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.
Katoa: I aue hi ha hi!
Sir AT Ngata: The next item is the haka Ruaumoko which has come down about eight generations done first by an ancestor called Taki-o-te-rangi and Te Moananui Ngarimu is a linear descendant. Ruaumoko. This is a classic of the East Coast peoples.
Kaea: A, ko Ruaumoko e ngunguru nei!
Katoa: Au! Au! Aue ha!
Kaea: Ko Ruaumoko e ngunguru nei!
Katoa: Au! Au! Aue ha!
Kaea: I a ha ha!
Katoa: E ko te rakau a Tungawerewere! A ha ha!
He rakau tapu, na Tutaua ki a Uenuku,
I patukia ki te tipuaki o Rangitopeka,
Pakaru te upoko o Rangitopeka,
Patua ki waenganui o te tau ki Hikurangi,
He toka whakairo, e tu ake nei,
He atua! He tangata! He atua! He tangata, ho!
Kaea: Aue he atua, he atua, Taupare-taitoko,
Kia kitea e Paretaitoko te whare haunga!
Katoa: A ha ha! Ka whakatete mai o rei, he kuri! Au au!
Kaea: I a ha ha!
Katoa: Na wai parehua taku hope (kia) whakaka te rangi
Kia tare au! Kss!Kaea: He roha te kawau!
Katoa: Kss a!
Kaea: Kei te poutara
Katoa: Tu ka tete, ka tete! Tau ha!
Kaea: Ko komako komako!
Katoa: E ko te hautapu e rite ki te kai na Matariki,
Tapareireia koi tapa! Tapa konunua koiana tukua! I aue hi ha hi!
Sir AT Ngata: … kia ta a koutou manawa. You’ll find in your programmes the English rendering of this, but like most other translations of these old time things they lack the key. I propose to hand it to the Military Secretary in due course. Then he’ll understand all about this haka. There is one reference there I think its just an indication of the key. This is full of references to the phallic cult, the phallic cult. Kei te mohio nga Maori te tikanga o tenei haka. Ko te rakau a Tungawerewere ko te rakau a te tane. Ka mohiotia te ahua tonu. E ko te rakau a Tungawerewere! A ha ha! He rakau tapu, (na) Tutaua ki a Uenuku, (i) patukia ki te tipuaki (o) Rangitopeka pakaru te upoko. No te wahine a Rangitopeka, kia ora koutou. Alright George.
Katoa: Tuarua kia rongo.
Kaea: Ae.A kia rite.
Ruaumoko haka repeated.
Site editors notes:
- The audio levels are low and there is intermittent static throughout the audio
- The audio has been edited from the original to appear seamless
- A question mark (?) after a word indicates audio is inaudible
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.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Title: Ngarimu Investiture Hui, Ruatoria
Maker: William Hall Raine
Further information and copies of this image may be obtained from Te Papa through its Collections Online website. Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any reuse of this image