The Ngarimu Victoria Cross Investiture Meeting and Reception to His Excellency the Governor General, 6 October 1943.
On 4 June 1943 news was broadcast world-wide that 2/Lt Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu had been awarded the Victoria Cross for his role in the attack on Point 209 at Tebaga Gap, Tunisia. It was the sixth VC to be awarded to a New Zealander in the war, and the first to a Maori soldier.
The public investiture ceremony where the Governor-General presented the award to Mr & Mrs Hamuera Ngarimu was held at Whakarua Park in Ruatoria, Ngarimu’s home town. At the time it was one of the largest and most fully documented Māori gatherings ever held. Despite the rain and mud, 7000 people attended the event, including the Prime Minister and other parliamentarians, Battalion members on furlough, Home Guardsmen and 1300 schoolchildren, who came from all parts of the country. Three hundred performers had been brought together from the Gisborne district alone. Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāti Porou, led by Sir Apirana Ngata hosted the event that featured five hours of entertainment. Members of the National Film Unit, the official Government photographer - John Pascoe, and the press documented the event. Cameramen from the US Marine Corps also headed to Ruatoria to record the event. Read more about the event here.
This recording was made on the morning of the investiture at Whakarua Park.
Sir AT Ngata: We’ve sent the children to the canteen to have a drink of tea. Now we have still on the programme items by the Turanganui tribes ―Ngati Konohi, Ngati Oneone, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tamanuhiri.
Ka watea atu enei ka nuku mai koutou i runga. Ah, um Te Rangitiria ka mutu te haka a tenei ope ko Tuhoe, kei muri ko koe ko Te Arawa. Mau e whakaoti te hui. Nau i timata tatau te kawe te pakanga, mau ano kia whakaoti. Aua atu to koutou mapu Te Arawa. Me hoki ki Waiomatatini whakamaroke i o koutou puehu.
Song, recording begins at Te tangi a to iwi Maori
Rukuhia Ngarimu i te moana
Mauria te mana o te motu
Te tangi a to iwi Maori
Te aroha te ao katoa
I hinga koe i Tunihia
Kei reira to riri mutunga
Kua mutu to rongo i te haruru
Mai o te mura o te ahi
Sung twice and last two lines a third time after a brief mihi by the kaea.
Site editors notes:
- There is intermittent static throughout the audio
Sound file from Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright.
Alexander Turnbull Library
Te Moananui-a-Kiwa (centre). Photographer unidentified.
Further information and copies of this image may be obtained from the Library through its 'Timeframes' website, http://timeframes.natlib.govt.nz. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa must be obtained before any reuse of this image.