Kōrero: Grace, John Te Herekiekie

Whārangi 1: Haurongo

Grace, John Te Herekiekie

1905–1985

Nō Ngāti Tūwharetoa; he kaiwhakamāori, he kaimahi kāwanatanga, he kaiārahi hapori, he māngai kāwanatanga

I tuhia tēnei haurongo e Graham Butterworth,, ā, i tāngia tuatahitia ki Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau Ko te wāhanga , 2000.

I taurite tonu a John Te Herekiekie Grace (Hoani Kerēhi) ki tētehi reanga kaihautū Māori i ara mai i te tekau tau atu i 1950. Hei te tuarua ēnei o ngā whakatupuranga tāngata hononga pai, ka mau kē te whakahī ki tō rātau pono ki te Karauna, tuarā hoki i te Hāhi Mihingare. E ai ki ō rātau whakaaro ka āhei tonu te tupu mai o te Māori i ēnei āhuatanga o te wā.

E rua ngā whakahekenga tangata o Hoani Kerēhi he mea nui rawa atu ki a ia. Mātua rā ko tōna hekenga iho i te mihingare, i a Te Kerēhi (Thomas Samuel Grace), nō te tau 1850 i tonoa atu a ia e Pīhopa Herewini (George Augustus Selwyn) ki te mahi mā te mīhana. Ko te āhua nei, he nui tonu te aroha o Te Kerēhi ki te iwi Māori me ā rātau tikanga, inarā, tokorua ana tama i moe i te wahine Māori. Ko tērā anō ō ngā tino tātai o Hoani Kerēhi ko te hekenga i a Te Herekiekie o Tokaanu, tētehi o ngā rangatira matua rā o Ngāti Tūwharetoa, me te kaihautū hoki o Ngāti Te Aho. I moe tana mokopuna wahine a Rangiamohia i a John Edward Grace, he tama nā Te Kerēhi, he pāmu hipi tana mahi i Tokaanu. I whānau tā rāua tama a John Te Herekiekie Grace i te kāinga o Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui (Meiha Kemp) i Whanganui i te 28 o Hūrae o te tau 1905.

E toru tau te pakeke o Hoani Kerēhi ka mate tōna whaea i te tau 1908. I kuraina ia ki te kura tuatahi o Tokaanu, kātahi ka haere ki Tīpene (St Stephen’s Native Boys’ School), i Ākarana (Auckland), ā, whai i muri mai ki te kāreti hangarau o Whanganui (Wanganui Technical College). He kore nō tōna pāpā i kaha ki te utu i tana kura, tekau mā rima tana pakeke ka haere ia ki te mahi moni hei whakahoki anō i a ia ki te kura. Whai mahi mai ana ia i tētehi kamupene pahi o Te Matau-a-Māui (Hawke’s Bay), he taraiwa waka tana mahi. Mea rawa ake, kua putu he moni, ā, e ea ana tana utu i tana noho i te Kāreti o Te Aute. I a ia i reira, ka puta tōna toa ki te tākaro, ka rawe kē ia mō te omaoma me te tākaro whutupaoro. I puta anō ia i te whakamātautau mā ngā kaimahi kāwanatanga iti iho.

Mutu kau tana kura, ka noho ia i Ākarana i te taha o tētehi o ōna whāea kēkē Pākehā. I reira ka tīmata tana ako mō te raihana kaiwhakamāori, ā, whiwhi ana ia i te taumata tuatahi. Nā ana whakaakoranga a ia i ako kia mārehe, kia matatau, kia hūmārika. Āpiti atu ki tēnā he tangata hūmārie anō hoki tōna āhua, me tana taunga anō hoki ki te mahi whakakatakata. Whakamīharo rawa atu ana a ia ki a Āpirana Ngata, me te aha, kei tāna, kāre he tangata Māori i runga atu i a ia mō te kauwhau me te hanga whakaaro.

I puta anō a Kerēhi i te akoranga rūri whenua i tana whakaurunga atu hei kaimahi mā te Tari Rūri Whenua (Department of Lands and Survey) i Hune o te tau 1926. I uru atu anō hoki a ia ki te ope hōia ā-rohe (Territorial Force), ā, nō te tau 1927 i whakaritea a ia hei āpiha. He aha rā, ka whati te waewae i a ia e purei whutupaoro ana, huri kē ana ia ki te tākaro korowha. E ai ki tāna, nā te tākaro nei i āhei ia ki te whakahoahoa atu ki te tangata ahakoa te karanga, te tauoranga rānei.

Nō te tau 1928 i whakawhiti atu a Kerēhi ki Pōneke (Wellington) mahi ai hei karaka i te Tari Māori (Native Department). Mai i reira ka uru atu a ia ki te rōpū hōia ā-rohe o Pōneke (Wellington Territorial Squadron), ēngari, i te kitenga e pāngia ana a ia e te mate kohi, ka whakamutua atu tana mahi hōia. Nō te tau 1935 i whiwhi a ia i tana tiwhikete whakarērere waka rererangi, ā, i te taenga atu ki te tau 1938 ka uru atu ia ki te taua rererangi ā-rohe (Territorial Air Force). I taua wā kāore i ārikarika te āhua o tana mahi i te Tari Māori. Nō te tau 1935 i tīmata tana mahi i te Kōti Whenua Māori, hei kaiwhakamāori, karaka hoki mō ngā kaiwhakawā. I tīmata taua mahi nei i Pōneke, kātahi ka nuku atu ia i reira ki te tāone o Heretaunga (Hastings), mutu rawa ake ki Rotorua. Nō te 15 o Hūrae o te tau 1940, ka moea e ia a Marion Linton Tennent (ko tōna īngoa takakau ko McGregor) i Pōneke. Kāre rāua i whai tamariki ēngari tokorua ngā tamariki a tana hoa wahine mai i tōna mārenatanga o mua atu.

Nā te Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao, i rerekē ai te āhua o tana mahi. Nā tana mōhio kāore ia e puta i ngā whakamātautau mō te taha ki tōna hauora, i kore ai i tatū i a ia te hiahia o Ngata kia noho a ia hei āpiha mō te Ope Taua 28 (Māori), arā, te 28th (Māori) Battalion. Hoi anō nā runga i tana mōhio ki te whakarērere waka rererangi, i uru a ia ki te tauārangi roera o Aotearoa (Royal New Zealand Air Force) i Aotearoa tonu, hei kaihautū matua tauarangi, ā, whakawhiwhia ana a ia ki te tohu māia o te tauārangi (Air Efficiency Award).

Ka mutu te pakanga, kātahi ka tino puāwai rawa atu te āhua o tana mahi. Whakaputaina ana e ia tōna hiahia mō te iwi Māori i tētehi reta āna ki a Ngata i te tau 1943, e pēnei ana, ko tāna kē he āwhina i ngā whawhai a tōna iwi ki te Pākehā pukuaroha kore nei. Heoi anō, i hoki atu ia i te tuatahi ki te tari matua o te Tari Māori i Pōneke, hei āpiha whakapūmau. Ka tae ki te tau 1947, ka whakaīngoatia ia hei hēkeretari tūmataiti mā te Minita Māori, arā, mā te Pirimia mā Pita Pereiha (Peter Fraser). Ko te tikanga, e tū kē ana a Kerēhi hei kaiwhakauru Māori mō te Rōpū Reipa o Aotearoa mō Te Tai Hauāuru i te tau 1949. Kāti, whakaritea kētia ana e te Rōpū Reipa a Iriaka Rātana hei kaiwhakauru, ko ia rā te pouaru a te mema Pāremata o mua atu, ko ia anō hoki te Tumuaki o te Hāhi Rātana. Me i kore a Iriaka i tohungia hei kaiwhakauru mō Reipa, tērā kua tohungia kētia a ia e te Hāhi Rātana kia tū hei kaiwhakauru motuhake.

I te toanga o te Rōpū Nāhinara i te pōtitanga i te tau 1949, whakatūria ana ko Kerēhi hei hēkeretari tūmataiti mā te Minita Māori, mā Te Kōpata (Ernest Corbett), ā, whai i muri i a ia mā Te Horioka (Keith Holyoake). Nā te kaha haere ake o te Tari Māori (Department of Māori Affairs) ki te mau ake i te whakahaere o ngā mahi, me te rironga i te Minita o te tikanga ki te hanga kaupapa anake, tirotiro rānei i te tika o ngā mahi a te Tari, i iti kau noa te awe o Kerēhi ki te whakatutuki i ngā mahi i tērā o ngā hēkeretari o mua. Nāna anō i āwhina te mahi whakatū i te Poari Kaitiaki o Tūwharetoa (Tūwharetoa Trust Board) i runga i te kaupapa kia tōtika tonu te taha kaipakihi. Nō taua wā anō, ka kitea e ia he tari mahi hei wāhi whakahaere mā ētehi o ngā rangatira o Tūwharetoa i tētehi o ō rātau poraka whenua, he mea whakakaporeihana i Tūrangi. Nāna tonu i tīmata te kaupapa nei, arā, te mahi ono rākau i ngā whenua Māori e karapoti ana i ngā moana o Taupō me Te Roto-a-Ira (Rotoaira).

Nō te toa anō o te Rōpū Reipa i te pōtitanga i te tau 1957, ka kite a Kerēhi, kua kore ia e tino rata ki a Waata Naahi (Walter Nash). Kāti koa, nō te tau 1959 i tukua e ia tana tūranga hei hēkeretari tūmataiti, ā, ka hokona mai e ia he pāmu māna i waho mai i Whanganui. Kia watea kē mai ia i te mahi mā te kāwanatanga, kātahi anō ia ka whai i tētehi tino mahi māna i roto i te ao torangapū, inarā, ka riro i a ia te tūranga perehitini tuarua, mema kaunihera atu hoki mō te motu mō te Rōpū Nāhinara. Hore rawa ia i whakamātau i tētehi o ngā tūru Māori, ēngari anō te rohe pōti o Whanganui he mea whakamātau e ia i te tau 1963 me te tau 1966. Ahakoa kāre tonu ia i whiwhi, ēngari he autaia nō ngā pōti i riro mai i a ia nā reira i para atu te huarahi mō ngā Māori e whai ana kia whakaīngoatia rātau hei kaiwhakauru mō te Rōpū Nāhinara.

I te wā o te tekau tau atu i 1960, kua nui haere kē atu te hau o te rongo o Kerēhi. He tū rangatira tōna, ā, he roa, he ātaahua te āhua; e ai ki tāna, me mahi te hunga katoa kia pai rawa atu ai tā rātau mahi, mehemea kei a rātau te kaha. I tua atu i ngā tūranga i whakaritea mōna i te tekau tau atu i 1950, arā, i Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (New Zealand Geographic Board) me te Pouhere Taonga (National Historic Places Trust), he mea whakatū anō hoki a ia ki te Kaupapa Mātauranga mō te Iwi Māori (Māori Education Foundation), ki te Tahua Moni mō ngā Take Māori (Māori Purposes Fund Board), ki te kaunihera whakauka i te ao tūturu o Aotearoa (New Zealand Nature Conservation Council) me te kaunihera o te motu mō te ako pakeke (National Council of Adult Education). Ka oti i a ia tana pukapuka, a Tūwharetoa te tā i te tau 1959, kātahi ka tino hau rawa atu tōna rongo ki te motu. Tekau mā rima tau a ia e rapu kōrero ana mō te pukapuka nei, ā, nō te wā o tana tānga tuatahitanga, i pū ai te whakaaro kātahi kē te taonga ā-iwi tuku iho ko tēnei.

Nō te tau 1962 i pahemo ai a Marion, te wahine tuatahi a Kerēhi. Ka taka mai ki te tau 1968, ka moea e ia a Dorothy Merle Kirkcaldie (ko tōna īngoa takakau ko Paterson), arā, i te 21 o Hune i Pōneke. Ahakoa kāre kau āna tamariki ake, hei tāna tā te pāpā whāngai, he mea aroha nui e ia ngā tamariki a Dorothy mai i tana mārenatanga o mua atu. Nō taua tau tonu ka ūhia ia ki te tohu Tā mō āna mahi mā te iwi Māori.

He mea whakaīngoa hoki a Tā Hoani Kerēhi hei Māngai Kāwanatanga mō Aotearoa ki Whītī i te tau 1970, kātahi anō rā ka noho tino rangatira tō rātau whenua. I a ia i reira i tautokona e ia te kaupapa ono rākau. Nā te mea i haere ia ki te kāreti hangarau o Whanganui rātau ngātahi ko te Kāwana Tianara Whītīana tuatahi me te Pirimia Kaitiriwā, i hononga tata ai rātau ko te kāwanatanga.

I tana hokinga mai i Whītī, ka hokona e ia tana pāmu, ka whakatā ia ki Whanganui. He kaingākau tonu nōna ki ngā mahi a te iwi, i uru atu ia ki te Poari Kaitiaki o Tūwharetoa, ki te Poari Kaitiaki o Te Roto-a-Ira (Lake Rotoaira Trust Board) me te komiti kaitiaki ngahere o Taupō. Ahakoa kua tō kē te rā, i mau tonu tana haere ki ngā hui, kōrerorero ai i ngā take, ā mate noa. Nō te tau 1985, ka kitea kua mate kē ōna pūkahukahu i te mate pukupuku. Nō te 11 o Ākuhata o taua tau, ka mate ia ki Whanganui, mahue mai ana ki muri i a ia ko tana hoa wahine. Tahuna ana te tūpāpaku, i tanumia ana pungarehu i Tokaanu.

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Graham Butterworth. 'Grace, John Te Herekiekie', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/5g14/grace-john-te-herekiekie (accessed 6 December 2019)