Remembering Te Pāhuatanga o Parihaka, November 5 1881

Remember, remember, Te Pāhuatanga o Parihaka; the passive resistance of Te Whiti and Tohu. There are now a growing number of books and online resources celebrating their lives and deep commitment to the idea of passive resistance. Have a browse and a read of the titles and resources below, learn more and begin to understand this history.

Josiah Martin, ‘Parihaka’ – Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (1880)

Click through to read about the stories of Parihaka, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi — the books and links in the list below lay out their foundation kaupapa of peaceful resistance:

Remembering Te Pahuatanga o Parihaka: a Booklist by Wellington City Libraries
Remembering Te Pāhuatanga o Parihaka: a Booklist by Wellington City Libraries

Also included in the booklist above, are some online articles and biographies, collected on Digital New Zealand, that tell the stories of Te Whiti o Rongomai (d. November 1907), and Tohu Kākahi (d. February 1907) and help us remember them.

If you would like to jump straight to this collection of resources, you can find all of these resources collected at the link below:

Remembering Te Pahuatanga o Parihaka: A DigitalNZ Story by Wellington City Libraries
Remembering Te Pāhuatanga o Parihaka: A DigitalNZ Story by Wellington City Libraries


And for tamariki, here is a post from our Kids’ Blog with pukapuka and rauemi about Parihaka:

Remembering Te Pāhuatanga – Rauemi about Parihaka for Tamariki
Remembering Te Pāhuatanga – Rauemi for Tamariki

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2023: Whakanuia te mahi tā Morvin Simon: kia kaha te reo Māori

Morvin Simon MNZM
Morvin Simon MNZM, 1944-2014. CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons and the Governor-General/Government House website

Morvin Simon, 1944-2014
Te Āti-Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa
b. Kaiwhaiki Marae, Whanganui River
Composer, kapa haka leader, choirmaster and historian

In this Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, let’s remember the special team of Morvin and Kura Simon, who gave a life’s partnership to sustaining Te Reo Māori and enhancing Māori performing arts:

Morvin composed many waiata including our workplace favourite: (Te Aroha 1983) – so simple and yet so beautiful but he composed many other waiata such as:

His wife Kura was his pou for the last seven years of Morvin’s chronic ill-health. Kapa haka is a wonderful way of promoting te reo and they brought aroha and whanaungatanga to the lives of rōpū such as Te Matapihi, and Te Taikura o te Awa Tupua.

Together, in 2013, they were awarded Queen’s Birthday honours – Morvin as Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and Kura as Queen’s Service Medal , for their services to Māori.

In the previous year, 2012, Morvin received an honorary Bachelor of Arts (Māori Performing Arts) from Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

Our library has copies of Morvin’s history of pā of Whanganui – Taku Whare e! but his tuhituhinga included:

Te Kohanga reo, he ahurewa mana = A language nursery, seedbed of dignity (1990)

1946-1996 Hui Aranga : “Te Aranga Ake” = “The Resurrection” (1996)

A century of Maori song : a collection of words and music for 56 traditional and contemporary Maori songs of the 20the century. Volume one (2002)

He whakaaro hei korero (1991)

and a section of Te Wharekura. 46: Te Taonga nei o te tikanga.

Morvin exhorted his learners to be always prepared for any occasion:

You never know when you just might have to step up to the plate and get your reo on:
Moea to taiaha ; Moea to patu ; Moea to poi

Sleep wth your taiaha, sleep with your patu, sleep with your poi / Be prepared for the unexpected.

Learn more:

Whakanuia: BWB Texts Collection

The Bridget Williams Books – Text Collection is a diverse group of short eBooks on the big issues facing Aotearoa. Dive in to discover stories, insights and analysis by some of Aotearoa’s best writers and commentators. The collection is available to read online for free by logging in with your WCL library card here.

In 2013 BWB launched the first of their 100 BWB Texts series. A celebration of this milestone is happening at National Library at 6pm on Tuesday 26 September. Speakers on the night include Morgan Godfrey, Rebecca Kiddle, Rebecca Macfie, Damon Sales and Tom Rennie.

My all-time favourite Bridget Williams Book, and top of the charts, is Imagining Decolonisation (2020) because of the kōrero of Moana Jackson in the launch of the text at Unity Books:  Read Anahera Gildea’s account of the “slim book that invites us to dream big.”

Continue reading “Whakanuia: BWB Texts Collection”

Auē in And Just Like That

Sharp spotting and posting by Makaro Press: Becky Manawatu’s novel Auē, winner of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Pride for Fiction, 2020 and the Ngaio Marsh award for best crime novel, 2020, wins a walk-on part in And Just Like That, the revival and sequel of television series Sex in the City.

How could this possibly happen? Well, it seems that Sarah in her role of literary icon, Carrie, along with that show’s writers, delights in choosing which books she will carry as an accessory to her character.

But there is a further association with New Zealand culture. She enjoys New Zealand sauvignon blanc, and in 2019 became a business partner in Waikato’s wine Invivo.

Still haven’t read Auē? Reserve it from our catalogue:

Auē / Manawatu, Becky
“Taukiri was born into sorrow. Auē can be heard in the sound of the sea he loves and hates, and in the music he draws out of the guitar that was his father’s. It spills out of the gang violence that killed his father and sent his mother into hiding, and the shame he feels about abandoning his eight-year-old brother to another violent home. But Arama is braver than he looks, and he has a friend and his friend has a dog, and the three of them together might just be strong enough to turn back the tide of sorrow. As long as there’s aroha to give and stories to tell and a good supply of plasters”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Aotearoa Traditional Māori Performing Arts and Te Matatini – Part 3

Haere mai and welcome to the third blog in our ‘Te Whare Tapere to Kapa Haka and Māori Concert Party’ series. You can find Part One, and Part Two here.

The modern kapa haka competitions began around the time of the first Waitangi Day celebrations in 1934:

Ngapuhi performance at Waitangi, 1934 —

The Polynesian Festivals were held at Rotorua, 1972 and 1976. Regional teams took part, but also present were Pacific rōpū until 1983 when the festivals became the Aotearoa Traditional Māori Performing Arts Festival.

In 1976, rōpū representing Guam and Australia attended the festival. Guam had become an unincorporated territory of USA in August 1950, and its contribution to the festival revealed an almost complete annihilation of the indigenous culture. The rōpū’s waiata-ā-ringa including the shooting down of Japanese invader planes (30 years after the end of WWII), and the singing of the current USA pop song (in English) of ‘How much is that doggie in the window’.

The Aboriginal rōpū told their stories in dramatic role plays backed by their instruments such as didgeridoo — they didn’t stand in kapa / lines for their cultural performances at all.

The Aotearoa Traditional Māori Performing Arts Festival existed between 1983 and 2004.

Have watch of the Iwi Anthems television programme, which began screening on Māori Television in 2013:

Watch episodes of Iwi Anthems

Every iwi has an anthem, they are the waiata and haka we love to perform at gatherings. Our iwi anthems tell unique stories about our tribes revealing who we are and what’s important to us.

The competitions rotated from marae to marae setting, with tribal influences dominant in each iwi/hapū territory. The iwi anthems became signature tunes for the respective iwi, with perpetuation of dialect specific to their region. With the influence of migrations to urban centres in search of jobs and upskilling (by trade training, nursing, etc) there was a move to pan-tribal rōpū with pan-tribal influences for members, composers, tutors.

Watch a video from Te Ara of Kapa haka group Te Waka Huia performing the whakaeke (entrance) at the 1996 Aotearoa Traditional Māori Performing Arts Festival:

Video — Te Waka Huia, 1996

Te Rita Papesch has written an overview of those years in the book: The state of the Māori nation : twenty-first-century issues in Aotearoa, published in 2006:

“Kapa Haka” — Chapter 2 in State of the Māori nation : twenty-first-century issues in Aotearoa
“Dealing with a diverse range of issues that affect Maori living in modern-day New Zealand, State of the Maori Nation is a collection of 22 short and informative essays drawn from Maori commentators, historians, teachers, researchers and academics working across the country in all manner of industries. This is a book with something for everyone — Maori and Pakeha, men and women, young and old — and gives a vision of a confident and capable people moving from strength to strength within every aspect of contemporary New Zealand society. The subjects covered in the book include: kapa haka […]” (Catalogue)

Te Matatini was formed in 2004, and the competition has now moved to a handful of centralised city settings – influenced by underlying economic factors such as the large size of the moveable stage, and the cost of hosting the competitions. But there has also, lately, been a return to the telling of tribal stories alongside themes of world-wide concerns.

Te Matatini performances have become dramatic, passionate, fluid, and topical in the stories they bring to the stage, but the staunch tutors and leaders of the kapa haka teams declare the centre of Kapa Haka lies, and must always lie, with the care and attention to the reo within these cultural performances, even where a regimented “correct” body poses of the past ideals are no longer of paramount importance.

Watch Hikurangi‘s Te Matatini performance in 2019. Here is the signature waiata of Ngāti Porou – where the rangi and costumes honour the legacy of Te Moana-nui-a-kiwa Ngarimu, but the actions, foot, arm, hip movements are vigorous, “lively” and far from “traditional”:

Hikurangi’s kapa haka legacy continues — Article and video

“Aspiring to preserve the waiata, traditions and legacy of their kapa, Hikurangi is one of the longest-standing kapa in the country, having been established in 1934.”

Further books from our shelves:

Haka : te tohu o te whenua rangatira = the dance of a noble people / Kāretu, T. S. (1993)
Timoti Karetu describes the various types of haka and their different roles in Māori customs.

Mātāmua ko te kupu! : te haka tēnā! te wana, taku ihi e, pupuritia / Kāretu, T. S. (2020)
“[Sir Tīmoti Kāretu] is also an unrivalled creator of waiata and haka, composing songs and judging at Te Matatini and other events. In this book, Sir Timoti shares his extensive experience in the artforms of haka and waiata – from Maori songs of the two world wars to the rise of kapa haka competitions, from love songs to action songs, from Sir Apirana Ngata to Te Puea Herangi, and from Te Matatini to contemporary hui on marae.” (Catalogue)

Kia Rōnaki = The Māori performing arts
“In the last thirty years there has been an explosion of interest in the Māori performing arts but until now there has been no general book written in English or Māori about the Māori performing arts by Māori authors and exponents of the various genres. This new work, Kia Rōnaki: The Māori Performing Arts, edited by John Moorfield, Tania Ka’ai and Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta, brings together the expertise of a range of performance artists and academics, consolidating their knowledge into a comprehensive single volume that will be of relevance to all those interested in the Māori performing arts.” (Catalogue)

Haka : a living tradition / Gardiner, Wira

Chapter “Kapa Haka as a web of cultural meanings” by Hector Kaiwai, in Cultural studies in Aotearoa New Zealand : identity, space and place

Kapa haka mai rānō ki tēnei wā, has been important to iwi on several levels — as a driver of perfection in te reo, as a way of carrying through stories pūrākau and traditions of the past, and now, as a way of raising awareness of current local and global issues.

Kia kaha te reo Māori — mō āke tonu atu.

Read more:

Rauemi Reo : a guide to resources to help strengthen your reo Māori

Waka Welcome at Whare Waka. Te Rerenga Kōtare : Karu atua : two eyes through which the way ahead is viewed

Wellington City Libraries staff have produced an online pamphlet of “Rauemi Reo : a guide to resources to help strengthen your reo Māori”.

During this 50th anniversary of the Petihana Reo Māori, which launched Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, it is fitting to dip into some of the published grammar, dictionaries and language learning books which we hold in our libraries, as well as a growing number of online links to apps, videos, and general websites.

The desire by people of all walks of life to learn te Reo Māori is flourishing at a phenomenal pace.

Television staff are making a huge impact with their daily use of phrases, and those of us who may have dipped into te reo classes in the past, are again impelled to rejoin the ranks of Te Reo learners. I enjoy the added comments in Te Reo Māori seamlessly and smoothly inserted into the evening weather roundup on TVOne. Kia kaha te reo Māori.