Story: Muriwhenua tribes

Matiu Rata and ‘Karanga rā’

Matiu Rata and ‘Karanga rā’

Matiu Rata, of Ngāti Kurī, was largely responsible for the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975 and was a principal claimant in the 1986 Muriwhenua hearings, which eventually resulted in the influential Muriwhenua fishing report (1988) and the Muriwhenua land report (1997). The song 'Karanga rā' was first sung at Te Hāpua in December 1986 and pays tribute to Rata, a former minister of Māori affairs. It was sung at the beginning of the Muriwhenua hearings before the Waitangi Tribunal. The English translation of the words is as follows:

Karanga ra, e Rata
Te hiku o te kika e
Whakaripo ake nei e

Tenei a Tai
Whakamana te Tiriti e
Te ope nei e

Tainui e
E tama Rawiri
Paora e
Whakaterehia ra

Maranga mai
Te iwi ohoake ra
Tauiwi tahuri mai e

Toitu te whenua e

‘The clarion voice of Rata [Matiu Rata] callsThe movement in the tail of the fish responds.

In our midst we now have Tai [Eddie Taihakurei Durie, tribunal chairman].
Now is the time to give strength to the treaty.

Here too is the group, all members of the tribunal,
Tainui [Koro Wetere, minister of Māori affairs], Rāwiri [David Lange, prime minister] and Pāora [Bishop Paul Reeves, the governor-general].
Between you, this fish can swim.

Māori people rise and be vigilant;
Tau-iwi [Pākehā and others], the time is now to face each other.

People come and go,
But the land endures.’

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Evening Post Collection (PAColl-0614)
Reference: 1/4-021374-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Rāwiri Taonui, 'Muriwhenua tribes - European contact', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 September 2020)

Story by Rāwiri Taonui, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 22 Mar 2017