Ngarimu VC investiture, part 20 - Mai i nga ra o mua


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.[1]  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.

There were two booklets printed for the occassion:
1) Souvenir of the Ngarimu Victoria Cross Investiture Meeting (NSP)
2) Supplement to the Souvenir Programme (SSP)

This recording was made on the morning of the investiture at Whakarua Park.


Sir AT Ngata: (inaudible) Kati ra he korero ki a au. Come on Tuini. The people who attend to the canteens in the pavilion and on the lawn if they are here will you please now (inaudible) and man those canteens and the tables in the pavilion. Getting near that now. Ae.


Mai i nga ra o mua, e Api, ki tenei ra

Ko koe ra me te tumanawa, e koro e!

Ahakoa kua hinga ki raro ra

Ko taku na kia kotahi tonu, e

Aue ra te arohanui, e Api e.


Ko nga tumanako, e Api, mo tenei wa

Ka rapa noa nga whakaaro, me pehea ra!

Nga pani, te rawakore

Nga tamariki a te Tairawhiti, e

Aue ra te arohanui, e Api e.

verses repeated

Solo: Ko koe ra Porourangi

Ko Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa       

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.

Image reference
Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PAColl-6301-60
Date: 6 Oct 1943
Women performing a song during the hui in Ruatoria to award the Victoria Cross to Te Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu.  Apirana Ngata is in the foreground.

Further information and copies of this image may be obtained from the Library through its 'Timeframes' website,
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.

Submitted by mbadmin on Mon, 22/04/2013 - 16:34

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