and economic pattern has in the past been foreign, and therefore hostile to the background and experience of the Maori

– 9 –

in a modern situation.

The Place of Religion

Fear is an early and important ingredient in the life of the individual and the race. Man's life, bracketed between the two oblivions, is haunted by fear—of enemies, of nature, of sickness, poverty, ostracism and most of all of death.

In the early Maori situation, everything that could not be explained was attributed to some deity or other. Anything which needed protection, either from the elements or from man, was dedicated to a deity, and the law of Tapu functioned with unusual effectiveness. The Maori deities were not only providers of good but also dispensers of evil, so that the codes regulating behaviour possessed a heavy religious content, based on a system of rewards and punishment. Generally, this meant that the reward was a reprieve from death, and the punishment was the withdrawal of such a reprieve.

Elements of this type of religious concept lingered through the years, and even though pagan religion was replaced by Christianity so long ago, today we are apt to find quite a number of Maoris reverting to this old pattern to explain some deep and disturbing phenomenon which might befall either himself or some near kin. This is particularly evident in the field of mental health and the Maori patient.

When Christianity replaced his old religion, the Maori was still in his pre-dispersal days. The Christian churches evolved a very effective pattern for religious practice, so that the Maori found it a comparatively simple process to apply these new religious values in a particularly meaningful way.

Old Signposts Have Become Inadequate

Today however, he is finding in his dispersal that the old signposts which provided direction to his religious impulses have become inadequate, and tend to increase his sense of insecurity. He is surrounded by a whole set of religious groups which vie for his allegiance, and the basic result is increased confusion.

Basically, he is by nature still a very religious being who despite all confusion, in moments of crisis manifests this fact in many different ways; although he is often unaware that his approach to his Deity is to a large extent determined by his sense of need. This need is vividly outlined in the supplication so frequently raised by those who are unable to cope with disturbing and overwhelming situations in the words:

Guide me O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy powerful hand.

Amazing That There Are Not More

In conclusion may I say that considering the tremendous upheavals which, from the turn of the century, the Maori has had to face—


Dispossession of his lands.


Depletion in numbers from disease and warfare.


The dispersal and detribalisation of his society.


The new predominantly juvenile component of his race.


His comparatively limited economic resources.


The breakdown of his social patterns.


His living by permission of the dominant group.


His loss of appreciation of the religious concept.


His lack of skills and knowledge of how to adjust to a new and oft-times hostile society.


Plus the extreme hazards which he faces along with all other adolescents.

Considering all this, the amazing thing is that more of them do not become delinquents who require the attention of the law, since they are by nature and inheritance, so utterly group-orientated.

Any programme of any institution of any kind therefore should have as one of its principal aims, the promotion of a sense of belonging not merely to a local village, a local neighbourhood or a racial group, but to a nation, and ultimately to all ethnic groups and all humanity.

Finally may I say that I have presented the extremist view, in order to promote controversy and stimulate discussion. However, I do contend that it is not what the Maori has inherited from his past that makes him a potential delinquent, but what he has lost; for he comes almost empty-handed to this modern, post-Christian era of the organisation man.

This article is the text of a talk given by the Rev. Manu Bennett at a meeting of the Whakatane Prisoners' Aid and Rehabilitation Society.

– 10 –

The Forbidden Tree

It was the biggest fruit tree in the whole district, the largest we children had ever seen. Boy, you should have seen the peaches from it. Yet to one and all, this richly desirable tree with its sweet, firm, succulent flesh was beyond reach; forbidden.

Every year we would watch the peach tree as it blossomed into a floral pink umbrella Overnight it would burst forth, its hundreds of fragile flowers heralding the spring. Later we would gasp in wonderment as the tiny green bundles of bitterness turned to mouth-watering maturity. We youngsters would stare at it longingly, straining hard against the fence with bulging eyes and hands that were kept from temptation only by the unseen frightening fear of the tapu.

Yes there it stood, like the tree of forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Many were the stories that told how it came to be where it was. Some even said that when the clothes of one of my cousins were returned from France after he had been killed in the First War, a peach-stone had been found in a pocket. As was the custom, these articles were buried in the family plot, and from the stone there sprang this unknown variety of peach.

Anyway, nature had reared this solitary specimen in the midst of an old private family

– 11 –

burial ground, and there it flourished, side by side with the bones of some of my ancestors, whose lineage could be traced far back to pre-European times. So sacred and tapu was this ground that only the descendants of the family concerned were ever laid to rest there. From the very first time a baby in our village began to talk and notice objects, he was made to understand in no uncertain way that this cemetery and all within it was something to shun and stay away from. To touch anything that grew there was nothing less than sacrilege. Countless tears have been shed over toys and play-things that accidentally fell there, even once a football.

There was a strange ending that time though, one which strengthened the power and mana of the tapu. For a number of years, our local football team had successfully defended a big silver cup, called the ‘Heiwari Cup’ after grandfather. One year, things weren't going too well. The challenging team was leading by three points, with ten minutes left to go, when an accident punctured the ball. The only other available ball was brought into play. Within seconds the home team scored, evening the points. Rallying, the challengers forced the play into our own back line. Excitement was at a pitch. If they scored, the cup would go.

Whether this crossed the mind of our full-back Tamiti, and whether he did it in desperation, I cannot say, for he never told anyone. But he scooped up that ball, and with a powerful boot, he kicked it far and high. The spectators' cheers and clapping were loud in praise of his play.

Then suddenly, the applause abruptly ceased. The players, trance-like as if in the grip of an evil spell, stood like toy soldiers in battle. A hushed silence stilled players and spectators alike. That kick had done two things. It had removed the danger against the hard-pressed home team, and with the help of a high wind it had carried the ball right off course, right into the wahi tapu. Nothing like that had happened before. No one would move to touch it. It was out of bounds for all time. What a lot of cursing and uncomplimentary things the visitors had to say about us. Seeing the game had to be discontinued for lack of a ball, the trophy remained ours’.

‘Kia mahara hoki koutou, he tohu kino hoki tenei mea,’ called an old kaumatua, and though we were happy, and laughed and sky-larked at the dance that night, we were to remember those words later. Tamiti, a happy carefree chap with an engaging disposition, began to get surly and nasty in the months that followed, showing a total lack of interest in everything. One night, while crossing the harbour bar on horseback, a thing that he had been doing for years, he was swept away and drowned. An accident, the policeman from town had said. But to us children, and to the others who remembered the old kaumatua's prophetical message, it was a living proof that an infringement of the laws of the tapu, intentional or otherwise, had been dealt with.

Once a year the older folk, and sometimes a few of the younger ones, entered the wahi tapu to clear away the fern and bracken, and trim the long grass near the fences. Afterwards the implements they had used were washed and left soaking in a drain near the swamp. For those who had taken part in this labour, a cleansing ritual was performed by the oldest kuia, who some people said was related to a very ancient tohunga I had once seen.

If any animal in our settlement were seen to reach over and sample the grass that grew within the burial ground, tradition demanded that the owner destroy the beast, or sell it out of the district. This was so uneconomic that most of the inhabitants managed to keep what stock they possessed secure in their own paddocks, but sometimes a gate would get left open.

Which reminds me of the time that one of my cousin Ruihi's fowls decided, rightly or wrongly, to lay its eggs in the cemetery. Noticing that her daily collection of eggs was decreasing. Ruihi bribed her children by telling them that if they would watch the henhouse, she would take them to see the monkeys next time the circus came. She suspected a little bit of thieving was going on: but no, the children too were puzzled, until her eldest daughter Maire saw one of the black chooks fly over the fence, then make its way straight to a clump of kaikato in the wahi tapu. After a short time out the old hen came again, ruffled her feathers in a ‘see who cares’ attitude, and quickly flew up over the fence. Not until she was safely on the far side of the paddock did her laying song begin.

Maire kept this secret to herself, and when the hen began to absent itself from the fowl-

– 12 –

house at night, she knew that soon the mother would emerge with a brood of fluffy chicks.

Great was Maire's happiness when at last the clucky mother and her family of mottled fluff appeared on the scene. Triumphantly she shut them away in the disused tumble-down hapuki.

But as these little balls of fluff grew bigger, Maire began to have the most terrible dreams, with fierce-looking animals, and horrid witches who all had mokos like old Rihipete from the Coast. They chased and pursued her, and each time she would run to the wahi tapu and hide in the kaikato where the chicks had been born. Sometimes a horrible great creature, half man and half bird, would swoop down to where she was hiding and drag her away. Ugh. It used to wake her up shivering with fright.

One night, piercing screams awoke Maire's parents from their sleep. Rangi rushed to the adjoining bedroom to be greeted by a great din of wailing. All the children had awakened, and joined in the noise out of fellowship for their sister.

There stood Maire in the middle of the bed, her innocent face ugly with pain, her body shaking with fright. Seeing her thus, and moved to pity, her father made to gather the child in his strong arms. But the child, on seeing him in his long white undershirt and gaudy pink ‘long johns’, leapt to the bottom of the bed shrieking and screaming with renewed vigour. Dressed like this, he looked too much like that half-man, half-bird in the nightmare. It took the comforting presence of her mother to calm the little one's fright; and then, between sobs, out came the secret of the cemetery.

Rangi was aghast, and spent the rest of the night sprinkling the whole house with holy water, muttering prayers and reading texts from the Bible. The third time that he opened the Bible at random, he got quite a shock. Looking for something to soothe his troubled mind, he came upon this text: ‘Why criest thou for thine affliction? Thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.’

‘Mother of God, save me!’ he cried out. ‘Help me! I am caught between the devil [ unclear: ] and the deep blue sea.’

What could one do in times like this? They were all going to be punished because his eldest child had tried to defy the tapu. Violating the tapu, they had contracted a hara; a calamity had befallen their home.

Now, Ruihi liked to think of herself as a progressive thinker. She was one of those individuals, found in all walks of life, who read a lot; and while she was not well educated, she was very intelligent. Deep in her heart she never believed in all this tapu thing-ma-jig. Times were changing and one must live accordingly. If they found out, some of the old kuias and kaumatuas would insist that her daughter had done wrong. Well, they wouldn't find out from her. Something would be done.

Already a plan had began to take shape, a plan that would solve this problem, and with care bring in a little money on the side. With care, she would be the envy of all the other women in her smart red velvet suit at Moana's wedding in a few months' time. Oh dear, if it didn't succeed. No, she must not think like that. Of course it would.

Next morning the neighbours looked on in surprise while Rangi and his family rushed around catching squawking fowls. The speculation became serious when all the family set out in their ancient car surrounded by boxes of dazed hens and enough flying feathers to stuff a couple of mattresses. Ruihi and the children shouted and waved in merry acknowledgement, while Rangi hunched over the wheel and drove like the devil himself.

An hour or so later the jalopy stopped in a cloud of dust in front of an old weather-beaten shack, whose occupants were related to both Ruihi and Rangi. Let out of their boxes, the shaken hens staggered wearily under the shack.

Yes, the generous old couple said, of course they would care for the fowls, and they would willingly save the eggs for them. They were pleased to oblige, for since their house was off the beaten track, visitors to their home had become a rarity. Ruihi explained that three of the fowls were at the clucky stage, and they could place some eggs under them and keep whatever hatched out. No, they were sorry they couldn't stay even for a cup of tea, as they wanted to do some shopping in town. They left in a flurry of haste and dust. Not a mention was made to the kinsfolk about the chooks being contaminated by those which had nested in the takotoranga tupapaku.

On the way home Ruihi called on the Dalmatian farmer's wife, whose fame as a baker of delectable cakes was known far and wide.

– 13 –

Asking about the cost of baking for a large number at a not-too-distant wedding. Ruihi hinted that she would be able to supply a quantity of fresh eggs at a cost to be agreed on later.

Certainly she would be happy to cater for the cakes, and to take as many fresh eggs as possible, said the cheerful Dalmatian wife.

‘But you make a de sure de eggs are all a fresh. None of dis Maori bizness like a de eggs for fishing de eel,’ she called with a good-natured flourish, as Ruihi laughingly bade her goodbye.

When a meeting to discuss the wedding plans was held at the marae, it was an easy thing for Ruihi to get herself appointed to do all the kai arrangements. No one objected, for they knew that if anyone could obtain a few extras from the storekeepers, it was she.

All smiles, Ruihi was the image of politeness as she charmingly thanked the committee for choosing her. Yes, she assured them, of course she knew where one could get juicy fowls at five shillings less than the usual twenty shillings Mr Long charged. Cakes, and eggs for everything, she would be able to procure at cut prices. All the simple souls present marvelled at her knowledge of these things, while ever-present in the thoughts of Ruihi was the red velvet suit and its trimmings.

Now, Rangi's brother Rewi had a herd of swine of which he was very proud. Two of the best sows were well on their way to littering, and the rest would be away to the freezing works in a month or so. Since Rewi was a close relative of the bridegroom, custom said that he must donate at least one of his pigs to the hui marena. This he accordingly did.

But this was not enough for Ruihi the troublemaker, and she started up over the teatable.

‘That stingy old brute of a brother of yours has only given one pig. Selfish and mean, that's what he is.’ Then, as Rangi helped himself to a second helping of pudding: ‘He ought to be ashamed. With all his goods. One lousy pig and a sack of kumaras. I don't know what this district would do without the help of my family.’

‘Well what can I do about it? They belong to him, not me.’

What his wife had to say to this made his heart beat twice as fast, in fact he felt as though it might have stopped a couple of times. He went out to smoke his pipe and think things over: maybe by the time he came back the missus would have changed her mind.

But no: she was at him again. After a solid week of ear-bashing for the sake of peace he finally agreed, as both had known he would.

Saturday night. The marae was a scene of activity, for the next day the bride and her people would arrive, also a large crowd of manuhiri related to both bridal parties. In the whare kai a group of men was preparing the meat, sweating from the heat of a vast open fire. Women busied themselves making up clean beds that smelt sweetly of newly-cut hay, and working at the hundred and one other jobs still to be done.

The walls of the hall were covered with punga fronds, waewae koukou, green flax and branches of red and white manuka, while strips of multi-coloured crepe paper criss-crossing the ceiling gave a rainbow brightness to the place. On the stage a young schoolgirl vamped a tune from the halfway-to-the-century piano, whilst a ring of shiny small faces scaled the notes of popular songs.

Ruihi had produced two jars for the men, saying that her husband had shouted it since he was unable to be there tonight, as one of the children was not feeling too well. But both she and Rangi would be along bright and early in the morning.

Meanwhile, Rangi was making his way to his brother Rewi's pig pen. Quietly quietly, just a little sucking noise with your tongue and out from the pen they'll come. Pigs can tell when someone's about. Sure enough they had smelt him and out they came, just as Ruihi had said they would. Now to give them a sniff of what's in the bucket. That's it you beauty—carry on down to the cowshed. The stage was set, and hungry pigs need no prompting. Straight down to the drum of skim milk they grunted. The overflow from it went into a big drum that was buried in the ground. Quickly Rangi lifted its wooden cover, careful to make it appear as if the pigs themselves had done so. Squealing and grunting, the six pigs plunged their snouts into the tasty curdled whey. Don't be hasty. As soon as the milk empties a little lower they'll bend their front legs—he'd never hear the end of it if he mucked this up. Right, the black one: the biggest, as she had said.

Continued on page 53

– 14 –

The First Pakehas to Visit
The Bay of Islands

An account of the visit of Captain Cook, the coming of Marion Dufresne and the circumstances which led to his death, and what happened when the first pigs came to Waima.

John White, the compiler of the six-volume ‘Ancient History of the Maori’ left many unpublished manuscripts behind him when he died in 1891. Many of these manuscripts, most of which were written or dictated by Maori friends and informants, have not yet been published.

The story published here is one of many White manuscripts in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. John White lived at Hokianga from 1835 to 1850 (that is, from the age of nine until he was 24) but it is not known whether this account was collected during these early years.

All that is known about his informant is that he was a member of the Ngapuhi tribe. As with nearly all of White's papers, the manuscript is written in White's own hand-writing. The manuscript reference is: MS Papers 75, B19 ‘Ancient History of the Maori’ V. 10 (Maori) pp. 71–76. The translation published here is a new one, based on White's translation.

We are not sure whether or not this account has previously been published. It is possible that it may not have been, for it is not mentioned in ‘Marion Dufresne at the Bay of Islands’ (1951), a most interesting book by the late Leslie G. Kelly, one of the most notable of Maori historians. The manuscript's account of the killing of Marion Dufresne and members of his crew agrees in most respects with the story pieced together by Kelly, but gives a fuller explanation of the reasons for their death.

Captain Cook's visit to the Bay of Islands took place at the end of 1769. The Frenchman Marion Dufresne spent two months there in the winter of 1772. He and his crew were the first Pakehas to spend several consecutive weeks living amongst the Maori people.

In the translation the Europeans are referred to as ‘foreigners.’ But the word ‘tupua,’ often used to refer to them in the Maori text, normally signifies a supernatural being; William's Dictionary defines it as ‘goblin, demon, object of terror’. The word ‘kehua’, used once with reference to the Frenchmen, means ‘ghost, spirit.’ ‘Maitai,’ the other word used, refers to the iron which the visitors brought with them.

Remarks in square brackets have been added by ‘Te Ao Hou’. Apart from these, parentheses which have no equivalent in the Maori text are written by White.

The word ‘wawai’ (page 15) is difficult to read in the manuscript, and may not be transcribed accurately here.

Nga Uri o Tapua
Me Kapene Kuki

Me hoki tenei ki te take mai o Nene raua ko Patuone.

Ta Rangi-mitimiti ko Tutahua, tana ko Meto raua ko tana tuahine ko Wharetonu; ta Whare-tonu ko Te Kuta. Ka moe a Te Kuta i a Ngawa kia puta ko Patu, tana ko Tua, tana ko Kawahau, he wahine; ka moe i a Tapua kia puta ko Tari, he wahine; i moe i a Te Wharerahi o Tokerau. I muri i a Tari ko nga tamariki tokowha he tane, a, tokorua o raua


Tapua's Descendants
And Captain Cook

This shall be an account of the descent of Nene (Tamati Waka Nene) and Patuone.

Rangi-mitimiti had Tutahua, who had Meto and a daughter named Wharetonu. She had Te Kuta, who had Ngawa, who had Patu, who had Tua, who had a daughter named Kawahau.

Kawahau married Tapua: they had a daughter named Tari, who married Te Wharerahi of the Bay of Islands. After Tari

– 15 –

i mate i te parekura, ko Te Anga raua ko Te Ruanui; a, nga tama i ora ko Patuone, ko Nene.

I noho te whanau a Tapua i Tokerau, no te mea no reira a Tapua. A, kiano i mau patu noa a Patuone raua ko Nene, ka hoe te iwi o Tapua ki te hao ika i te takutai o te moana i Matauri. A, kua nui he ika ki nga waka, ka puta te kaipuke i waho o Motu-kokako, a, ka mahue nga kupenga a Tapua ma, ka hoe o ratou waka—a Te Tumuaki, te waka o Tapua me tana wha tekau topu, me Harotu, te waka o Tuwhare me tana rua tekau topu, me Te Homai, te waka o Te Tahapirau me tana rua tekau topu, me Te Tikitiki, te waka o Ne' me tana toru tekau—kia kite i taua kaipuke.

Te mea i hoe atu ai ki taua pahi, he mea tauhou taua tu waka ki taua moana. A, ka tae nga waka nei, ka tata atu ki te puke ra, ka powhiria e aua tangata kia tata atu aua waka nei. A, ka korero aua tini Maori a Tapua ma, a, ka rite nga korero, ka tata atu te waka o Tapua, a, ka whiua nga ika o te waka ra ma nga maitai tupua ra, a, ka pai aua tupua ki nga ika, ana ka huro te reo, a, ka kohia aua ika e ratou.

A, ka eke a Tapua ki te puke ra, a, ka homai e te rangatira o aua tupua ra te kahu kura ki a Te Tapua, me tetahi kiko kuri mataitia, he mea maoa taua kikokiko me te matu ano e mau tahi ana. A, ka mau a Tapua, ka hoatu ma Patuone raua ko te tuahine ma Tari, a, katahi ra ano taua tu kai ka kitea e te Maori; reka ai koa taua kai. A, ka tohungia te puke ra e Te Tapua ma, a, ka tau ki Te Puna, a, ka tukua he whenua ma aua tupua ra e noho i Te Puna, a, ka noho a Ngapuhi ki uta, a, ka hoe te maitai ki uta ano hoki.

A, ka ahua tupato a Ngapuhi ki aua tupua kei raru te Maori i a maitai, a, ka tikina aua tupua ra ka titiro makutu atu nga tohunga kia kitea ai te he ranei, te pai ranei, o aua tupua. Ki te wawai o ratou mata, a, kahore kau he kino o ratou i kitea e aua tohunga, a, ka whangainga e te Maori ki a ratou kai Maori, ara, ki te roi, ki te kumara, a, ki te ika, me te manu o te Wao Nui a Tane. A, kihai i to te marama, ka rere ano te puke ra ki waho ki te moana, a, ka hoki ano a Ngapuhi ki ona kainga noho ai, mahi ai i ana mahi Maori me te ngaki kai.


they had four sons, two of whom, Te Anga and Te Ruanui, were killed in battle. The surviving sons were Patuone and Nene. Tapua's family lived at the Bay of Islands, since Tapua belonged to that district.

One day, before Patuone and Nene were old enough to bear weapons, Tapua and his people were out netting fish at the sea coast at Matauri. They had caught many fish, when the ship appeared beyond Motu-kokako. Then Tapua and his people left their nets and went in their canoes—Te Tumuaki, the canoe of Tapua and his crew of eighty, Harotu, the canoe of Tuwhare and his crew of forty. Te Homai, the canoe of Te Tahapirau and his crew of forty, and Te Tikitiki, the canoe of Ne' and his crew of sixty—to look at that ship.

They went to see the vessel because such a ship had never before visited that place. When the canoes were near the ship, the people on board beckoned to them to come closer. So Tapua's men conferred together, and when they had come to a decision, the canoe commanded by Tapua went alongside the ship. Then they threw the fish from the canoe up on to the ship, as an offering to the foreigners. The foreigners were pleased with the fish, and shouted with joy as they gathered them up.

After this Tapua went on board the ship, and the leader of the foreigners presented him with a red garment and with the salt flesh of an animal. It was cooked flesh, with both fat and lean meat on the one piece. Tapua took it and gave it to his son and daughter, Patuone and Tari. Food of this kind had not previously been known to the Maori; they found it to be sweet, and very good.

Te Tapua and his people guided the ship until she dropped anchor at Te Puna, and they gave the foreigners some land there on which to live. The people of Ngapuhi gathered on the shore, and the foreigners came ashore also. The people of Ngapuhi were cautious of the foreigners, lest they should do them harm. So the priests went and examined them closely, to find out whether they were good or bad.

It seemed to the tohungas that the foreigners were not dangerous. So the Maori people fed them with their foods; that is, with fern root, kumara, fish, and the birds of the great forest of Tane. But before a month had passed the ship sailed away over the ocean, and the Ngapuhi people returned to their homes, resuming their usual activities and the cultivation of food.

– 16 –

Ko Ngati Pou te iwi i noho i nga motu i waho ake o Tokerau, ara, i Motu-arohia, i Te Waiiti, i etahi ano hoki o aua moutere. No nga uri o Rahiri taua hapu, a, no Te Waimate ratou; noho ai ki aua motu mahi mataitai ai i nga tau kai ika. A, ka puta ano etahi kaipuke ki taua moana, a, u ai ki Motu-arohia tau ai, a, ka u aua tupua ra ki uta.

Ko te tino rangatira o aua pakeha maitai ra ko Mariao, he tangata nui a ia. A, ka mahi, ka hokohoko aua Mariao i nga kai a te Maori, i te kumara, i te ika, i te manu, a tautini noa ki reira tau ai, me te pai atu te Maori ki aua maitai, a, kai tahi ai ki aua tupua; a, moe ai aua tupua i roto i o te Maori whare, a, moe ai te Maori i aua kaipuke.

A, ka tae ki aua ra ka hoe aua maitai ki te hao ika i te one i Manawaora, a, ka riria e te Maori. He mea hoki kua tapu taua one ra i te tupapaku o te iwi o Te Kauri, te iwi i noho i Whangamumu, a, no ratou nga tangata i paremo ki te moana o Tokerau, a, paea ai ki taua one. Ahakoa riria e aua Maori o Ngati Pou kei huakina ratou e te iwi o Te Kauri hei utu mo ta ratou tapu i takahia, kihai aua maitai ra i rongo, tohe tonu ano ki te hao i a ratou kupenga ki taua one.

A, ka pouri a Ngati Pou, a, ka mutu te hokihoki o ratou ki aua kaipuke, ki te hokohoko i etahi paraharaha, penei te roa me te ringa tangata, hei utu mo a ratou kai, me nga ika, me nga manu, a, mo te ra kotahi i mahi wahie ai, i te ata a, ahiahi noa.

A, ka hoe aua maitai ra ki uta horoi ai i o ratou kakahu, a, ka tae ki te wa e kai ai aua maitai i te ra tikaka, ka noho ka kai aua tupua ra, a, ka mahue te titiro ki a ratou kahu e tare ra i nga uru rakau i iri ai, ka tikina etahi o aua kahu ra ka tahaetia e te Maori, hei utu mo te tapu o Manawaora i takahia ra e aua tupua ki te kupenga hao ika,


Ngati Pou were the people who lived on the islands outside the Bay of Islands, that is to say on Motu-arohia, Te Waiiti and other islands there. The people of this sub-tribe were descended from Rahiri and belonged to Te Waimate, but in the fishing season they lived on these islands in order to obtain sea-food.

While they were there, more ships appeared in the bay. They reached Motu-arohia and anchored there, and their crews came on shore. Their principal leader was named Marion [Dufresne]; he was a large [?important] man. Marion and his men bartered goods for Maori food—kumaras, fish and birds—and they stayed at anchor there for a long time.

The Maoris were friendly towards them; they habitually ate together, and the foreigners slept in the Maori houses and the Maoris slept on board the ships.

But there came a day when the foreigners rowed ashore in order to net fish on the beach at Manawaora. The Maoris scolded them for this, for the beach was tapu to some of Te Kauri's people (the people who lived at Whangamumu). Some men from there had been drowned in the Bay of Islands, and had been cast ashore on this beach. Although the people of Ngati Pou told them angrily not to do this (for they were afraid that Te Kauri's people would attack them in order to obtain recompense for the violation of their tapu), the foreigners took no notice, and persisted in drawing in their net on the beach. Then Ngati Pou became very sad, and no longer visited the ships and bargained for pieces of hoop-iron the size of a man's hand (these had been given in exchange for food, fish and birds, or for an entire day spent chopping firewood).

Soon after this, some of the foreigners came on shore to wash their clothes. In the middle of the day, when it was time to eat, they sat down and had their meal, no longer watching their clothes, which were hung up on bushes in the scrub. Then the Maoris went and took some of the clothes, as a recompense for the foreigners having violated the tapu of Manawaora by netting fish there, and eating those fish; it was this that made the desecration of the tapu such a grave offence.

Marion's men went and told how their clothes had been stolen. Two chiefs of Ngati

– 17 –

a, kainga ai aua ika ra, koia te tino kino o taua tapu ra i takahia nei.

Ka tae te iwi Mariao ra, ka korero i o ratou kahu kua pau te tahae, mei reira e rua nga rangatira o te iwi a Ngati Pou ra i runga i tetahi o aua kaipuke, a, ka tae a Mariao, ka herea aua tangata ki te hukahuka whakahoki, a, kia hoki mai ra ano nga kahu i tahaetia e te Maori, ka tukua ai aua rangatira e Mariao. A, i te po ka mawheto te here o aua tangata ra i a raua te wewete, a, ka pahure raua ki uta. U kau ano raua ki uta, ka ki nga tohunga Maori na a ratou atua i momotu aua whakahoki i ora ai aua tangata i herea ra.

A, kihai te Maori i mohio ki te take i herea ai raua. No to raua taenga ki uta, ka rongo raua ki nga kahu i tahaetia ra e Ngati Pou, hei hapainga ma ratou ki Te Hikutu ki te iwi o Te Kauri mo te tapu i takahia ra i Manawaora.

Ka tae ki tetahi ra, ka hoe nga maitai ki uta ki te hao ano i ta ratou kupenga, a, kua mohio a Ngati Pou na Mariao i herea ai etahi o a ratou tangata. A, ka hao a Mariao ma i te ika, a, ka pae te ika ki o ratou poti, a, ka tae aua kehua ra ka utaina te kupenga ki te poti, ka huakina ratou e te Maori, a, ka patua aua maitai kia mate, a, mate katoa; kahore te mea kotahi i rere.

A, ka maua nga tupapaku, ka taona, a, na Te Kauri raua ko Tohitapu o Te Koroa i kai a Mariao, a, i a Te Kauri te kahu o Mariao, a, ko nga wheua o te hunga maitai i patua nei he mea mahi hei tirou kai, a, ko nga wheua o nga huha he mea mahi hei torino, ara, hei rehu.

Ao ake, ka u nga poti o nga kaipuke ra, a, ka tauria nga pa e rua i Motu-arohia, a, i pupuhi ano aua kaipuke i a raua pu nui. Kotahi pu i pakaru, a, i mea tetahi o nga rangatira o Ngati Pou i herea ra i runga i aua kaipuke, nana taua pu-repo i makutu, koia i pakaru ai.

O nga pa i taea nei e aua tupua nei, ko Taranui te rangatira o te hapu i noho i te pa i Te Waiiti, a, ko nga kai e kawea nei e nga Maori hoko ai ki aua tupua ra, no Orokawa. Ko tetahi o aua pa i taea nei e aua tupua, i tetahi pito o te one i Manawaora.

Nga tangata i kite i aua mahi nei, ko Tohitapu o Te Koroa o Ngapuhi, a, ko Tarewarewa o Te Patu o Ngapuhi, a, ko


Pou were on one of the ships at the time, and Marion came and had them tied up with pieces of rope, intending to keep them prisoner until the stolen clothes were returned. But during the night the men managed to untie themselves, and escaped to land.

When they arrived back, the Maori priests said that it was their gods which had parted the rope and allowed the chiefs to return alive.

These two chiefs had not known the reason why they had been tied up, but when they returned they heard how the clothes had been stolen by Te Hikutu to give to Te Kauri's people as a recompense for the desecration of the tapu at Manawaora.

One day soon after this, the foreigners rowed ashore to net fish again, and Ngati Pou learnt that it was Marion who had tied up their men. Marion and his men used their nets, and the fish were lying in their boat. When the foreigners were putting the net into the boat, the Maoris attacked them and clubbed them to death. All of them were killed; not one escaped.

They took the bodies and cooked them, and Te Kauri and Tohitapu of the Te Koroa sub-tribe ate Marion, and Te Kauri took Marion's clothes. The bones of the foreigners who had been killed were made into forks for picking up food, and the thigh-bones were made into flutes.

Next day the boats of the ships came on shore, and they attacked two pas at Motuarohia, firing their big guns. One cannon burst, and one of the Ngati Pou chiefs who had been tied up on the ship said that he had bewitched the cannon, and it was for this reason that it had burst.

Of the pas captured by these foreigners, the one at Te Waiiti was commanded by Taranui. The food which had been brought to barter with the foreigners was from Orokawa. Another pa captured by the foreigners was at the end of the Manawaora beach.

The men who witnessed these acts were Tohitapu of Te Koroa sub-tribe of Ngapuhi (who died in 1833), Tarewarewa of Te Patu sub-tribe of Ngapuhi, and Takurua of Te Mahurehure sub-tribe of Ngapuhi (these two men died in 1839).

These men also witnessed the introduction of pigs amongst the Maoris at the Bay of Islands. These pigs were received in exchange for food. One was a sow and the other was a boar, and they were quite young. They were brought to the Waima district by the parents

– 18 –

Takurua o Te Mahurehure o Ngapuhi. Na aua tangata i kite i te oroko whiwhinga o te Maori i te poaka i Tokerau.

He mea utu ki te kai aua poaka. He uwha tetahi, he toa tetahi, a, he kuwao aua poaka. Maua mai ana ki roto ki Waima e nga matua o Te Takurua. Ka tae aua poaka ki Waima, ka kiia e te iwi he atua, a, tukua ana aua kuri kia haere noa atu nei koa. E tupu ana te kumara, kiano i hauhakea, a, e tapu ana ano nga mara, a, ka haere aua poaka ki roto ki aua mara haere ai, a, he tapu te taea atu ai e nga kaitiaki o aua poaka. Ko te ngunguru anake e rangona atu, i mea pu ai te iwi koia ano he atua aua kuri nei; a, ka tae ki te wa i hauhakea ai aua mara, kua nui noa atu te ketunga [ unclear: ] aua kuri ra i te kumara hei kai ma raua, a, na nga tohunga i karakia aua mara i kore ai e he te iwi mo nga mahi ketu a aua poaka i nga mara i te wa e tapu ana nga mara.

Ka noho ra aua poaka, i utua ra ki te kai, a, ka whanau, a, ka pokaia e ona tangata mohio ki te poka kuri Maori. A, ka tini te poaka, ka runanga a Ngapuhi ka patua nga poaka, a, ka kai te iwi i te poaka tao ki te hangi. A, ka taki, ka korero, ka mea te iwi nei te pai o te ao, me mate te tangata me mate mo tenei tu kai, a, ka tini haere te poaka.

Ko te toa o aua poaka nei i tapaa ki te ingoa nei ko ‘Hanikura’, a, ko te uwha i tapaa ki te ingoa ko ‘Te Maro-o-te-Kopu’.

Ka mate nei a Mariao i a Ngati Pou, ka turia ratou e Te Hikutu mo te tapu i Manaw-ora [ unclear: ] takahia nei e Mariao, a, ka mate a Ngati Pou, a, ka whati nga morehu ki Whangaroa, a, na ratou i patu, a, i kai nga pakeha i te kaipuke i patua ki reira e Tara o Ngati Uru, a, na Hongi Hika taua iwi ra i patu i te wa i wera ai te kainga o nga Weteriana, a, i tu ra a Hongi i Hunuhunua i te pu, a, kei reira ano nga uri o Hongi e noho ana, kei Whangaroa.


of Te Takurua. When the pigs arrived at Waima the people thought that they were gods, and allowed them to wander wherever they liked.

The kumara crop was growing, and as it had not yet been taken up, the plantations were very tapu. The pigs went into the plantations, and because of the tapu no one could go and take them away. All that the people could hear was the pigs' grunting, and this made them more certain than ever that the animals were gods. But when the time came to take up the kumaras, it was found that the pigs had rooted up and eaten a good part of the crop. So the priests recited incantations to prevent the gods from punishing the people for the pigs' having rooted in the plantations while they were tapu.

These pigs which had been exchanged for food continued to live there, and had young ones, which were gelded by the experts in the same way that they gelded dogs. When the pigs had become numerous, the people of Ngapuhi held a meeting and killed some of them. They ate the flesh of the pigs cooked in the ovens, then they made speeches, saying that it was the best food in the world, and that if man must die, let him die for such food as this. After this the pigs increased in number. The first boar was called Hanikura, and the first sow was called Te Maro-o-te-Kopu.

After Marion had been killed by Ngati Pou, they were attacked by Te Hikutu because of Marion's violation of the tapu of Manawaora. Ngati Pou were defeated, and the survivors fled to Whangaroa. It was they who killed and ate the Pakehas from the ship who were killed there by Tara of the Ngati Uru sub-tribe (that is, the crew of the Boyd in 1809), and this people the Ngati Uru were killed by Hongi Hika when he burnt the Wesleyan settlement at Whangaroa; it was in this war that Hongi Hika was wounded with a musket shot at Hunuhunua. The descendants of Hongi Hika are living at Whangaroa to this day.

A national speech contest open to Maori pupils is to be held annually. The contest will be organised jointly by the Post-Primary Teachers' Association and the Maori Education Foundation. It will be sponsored by the Governor-General, Sir Bernard Fergusson, who has commissioned a handsome prize, the Korimako Trophy, to be awarded to the winner of the senior section. The Secretary for Maori Affairs, Mr J. M. McEwen, has offered to present a trophy for the junior section.

Individual schools will conduct their own elimination contests, and there will then be regional finals. The Dominion final of the section will be held in the August vacation, and the junior in early December.

– 19 –


An account of the establishment of a Play Centre in Glen Innes, an Auckland suburb.

After many ups and downs, our Play Centre was finally opened in September 1964. We started with ten children, and the roll went up to 19. This is the largest number that we can take, as there is only a limited amount of playing space available.

Play Centre sessions are held in the St. Mary's Anglican Church Hall, and we are indeed grateful to the Rev. and Mrs Houghton for all their help and encouragement.

When we had enough mothers a meeting was called to elect a committee. Those elected were:

President: Anita Bennett.

Treasurer: Francis Reedy.

Secretary: Peggy Hanson, then Roberta Roberts.

Educational: Pauline Perkins.

Publicity: Tawhio Stafford.

Equipment: Lucy Campbell.

Roster: Arlene Paul.

Work to Raise Funds

Soon after this, as a fund-raising effort we held a cake-stall as part of a Market Day organised by Glen Innes businessmen. All the mothers contributed to this, and as everything was sold, our first attempt at money-raising turned out to be most successful.

Later, on the last Play Centre day of the year, we had a Christmas party for the children. This was a most happy day, which they really enjoyed. To complete the occasion, our supervisor Mrs Maraea Pirini was presented with a small gift and a lovely bouquet on behalf of the children and mothers.

We owe Mrs Pirini our special thanks, for she has truly been the backbone of the Glen Brae Play Centre; without her hard work and encouragement, the Play Centre may never have become a reality.

This year the questions of money raising, and of improving the standard and amount of equipment have continued to occupy most of our attention.

Sessions are held twice weekly, on Monday and Wednesday mornings.

To date we have nine Maori or part-Maori children and seven Pakeha children. In our observation of the children we find that they play easily with one another, and are learning to share their toys. They have improved in every way, and always look forward to their Play Centre mornings. Like the other mothers, I have noticed a vast improvement in my son's actions, and especially in his speech; this is just one example of the good influence of Play Centre.

Naturally we are not altogether on our feet just yet; many improvements are needed, and especially more equipment. But with the faith that the mothers have in the Centre, and their knowledge that this is indeed a worthy cause in helping our children make good citizens, and perhaps scholars, we are confident of the success of our Play Centre.

The development of Play Centres has been so rapid in the last few years that there are now 82 Play Centres where the parents concerned are predominantly Maori.

– 20 –

Ngawaero's Patere
Te Patere a Ngawaero

Mr Mervyn McLean's transcription of the music of this song is published on pages 2527.

Ngawaero's song is a patere. Patere are fast, vigorous chants, accompanied by lively gestures and facial expressions, which were usually composed as a reply to insults. Often, as here, the song takes its audience on an imaginary journey, giving the names of influential people related to the singer.

Only a brief explanation of the song is possible here. For the full story, the reader is referred to Mr Pei Te Hurinui Jones' important book, ‘King Potatau’ pp. 134–146.

‘Te Ao Hou’ is indebted to Mr Jones' account for the information given here. The translation is also based on Mr Jones' translation.

Ngawaero was one of the younger wives of Potatau Te Wherowhero, the first Maori King. Their marriage was the occasion of a very large tribal gathering. Great quantities of food were contributed to the feast, but it was noticeable that one important delicacy was missing. There were no preserved birds (huahua).

Ngawaero's people were noted fowlers and the visiting tribes had looked forward to a feast of huahua. The absence of this food was the subject of comment at the time, and after the visitors had returned to their homes, one of them, a chief named Kukutai, made an insulting remark on the subject.

When news of his remark reached Ngawaero at Ngaruawahia, she was overcome with shame. This was a serious blow to the prestige of herself and her people, and something had to be done about it.

Ngawaero knew that a tribal meeting was to be held at Whatiwhatihoe in some months' time, and she made her plans accordingly. Visiting her relatives at Turata on the northern bank of the Punui river, she told her story and asked them to make a special effort in the bird-snaring season that was about to begin. Word was also sent to her kinsmen in other areas, and all of them laboured throughout the season, snaring great quantities of pigeons, tui and kaka.

As part of the preparations for the meeting at Whatiwhatihoe, Ngawaero's people carved a great waka manu, a dug-out wooden vessel for preserved birds. The vessel had handles at the sides, and was so big that when it was full eight men were needed to carry it.

The poets of Ngawaero's father's hapu (Ngati Paretekawa) were consulted, and with their assistance Ngawaero composed a special patere for the presentation of the huahua at the meeting.

When the great day came, Ngawaero and her party moved slowly forward on to the marae at Whatiwhatihoe. Eight strong men bore on their shoulders the great food vessel, with Ngawaero seated at its front in a specially constructed seat.

As they came forward, the centre of attention of the entire gathering. Ngawaero with shining eyes and proud, eloquent gestures sang this song. After the opening lines, singers and dancers in her party behind her joined in the song.

Te Patere a Ngawaero

E noho ana i te papa tahi o taku koro,
Whakarongo rua aku taringa
Ki te hiha tangi mai o Kukutai!
Me aha koa i te awa whakawhiti ki Puniu,
Te pikitia i te pinakitanga ki Turata, ko Te Arawai!
E kore, au, e Kahu, e aro iho;
He kai tata waiho noa i te huanui.
Nga pikitanga ki Te Matau,
Kia marama ‘hau te titiro auahi,
Kokiri mai ki Mangahana; ko Te Huanui!


Ngawaero's Patere

I was sitting in the empty courtyard of my master
When my two ears heard
The biting taunt of Kukutai!
Regardless of the river I crossed to Punui,
Paying no attention to the gentle slope
That leads to Turata, home of Arawai
(No Kahu, I will not turn aside—
There is food to be had by the roadside).
The path goes up to Te Matau,
Where I shall see clearly the column of smoke

– 21 –

E kore au e peka noa
Kei ngurungurua ‘hau e te tangata.
Me whakarangi-pukohu e au ki Hurakia;
Hei a te Whare, me whakatangi te korowhiti ki Titiraupenga!
Hei a Te Momo, tu ana ‘hau i te pou tu papa o Te Raro!
Kai takiri tu au i te wai o te huariki:
U e, a rara! Te whakama i ahau, e!
Me tohe tangata ki Hauhungaroa, ki Tuaropaki ko Te Kohika!
Ma te tangata e ki mai, ‘Ko wai te wahine e haere nei?’
Maku ano e ki atu, ‘Ko au! Ko Hine i pakia e te ngutu;
E kimi ana i te whare o Te Tuiri.’
Ma Noaia e ki mai;
‘Utaina koia ki te ihu o Te Moata,
Nga uranga kei Te Rapa!’
Tu ana ‘hau i te poutokomanawa o te whare o Te Riu’:
Ko te whare ra, i parua iho ki te muka rawhiti;
Ki te neko, ki te kaitaka, ki te pakipaki;
Kaati ka hoki mai …
E kore au e hoki noa i te tihi mo-runga ki Tokerau:
Me tohe a-wairua ki nga puau o Tongariro,
Ko Te Rangimonehunehu; ko tona tuakana ko Tauteka!
Hei ngari mohoku ki te nohoanga i a Te Whatanui.
Tiatia whaka-ripatia te kai-wharawhara;
Kia pai au te haere i nga tarawaha kai whitiwhiti:
Meremere-Tawera, te whetu takiaho mai o te rangi!
Ko ahau ki raro nei; me hoki ko-muri e au
Ki Motutaiko, ko Te Heuheu!
Kia wetekia te tau o Te Ngako ki au mai ai:
Hei aha ra? Hei ata moku
Mo te wahine hakirara, e!


Rising at Mangahana, home of Te Huanui
(But I shall not stop there,
Lest they should murmur and complain about me).
I shall gaze into the hazy distance, to Hurakia.
The home of Te Whare, who will send a shrill signal
To Titiraupenga, telling Te Momo of my coming.
With him I shall stand by the sacred post of Te Raro,
And drink the juice of the berries of the papauma!
So much for my shame!
Let a messenger be sent to Hauhungaroa and Tuaropaki,
To fetch Te Kohika!
Men will ask, ‘Who is this woman travelling about?’
I shall say, ‘It is I, the woman whose story is on many lips,
Seeking the home of Te Tuiri.’
Then Noaia will say, ‘Take her aboard and place her at the bow of Te Moata—
We go to Te Rapa!’
Then I shall stand by the central pillar of the house of Te Riu—
That house which is lined with cloaks of finest eastern fibre,
With neko, kaitaka and pakipaki.
Then my purpose accomplished, I shall return to my home.
I shall not go without pausing on the summit of Tokerau
And sending my spirit forth to the mouth of Tongariro River,
Home of Rangimonehunehu and his senior cousin Tauteka;
They will give me safe-conduct to the dwelling-place of Te Whatanui.
I shall deck my head with the feathers of the albatross,
That I may be splendid in my travels far and wide …
Like Venus shining glorious in the heavens,
Is my splendour here below.
I must go modestly to Motutaiko, to Te Heuheu.
He will untie the cord of the heirloom Te Ngako,
And give it to me to wear.
For what purpose? To show my worth!
I, the woman who was insulted and belittled!

– 22 –

Notes on the Song

These notes do not include all of the references in Ngawaero's song. The people not mentioned here are all men of standing who were related to Ngawaero, while the places which are not listed are mostly famous bird-snaring districts belonging to her people.

Empty Courtyard: That is, after the guests at the marriage feast had gone home.

Kukutai, who had made the insulting remark was a great chief of the lower Waikato.

Regardless of the river: that is, the Waikato River.

Te Arawai: a relative of Ngawaero. Kahu was his wife.

Mangahana: much of the food for the large gatherings at Whatiwhatihoe came from this district. As a consequence, Ngawaero's kinsmen there were very busy at this time, so she did not visit them; it would have been imposing on them to have told her story in the expectation that they might make a contribution.

Te Raro: the most important bird-snaring area at Titiraupenga. It was here that the tribal priestess of the bird cult performed the opening ceremony of the bird-snaring season. Ngawaero had been specially invited by the priestess, Noaia, to be present for this occasion.

Te Rapa: a famous village formerly situated between Tokaanu and Waihi. It was destroyed by the huge landslide of 1846.

Neko, kaitaka, pakipaki: different kinds of fine cloaks.

Tongariro: the river which enters Lake Taupo near Tokaanu.

Te Heuheu: the name of the paramount chiefs of Ngati Tuwharetoa. The chief referred to here is Te Heuheu Tukino II, later killed in the Te Rapa landslide.

Te Ngako: a famous tiki, an heirloom of the family to which Te Heuheu's two wives belonged. It was usually kept at Motutaiko, an island in Lake Taupo; as a gesture of sympathy, they had lent it to Ngawaero for her to wear on this important occasion.

– 23 –


To avoid any appearance of commercialising the songs, Mr McLean has declined to accept payment for his work in preparing this series.

Except for the haka in part one, all of the songs that have so far appeared in this series have been of the sung type of chant. The patere in this issue is representative of the recited forms.

Unlike the haka, which is shouted, the patere is intoned. It differs from the sung forms, however, in having no definite scale of notes. This is not to say that pitch organisation is unimportant. A gradual rise of pitch followed by a fall occurs near the end of each verse and is not only characteristic of the patere but is considered by performers to be part of the song. The extent of the rise and subsequent fall seems not to matter however, and it differs from one rendition to the next. Moreover it is a continuous ascent or descent, quite without the definite steps that would be present if the notes could be arranged in scale form. Since there is no scale, pitch changes have been shown in the transcription by means of arrows.

Other differences from the sung forms of chant are the rapid tempo, the through-composed form, the completely syllabic style of singing, and the characteristic essentially duple rhythms.

In the chant transcribed, the rhythmic groups A, B and C in Fig. 1 appear many times, the dotted group D appears less often, and E occurs very occasionally. As with all Maori song types however, these divisive rhythms are often modified so as to become additive. By the addition of extra semiquavers the four unit rhymthic groups in Fig. 1 can be extended to five, six, seven or even eight units, A as in Fig. 2, B as in Fig. 3, C as in Fig. 4 and D as in Fig. 5. Similarly, semiquavers can be dropped so that groups of four units become three, as in Fig. 6.

Other modifications are theoretically possible but are not used in the song transcribed.

Of very great interest is the tendency for an odd grouping to be followed by another odd grouping such that the two together form a multiple of the basic four semiquaver unit. This would come about quite naturally as a result of beating time. For example:

Picture icon

Fig. 1

Picture icon

Fig. 2

Picture icon

Fig. 3.

Picture icon

Fig. 4.

Picture icon

Fig. 5.

Picture icon

Fig. 6.

where < indicates the beat. Used in this way, additive rhythms become true syncopation.

Other examples are:

The version of the patere transcribed in this

– 24 –

issue was recorded by the writer on 18 September 1962 at the home of Hiri and Maata Mariu, Turangi. It was sung by Makarena Mariu (leader) supported by Hiri and Maata Mariu. These singers all belong to Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe. The text, translation and full story of the song are on pp 134–146 of Pei Te Hurinui's ‘King Potatau’, Polynesian Society, 1959.


Contributed by Turanganui Branch Maori Women's Welfare League

As mentioned in the last article, the pewa is the soft part of the paua.

Pewa Soup (1)

Pewa of 6 paua (finely sliced)
1 small onion (diced)
1 oz. butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 ½ pints milk
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to season

Cook onion in butter, but do not brown. Add flour, mix well, then gradually add milk, stirring all the time. Cook until the mixture thickens; this will take three or four minutes.

Add the sliced pewa, and simmer until it is thoroughly heated through. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Season to taste. Just before serving, stir in chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Pewa Soup (2)

Pewa of six paua
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 onion (diced)
1 ½ cups milk
Salt and pepper to season

Cover the pewa with 1 ½ cups boiling water and allow it to stand for a quarter of an hour. Remove the pewa from water, press through a coarse sieve, and return sieved pewa to water. Discard the remaining skin.

Put milk into a saucepan with diced onion, salt and pepper to taste, bring it to the boil and simmer gently until the onion is cooked. Add sieved pewa and water to the milk mixture. Thicken with cornflour mixed with a little milk. Cook for a further minute or until cornflour has cooked. Serve hot.

The addition of two tablespoons of cream and chopped parsley just before serving improves the flavour.

Pewa as an entree

2 cups pewa
2 cups milk
½ cup water
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1 onion (diced)
2 rashers bacon
¼ pint cream

Cut each pewa into three slices. Remove rind from the bacon and cut up small. Mix cornflour with a little milk to make a smooth paste.

Put milk and water into a saucepan, add the onion and bacon, and season to taste. Bring to boil, and simmer until onion and bacon is cooked.

Add the sliced pewa, thicken with the mixed cornflour, simmer until pewa has heated through thoroughly and the cornflour is cooked. Remove from heat and stir in cream and chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Pewa Savoury Spread

Pewa of 6 paua
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 dessertspoon finely cut parsley
Salt and pepper to season
A little mayonnaise to bind

Cover the pewa with boiling salted water. Simmer for five minutes. Pour off water, and rub the pewa through a coarse sieve. Discard the remaining skin. Mix the sieved pewa with chives and parsley. Bind with a little mayonnaise. Season to taste.

Use as a sandwich filling or as a spread on water biscuits.

– 25 –

Picture icon

Patere by Ngawaero. As recorded by Makarena Mariu & group at Turangi, 18th. Sept. 1962.

– 26 –
– 27 –

The words of this song are published on page 20.

– 28 –

Dr Hugh Kawharu, of Orakei, Auckland (see photo, left) a member of Ngati Whatua, has been appointed to the staff of Auckland University as a lecturer in social anthropology. He has studied at both Oxford and Cambridge, and his qualifications include B.Sc. (N.Z.), M.A. (Cantab.), B. Litt. (Oxon.) and D.Phil. (Oxon.). His B. Litt. and D.Phil. theses were on Maori land tenure

Hugh Kawharu has spent five years with the Department of Maori Affairs, and has done work for the United Nations in connection with technical assistance to underdeveloped countries. He has also spent some time with the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Aged 37, he is married with three children.

Mr P. W. Hohepa (see photo below, left) has also taken up an appointment at Auckland University, as a lecturer in Maori studies. Previously a junior lecturer at Auckland, he has been studying at the University of Indiana in the United States, where he recently submitted a Ph.D. thesis on ‘A profile-generative


– 29 –

grammar of Maori'. His M.A. thesis, which has been recently published, was on his home district in Northland. Mr Hohepa has also done research on the use of English among American Indian children and the structure of the Tongan language.

Pat Hohepa is the son of Mr Tom Hohepa and the late Mrs Paerau Hohepa (nee Wilcox), of Waima, both members of the Mahurehure sub-tribe of Ngapuhi. Aged 28, he is married with three children.

Mr Raymond (Remana) Henwood, M.Sc. (see photo below right, previous page) who is also from Northland, recently went to the Gordon Institute of Technology, Geelong, Australia, to take a post-graduate fellowship diploma in textiles. Mr Henwood is a son of Mr and Mrs C. V. Henwood of Tautoro, six miles from Kaikohe. His father is Pakeha; his mother, a member of Ngati Moerewa subtribe of Ngapuhi, was before her marriage Miss Te Paea Te Whata.

Like Pat Hohepa, Ray attended Northland College in Kaikohe. At Victoria University he gained in M.Sc. with honours in biochemistry. For 18 months he taught science at Wellington College.

Aged 24, he is married with one son.

Ranginui, the new war-memorial meeting-house at Hairini, Tauranga (see photo below) was opened on 6 March by the Governor-General, Sir Bernard Fergusson, in the presence of 3,000 visitors. In his speech Sir Bernard said that just as the name Tauranga meant an anchorage or haven, so the meeting-house and marae would shelter the traditional arts and knowledge. It would also be a place from which young people would go out to seek new adventures and to become leaders, not only of the Maori or of the European, but of New Zealanders as a whole.

The meeting-house was dedicated by the Bishop of Aotearoa, the Rt. Rev. W. N. Panapa.

– 30 –

It has taken 18 years to complete the building. The carvings alone are valued at £9,000.

Miss Reomoana Walker (see photo above), the registrar at the Magistrates Court in Masterton, is one of the few women to hold such a position, and possibly the only Maori woman to do so. Miss Walker's home district is Gladstone, near Masterton, where her parents, Mr and Mrs John Walker (Waaka) are farming. Educated at Hukarere Maori Girls' College, she was head prefect in her final year, and has been with the Justice Department in Masterton for about a year. Apart from acting as registrar at regular sittings of the Masterton court, she is the criminal clerk in the public office, being responsible for the collection of fines, the preparation of the court list of sittings, and other related duties.

Praised by colleagues for her efficiency, she very much enjoys her work.

Mr W. Herewini, Controller of Maori Welfare, Maori Affairs Department, was one of the members of a recent very successful tourist mission to Australia (in the photo above, taken

– 31 –

at the airport, Mr Herewini, left, discusses itinerary details with another member of the group).

The tourist mission discovered that because of the misleading image of the Maori people contained in New Zealand publicity material, ‘many Australians think that Maoris run around in grass skirts’. They have recommended a more balanced portrayal of Maoris in our tourist literature.

Among the Anzac veterans who recently returned to Gallipoli for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the original landing were Captain Pirimi Tahiwi and Mrs Tahiwi (see photos below, far left and centre), Mr Jack Hiroti (see photo below, right) and Mr Wati Barclay.

Capt. Tahiwi, an elder of Ngati Raukawa of Otaki, is possibly the only surviving officer of the N.Z. Maori Pioneer Battalion that fought at Gallipoli. Severely wounded at Gallipoli, he also served in France and Belgium. After the war he led the New Zealand troops in their march through London to a service at Westminster Abbey.

A school-teacher by profession, Capt. Tahiwi for some years taught Maori language and culture at Victoria University. During World War II he served on the army instructional staff. Always keenly interested in Maori welfare, he has been closely associated with many organisations, and for 15 years was president of the Poneke Maori Tribal Committee.

Mrs Mairatea Tahiwi, who accompanied her husband on the pilgrimage to Gallipoli, is also well known for her work for Maori welfare. A descendant of Rira Porutu, chief of Pipitea Pa in Wellington in the 1840s, she is a member of Ngati Awa. During World War II she served the Maori war effort in Wellington in a voluntary capacity, dealing with welfare problems resulting from the large numbers of Maori women coming to live in the city at this time. In 1954 Mrs Tahiwi received the M.B.E. in recognition of her services during these years.

The first Dominion vice-president of the Maori Women's Welfare League, she has also been associated with many other welfare organisations.

Mr Jack Hiroti, of Lower Hutt, the second Maori Anzac veteran in the Gallipoli pilgrimage, belongs to a prominent family of Te Wai-nui-a-rua. He served for four and a half years in World War I; though he suffered only minor injuries, one of his brothers was killed in France. In World War II Mr Hiroti served with the Maori Battalion. He is now a civilian, worker at Trentham Military Camp.

The third Maori soldier, Mr Wati Barclay, was wounded at Gallipoli and later served three years in France, gaining a commission. Mr Barclay, who comes originally from Kawhia and is now farming at Kaikohe, was in his time an outstanding and exceptionally versatile rugby player, and was captain of the 1926 Maori All Black team which toured France, England and Canada. He has taken a leading part in rugby administration, especially in the Waikato and in more recent years in North Auckland. He also takes an active interest in many other local organisations.

Mr Kuru Waaka, of Rotorua (see photo below) was recently appointed secretary of the Rotorua Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.

Mr Waaka, a member of the Tuhourangi tribe, enlisted in the Maori Battalion in 1939 and rose to the rank of captain before being invalided home in 1943. He joined the Rehabilitation Department two years later, and since that time has taken a prominent part in organisations concerned with Maori welfare, especially that of former servicemen.

Mr Waaka is married, with nine children.

– 32 –


Te Atairangikahu Mahuta, wife of King Koroki, died on 25 April after a brief illness. She was 55.

Te Ata, as she was known to her Waikato people, was born of the aristocratic Herangi family, being the daughter of the late Wanakore Herangi of Ngati Ngawaero and Ngati Hikairo sub-tribes of Ngati Maniapoto of the Otorohanga district.

She was born at Otorohanga and brought up at Waahi Pa, Huntly by her grand-aunt Te Maru, wife of King Mahuta.

Married in 1926, she devoted her married life to supporting her husband in his role of traditional leader, particularly in recent years when he has been in poor health.

On the death of Princess Te Puea she slipped quietly into many of her duties involving large gatherings which take place during the year at Turangawaewae Pa, Ngaruawahia.

Some years ago she began a youth movement in the Waikato for the teaching of traditional arts of song and dance, taking a close personal interest in its activities. In recent years she has keenly supported moves by Maori people to seek greater education, especially in the last year when her adopted son, Mr Robert Mahuta, of Auckland, gained his School Certificate 10 years after leaving school.

In addition to Mr Mahuta, she and King Koroki had four adopted daughters. They are Mrs Piki Paki of Huntly, often given the courtesy title of Princess Piki; Mrs Deidre Muru of Ngaruawahia; Mrs Maea Walker of Maungaturoto; and Miss Mahinarangi Mahuta of Ngaruawahia.

News of the death brought deep personal sorrow to the people of Waikato who quickly converged on Turangawaewae in the afternoon and evening to pay their respects.

Six thousand people, including parties from all the main tribal groups, visited Turanga-waewae in the three days before the funeral.

Te Ata was buried on the summit of Taupiri Mountain, overlooking the Waikato River. Fifteen hundred mourners followed the cortege to the top of the mountain.

Picture icon

After the service the funeral procession leaves Turangawaewae photography by Waikato Times

– 33 –

Picture icon

The long line of mourners following the cortege to the summit of Mr Taupiri.

– 34 –

Picture icon

A number of people belonging to other religious denominations were present at the meeting. Among them was Arapeta Awatere; seen here speaking to a group beside the river.

Picture icon

Mrs Iriaka Ratana, Member of Parliament for Western Maori since 1949, addressing the gathering. Mrs Ratana is the first woman to represent the Maori people in Parliament.

Ratana Pilgrimage to Te Rere a

Te rere a kapuni is a waterfall on the southern slopes of Mt. Egmont. It is known to the Pakeha as Victoria Falls, above the Dawson Falls.

Inspired Many Great Tohungas

It is said that many great tohungas formerly received their inspiration and strength from this waterfall. From 1919 until 1939, the year of his death, T. W. Ratana, founder of the Ratana Church, made frequent visits to Te Rere a Kapuni to meditate there and renew his powers. According to one account Ratana ‘plugged up’ the waterfall, turning to a new purpose the spiritual powers which had previously strengthened the tohungas to whom he was opposed.

Forty years ago Ratana prophesied that the marae at Opunake, south of Egmont, would be ‘over-run by people’ in the Easter of 1965. To fulfil the prophecy, a huge Ratana meeting took place this Easter at Opunake. Organised by the Ratana Youth Clubs of New Zealand, it was attended by 4,000 people from all over the country.

A Series of Services

Since it would not have been possible for the entire gathering to have been on the mountain at the same time, a series of church services were held there during the week-end, with busloads of people continually coming and going from the marae as they made their pilgrimage.

– 35 –

Picture icon

Throughout the week-end groups of people made the pilgrimage up the mountain to the sacred waterfall Te Rere a Kapuni, where church services were held.

A 15 acre ‘mushroom village’ of tents and caravans housed the gathering at Opunake. As well as church services there were many other activities, including a march past of sports teams, marching girls, football, hockey and basketball teams of all grades, dances, brass band contests, a talent quest, Maori cultural competitions, and sports competitions.

Many of those present also visited Parihaka, another of the most revered places in Maori history.

Earlier Visit by Church Leaders

The pilgrimage followed a visit to Te Rere a Kapuni made last December by a group of church leaders led by Mrs Puhi-o-Aotea Ratahi, president of the church. After this they visited Ratana groups throughout the country, in the first national tour made by a president of the church since the time of T. W. Ratana.

– 36 –

The Eels of Lake Wairarapa

The writer describes the method of eel-trapping that he knew in his youth. With a modified technique, eel-trapping is still carried out at Okorewa, though recent dredging may make it impossible in the future.

I have been asked on several occasions to write an article on the tuna (eel) trapping at Okorewa. Until now I have refrained from doing so, but since I have set myself the task of recording the history of the southern Wairarapa, I feel that such a record would be incomplete without a description of this wonderful tuna migration which takes place every year at Okorewa. This locality, where the Ruamahanga River empties itself into Palliser Bay, is better known to the Pakeha as Lake Ferry.

This article is mainly intended for our younger Maori generation, many of whom I am sorry to say are not conversant with the remarkable habits of these palatable fish.

According to tradition, the explorer Kupe came to the Palliser Bay area in the year 925 A.D. and lived there with his followers for close on two decades. This suggests that the tuna migration of Wairarapa Moana may have occurred even as early as this. History relates that it was known to the Rangitane tribe, which came here in the great migration of 1350 A.D. and which settled in the Palliser Bay area some years later. Ngati Kahungunu, who were next inhabitants of the district and are still in occupation of their kingdom, have always known of it.

One of the first Pakehas to see the eels of Wairarapa Moana must have been the Rev. William Colenso, the missionary-botanist explorer. He mentions a visit in 1845 to Okorewa, a fishing village at the mouth of Lake Onoke (this is another name given to the area at the mouth of the Ruamahanga River).

Basket Made From Vines

The eel basket (hinaki) is made from a vine (aka) which grows along the ground in bushy gullies, sometimes reaching up to 30 feet in length. After the aka is gathered, it is put into boiling water. When this is done the thin bark is easily scraped off with a mussel (kuku) shell and the aka is then hung out in the sun to dry.

Akas which are about the thickness of a lead pencil are used for the frame and ribs of the hinaki, and finer akas are used to cover the outside. The hinaki are made in different sizes, some of them being huge affairs over three feet high and six to seven feet long.

Making the Net

A net (tawiri) has to be made for each hinaki. These are made of long pieces of flax about an inch in width. These strips are dipped into boiling water and are then scraped to soften them.

The meshes of the tawiri are about an inch and a half in width. A ring of meshes about three feet in diameter is made, and ever-widening rings of meshes are added to this. The completed tawiri is about six or seven feet in length and about five feet in diameter at the wide end. Then a piece of supplejack is laced on to the wide end of the tawiri, and the small end is fastened on to the mouth of the hinaki. The other end of the hinaki is laced over with flax.

Several long poles, about 30 of them alto-

– 37 –

gether, have to be sharpened and made ready. These will be used to peg down the hinakis.

Lake Mouth Closes at Right Moment

Throughout the ages, the mouth of Wairarapa Moana has paid homage to its eel migration by obligingly closing its mouth at the end of February or the beginning of March. Legend records that Rakai Uru, the taniwha who is the caretaker of the lake, is responsible for this seasonal closing. Rakai Uru takes the form of a large totara log. When the migration is about to take place he makes a journey out to sea, and the mouth of the lake closes behind him. Legend also mentions that the taniwha Rakai Uru pays a visit to Lake Ellismere in the South Island.

After Wairarapa Moana has been closed for about a week, the eels begin to migrate downstream. There are four species of eels (tuna). They are the hao (also known to the local Maoris as the King eels), the riko, the paranui and the kokopu tuna.

Always in the Same Order

To my way of thinking, one of the most wonderful things about this migration is that they never go down to the mouth out of their turn. The first to make the journey are the haos; next come the rikos, then the paranuis, and last of all the kokopu tuna.

The eel traps are set about a chain and a half from the water's end (see diagram). The water here should be a little over a chain in width, and should take about eight baskets altogether. Five of these are on the side where the beach is, and three are on the landward side. This leaves an open channel somewhat under half a chain in width.

As stated previously, the tawiri (net) is fastened around the mouth of the hinaki (basket). Six poles are driven into the water to hold open the mouth of the tawiri. These face into the water, and care must be taken to see that there are no gaps between them, so that eels cannot avoid going into the baskets. Each hinaki is fastened by a rope to a pole behind it. The whole concern is then tightened up with the rope, and this movement opens up the tawiri.

They Come Down in Thousands

When the run of eels begins, they come down in thousands—one wonders where they all come from. They pass through the channel as thick as the channel can hold them. When they reach the sand bar at the entrance of the lake they fan out on both sides, for they cannot go back the way they have come. In this manner the eels are pushed into the tawiri, and they end up trapped inside the hinaki.

The baskets are set just before sunset, and are taken out in the early hours of the morning. When the big hinakis are full of eels they hold about five sacksful; ropes are placed beneath them and brought back over the top, and the hinakis are then rolled ashore by hauling on the top end of the rope. A good catch should fill between forty and sixty large sacks.

Another method of catching these tunas is to dig a large pit in the sand, about 10 yards from the end of the lake. A ditch is then dug from the lake to the pit, and as soon as the water starts to run into it, the eels swim into the pit. When the pit is full of eels the far end of the ditch is closed up, and the eels are left high and dry. This method should produce four or five sacks of eels every time the pit is opened. It is especially effective when a good

– 38 –

strong west or north-west wind is blowing.

As previously mentioned, the first species to venture down to the bar are the haos. These are silver-bellied eels, generally about a foot or a little more in length. They are known locally as the king tuna, and are the most palatable of all. When grilled, this fellow is indeed a meal fit for a king.

Grilled and Dried in the Sun

The hao is hung out for a while to dry, and is then grilled and strung together with flax in bunches of ten. After this it is dried in the sun.

Next come the rikos, greenish-backed tunas about three or four feet in length. They are split open and the backbone is removed. (This backbone is very good eating—when eating it, one is reminded of playing a mouth organ). Riko are dipped into a large pot of boiling salt water for a few minutes, then strung with flax in pairs and sun-dried.

Next to drift down to the bar are the paranuis. These tunas are dark in colour and have thick skins. They are not as long as the riko. They are preserved in the same way, and are the best keepers of the three varieties mentioned.

The last to migrate are the kokopu tuna. This is the big variety of the tuna family, being sometimes over six feet in length and over 60 pounds in weight. It is split, salted and smoked; when split open it measures over two feet in width. This fish is very good smoked.

When a southerly sea is washing over the sand bar, good sport is to be had hooking these huge monsters as they meet the salt water that is coming over the sand bar. They struggle hard to get into the sea and thus to continue their journey to their spawning ground somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Dr Falla, Director of the Dominion Museum, told me that this is their destination. He also said that these huge tuna are the females, and that the hao are the male of the species.

Mr Tame Victor Saunders, a member of Ngai Tahu, has lived for most of his life in the Pirinoa district, in the Southern Wairarapa. He is aged 75. Since returning from service in World War 1 he has been mostly confined to a wheelchair with a permanent war disability, but despite this he has taken an active part in many community activities: on two occasions secretary of local school jubilees, he is secretary of the Pirinoa Maori Committee, and also National Party secretary for the Southern Maori Electorate.

– 39 –

The Finding of Te Awhiorangi
Te Kitetanga o Te Awhiorangi

Te Awhiorangi is an adze, one of the most sacred possessions of the Maori people. It is said that in the beginning, when Tane separated Rangi the Sky and Papa the Earth, it was with this adze that he cut the sinews that bound them together.

Te Awhiorangi is said to have been brought to Aotearoa in Turi's canoe Aotea, which had been made from a tree felled with this adze. During the journey the Aotea was in danger of sinking into Te Korokoro-o-te-Parata, the Throat of Parata (the monster believed to be the cause of the tides). Te Awhiorangi, called upon by Turi in his incantations, is said to have saved them from the depths.

According to another version of the story, Te Awhiorangi was brought here in the Takitimu canoe by Tamatea-ariki-nui, who used the adze to cut a path through a storm encountered on the voyage. This account says that Te Awhiorangi passed to Nga Rauru after Turi's daughter Tane-roroa married Tamatea's brother, Uenga-puanake.

The name ‘Te Awhiorangi’ is usually translated as ‘The Encircler of Heaven.’

The Maori text published here is a contemporary account of the finding of Te Awhiorangi in 1887, after it had been lost for seven generations. Written by Wiremu Kauika, it appeared in 1888 in issue no. 71 of the Maori newspaper ‘Te Korimako.’ The translation is by ‘Te Ao Hou’.

Waitotara is about 20 miles north of Wanganui.

Te Kitetanga o
Te Awhiorangi

E rongo korero kau ana nga iwi katoa o te motu nei ki tenei Toki, ki a Te Awhiorangi, kahore ano i kite tuturu noa tae mai hoki ki a matou, ara, ki te iwi Nga Rauru, ara, ki te iwi nana i huna taua Toki, ara, na to matou tipuna i huna, na Rangitaupea. Tae mai ki a matou ka tuawhitu nga whakatipuranga; a, katahi rawa ano ka kitea inaianei a Te Awhiorangi. Koia i tuku atu ai, kia haria e to tatou mokai, ara, e Te Korimako ki ona wahi e rere ai ia, kia kite nga iwi katoa, Maori, Pakeha, i nga wahi katoa.

E hoa ma, tena ra koutou. Tena ano tetahi kainga o matou e tutata ana ki Waitotara, ko Okotuku te ingoa. E rua tekau nga tangata o taua kainga ki te mahi hakekakeka i runga i te 4 ½d. mo te pauna i te taone o Waitotara, Titiriki. Ka haere te iwi ra akuanei, ko tetahi wahine he kotiro, ko te ingoa o taua kotiro ko Tomairangi i moe i a Te Potonga Kaiawha. Ko taua kotiro he tauhou ki taua wahi; kahore e mohio ki nga wahi tapu, ki nga urupa tupa-paku. Ko taua kotiro i haere mai i Ngai Tahu; no reira te whaea, ko te papa no matou, ara, no Nga Rauru.

Katahi ka haere te kotiro ra, tona kotahi,


The Finding of
Te Awhiorangi

All of the people of this land have heard of the axe named Te Awhiorangi, but they have not actually seen it. Nor have we of the Nga Rauru tribe seen it until now, though it was our people who hid this axe; it was hidden by our ancestor Rangitaupea. That was seven generations ago; and now, for the first time since then, we have found Te Awhiorangi. It is for this reason that we have permitted our friend Te Korimako to carry word of this wherever it goes, so that people all over the country, Maori and Pakeha, may hear the news.

Friends, greetings to you. Near Waitotara there is a place of ours' called Okotuku. Twenty people belonging to that place were gathering hakekakeka (an edible fungus), which is sold at Waitotara for 4 ½d a pound. Now these people were accompanied by a young woman named Tomairangi, the wife of Te Potonga Kaiawha. This woman was a stranger in this part of the country and did not know the sacred places and the burial places, for she had come from the Ngai Tahu tribe; her mother belonged to Ngai Tahu, and

– 40 –

titiro tonu atu te kotiro ra ki te rakau e tipuria ana e te hakekakeka, katahi ka rere atu te kotiro ra, e mau ana nga ringa. Katahi ka uira mai te Toki ra, katahi ka titiro atu te wahine ra, kua kite atu e tu mai ana i te putake o te puketea. Katahi ka hamama te waha o te wahine ra, ka aue haere, katahi ka tuku tena, haere mai te whatitiri, haere te kapo, te hukarere, katahi ka tino porangitia te wahine ra, ka tangi haere. Ka rongo te tane a te wahine ra e tangi haere ana te wahine, kua mohio tetahi kaumatua ko te Rangi Whakairione te ingoa, katahi ka karakiatia. Ka mutu tena, katahi ka huihui te iwi ra i te parae, katahi ka ui te kaumatua ra, ‘Ko wai o koutou i tae ki Tieke?’

Ka ui atu te kotiro ra, ‘Kei whea a Tieke?’

Ka ki atu te kaumatua ra, ‘Kei tua kei te kopounga o Waione.’

Ka ki atu a Tomairangi, ‘Ko au, Kahore au i mohio he wahi tapu tera. Engari kotahi te mea i kite ai au i reira, ano he atua, ka nui taku mataku.’

Katahi ka tikina, ka tirohia, ka mohio ratou katoa ko Te Awhiorangi. E noho ana ano nga Kaitiaki, ara, nga uri o Tutangatakino raua ko Mokohikuaru. Katahi ka karakiatia e Te Rangi Whakairione. Ka mutu, katahi ka tangohia mai e ratou, katahi te iwi ra ka tangi; ka mutu, ka tangohia te Toki ra, ki ko mai o te kainga takoto ai.

Engari ko te wahi i takoto ai taua Toki kei te mohiotia e Nga Rauru katoa, notemea he mea ki ake ano na Rangitaupea ki ona uri, ara, ko ona kupu ake tenei, ‘Ko Te Awhiorangi kei Tieke e takoto ana kei runga i te mania i runga ake i te ana tupapaku.’ Ko taua wahi kahore e taea, katahi rawa ka taea inaianei, no te 10 o nga ra o Tihema, 1887.

Katahi ka huihui te iwi Nga Rauru katoa me etehi o Whanganui o Ngati Apa, ara, te 300 tangata hui atu ki nga wahine no te 11 o nga ra. Katahi ka whakaaria taua Toki i te rima o nga haora i te ata tu; i whakaaria ki runga i tetehi rakau kia pai ai te kitenga o te katoa. Katahi ka haere nga tohunga i mua hei karakia, ara, a Kapua Tautahi raua ko Werahiko Taipuhi; ko te iwi katoa kei muri ake i a raua he tuputupu katoa e mau ana i nga ringa o te iwi katoa, hei tangi ki a Te Awhiorangi.

Katahi ka haere ka whano tata, katahi ka tuku te whatitiri, haere mai tena uira, te kohu, ano he po. Katahi ano ka karakiatia e nga tohunga; ka mutu tena, ka marama hoki. Katahi ka tukua nga tuputupu, me nga kakahu Maori. E ono nga parawai, e wha nga koroai,


her father belonged to our tribe, Nga Rauru.

This woman went away on her own, and saw a tree which had a great deal of fungus growing upon it. She went up to it and took the fungus in her hands. Then a flash of lightning came from the axe and the woman looked in that direction and saw the axe standing up against the root of a pukatea tree. Then she shouted with fear, and cried and sobbed. There came thunder and lightning and snow, and the woman lost her senses completely, and fled weeping. Her husband heard her weeping, and an old man named Te Rangi Whakairione, realising what had happened, chanted incantations.

Then the people assembled in an open place, and the old man asked, ‘Which of you has been to Tieke?’

The young woman said, ‘Where is Tieke?’

The old man said, ‘It is at the source of the Waione River.’

Then the young woman Tomairangi said, ‘I did not know that the place was sacred, but I saw something there, and it was like a god, and I was very much afraid.’

So they went and looked, and all of them knew that this was Te Awhiorangi. It was watched over by guardians, the descendants of Tutangatakino and Mokohikuaru. Then Te Rangi Whakairione chanted incantations, and after this they brought it away, and wept over it; then they took the axe, and laid it down a short distance from the settlement.

The place where the axe had been deposited had been known to all of Nga Rauru, because Rangitaupea had told his descendants where he had put it, saying. ‘The axe Te Awhiorangi is deposited at Tieke, in the open place above the cave where the dead are laid to rest.’ Since that time no-one had visited that place, but now, on the 10th day of December, 1887, it has been visited.

On the 11th day of the month there assembled together all of the people of Nga Rauru and some of Whanganui and Ngati Apa; that is to say, three hundred people, including women. The axe was exhibited to the people at about five o'clock in the morning; it was hung up in a tree so that all of the people could see it properly. The priests who were to chant the incantations went in front of the procession; their names are Kapua Tautahi and Werahiko Taipuhi. All of the people followed them, carrying in their hands green branches for the ceremonial weeping over Te Awhiorangi.

– 41 –

e wha nga paratoi, e rua nga kahu waero. Ka oti, katahi ka tangi te iwi katoa, ka roa e tangi ana. Katahi ka waiata mo taua Toki, ara, mo Te Awhiorangi. Koia tenei:

E noho ana i te ro o toku whare
O te ao kai whitianga te ra a i.
Kei te mania kei te paheke i
Aka taringa me kohea to whare i tanumia ai.
Te muka mo to kaha whiri kaau
He muka ano taku i tu ki te aro auahi
Te angiangi matangi te whakararau o te rangi, i ei,
Kotia ki te uru o te rangi Te Whakapakinga,
Whakaupokoa te kaha mo nga atua mo taku Toki,
Ka hua hoki au i maka ki uta ki a Tane
Maka ki tai ki a Tangaroa hiringa wareware
Te ika wareware ou taringa whakaharore popoia mango
Ko te whakaipuipu te waka o Maru korenga te ika, i,
He wareware kihai i rongo i nga tupu i te hakunetanga
I te rukuhanga matua i te kahui kore ngaro atu ki te po-o, i
Te kitea ko Turou Pokohina, whakaturia niu wananga,
Ko Hahau Tunoa te waka o Te Kahuirua i ruku ai nga whatu-u-i,
Ka rewa ki runga ra ko te whatu a Ngahue hoaina
Ka pakaru Tehorutu whenua, Tehorotu Maunga,
Ko tumutumu ki rangi whakarawea ki a Kewa
Ko te kauri whenua whakarawea ki maui ko te i hono
Ko Te Awhiorangi whakarawea Rongo, haua iho
Ko teretere ki ao ko te kopu huri te ika ki rongomai
Koe ehara i te Toki Thuwareware ko te aitanga tena a
Hinepoa i ra Pawake e i, noku te tipuna i
Whiti ki rawahi ko Torokaha ko Te Rangiamio te waka a, i
He waka utanga nui taku waka ko Torohakiuaua
Ko whakamere te ika, he waka aha tou waka
Te waka hoenga nga hoenga papaki hoenga parareka
Te taroa te ngoringori ki runga, a, i.
He nui noa atu nga waiata mo Te Awhiorangi.

E hoa ma, e nga iwi katoa o nga motu nei, ko te ahua o Te Awhiorangi he Toki kura i penei te ahua me te tainakapu, engari pena ai


As they came near to the axe, thunder rolled and lightning flashed, and a mist came down, as dark as though it had been night. Then the priests chanted incantations, and when they had done this, it became light again. Then the people laid down their branches, and a number of cloaks. There were six parawai cloaks, four korowai cloaks, four paratoi cloaks and two dogskin cloaks. After this all the people wept; for a long time they continued to weep there. Then they sang a song concerning this axe Te Awhiorangi. Here it is:

(The song is an ancient one, with words and allusions which are now difficult to understand. A translation has not been attempted here.)

There are very many songs concerning Te Awhiorangi.

O friends, and all the tribes of these islands, in appearance Te Awhiorangi is of a reddish colour, somewhat like the substance of which a china cup is made, but it is also speckled like the belly of the shining cuckoo. But indeed, this axe is like nothing but itself. When it is hung up, you can see yourself reflected it in. It is one foot six inches in

– 42 –

me te takapu whakarauroa (pipiwharauroa) te whakairoiro; otira kei a ia anake tona ahua. Ki te iri mai, kite tonu atu koe i to wairua i roto. Ko te roa, kotahi putu e ono inihi; ko te whanui o te mata, e ono inihi. Kotahi inihi te matotoru; e rua inihi me te hawhe te kumenga i te mata kia roa te koinga pena ai me te heti a te Pakeha te hanga.

E hoa ma, e nga iwi katoa o nga motu nei, tenei te oha atu a to tatou tipuna, ara, a Ruatitipua. I kimihia hoki e Ruatitipua ki roto i te kahuikore; te anga ki runga, ko te whatu a Ngahue, ara, Te Awhiorangi. Ka whakarawea e Ngahue i te rangi ki a Tane i tana wa e awhi ana ano a Rangi raua ko Papa; katahi ka tapahia e Tane nga uaua o te Rangi raua ko Papa.

Ka wehe a Rangi, ka wehe a Papa; ka waiho te ingoa o Tane, ko Tane Tokorangi, ka waiho a Te Awhiorangi hei mana mo nga toki katoa i te ao nei. Ko te pare o Te Awhiorangi ko te Rangi Whakakapua; te kaha, ko Kaawekairangi; te kakau, ko Mataaheihei; ko Whakawhana-i-te-Rangi, koia Te Aheihei e tu na i te Rangi i heke ariki tonu mai a Te Awhiorangi; i a Tane Tokorangi, a, tae noa mai ki a Kakaumaui, mau tonu mai ki a Turi; ka eke mai i runga i Aotearoa, ka whiti mai ki tenei motu, whakarawea ana e Turi ki tona tamaiti matamua, ara, ki a Te Hoko-o-terangi. Ka haere tonu te Toki ra i te hekenga ariki tae noa mai ki a Rangitaupea, whakanohoia ana e Rangitaupea ki ona maunga ariki, ara, ki Tieke, ki Moerangi, i runga i tetehi waiata mo Te Awhoarangi; koia tenei, engari ka pokaia e au ki waenganui:

E amo ana a Rangi tana toki
Ko Te Awhiorangi e whiri ana i tana kaha
Ko te rangi whirirua a Pare-te-rangi Whakakapua
No te haurarotanga ko te kaha a Paepae i whakarawea
Kia Ru ko te waro uri hoake ki a Tane
Ko te mau tongatea ko te toki mata i tika
Tuaia ki te tangata ka urupa a te toki ka eke i Moerangi.

E hoa, kei a matou e takoto ana a Te Awhiorangi, ara, kei te iwi Nga Rauru e noho ana ki Waitotara inaianei. E hoa ma, tena koutou! Ma te Atua tatou e tiaki. Na to koutou koa aroha.

na Wiremu Kauika

Kaipo, Waitotara, Titiriki,

Takiwa o Taranaki,

Hanuere 6, 1888.


length, and the blade is six inches wide. It is one inch thick. The edge is two and a half inches long, to give it a sharpness such as that which the Pakeha puts on edges.

O friends, and all the tribes of these islands, this is the sacred relic of our ancestor Ruatitipua. He sought it amongst the Hosts of the Void (‘kahuikore’); when it came, it was the stone of Ngahue, that is Te Awhiorangi, employed by Ngahue. It was employed by Tane at the time when Rangi the Sky Father and Papa the Earth Mother were still embraced; with it, Tane cut the sinews binding Rangi and Papa.

Rangi stood apart; Papa stood apart: from that time, Tane was known as Tane Tokorangi (‘Tane who propped up the Heavens’), and Te Awhiorangi became the representative and spiritual source (‘mana’) of all the axes in the world. The head of Te Awhiorangi is named Te Rangi Whakakapua, the cord is named Kaawekairangi, the handle is named Mataaheihei; Whakawhana-i-te-Rangi (the rainbow), hence Te Aheihei, standing in the heavens from which Te Awhiorangi in so noble a fashion descended.

From Tane Tokorangi it went to Kakaumaui, and so to Turi. It came to Aotearoa, crossing over to this land. It was given by Turi to his eldest son, Te Hiku-o-te-rangi, and was handed down as an heirloom by the aristocracy until the time of Rangitaupea, who placed it on his sacred mountains, on Tieke at Moerangi, according to a song about Te Awhiorangi. Here it is; but I will begin in the middle:

(A translation of the song has not been attempted here.)

Friends, we have this axe in our possession, we the Nga Rauru have it now, we who reside at Waitotara. Friends, greetings! May the Lord watch over us all. From your friend,

Wiremu Kauika

Kaipo, Waitotara, Titiriki, Takiwa o Taranaki, January 6, 1888.

The historic turongo anglican church which was built in the 1850s at Moutoa, near Foxton, has been shifted to Pouto Pa, near Shannon. After renovation by the church's parishioners it was rededicated last March by the Bishop of Aotearoa, the Rt. Rev. W. N. Panapa.

– 43 –


In the last issue of ‘Te Ao Hou’ there appeared the texts of two ancient Maori stories telling of visits to the underworld: the story of Niwareka and Mataora, and the story of Pare and Hutu. This article attempts to discover something of the original significance of these two stories.

In the first story, Mataora beats his wife Niwareka and she runs away to the under-world. He goes down to the underworld in search of her and there he meets the tohunga Uetonga, the father of Niwareka. Uetonga scoffs at the marks painted on Mataora's face, and he tattoos Mataora with his chisel.

Niwareka, who has been occupied with the weaving of garments, finds Mataora and looks after him. When his wounds have healed they return to the upper world. But Mataora omits to pay Kuwatawata, the guardian of the door to the underworld, by giving her one of the garments which Niwareka had woven in the underworld. Because of this omission, Kuwatawata no longer allows anyone to return from the underworld.

Teaches Art of Tattooing

When he returns to this world, Mataora teaches people the art of tattooing.

In the story of Pare and Hutu, Pare is a young woman (‘puhi’) of very high birth, who lives in a house full of the most beautiful cloaks. She falls in love with a nobleman named Hutu who visits her village and distinguishes himself in the games held by her people. When he rejects her, she hangs herself. With the aid of incantations, Hutu visits the underworld in search of her, and there he attracts her attention by making a new kind of swing (‘morere’). She sits on his shoulders, and by swinging up very high, they escape from the underworld.

When they return to her home, Pare's spirit re-enters her body. Pare's people acclaim Hutu and say that it is his powerful incantations which have brought her back to life. Pare marries Hutu, and from this time onwards she is known as Pare-Hutu.

These two stories, together with similar accounts, are re-told in Mr A. W. Reed's ‘Treasury of Maori Folklore’ (1963) pp. 96–115.

They follow a pattern which is to be found in similar stories all over the world; two of the best known versions are those of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Demeter and her daughter Persephone. A great many of these stories have been closely examined by Sir James Frazer in his monumental work, ‘The Golden Bough’.

In all of these myths the first of the two personages, having been offended in some way, goes down to the underworld. The second person, who is either a relative or a lover, follows the runaway down to the underworld and attempts to bring him or her back to life on earth.

Associated With Planting of Fields

In his book Frazer shows that these myths of death and resurrection are associated with the planting of the fields. The first of these personages represents the seed (barley, rice, root crops and other products of the earth); he or she goes under the ground just as the seed does at planting time. The second figure, who pursues the first and attempts to bring him or her up again, is often associated with a human sacrifice whose death is regarded as assisting in the annual renewal of the fertility of the fields.

Myths following this pattern, and concerned with the renewal of fertility, have been found among agricultural societies all over the world.

In the Greek legend of Demeter and Persephone and in the parallel Latin legend of Ceres and Proserpine, the names of the goddesses Demeter and Ceres both signify ‘grain’.

In my opinion the names Pare and Niwareka can also be shown to signify a food plant, in that they are related to Sanskrit words for rice. After the Maori people left South-East Asia and the rice plant behind them, they retained these names but forgot their original significance.

For a discussion of the sound-shifts upon

– 44 –

which this theory rests, the reader is referred to the article which follows this one.

The name Pare appears to be derived as follows:—

Maori : Pare
Malay : padi
Sanskrit : phali-kri

The Malayan word ‘padi’ signifies rice. The Sanskrit word ‘phali-kri’ means ‘to winnow rice’. (‘Kri’ is the common word for ‘to do or make’.)

Percy Smith in his book ‘Hawaiki’ (p.61), discusses another related Indian word for rice, ‘vari’, and associates it with the Rarotongan expression ‘Atia te Varinga nui’, said to be one of the ancient homelands of the Polynesians; he tells us that in Tregear's opinion, this is to be translated as ‘Atia, the be-riced’—that is, ‘the great riceland’.1

In Indonesia the name Pare (sometimes in variant form, Padi) occurs as a component in many of the names given to the rice-goddesses in those areas.2

The Maori name Niwareka may be derived as follows:—

Maori : Niwareka
Sanskrit : nivara

The Sanskrit word ‘nivara’ means wild rice. There is also a related Sanskrit word ‘varaka’ which means ‘a kind of rice’.

Sacrifices to Ensure Fertility

In primitive society it was regarded as essential that the fertility of the earth and of the next year's seed should be preserved and strengthened. This was done by means of religious ceremonies which sometimes involved human sacrifice. The earth must be fertile, or the world would perish, and even the gods would not receive their food. (In the Greek story of Demeter, she forces the god of the underworld to return her daughter by inflicting barrenness on the world). The gods have to be honoured with worship and to be fed with good, nourishing food, so that they are willing and able to ensure the fertility of the earth. They must receive the most precious of gifts: and often, these gifts took the form of human flesh and blood.

There are many myths describing human sacrifices made at the time of the planting of crops. In James Frazer's ‘The Golden Bough’ several volumes are devoted to a discussion of this very wide-spread custom, and the beliefs which underlie it.

It has been said above that in the myth the first person who goes down under the earth represents the seed which has been planted in the ground. The second person, who pursues the first in order to bring him or her up to the surface, represents the sacrificial victim whose death helps to ensure the growth and abundance of the new crop.

Often, the first person in the myth runs away because he or she has been offended by the second person. Frazer associates this with the fact that it was often felt that the act of reaping and thrashing was likely to offend the spirit of the grain. It was partly for this reason that a sacrifice was felt to be necessary at the time of the planting of the new crops. Furthermore the tears shed by the offended person were identified with the rain necessary to make the new crop grow.

In the two Maori myths discussed here, it is Hutu and Mataora who go under the earth to bring back to this world Pare and Niwareka, the woman whom they love and have lost.

The names Hutu and Mataora both appear to be derived from Sanskrit words connected with sacrifice.3

Maori : Hutu
Sanskrit : Huta
meaning : a sacrifice or offering
Maori : Mata-ora
Sanskrit : Medha
meaning : a sacrificial victim; sap: a nourishing drink; marrow (especially of the sacrificial victim).
Sanskrit : urja
meaning : life, breath

In both myths there are certain features which require further discussion, though this can only be done very briefly here.

1. ‘Ari’, which may be a variant form of the word, is one of the ‘bloodless foods’ of Hawaiki referred to in Takitumu tradition and mentioned by Elsdon Best in his book, ‘Maori Agriculture’, p. 3.

2. Sir James Frazer, ‘The Golden Bough vol. V, p. 180 ff.

3. Since initiation ceremonies marked the arrival of puberty; and the tapu areas tattooed were chiefly the face and thighs, it seems possible that although the word ‘Mataora’ appears to be derived from the Sanskrit words ‘M [ unclear: ] eAdha’ and ‘urja’, there may also have been a secondary underlying association with ‘M [ unclear: ] eAdhra’, the word for the male organ. The importance of the pun in mythology and psychology has been widely recognized.

– 45 –

In the much fuller version of the story of Niwareka and Mataora given by Percy Smith,4 Mataora is visited by a party of turehu (female supernatural beings) who have come from the underworld. They perform a dance: ‘And then the company of turehu stood up to perform a haka before Mataora. As they danced, one of them came to the front, while the others danced backwards and forwards, chanting, “Thus goes Niwareka”. All of the turehu chanted this. As they danced they held hands, skipping. Some of them held up their joined hands as an archway, while others passed beneath them, still chanting, “Niwareka, Niwareka”.’

Since this is not like any known Maori dance, it seems that the description must refer to a dance, probably a ritual one, carried from an older culture. One is reminded of the ancient Mediterranean dance sometimes known as ‘the game of Troy’ which was danced in the labyrinth at Crete by the young men and women who were about to be sacrificed, and which appears in differing forms in fertility rituals in many cultures.

An Initiation Ritual

In the underworld Mataora is tattooed by Uetonga, father of Niwareka. After this Mataora and Niwareka return to the surface, and Mataora teaches the art of tattooing; this is said to be the origin of tattooing. All young men and women other than slaves were tattooed when they reached puberty, and this ceremony must be regarded as an initiation ritual, or ‘rite de passage’.

If the interpretation put forward in this article is correct, we have in the story of Mataora and Niwareka a clear association of a vegetation myth of death and resurrection, with an initiation ritual. Similar associations are known to have existed elsewhere, for example in the ancient world around the Mediterranean; the most famous case is that of the Eleusinian Mysteries of the Greek barley goddess Demeter. However, in most cases detailed information on the subject is not available.

But the imagery of death and re-birth is known to be one of the main features of the ritual ceremonies which in the ancient world and in primitive societies, marked the transition from childhood to adult life. (Among other important features of initiation rituals were a painful ordeal, and a permanent visible sign of the initiate's new status. With the Maori tattooing served both these purposes).

Knowledge of Art of Weaving

The version of the story of Mataora and Niwareka published in ‘Te Ao Hou’ mentions that in the underworld Niwareka spent her time weaving cloaks. The fuller version of the story given by Percy Smith has many more references to cloaks, and tells us that as a parting gift Uetonga presented to Mataora ‘the garment named Te Rangihaupapa … this garment was kept in Pou-tere-rangi (the guardhouse of Hades) and it became the original pattern for the work of women … the belt named Ruruku o te Rangi was added to the other garment and likewise has become a pattern for all later belts’.

So knowledge of the art of weaving, like that of tattooing, was brought from the underworld. (Weaving, a most tapu activity, was one of the most important of women's tasks).

In the myth of Pare and Hutu, cloaks are also mentioned. At the beginning of the story we are told that Pare's house contained the most beautiful cloaks, several different kinds of cloak being listed.

The swing which Hutu invents in the story is called a ‘morere’. But as pointed out in Te Ao Hou's notes to the story, Hutu's swing is quite different from those which the Maori people possessed; in fact, one cannot imagine that Hutu's swing would be possible in reality. It appears to have some mythical (and perhaps, ritual) significance which had been forgotten.

A Third Legend

A third Maori legend, less well known than the two so far discussed, comes from the South Island.5 A man named Tama-nui-a-raki had a wife named Rukutia. He was ugly, and she left him for a handsome man, dressed in beautiful garments. This man's name was Tu-te-koropango. Tama went down to the home of his ancestors (in one version this is called Te Reinga, and in another is called

4. S. Percy Smith, ‘The Lore of the Whare Wananga’, vol. III pp. 67 and 82 ff. The translation of the passage describing the dance is by the present writer.

5. See John White's ‘Ancient History of the Maori’, vol. II p. 36, and J. F. H. Wohlers' article in ‘The Transactions of the New Zealand Institute’, vol. VIII pp. 111–112. Compare also S. Percy Smith's ‘Hawaiki’ (second edition) p. 26 ff.

– 46 –

‘the place of Mataora’), and there he was made beautiful by tattooing. He went on to the home of Tu-te-koropango where he found his wife, who admired his beauty and the glow of his red garments. She swam out to his canoe; he cut her body in half, wrapped the top half in his garments, took it home and buried it. When summer came he heard a sound, unburied the body and found Rukutia restored to life.

According to one of the two versions of the story quoted by White, ‘from that time her name was changed to Patunga-tapu’.

Similar in Many Ways

This myth has obvious similarities with the two myths discussed above. By being tattooed and wearing beautiful garments, Tama-nui-a-raki wins back his wife. Rukutia dies, and is subsequently restored to life.

Though there are many references to garments, it is not said that Rukutia learnt the art of weaving in the underworld. However, it is interesting to note that a figure named Rukutia is elsewhere said to be the ‘founder of the art of weaving’.6

As mentioned above, when Rukutia is restored to life she receives the new name of ‘Patunga-tapu’, that is, ‘sacred victim’. In the same way, when Pare is restored to life she is given the new name of ‘Pare-Hutu’. As shown above, the name ‘Pare’ refers to the spirit of the rice, and the name ‘Hutu’ means ‘a sacrifice’. Hence ‘Pare-Hutu’ means ‘the sacrificed spirit of the rice’, a similar meaning to ‘Patunga-tapu’.

This article is a preliminary attempt to consider relationships existing between Maori mythology and the mythology and customs of India and South-East Asia. I consider that despite the great difficulties, many names occurring in Maori mythology can be identified with their Asian originals, and that this is potentially one of the most rewarding approaches to a study of Maori mythology.

6. See Apirana Ngata's ‘Nga Moteatea’ vol. I, p. 200.


The writer believes that Maori and other Polynesian languages have developed from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language.

Most of the languages spoken in Europe are closely related, and are derived from a common source. The ancient language from which they are descended was either Sanskrit, or more probably a language which was closely related to Sanskrit, and is now lost. The people who spoke this ancient Indo-European language later became widely separated, sections of them migrating to new lands.

Changes in Pronunciation

As time went on they acquired new words from the new places where they were living, and they lost some old words. Furthermore, they came to pronounce some of the sounds in their language in a new way. These changes in pronunciation followed regular patterns which are known as ‘sound shifts’. Sound shifts occurred mostly in the case of consonants; though the vowels (that is to say, the sounds a, e, i, o, u and their combinations) also changed, these vowel changes did not follow such a clear pattern.

Because the changes in the pronunciation of consonants did follow a clear pattern, it is possible to trace their history and thereby to show the hidden relationships which exist between these related languages. Here is an example.

English : three
Sanskrit : tri
Latin : tres
French : trois
German : drei

The same regular pattern of sound changes can be traced in the case of some other related consonants.

As is well known, Polynesian languages

– 47 –

also belong to a single ‘family’, and show a similar relationship. Here are two examples:

Maori : toru
Hawaiian : kolu
Samoan : tolu
Maori : aroha
Hawaiian : aloha
Samoan : alofa

In an article ‘The Oral Literature of the Polynesians’ which appeared in issue no. 49 of ‘Te Ao Hou’, Professor Bruce Biggs traces the different branches of the Polynesian ‘family’ back to a common source, saying that ‘By the beginning of the Christian era a language called Proto-Polynesian was spoken, most probably in Tonga or Samoa’. This language, he tells us, was the mother-tongue from which the various Polynesian languages—Maori, Hawaiian, Samoan, Rarotongan, and so on—were derived.

While this explains the position within Polynesia, there remains the further question: from where did Proto-Polynesian come?

Work by Early Writers

In the nineteenth century a good few writers explored the relationships which exist between the languages and cultures of India and South-East Asia and those of Polynesia. Many of these writers argued that the original home of the Polynesian people was India, and many of them considered that there was a clear relationship between the Polynesian language and Sanskrit, one of the ancient languages of India (as mentioned above, Sanskrit is one of the oldest branches of the Indo-European family of languages, to which most European languages—English, French, Greek, and so on—belong).

Among the early writers who discussed the relationship between Polynesian and Sanskrit were the Germans Franz Bopp and Max MüUller. In 1855 Richard Taylor, in his book ‘Te Ika a Maui’, p.384 ff., discussed the question mainly with reference to the Maori language. However the most important contribution to this subject was made by Edward Tregear, who in 1891 published his ‘Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary’. This Maori dictionary quotes parallel words to be found in other Polynesian languages, and sometimes also quotes parallel words to be found in Asian languages such as Malayan and Sanskrit. Tregear believed that the Maori language was mainly derived from Sanskrit, and that Maori was therefore an Indo-European language, a distant branch of the same family to which most European languages belong. He discusses this theory in his book ‘The Aryan Maori’, published in 1885, and in an article in the ‘Transactions of the New Zealand Institute’, vol. 20, p. 400 ff.

I believe that Tregears' arguments are, in the main, correct. Those who attempt to follow him in this field must be greatly indebted to his important pioneering work. Like most pioneers however, Tregear in many respects worked under difficult circumstances; in particular, he did not have access to a Sanskrit dictionary, but used instead a Hindustani one. Hindustani is a contemporary Indian language derived from Sanskrit; it is as different from Sanskrit as is modern English from Anglo-Saxon.

Also, Tregear was frequently too imaginative and unsystematic in his approach, and did not adequately test the reliability of his conclusions. Because of this he was severely criticised by such contemporary writers as A. S. Atkinson, and his theories have been neglected by later writers.

Tregear recognised the existence of certain ‘sound shifts’ which have occurred between Sanskrit and Maori, but he did not examine these very systematically.

There are many more sound shifts than Tregear recognised, and they are of a more complex nature. Furthermore the development of the Polynesian languages involved the following additional, far-reaching changes:

Changes from Sanskrit to Polynesian


Whereas Sanskrit words often have several consonants together (i.e. ‘consonant clusters’), in Polynesian words each consonant sound is always followed by a vowel (of course the letters ng and wh represent single sounds). This means that every syllable ends in a vowel.


A great many sounds which occur in Sanskrit were dropped altogether from the Polynesian family of languages. Sanskrit has 35 consonants and four half-consonants (i.e. sounds involving both a consonant and a vowel). In Polynesian languages the number of consonants is very much smaller: for example, Maori has only 10 consonants, Samoan has nine and Hawaiian seven.


Many initial and final syllables of Sanskrit words are not present in the Polynesian words derived from them.

– 48 –

Of a group of Sanskrit consonants, any one may be retained (i.e. sometimes in varied form) [ unclear: ] and any one lost.

Sound Shifts from Sanskrit to Maori

Sanskrit Maori
P, PH, B, BH become P, W, WH, H
K, KH, G, GH, C, CH become K, N, Ng, H
D become T, R
TH, DH become T, H
J, JH, Y become H, I
V become P, W, WH, H, U
N become N, Ng, K, M
L become R
S, SH become H

The sounds H, M, R and T remain as in Sanskrit.

Several of these sound changes are identical with changes occurring when English words are adopted into the Maori language.

Most Sanskrit vowels are quite unstable in the transition to Maori, though they often retain a similarity of sound.

A Few Examples

Here are a few examples of the derivation of Maori words from Sanskrit. Comparatively easy examples have been chosen here.

Meaning Maori Sanskrit
I, me ahau, au aháAm
stone whatu vadháA
outside waho bahis
woman wahine bhaginīM
water-monster taniwha danaváA
to dig ko khan
to look titiro didrikshate
tree rakau ruksha
to see kite cit
to cover over uwhi, whi ubh
throat korokoro gala
to swallow horo gal
to run away tawhiti dhavate
the artisan of the gods, who made the thunderbolt for Indra. TváAshtri
a goddess, the personification of thunder. Whatiri

The Sanskrit words and their definitions given here and in the accompanying article are taken from ‘A Sanskrit-English Dictionary’ by Sir Monier Monier-Williams, published by the Oxford University Press (revised edition of 1951).

A brief sketch of this kind is, of course, quite inadequate for a discussion of such a complicated issue. I hope to be able to publish a fuller treatment of the subject later, but am very conscious of the fact that one person can barely begin to survey such a field. The present article is put forward in the hope that other researchers may examine the matter further.

Mrs Adele Schafer, who lives in Wellington, has for a long time been interested in Maori language and culture. She has not previously published a discussion of her theory as to the origin of the Maori language.

Mrs Schafer has also written a play. ‘The Spiral Tattoo’, which is based on the Mataora myth and is to be broadcast by the N.Z.B.C.

– 49 –


I once stayed with a young Maori family in suburban Auckland. The first morning, their four-year-old son took me down to the local shops. All the way there and back he chattered about everything around him, so that by the time I returned I had been told all about who lived where, what they all did, what you could buy at each shop, what the doctor did when you went to see him, what savings banks were for, how you caught the bus into town, why men dug holes in the street, and a hundred and one other things.

‘Real Little Chatterboxes’

Rather surprised at finding a little Maori boy so talkative, I mentioned it to his mother. She smiled, “Yes, Patrick's a real little chatterbox. I suppose it's because we've always made a point of talking to him and getting him to tell us about everything he sees.”

Patrick is now making excellent progress at school. His younger brother started recently and is also doing well. The three smaller children in their turn are becoming “real little chatterboxes.” When the boys come home they are always full of news about what happened at school, and usually they bring home some treasured piece of work for their mother to admire. When Dad comes home they tell him about it all over again. After tea, Dad might read them a story while Mum is putting the little ones to bed. Both parents are actively interested in their children's education. Mum goes along to all the school functions. Dad is chairman of the school committee, even though the district is mostly Pakeha.

Too Busy to Help

In another part of the country, seven-year-old Wiki is just home from school with a newsletter for her parents. Mum looks up from the stove.

“Put it on the mantlepiece and get yourself changed. You can feed the fowls and get me some kumara.”

Wiki then has to feed the little ones and put them to bed. After tea there are clothes to be ironed for school tomorrow. About eight o'clock she brings out her homework and settles down by the fire.

“Mum, what are savings banks?” Wiki has to give a morning talk next day.

“Don't they ever teach you anything at school? I'm too busy to tell you now.”

No Use Asking About School Work

Her big brother gives Wiki a pitying look. He learned long ago it was no use asking Mum and Dad about school work. You were supposed to find these things out for your yourself. He offers her a scrap of information.

“That's where you keep your money, if you got any.”

Wiki writes it down. A savings bank is where you keep your money so it is safe. Satisfied, she puts her book away. So that's all a savings bank is, she thinks.

Dad gets home from work about nine, has tea, and goes to bed to read Best Bets. He tells Wiki to wash his dishes.

Wiki's talk is a dismal failure, and the teacher is cross with her. She says Wiki didn't prepare it properly.

A week later the newsletter is still lying on the mantlepiece. Nobody has bothered to read it.

Some Points to Consider

Wiki's home is a good one in most respects. But have any of these points got a familiar sound?


Wiki's parents are always too busy to help her with homework.


When she was younger, nobody gave her a great deal of help in learning how to talk.


Almost the only time her parents talk to her is when they are telling her to do some job or other.


She has given up trying to tell them about all the things that happen at school. They became impatient every time she tried.

– 50 –

Her childish questions were nearly always ignored. Sometimes she was smacked for being a nuisance. (Maori children use that word “nuisance” a great deal. You can understand why).


Nowadays, if she talks to her parents at all, it is only to ask for something.

None of this is anybody's fault. There isn't much communication between parents and children in a great many Maori homes, and I think this causes a lot of our troubles.

Maybe They Expect Too Much

Can Wiki's teacher really do what her parents seem to expect? Wiki is only at school 5 hours out of 24. She has learned at home that you mustn't ask adults too many questions. This belief will be reflected in her classroom behaviour. When she does finally ask a question, the class may laugh at her ignorance and she may not try again for quite a while. Even if she is lucky enough to have a sympathetic teacher who understands the real cause of her difficulty, she still has to share that teacher with 30 other children. Maybe Wiki's parents are expecting a bit too much.

Little children are very curious about the world around them, and it is only natural for them to ask a great many questions. I know that you adults get thoroughly sick of it. You want to talk to each other, and not be pestered with silly questions all the time. But are the questions really silly? Isn't a child's question an attempt to learn something? If it is, then surely it ought to be answered.

Talking to the Children

Without realising it, a lot of people seem to think there is something wrong with adults talking to children. If I happen to get talking with the kids when I visit many Maori homes, the parents will tactfully but firmly draw me back to the adult conversation, which is probably football, racehorses and local gossip, and I am left with the impression that I've been doing something that just isn't done. Patrick's parents are the exception. In their home everybody talks to everybody else, and all conversations are equally important.

There aren't so many Maori families where everyone sits down together to have a good yarn about something, where the kids can join in and say what they think. Does your family do it? How long since the last time? Or maybe you still think education is what happens at school, and that's all there is to it? You've got a lot of wisdom and experience that your children could benefit from. Getting them to think for themselves can be fun, too. Could be that you might even learn something from them.

What about that homework that you don't really understand? You never learnt anything like that when you went to school, it was all different in those days?

The World Was Different

Of course education was different. The world was different. Don't be ashamed of your ignorance. We're all ignorant in some way or another. Do you think your neighbour's a poor type because he can't drive a car? Of course you don't. He's probably never had the chance to learn. Even if he kept failing his driving test you still wouldn't hold it against him, because he can do more with a vegetable garden than you ever could.

Learning Together

Your children will understand your not knowing about their school work if they realise that you are wise and clever in other ways. But surely you're not going to let your kids beat you. If they can learn it, why can't you learn it with them? You could start by reading their school books, and asking them a few questions. You could even make a game out of it. Pretend you don't know and get them to teach you. Before long they may be telling you quite a few things you didn't know before. Please remember to enjoy this if it happens, because that will give them a really good reason for learning their work thoroughly. And if they give you a full explanation, won't that help them to understand it better themselves?

You're probably going to hand me the excuse that you haven't got time to do all this. I don't believe it. Think of all the times when you said you were too busy, and yet you somehow managed to make time for that rather important job that just had to be done. Isn't your children's education just as important?

This article is published with acknowledgement to ‘Te Kotuku’, the newsletter of the Whanganui Educational Advancement Committee, in which it first appeared.

– 51 –

These questions, framed by a Maori member of The Maori Education Foundation Board, are re-printed from the Foundation's last Annual Report.

If You are a Pakeha
Ask Yourself
These Questions


Is my attitude to the Maori people positive and friendly? Am I making any attempt, even if only by reading, to get to know them and their way of life better?


Have I personally helped any Maori?


What have I done to strengthen confidence and friendship between our two peoples? Have I any Maori friends? Have I ever been in a Maori home, or had a Maori in mine?


If I have any Maori employees, what positive steps have I taken to make sure they are happy and efficient? Do I understand a Maori's compulsion to attend a tangi? Have I adjusted my work methods to take advantage of the Maori's joy in group and team work? Am I concerned about their living conditions? Have I instituted any savings scheme?


What have I done to provide more vocational opportunities for Maori youth?


Have I made any real endeavour to encourage Maori membership in any church, educational, cultural, or sporting organisation to which I belong?


Have I any idea of the underlying causes of Maori delinquency? Is our handling of the Maori delinquent effective?


If one Maori lets you down, do you tend to condemn the whole race?


Social integration, which is one of the foundations of good race relations, has not really made much progress in New Zealand. Have I accepted my responsibility in this matter?


If You are a Maori
Ask Yourself
These Questions


Is my attitude to the Pakeha positive and friendly? Am I making any attempt to get to know them and their way of life better?


Have I personally helped (or been helped by) any Pakeha?


What have I done to strengthen confidence and friendship between our two peoples? Have I ever been in a Pakeha home, or had a Pakeha in mine?


If I have a Pakeha employer and colleagues, what positive steps have I taken to form a good work relationship with them? Do I understand their attitudes to my wishing to attend a tangi or hui? Do I appreciate the advantages (and disadvantages) of adjusting to the Pakeha's competitive and individualistic work methods? If my living conditions are unsatisfactory, what can I do (have I done) to improve them? Have I joined any savings scheme?


What have I done to encourage young Maoris to avail themselves of educational and vocational opportunities offering? Am I sufficiently aware of the opportunities offering so that I may guide my children?


Have I made any real endeavour to encourage Pakeha membership in any Maori organisation to which I belong?


Have I any idea of the underlying causes of Maori delinquency? Am I satisfied that the handling of Maori delinquents is effective? If not, what have I done (can I do) about it?


If one Pakeha lets you down, do you tend to condemn them all?


Social integration, which is one of the foundations of good relations, has not really made much progress in New Zealand. Have I accepted my responsibility in this matter?

– 52 –

Am I prepared to assist Maori university students to get good accommodation? Have I a spare room in my home which could be put to better use?


Do I take any personal interest in the Maori clubs in my district?


Have I appreciated that the situation is not one that can be eased off our consciences by money alone?


Am I concerned that Maori students and apprentices get good accommodation? What have I done (can I do) to ensure that they do?


Do I take any active interest in the Pakeha organisations in my district?


Have I appreciated that the situation is not one that can be righted on the economic level alone?

The personal contribution of each of us towards mutual understanding is imperative and will return immense dividends and great personal satisfaction.

A group of German students who are studying Maori life and culture would like to exchange letters with a Maori correspondent or correspondents. They understand English and Esperanto. Their address is:

Mr Hans Zeilinger,

Bundesleitung Deutsche Esperanto-Jugend,

851 Furth i. Bay.,

Herrnstr. 58, GERMANY.

The twin daughters of Mr and Mrs W. Walker, of Dannevirke, members of Ngati Kahungunu, were married last February at a double wedding at Dannevirke. Tui Victoria married Mr William Rapira, a son of Mr and Mrs Daniel Rapira of Auckland; Kura Judith married Robert Smith, a son of Mr and Mrs Jim Harama, jnr., of Hokianga. Both their husbands belong to Ngapuhi.

– 53 –


Continued from page 13

The unsuspecting pig's hind legs were in his hands: for a moment he tossed and grunted with it, then into the drum it splashed, its squealing silenced by the meal it had been so greedily devouring. Silently its slayer crept away over the paddocks.

No lights could be seen at the marae. He guessed it was fairly late. Ruihi was already in bed, and if he thought she would show some gratitude then he was wrong again.

‘I'll bet when he finds his fat poaka drowned in the morning he'll offer it for the hui and not tell a soul how it died,’ was all she said. But stone the crows, how he cursed when on going to retire she ordered him to sleep with the children, as he still smelt of pigs and she had no intentions of sleeping with someone who had just killed his own brother's pig. Besides, she didn't want her permed curls spoilt before the wedding.

He grudgingly went into the bed of one of his little ones, muttering to himself about the good old days when a man ruled his home with an iron fist—what's happening with the world. All this matauranga and Pakeha schooling is taking away the Maori's mana. If a man uses too much fist in his home to beat a bit of sense into his wife or kids the police send you to the whare herehere. A man was better off when he was younger. You hardly saw a policeman then, though your life was strictly controlled by religion and superstition. Golly, those were the days.

That night Rangi dreamt he was at a party with the good-looking widow Bella. But each time he went to refill his glass, instead of wine there poured out little printed letters that made fearful-sounding words, like abomination, destruction, consequences, catastrophe and conflagration. The very first thing he saw when he awoke in the morning was the newly-framed text hanging above the bed. It read, ‘The Wages of Sin Is Death’.

Quickly he jumped out of bed, grabbed his clothes and rushed out into the kitchen. There he was scolded by his wife for his ‘total lack of hygienic understanding’, and just think what the neighbours would say if they caught him undressed in the kitchen. What with her being on all those committees and being a Sunday School teacher and due to be president of the Women's Institute.

‘Really Rangi, you and your barbaric ways do make me wild.’

This sermon against him infuriated Rangi so much that he took his time and sat before the stove, opening the door to warm himself. Stubbornly unmoved by her pleas to hurry along, he sat there poking at the fire. Words from his dream came back to him: destruction—abomination—conflagration—that was as far as he got, for with a hiss, a burning cinder shot out from the fire and landed right in his lap.

‘Aue! A-uuu-eee ko toroa au i te kapura!’

With a roar that reminded all of the lion at the last circus, Rangi leapt up into the air. Grimacing with pain he rushed to the table, picked up the butter from its dish, and vigorously began applying it to the blistered area.

‘What's the matter with Daddy? Mummy, is he doing a Maori haka?’ cried little Hemi joyously.

‘I'll haka the lot of you if you don't shut up,’ shouted his father furiously. Then to the mother [ unclear: ] ‘As for you this is all your doing, why can't you be contented with what you've got. Always wanting this and that.’

Unconcerned, Ruihi carried on mixing the batter for the pikelets she had promised the children. Her silence made Rangi twice as angry.

‘You're the biggest crook out around here, worse, worse than that scoundrel of a thief Hone Heke. Ever since your old man took to that new religion, life has been a complete ab—abo—abomination—hell on earth—that's what it is—no need to wait for the Judgment Day you preach at Sunday School.’

Startled, his wife wondered what had gone wrong with her usually docile man. She wasn't to know that just before receiving his blisters he had been thinking of the good-looking widow.

‘You can talk about me as much as you like Rangi, but just leave my father and my illustrious ancestors out of it.’

Tossing her newly permed hair about: ‘You're a fine one to grumble to me about wanting things. We would be living in a nikau hut like some of those ignorant cousins of yours’, digging gum and wearing sugar sacks for all you cared.’

It should have warned her when she saw his eyes widen and roll. No, she must have her say.

‘What about you walking around the kitchen without any clothes on. You stand up at meal times if I don't remind you to sit, and I've caught you cutting the children's fingernails at night. Don't forget the time I caught you

– 54 –

clipping our Hemi's hair at two o'clock in the morning. All this kia u ki to matau Maoritanga, me nga mahi o nga tupuna, you harp on—then you deliberately trample on all these tapu signs I've mentioned.’

The snivelling children cowered in the corner, huddling against each other for comfort. Perhaps Mum had finished now and would get on with the pikelets. But no:

‘And just one more word of advice Rangi, if I as much as catch you looking at that merry widow, don't bother coming back to me and the children. I'll pack your swag and take it to her place myself. Ha, ha! I heard all about you calling her name in your sleep last night.’

Poor Rangi, this must have really shook him up. Women. The cheek of her. After talking him into removing the fowls when he should have destroyed them, then nagging at him to drown Rewa's pig. Of course it was true about cutting the kids' hair, but he was drunk at the time, and hadn't she moaned at him for a couple of weeks to cut it. But it was she who made him burn the hair, which was a bad thing to do. All she was worried about was the mess on her polished floor.

Without stopping to think, Rangi rushed over to her, swiped the bowl of batter, tipped it over her smart hairdo, and biffed her on the ears. Desperately she yelled to Maire to run next door and tell them to ring Uncle Dick and Jack to come quickly. Thinking it wiser to appear hurt, she wailed twice as much as was necessary, though every now and then the thought of the now useless hairdo caused her to utter a genuine shriek.

When her brothers found her later, Ruihi was sitting in front of the bathroom mirror, her face covered with hardening batter, her hair [ unclear: ] ragged and short, and her dress in pieces. In the bedroom Rangi was covering his blisters with sticking plaster.

As usual and expected, Ruihi finally got her way. At the hui called after the wedding was over, she meekly told the gathering that try as she would, she was unable to keep her loving husband from repeatedly defiling the ‘ture of the tapu’. All listened in shocked amazement as she described how he had burnt the children's hair, and his attack on her: not

– 55 –

one detail was spared.

At once Whetumarama sent her eldest daughter to fetch from another district an ancient tohunga, a man who in earlier days would have been powerful, instead of just respected as he was today. Only the close members of Ruihi's and Rangi's families were present at the whakanoa tapu-removing rites, which were carried out by the tohunga with much dignity. Ruihi was told by the wise old soul to pay less attention to the material things of life, to harbour no ill will or resentment against her ‘rangatira’ (meaning Rangi, which annoyed her, as she knew that she came of a rank higher than his), and to find in her heart a deeper respect for Ihu Karaiti. He had no doubt that a woman as clever as she, would be more than able to fuse the old and the new ways together. Thus her children in acquiring the skills of the Pakeha would be able to hold fast to their Maoritanga.

That night the meeting house was the scene of a sentimental audience as the ‘holy man’ explained to the villagers the necessities of tapu. Just as modern life has its ever-increasing statutes and regulations, so tapu served as a forging of bonds in the communal life of our Maori ancestors. Such as the best times and places for fishing and seeking kai moana: the correct ways and know-how for the planting and harvesting of crops; and when to gather the bark and berries from the bush for remedial purposes. The tohunga ended his speech with the whakatauki, ‘For women and for land men will die’, and enlarged upon the great importance in the scheme of things of the role of the women-folk.

To get back to the Ra Marena, all agreed that without doubt the bridal couple had been the most handsome ever seen on our marae. So plentiful was the supply of victuals that the returning manuhiri were loaded with gifts of food to take home. Rewi was profusely thanked for his generous gesture in providing two pigs instead of the promised one. The cakes, rich in variety and filling, were credited not to the baker but to the person who donated the eggs at such cheap prices—not to mention the fowls, which the same soul of goodness had seasoned and roasted herself in spiced cream.

For Ruihi had been none the worse for her ordeal. In her cherry red velvet suit complete with matching accessories, she had been a fair dinkum knockout. If the others had gaped at her shorn locks, the more stylish women were quick to notice the similarity with the hairstyle of a famous actress appearing in a film about the Spanish Civil War. If any of them noticed Ruihi's lack of interest in eating poultry and cakes, they put it down to her new religious diet fads.

As for the peach tree, it is still there today, its limbs entwining the age-old bones of those who built a bridge to a new world. Its fruit are still the source of temptation to another younger generation of children, as it weathers life with the poise and bearing of a regal old duchess. With the sacred ground which nourishes it, the tree is a living monument to the fact that the old-time Maori founded his society upon laws which, like the ‘law of Moses’, were based upon the beliefs and circumstances of the people.

How did I know the fruit was juicy? That's another story. Like cousin Ruihi, I must keep such things to myself. The thin coating of sophistication I have acquired from the new world is as yet insufficient to cover the beliefs of my childhood, let alone pacify the many idols of civilization I now pay homage to.

Lament for Teka

You placed the sacred food
of love to my lips
when the fish of summer swam
in our pool.
But you do not remember.
Is then the city's hunting so fine
that you do not remember?
The heavy wood-smoke scent of you
hangs about this place.
for no wind moves it on.
Why then do you not remember?
Does your heart's canoe
glide the city streets
on some conquest new?
Or do you fish the painted waters
of some glassy bright lagoon
far from me?
Take care that you do not hook one
by the belly—I cannot wait forever!
– 56 –

A group of girls at Queen Victoria School in Auckland have formed a highly successful Swords Club, and made a big impact in last year's provincial tournaments of the sport. Their club captain, Emlyn Lawson, is now training to become a coach.

Though there are some other Maoris in fencing clubs they are not numerous, and the Wikitoria Swords Club is thought to be the first all-Maori fencing club in the country.

Their club coach, Mr Donald Watson, says that Maoris have a natural talent for fencing, a sport that demands a relaxed and supple body, a sense of rhythm and balance and good co-ordination of hand, eye and brain.

Oromahoe maori school in the Bay of Islands now has a learners' swimming pool, the result of five years' planning and raising of funds by the school's Maori and Pakeha supporters.

A maori community centre is planned for the Gonville-Castlecliff area of Wanganui, where in the last five years there has been a 45 per cent increase in the Maori population.

Mr t. mokomoko, a teacher at Te Reinga Maori School, was recently engaged as a temporary bushcraft instructor at the Cobham Outward Bound School. The first Maori to go to the school as an insrtuctor, he was most impressed with the work of Outward Bound. ‘It has to be seen to be believed,’ he says, ‘Just how effective the course is in bringing out latent qualities in individual boys.’

So far, three per cent of the boys attending the course have been Maori.

John wehipeihana of Raumati, at present studying at Wisconsin University, U.S.A., with a Rotary International Scholarship, has had a warm reception at America Rotary Clubs at which he has spoken about the Maori people and demonstrated their culture.

John tells Te Ao Hou that recently he has been in contact with Whata Winiata of Levin, who is studying at the University of Michigan. Whata, his wife Frances and their small sons Pakake and Huia are in the best of health. Whata is now working on the final stages of a Ph.D. in business administration.

– 57 –


Man of the Mist

This biography of Elsdon Best, written by his grand-nephew Elsdon Craig, shows him to have been a highly individualistic man who found bureaucracy irksome. He was a serious and conscientious student, and a sympathetic man when dealing with Maoris and their different outlook on life. He was also a humble man, despite the fact that—as evidenced by the statements of so many other ‘greats’ of Maori studies—he was the acknowledged expert of his time. There is little doubt that Te Peehi, as he was known to many of his Maori friends, was one of the greatest compilers and scholars of Maori history, culture and tradition that New Zealand has ever produced. His desire to preserve for future generations the indigenous culture to which they would be heir caused him to be one of the most prolific writers on Maori topics, as well as one of the most expert.

I found the book readable and enjoyable. It gives a most interesting account of an action-packed life, and has passages in it which are most moving, especially the account of Best's farewell to the people of Ruatahuna and Maungapohatu. Best's obvious affection for Tuhoe in general, and Paitini and his wife Makurata in particular, is well described.

When we consider that prior to the publication of much of his material Best suffered many setbacks, both bureaucratic and private, we must consider ourselves extremely fortunate that his manuscripts ever saw the light of day. It seems strange that such a great expert should have struggled so long for recognition. Eventually he received it—but only in his very last years.

My dislike for hybrid sentences was intensified by parts of this book which seem to have been straight quotations:

‘Though by no means a Tamariki (child) in years …’ (p. 196)

‘In these matters you are the kaumatua (elder) and I the tamariki (child) …’ (p. 204).

There are several such examples. The habit of translating Maori names is even more irritating. Tamakaimoana, a Tuhoe informant, is referred to constantly as ‘Sons of the sea food.’ Some of the Maori quotations are rather badly translated, but this does not appear to have been the fault of the author, since the relevant extracts appear within quotation marks.

These are personal dislikes, which in no way detract from a very well written, interesting and enjoyable book. It is a fitting tribute to a learned man. Since Elsdon Best considered himself to be of Tuhoe, the following whaka-tauki seems apposite:

‘He kotahi na Tuhoe, e kata te po.’

Polynesian Studies

Almost all of the articles in this enterprising publication are by students at Wellington Teachers' College. They cover a wide field, most but not all of them being concerned with education. Well informed, thoughtful and above all constructive, the book deserves to be widely read.

An excellent article on the ‘Place of the Maori Language’ presents a strong case for the teaching of Maori in our schools, and points out that teachers would in fact be available for this:

‘If it were not for those Auckland high schools where Mr Waititi has been working and for the Maori church schools, there would be only three of our state high schools in which Maori is taught. Yet the majority of our Maori children are educated in these state schools. Each year there are more than 20 graduates from Auckland University qualified in Maori. Where do they go? There hasn't been a job for a teacher of Maori in the gazette for months!’

The Currie Report: A Critique
Association for the Study of Childhood, 10s 6d

This small book contains commentaries by a number of writers on aspects of the 1962 Report of the Commission on Education. Among them are two long and perceptive articles by James E. Ritchie and E. G. Schwimmer on the education of Maori children, which will be of interest to all who are concerned with this. Dr Ritchie ends his

– 58 –

article by saying, ‘Somehow, we must sensitize the teacher, particularly the young teacher, to feel the multitude of personal difficulties, aspirations, and challenges the Maori meets in moving to the city, and to be refreshed by them, because all Maoris are not delinquents or otherwise problem people. They are for the most part engaged in a quest for a valid identity, moving with a sense of progress and vitality, successful, in a drama that the rest of New Zealand scarcely appreciates.’


New Zealand Through Young Eyes

A well chosen collection of writing by New Zealand teenagers. Lively, thoughtful and candid it is highly readable. The book is sponsored by the Auckland Junior Council, which hopes to make it an annual publication.

A Maori Mother's

The cooling air breathes autumn
And from the curving bay
The spirits moan.
The milling surf beats white
Against a rugged shore.
Here the kuaka gather for their northward flight
And clear runs Taputaputa, the stream
That bears all spirits to the far land's end.
And here, my brown and silent bird,
My babe, my little questing one—
Here, piteously, as young kuaka of the fragile wing,
You fear and wait the long, the lonely flight.
Far is the journey and my tiny love
Weeps for the comfort of my distant arms.
I weep for warmth I cannot give—
My unavailing love, remote and earthbound;
And these mine arms, forsake the one I love the most.
Cruel monster of the pool!
Cruel Whakarewarewa's whirling grave …
Blinding my babe to all your boiling hate.
Drawing his brown and naked feet
Towards the mocking music of your voice.
Dark hideous demon, in whose treacherous arms
The petals of his flowering scorched and drowned;
Your evil will has seared his laughing eyes.
Drawn snakey fingers through his shining hair;
Killed and despoiled my strong and lovely one …
Hear—hear my curses and my bitter grief.
They brought my fledgling to these empty arms,
Cold with the scent of death—a mockery of love.
My babe, so early sent upon the lonely way.
My dark-eyed darling … heavy is my pain!
My spirit longs to follow swiftly on,
To catch and hold you in a dear embrace:
At least, to bid you sweet and warm farewell.
Too small your feet to tread the Reinga and return
To far Hawaiki—to the spirit home.
The sun sinks low into the distant west.
I weep exhausted as kuaka cry.
My darling stands upon the Haumu ridge—
Stands fearful and is calling me.
The echo beats upon my throbbing ears—
My brown boy weeps … the whispering of the wind
Bears all his fears to wrack my lonely heart …
So small a ghost, whose fingers trembling weave
The leafy circlet for his baby head.
Loud weeps my heart, my arms to northward reach—
Seeking my son, my little spirit one.
Dark is the night and cold with autumn's breath …
Weeping and winter in this hour have come.
– 59 –


‘Maori Love Duets’

Kiwi EA-7in 45 EP.

‘Maori Love Duets’ features some very ordinary little love ditties which have been firm favourites for years. Though they are essentially of this modern day in their form and notation, these are genuinely Maori songs, and are presented here in a dignified manner which enhances them immeasurably.

The singers are Kiri Te Kawana and Hohepa (Joe) Mutu, neither of whom will need introduction to most readers. Joe Mutu has featured with distinction as a soloist on several records previously reviewed in this column. In their style they are somewhat reminiscent of the Ano Hato-Dean Waretini combination of yesteryear, though they have much more artistry ano polish. (And in saying this I do not wish to derogate Hato or Waretini, both of whom are firm favourites of mine.)

Ashley Heenan's curiously tripping and hauntingly evocative orchestral backgrounds are quite perfect, for they are subordinate to the singing yet completely complement it. In one place however, the lilting syncopation of the orchestra seems to have made Mr Mutu a shade uncertain of his tempo.

Of the songs presented, ‘Tahi Nei Taru Kino’ is my favourite. ‘Haere Mai e Hoa Ma’ makes a welcome appearance on record, I believe for the first time. The other tunes are ‘Hoki hoki’, ‘Hine e hine’ and ‘Matangi’. One other matter: I only wish that the record cover photographer had done as much justice to Miss Te Kanawa as did the cover of issue no. 49 of ‘Te Ao Hou’.

It is to be hoped that before long Kiwi will bring out another recording featuring the Te Kanawa - Mutu - Heenan combination. This record should be a firm favourite.

‘Favourite Hymns in Maori’

Kiwi EA-97, 7in 45 EP.

To the large repetoire of hymns recorded by Maori choirs has been added this attractive little disc from the St Faith's Church Choir of Ohinemutu, Rotorua. This recording should be of interest to many of those who have visited this historic lakeside church with its beautifully carved and decorated interior. The hymns are tastefully sung, without embroidery, yet with all of the power and fervour of which Maoris are capable in their religious singing.

‘The Legend of the Bridge’
Auckland in Song and Story

Kiwi EA-95, 7in 45 EP.

This is an unexceptional little record which should appeal to Aucklanders and others as a souvenir of the undoubted Queen City of New Zealand. (Thus speaks an unabashed Aucklander!)

Side one is a reading of an old Maori legend, collected by A. W. Reed, of the patu paiarehe who built the first bridge across the Waitemata—apparently without the procrastination which attended the construction of its more famous successor. Harry Dansey has an excellent voice and as a Maori his pronunciation makes amends to some degree for that on some of the other spoken records which Kiwi have issued. The cover blurb very rightly describes Dansey as well qualified for ‘reading the legend on this record’. Unfortunately he does just that and no more. It is a dramatic legend and needs dramatic treatment, but here it is read calmly and dispassionately. The reading suffers from an inexcusable lack of production—inexcusable because it is so obvious. Mr Dansey deserves a better vehicle for his talents than this. I have no doubt that Kiwi is enterprising enogh to give it to him.

On the other side of the disc is Napi Waaka's Te Rangatahi group singing Tony Cook's song ‘Te Tokoroa’. This is quite pleasant listening.

An annual scholarship of £150 awarded by the Maori Education Foundation and sponsored by W. D. and H. O. Wills (N.Z.) Ltd., goes each year to a boy or girl whose academic ability and general character are particularly worthy of recognition.

This year the recipients are Tom Popata of Mt. Eden, Auckland, and Valerie Larkins of Oturu, Kaitaia. Tom is a pupil at St. Stephen's College and Valerie is at Queen Victoria School.

Another award of £150 is granted each year by the Foundation on behalf of the Lions Club of Wellington. This year it goes to Erica Wellington of Tutukaka, near Whangarei. Erica is a pupil at Auckland Girls' Grammar School.

– 60 –
– 61 –

Picture icon

Solution to No. 37

Crossword Puzzle 48

1. Advise.
2. Apple.
3. Dart.
4. Tear, lacerate; groove.
5. I, me.
6. Belonging to you.
7. Shape; somewhat.
8. Beam, bar, threshold.
9. Nose.
13. Strength.
15. Spring up, grow.
16. Frost.
19. Vine.
23. Do what?
24. Chase.
25. Victory, Victoria.
26. University.
30. Rain.
31. Bee.
32. River.
34. Grey mullet.
35. Beach, seashore.
36. Eight.
37. Face, eye.
39. Cloud.
41. Turi's canoe.
43. Enter, join.
44. Cry; dear me.
45. He, she.
51. To say; to fill.

1. Mourning ceremony.
8. Good.
10. Group, crowd.
11. Those; I don't know.
12. Cold; winter.
14. Fair-haired.
17. Descendants.
18. What?
20. Avenged, paid for.
21. Gun.
22. Drag.
23. Although, in spite of.
24. Canoe; vehicle.
25. Mother.
26. Where?
27. Soldier.
28. Cockle.
29. Night.
30. Fixed, settled, at rest.
33. Deceive, dupe, stratagem
35. Fantail.
38. Gather together; extort.
39. Laugh.
40. Admiration!
42. Long temporary house built for a feast.
45. Name.
46. Food for a journey.
47. Shake up together, rub together.
48. Daybreak.
49. Cover.
50. Push, shove, shake.
52. Means ‘kaitoa’.
53. Where the Treaty was signed.

– 62 –
– 63 –
– 64 –
– 65 –