Uepohatu reunion - song 'Arohaina mai ra'


The group Te Hokowhitu a Tu from Tokomaru Bay perform the song 'Arohaina mai' at a reunion held for ex-service personnel at Uepohatu Marae in 1947.  See the programme here.

'Arohaina mai' was composed by Tuini Ngawai after the farewell to soldiers at Waiparapara.  “On her way home … overcome by the emotion of the occasion, sat down by the roadside to rest…the words came to her mind, complete.  She wrote them down then and there.” (Soutar, Nga Tama Toa, p.73)

It is sung to the tune ‘When Love Walked In’.

The marae hosted events held on the 12th and 13th of September that included cultural competitions with local school children and the opening of the Uepohatu War Memorial Hall.  The hall was built to commemorate East Coast soldiers who died during the two World Wars. 

A reunion of ex-service people (including members of the Maori Battalion) was also held. 

At the Investiture held on the second day, seventeen decorations were presented to servicemen and women who had served abroad and on the home front.

The gathering was an important one. attended by thousands including the Prime Minister Peter Fraser, the Leader of the Opposition Sidney Holland and other members of Parliament.  Sir Bernard Freyberg, the Governor General opened the hall and unveiled two memorial tablets inside.


Arohaina mai, e te Kingi nui
Manaakitia ra o tamariki, e!                
Horahia mai ra te marie nui                   
Ki te Hokowhitu-a-Tu Toa!                

Nga mamaetanga me nga pouri nui        
Pehia rawatia ki raro ra, e;                    
Me anga atu, ka karanga ki                   
Te Matua, Aue! Aroha mai      

Nga hapu katoa o Aotearoa, e,              
Tauawhitia ra ko toku rongo
Kia mau te Tihei Mauriora a                 
Nga tipuna , he tohu wehi, e!                 

Great King! Bestow Thy love upon them all;
Thy children take into Thy loving care;
Spread wide for them Thy mantle of goodwill;
Thy blessing on this Warrior Band of Tu.

Our pain and sorrow great and all they be
Subdue with patience, though with straining hearts.
Turn in your deep distress and call unto  
The Father, ‘God bestow Thy gracious care!’

Ye many tribes of Aotearoa
Cling to the fame, that we have gained in war;
Shout, as your fathers did in olden days,
 ‘Away with evil! Hail, and all is well.’


Sound file from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, ref: 43116. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright.

Image: Crop of programme from the Special Reunion of ex-service personnel. See full image 
National Library of New Zealand
005 - Papers re Uepohatu hall and a reunion, 1947
Reference Number: MS-Papers-6919-0163. Sir Apirana Turupa Ngata Collection, 1874-1950 : Papers (MS-Group-0941)

Submitted by mbadmin on

Takupu (0)