Just before Lieutenant James Cook’s arrival, Tītahi, a leader of Ngāti Whātua, prophesied that major change was about to occur in the region of Waitematā Harbour, pictured here with Rangitito in the distance. Wiremu Rēweti of Ngāti Whātua presents the chant.
Here are the the words (with the English translation following):
He aha te hau e wawara mai
He tiu, he raaki
Nāna i ā mai te pūpūtarakihi ki uta
E tikina atu e au ki te kōtiu
Kukume mai ai?
Koia te pou whakairo ka tū ki Waitematā
I aku wairangi e.
What is that murmuring sound
Upon the north wind
That cast my paper nautilus ashore
Which I plucked from the north wind
And thus claimed?
It is the carved pillar that stands in the Waitematā Harbour
That I see in my distressed state.
Sound file from Sound Archives / Ngā Taonga Kōrero
Using this item
Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Margaret Lovell-Smith
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