Wellington Regional Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Competition

On Thursday 2 July after many weeks and months of practicing, Wellington Secondary Schools will have their opportunity on stage to be selected to represent the region at the National Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Competition to be held at the Pettigrew Arena in Hawke’s Bay next July.

The regional event is being held at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua and Te Reo Irirangi Māori o Te Ūpoko o Te Ika are broadcasting the entire competition. Click here and scroll down to the Upoko o te Ika link to listen to the competition on line.

Kapa Haka
Unidentified Maori women in traditional kapa haka performance dress, including puipui and poi, location unknown. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-25309-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22633364

Our Māori Resource pages have some great resources if you are interested in waiata Māori and I have also included some titles on waiata and other Kapa Haka related topics.

Click here for a digital copy of Sir George Gray’s Waiata Māori collection Ko Nga Waiata Maori he mea kohikohi mai, i tera kaumatua i tera kuia, no ona haerenga, e mahi ki nga pito katoa a Aotea-roa. Because of the rarity of the Wellington City Libraries’ original copy, a digitisation process has allowed us to present the book in an electronic format. Note that the spelling and grammar used by the publisher has been retained in this online version. Some of the spellings used were written phonetically or are based on incorrect interpretations of a spoken word.

Click here to search our Waiata Database which is an index of waiata from sources held by Wellington City Libraries, including Sir Apirana Ngata’s Ngāa Mōteatea. This database is a work in progress, and in time we will also include the library’s collection of CD or DVD recordings of waiata.

Syndetics book coverNgā mōteatea : he maramara rere nō ngā waka maha / he mea kohikohi nā Sir Apirana Ngata = The songs : scattered pieces from many canoe areas / collected by Sir Apirana Ngata.

Syndetics book coverKia Rōnaki = The Māori performing arts / edited by Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta, Tania Ka’ai & John Moorfield.
In the last thirty years there has been an explosion of interest in the Maori performing arts but until now there has been no general book written in English or Maori about the Maori performing arts by Maori authors and exponents of the various genres. This new work, 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 Maori performing arts.

Syndetics book coverNgā tatangi a te whare karioi = That special place where uniquely Māori sounds are created / Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival, Tauranga Moana, Mātaatua.
“Nga Tatangi a Te Whare Karioi captures the diverse realities of iwi represented by kapa haka groups performing at Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival 2009. Festival chairman Selwyn Parata describes the book featuring selected groups and their performance compositions – as a ‘must-have’ for aspiring composers and those dedicated to te reo Maori and the Maori performing arts. This is a limited edition publication.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWaiata : Maori songs in history : an anthology / introduced and translated by Margaret Orbell. “In this new anthology Orbell places waiata of the nineteenth century in their social and political setting, conveying the poet’s responses to their people’s trauma.” (abridged back cover)

Syndetics book coverThe Maori action song : waiata a ringa, waiata kori, no whea tenei ahua hou? / Jennifer Shennan. “This book is a discussion of Maori action songs, the dance form which, from modest beginnings in the early decades of the twentieth century, has developed into what is effectively the national dance of New Zealand. Through many hundreds of compositions, the action song has become an important medium of communication for many Maori people. A number of the earliest action songs are remembered and performed as classics up to 60 years later. They include simple love ditties and notably the songs of proud farewell and the joyous sad welcomes to soldiers returning from both World Wars. Recent developments have taken the action song away from the simplicity of its earliest form with borrowed European melodies, to more sophisticated compositions including dramatic effects with interpolated haka rhythms. New gestures are devised to express a widening range of themes and ideas, and these are worked into the style which has become conventionalised. It is this process-the instinctive moulding of innovated movement into the aesthetically acceptable dance style-which makes absorbing study.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNgoingoi Pēwhairangi : an extraordinary life / Tania Ka’ai.
“This is a significant biography. Ngoingoi Pewhairangi was a loved and respected Maori leader who was born on the cusp of te ao kohatu (the old Maori world) and the beginning of some significant changes in contemporary Maori society, and who utilised knowledge from both worlds throughout her entire life. From Te Whanau-a-Ruataupare hapu at Tokomaru Bay, Ngoi dedicated her adult life to supporting these people and influencing their lives to ensure a better future for Maori society. She was passionate about people and the advancement of Maori society and demonstrated this through her involvement in a variety of initiatives from Maori education, Maori language, Maori performing and traditional arts, Maori politics and within her own whanau. Accompanied by a CD of music composed by Ngoingoi, this book is a celebration of Ngoi’s life through the testimonies of many people who knew her using their own words. The bilingual text allows people to come to know what a truly remarkable mother she was to so many people in Aotearoa/New Zealand.” (Syndetics summary)

Frontiers and Beyond

An interesting story this month, Frontiers, touches on the story of William Barnard Rhodes, his daughter, Mary Ann with her connections to local iwi, and her son William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse, airman in the first World War who was awarded a post-humous VC by the British Government.

Syndetics book coverFrontiers : a colonial dynasty / Simon Best.
“Two airmen of Māori descent lie buried together on a hilltop in Dorset, England. They are the grandson and great-grandson of a whaling captain who entered New Zealand waters in 1835, and who became one of the leading pioneers of European settlement in Wellington. … In 1883 the whaler’s natural daughter, her mother a local Māori, inherited her father’s wealth and moved with her husband to England, living in some of the country’s grand houses. Her eldest son became one of the world’s first aviators, winning a posthumous Victoria Cross over France in 1915. His son, also a noted pilot, was killed at the height of the Battle of Britain.” (Back cover)

He kete waiata = A basket of songs / [researchers, Rāhui Papa, Pānia Papa ; editors, Pānia Papa, Linda Te Aho].
“We have gathered together some of these taonga, building upon an earlier collection put together by Rose Tuineau and Irene Winikerei. We have added translations and explanations, and material learned at wānanga held over many years at Pōhara Pā and Maungatautari Marae, taught by Te Kaapo Clark and other kaumātua of Ngāti Korokī-Kahukura.” (He mihi, p. 3.)

A model for successful Maori learners in workplace settings : summary report / Cain Kerehoma … [et al.].
“This project was funded by the Ako Aotearoa National Project Fund as a Maori Initiative Project in 2010. The research was undertaken by Kahui Tautoko Consulting Ltd in collaboration with the Industry Training Federation (ITF), the New Zealand Motor Industry Training Organisation (Inc) (MITO), the Electrotechnology Industry Training Organisation (now the Skills Organisation) and the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO).” (Page two)

Kotiro Maori : piano transcriptions of 20 Maori songs / [arrangements by Keith Southern].
“E karangahia ; E tama ; E to matou matua ; Haere ra ; He wawata ; He tiki ; Karangatia ra ; Karo poi ; Kei reira ; Kotiro Maori ; Kuarongorongo ake ahau ; Me hoe tatou ; Mihi mai ra ; Naku te whare : Parihaka poi ; Ruriruri ; Te wairua ; Terina ; Waiata whai a ipo ; Whakarongo mai e nga iwi.” (Contents)

Pīata mai : our people, our places, our stories / [compiled by Ataraita Ngatai].
“Hinemotu Margaret Harawira — Tāhiwi Te Arihi — Gregory Gardiner — Māwete Gardiner — Taukiri Tawhiao — Quita Wheeler — Ira Pomana — Sylvia Kuka — Te Kuta Holland — Merania Nepia — Harry Cassidy — Amīria Cassidy — Tamahou Murray — Maata Dodd — Nessie Kuka — Terrence Hayes — Mākuini Hayes — Ātīria Ake — Tāwhairiri Murray — Harry Ngātai — Karauria Smith — Tirakitemoana Taylor — Irene McCaffery — Te Arakau Samuels — Arapera Nuku — Enoka Ngātai — Rangikahuia Pakaru — Te Huihui Jacob — Heeni Murray — Rosie Tukaki — Me mihi ki ā rātou mā — James Mikaere — Pīnao Tukaki — Ruamoana Tāwhiti — Background of Te Awanui Hauora Trust.” (Contents, page three)

Kahaki / nā Charisma Rangipunga.
“Ahakoa kei te haikura tonu a Wai, ko ia tēra e tiaki ana i ōna tēina tokorua, e kimi pūtea ana kia ora ai te whānau. He kaha te tautoko mai a tana hoa tāne a Tama i a ia. Pūmau tonu tō rāua aroha, tētahi ki tētahi. Nō te taenga atu o tētahi tauhou ki te tāone o Whiritoa, ka huri kōaro te ao o Wai. He tangata purotu, engari, he murare. He kaiwaiata, engari anō, he arero rua. Nā ngā mahi mūrere a te tauhou nei ka riro atu a Wai ki tōna taha. Nō te ao tawhito te kaupapa o tēnei pakimaero aroha, ā, kua tuhia kētia kia hāngai tonu ki te ao o ngā taiohi o nāianei.” (Back cover)
“This love story is a modern retelling of the traditional story of the taniwha Poutini, who kidnaps Waitāiki, the wife of Tamaahua. Rewritten to be relevant for young people today.” (Library catalogue

Syndetics book coverTreasured possessions : indigenous interventions into cultural and intellectual property / Haidy Geismar.
“On September 13, 2007, the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The document recognized collective property rights of tangible and intangible resources. Several decades before the declaration, indigenous peoples globally were employing cultural and intellectual property laws to assert claims to their cultural resources. Indigenous groups use these laws to challenge the expropriation of their lands, sacred places, religious practices, art, and symbols. cultural property rights. The assertion of indigenous rights and claims, embedded in property laws, are in the forefront in the assertion and reinforcement of indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and cultural survival.” (CHOICE)

Ahunga Tikanga / [compiled and edited by Kim McBreen ; mihi by Heitia Raureti].“Ahunga Tikanga explores the foundation, creation, development and application of tikanga from a time prior to the arrival of another culture, through to today. The Ahunga Tikanga programme, formerly Māori laws and Philosophy, was first offered in 1987.” (Foreword)
P. 45-58. Discussion of waiata tangi: Tākiri ko te ata by Turupa.
P. 61. Māui and the moon-tides of Māori women by Ngāhuia Murphy.
p. 81. Kei hea nga manu by Te Wera Firmin.
p. 89. [Analysis of Wai 262 report] by Moana Jackson.

Te ukaipo.Te ukaipo 5. Published by Te Wānanga o Raukawa.
“Contents include writings by: Hēni Jacob, Manurere Devonshire, Ani Mikaere, Hēni Jacob, Hana Pōmare, Moko Morris, Alma Winiata-Kenny, Libby Hakaraia and topics include reflections on Whakatupuranga Rua Mano, Evelyn Kereama, Kahe Te Rauoterangi, taewa, and broadcasting, and the influential lives of Hapai and Emma Winiata.”

Paraire Tomoana, NZ Music Month Feature

Welcome to May and to NZ Music Month! We have some exciting things lined up for you on the He kōrero o te wa blog, so make sure you keep an eye out! I would like to kick off NZ music month here with a small feature about a beloved and well-known Māori composer, Paraire Henare Tomoana. This blog post is not only about one of New Zealand’s best-known and loved Māori composers; it is also about someone close to my whanaunga, and it is my greatest pleasure to share with you here a summarised biography, taken from teara.govt.nz:

Paraire Henare Tomoana was born in either 1874 or 1875 in Hastings. Paraire belonged to Ngati Te Whatu-i-apiti and Ngati Kahungunu; through his father he had links to the hapu Ngati Hawea, Ngati Hori, Ngati Te Rehunga and others, and through his mother, to Ngai Te Ao, Ngati Hinepare, and Ngati Hinetewai. His mother and father were both prominent Māori leaders in Hawkes Bay and, inheriting illustrious lineage from both parents, Paraire was destined for leadership.

te aute

Te Aute College, Waipawa County. Alexander : Photographs of Te Aute College. Ref: 1/1-013163-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23029536

He attended Te Aute College, where he became a prefect and captain of the school. At school, he was a contemporary of Sir Apirana Ngata, with whom he remained firm friends and whom he also supported politically.


Apirana Turupa Ngata. New Zealand Ilustrated Magazine [1899]. Ref: PUBL-0091-1899-001. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23013034

Paraire was also a formidable athlete, representing Hawkes Bay in rugby, tennis, cricket and hockey, and Turanga in golf. For over ten years, he remained the undefeated champion of the New Zealand Māori golf tournament. In 1904 he was appointed coach of the All Blacks. Paraire married twice. His first marriage had ended by 1912 and in 1913 he married Kuini Ripeka Raerena, aged 19 and one of eight children of Taare Raerena (Ryland), a farmer of Ngati Porou, and Harata Akuhata-Brown (Paraone). These were my great-great-great-grandparents. Kuini was the sister of my great-great-grandmother, Celia Raerena. Paraire had courted Kuini by singing his own composition, the love song ‘Pokarekare ana’, to her and her Ngati Porou elders on Te Poho-o-Rawiri marae. There were four sons and four daughters of this marriage, and Paraire also had an adopted son.


Te Poho-o-Rawiri. Gordon, Peter John Te Otene, fl 1970. First meeting of the Takitimu Maori Council, in front of the second Poho o Rawiri Meeting House. Ref: 1/2-044563-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23041348

Paraire was a pioneer composer of songs in the new ‘action song’ style, moving away from classical waiata which used small note ranges, no harmony and irregular metre. Instead, he wrote words to fit harmonised tunes written in diatonic scales and generally deriving from European songs, the rhythms adapted to fit Māori idiom. One of his best-known songs was ‘Te ope tuatahi’; others are still among the most popular Māori songs in New Zealand. During WWI, Paraire helped raise funds for the Maori Soldiers’ Fund by organising a song and dance group (Te Poi o Heretaunga) which performed at Waimatatini, Wellington, Trentham and Auckland. They performed many of his compositions, including Hoea Ra Te Waka Nei, and E Pari Ra (1918 – the famous tangi for soldiers lost in battle). Other well known songs written by Paraire were ‘Tahi nei taru kino’, ‘I runga i nga puke’, ‘Hoki hoki tonu mai’ and the haka ‘Tika tonu’. As well as composing action songs, Paraire was an accomplished writer and translator, a commentator on ancient waiata, and was well versed in Maori history and lore. In 1946 he suffered a stroke and died on 15 April. He was survived by Kuini, who died in 1984, four daughters, three sons and his adopted son. He is buried in the Waipatu cemetery at Hastings.

(This biography is summarised and paraphrased from www.teara.govt.nz. The full text is available here and is well worth a read; I recommend you take a look!!)

Te Ara Biography:

Angela Ballara. ‘Tomoana, Paraire Henare – Tomoana, Paraire Henare’, from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 30-Oct-2012

We have some resources about Paraire Tomoana here at the Central Library:

A century of Maori song : a collection of words and music for 56 traditional and contemporary Maori songs of 20th century. Volume one. He koha : a gift of Māori music / [compiled by] Blossom Taewa and Stuart Pearce.

We also have a range of CDs ($1 for one week), featuring songs written by Paraire and performed by more recent artists:

Waiata Maori : a festival of Maori song / sung and narrated by Inia Te Wiata. Reo : he waiata Maori hou o Aotearoa = contemporary Maori songs of New Zealand. The voice [sound recording] / Teddy Tahu Rhodes. Whisper you all the way home [sound recording] / 2003/224 New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir. The young Kiri [sound recording] : the early recordings, 1964-70.

New album and a kōrero with local Māori songbird


Christchurch musician Ariana Tikao has recently moved to Wellington and is the new Research Librarian, Māori in the Alexander Turnbull Library (Arrangement & Description team). She has just released a new album, From Dust to Light, and celebrated with a pre-release gig at Te Papa recently. We asked her some questions about her whakapapa, her music and her new album.

We hear you’ve recently moved up from Christchurch. What brought you up here and how has the shift been for you?
The job really brought me here, but I have to say, that the earthquakes did have a part to play in creating the idea for a change. I do miss family and Christchurch, but it has been a great move for my career. Working at the Turnbull is a bit of a dream job. Also a new music scene and access to new musicians to collaborate with is really positive.

Have you noticed any differences in the music scene between here and Christchurch?
Um, there are not many venues left in Christchurch now. I haven’t really had time to delve into the music scene here yet in a big way, but I really enjoyed working with Lee Prebble at the Surgery, and I am loving working with Ben Lemi Wood who I collaborated with on the album, and also the other musicians who played on the album: Al Fraser, Brooke Singer and Charley Davenport. I think just being in the North Island now is going to open up new opportunities for me in terms of festivals to play at etc.

In what ways have you drawn on your Māori lineage for inspiration for your music?
It is quite a major theme really. It is my main inspiration. I love singing in Te Reo Māori, it has a real wairua of its own, and I find it very emotional. Many of the stories from my whānau or iwi come through as stories or themes in my music.

What’s your musical background? You play taonga puoro; how did you get into that? What other instruments do you play?
I don’t have a background in western music theory, but lately I have been playing taonga puoro, which I have had an interest in for a long time now. Brian Flintoff makes most of my instruments. They are each a taonga as individuals and you need to get to know them all individually as no two instruments are the same. I also play the Appallachian dulcimer which I really love for its delicate sound, and it is pretty easy to play. Mine was made by Ian Davie of Singing Wood.

Is there a story behind your new album; does it have a theme?
Yes. The title was inspired by a picture of Christchurch from the February 2011 earthquake, where dust rose above the city from the fallen buildings. It is a very powerful image. When I was still living in Christchurch last year, it felt very dark and bleak in the middle of winter and I wrote the song ‘Let there be light’ as a song of hope and encouraging us to move beyond the despair. That became the overall theme of the album ‘From Dust to Light’ but also the subtheme of reviving old knowledge and breathing life into it and bringing it into the present.

Tell us about your job at the Alexander Turnbull Library? What are your favourite parts of your job?
I work in the Arrangement and Description team which is largely a ‘backroom’ kind of activity describing what is in the unpublished collections. We receive collections from donations or purchase and usually need to re-house them into acid-free folders etc and make new records and descriptions for them. I specialise in Māori collections, and really love it. I am working on a new collection of James Cowan papers at present. He was a writer in the first half of the 20th century, and did a lot of writing about Māori culture and NZ history. He even interviewed my Great-Grandfather Teone Taare Tikao. There is a waiata on my new album inspired by a story that our Poua gave to Cowan.

Do you have any up-coming Wellington gigs we can get along to? Where can we find out more?
I will be performing again in Wellington in February (or possibly before then). Eva Street Studio, 2 Eva Street, Wellington on Saturday February 16 2013.  People can keep an eye on my website for details. www.arianatikao.com

While Ariana’s From Dust to Light hasn’t hit the library shelves yet, we do have a previous album, Tuia, for you to enjoy. You can reserve it here!

MI0002035926 Tuia / Ariana Tikao.

We also have the book Tikao Talks, which contains stories from Ariana’s great-grandfather, Teone Taare Tikao. Ariana says the stories are a great source of inspiration for her, and that some of the waiata on her Tuia album are directly inspired by the book.

Tikao talks : ka taoko tapu o te ao kohatu : treasures from the ancient world of the Maori / told by Teone Taare Tikao to Herries Beattie.
Contains many traditions and beliefs never before recorded. As an old man, Teone Taare Tikao passed on to the author knowledge which he had gained as a young man from the old people. (adapted from Smithsbookshop.co.nz)

Another book which has inspired waiata for Ariana is Māori folk-tales of the Port Hills, Canterbury, New Zealand by James Cowan. A story and some lyrics in the book inspired her song Titi Whakatai Arorua, which features on her new album From Dust to Light. Ariana says she loves “bringing old korero to light so they can help form our identity now, and into the future.”



Photos courtesy of Françoise Padellec.