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Karaitiana, Rangi Ruru Wānanga

by Gordon Spittle

Biography

Nō muri i te mutunga o te Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao, ko te waiata a Ruru Karaitiana nei, ko ‘Blue smoke’ te waiata maioha e mihi nei ki ngā hōia e hokihoki mai ana ki te wā kāinga. Nō muri hoki i hau ai te rongo o te waiata nei hei waiata rorotu tuatahi mō te katoa o te motu nei, mō Aotearoa. Ki te whakaaro o te kaitito i muri mai, nā te waimarie pea i pēnā noa ai. Ki tāna anō, i a rātou i runga i te kaipuke mau hōia, i te Aquitania i te tau 1940, i waho mai i te takutai o Awherika, ka whakaatu mai tana hoa ki a ia i te auahi e hipahipa atu ana. Kāti rā he mea whakatakoto ki mua tonu ki te aroaro o Karaitiana. Kātahi hoki te waiata māhorahora ko tēnei! Ka rua rangi noa pea ka oti i a Karaitiana te waihanga hinengaro noa i ngā kupu me te rangi o te waiata nei, hei waiata māna i tētahi kōnohete i runga i tō rātou kaipuke.

I whānau a Rangi Ruru Wānanga Karaitiana i tētahi wāhi e pātata atu rā ki Tanewaka (Dannevirke) i te 4 o Maehe o te tau 1909, ā, nō Ngāti Kahungunu me te hapū o Ngāti Mutuahi o Rangitāne ia. Ko te tama ia a Hineiwhakaarahia Ngārūma Karaitiana rāua ko tana hoa tāne, ko Heketā. Heoi rā riro ana ia nā ōna tūpuna ki te taha o tana māmā, nā Wirihana Kaimokopuna Karaitiana rāua ko tana wahine, ko Irihāpeti Tūhokairangi a ia i whakatipu mai i Tahoraiti. Nō te whānau rongonui o ngā rangatira o Rangitāne a Karaitiana, ko rātou nei ngā Māori tuatahi o Te Matau-a-Māui (Hawke’s Bay) ki te huri ki te hāhi Karaitiana. I kuraina a Karaitiana ki te kura kawenati o Hato Hōhepa (St Joseph’s Convent School) i Tanewaka, ā, tekau mā rua nei tōna pakeke ka mutu tana kura, ka noho nei ia hei kaimahi ā-tau, hei kaiwhakatangitangi hoki. Tekau mā rima ōna tau ka tīmata tana purei whutupaoro mō tētahi tīma ā-rohe o Te Matau-a-Māui, me tana mahi mekemeke, puhau taumaha nei. Ko tōna reo tuatahi ko te reo Māori, ēngari he tino mārama anō hoki a ia ki te kōrero Pākehā. I tīmata mai tana ako ki te patu piana i te kura kawenati, ā, e ono noa tōna pakeke ka tīmata tana purei piana i ngā pō kanikani o ngā Hātarei; kia taea e ia te whiti atu ki ngā kī o te piana, meinga kē ana he pouaka āporo hei tūru mōna. Ko te nuinga o ōna mōhio whakatangitangi he mea ako tonu e ia, ā, tekau tau i muri mai he kitekitea tonutia ake tana mahi i ngā pēne i ngā takiwā i Te Papa-i-ōia (Palmerston North) tae noa ki Pōneke (Wellington), e whakatangi kē mai ana rānei ia i te piana, i te pūkumekume, i te ukurere me te kitā atu hoki.

I te wā o te pakanga i te Rāwhiti Pū (Middle East), he hōia noa nei te tūranga o Karaitiana i roto i te Ope Taua 28 (Māori) o Aotearoa (28th New Zealand (Māori) Battalion). Ruarua nei ngā wā i te hōhipera ia e takoto mai ana, ā, i te mutunga mai nā te kaha kore o tōna tinana i whakamutua ai tana mahi hōia. He kaiārahi anō hoki tāna mahi i te rōpū kōnohete a te ope taua, ruarua noa nei ngā mea mahue ake o tō rātou koaea, tekau mā whitu kē nei te nui. I te tau 1947, kua hoki kē mai rā ia ki Niu Tīreni, kua whakatūria kētia e ia he rōpū tokorima nei, ā, nō Oketopa o te tau 1948 i Pōneke i hopukia e rātou, ko te kaiwaiata rā ko Pixie Williams, te whakaaturanga o te waiata nei, o ‘Blue smoke’. Noho rite ana te momo puoro o te waiata nei ki te puoru o Hawai’i, ā, ko ngā taputapu whakatangitangi ko te kitā, ko te ukurere me tētahi kitā pona maitai atu hoki. Riro ana ko tēnei te kōpae puoro 78 rpm tuatahi i mahia nei ki Aotearoa, i tīmata mai i te titonga ā-kōpae noa. Noho ake ana te rekoata nei hei kōkuhunga, hei waiata rorotu hoki mō te īngoa tohu whakaatu mai, mō TANZA (To Assist New Zealand Artists), e hia kē nei i hokona mai e te tangata. Ahakoa te whakaaro o Karaitiana he āhua kore take noa te mahinga tuatahi nei, e ono wiki kē te roa o te waiata e matatihi nei i ngā whakaaturanga o ngā reo irirangi o Aotearoa, ā, nuku atu ana i te 20,000 ngā kape i hokona mai i te tau kotahi.

Pupū anō hoki te aronga nui mai o tāwāhi ki te waiata nei. I te tūtakitanga o Karaitiana ki te tokorua Ingarihi nei, ki a Anne Ziegler rāua ko Webster Booth, riro ana nā aua tokorua rā te waiata i rekoata. I te taha ki Amerika, riro ana nā Dean Martin, nā Al Morgan me Teddy Phillips te mahi rekoata, pānui hoki i te waiata nei. E ai ki ngā whakaatu mai o ngā pukapuka puoro hōhoko o New York o te tau 1951, ko ‘Blue smoke’ tonu tētahi o ngā tino waiata o te tau, arā, he puoru putunga moni, ka nui kē te whakarangona ake i te reo irirangi, i ngā pouaka whakatangi rekoata kē rānei. I waea rawa mai a Dean Martin i Amerika ki te tono waiata atu anō hoki i a Karaitiana.

Nuku atu i te tekau mā rua ngā waiata i titoa e Karaitiana; nā Netta Haddon i rekoata tētahi noa nei, arā, ko te īngoa ko ‘As others do’. Ko ētahi anō i titoa e Karaitiana ko ‘Let’s talk it over’, ko ‘Windy city’, ko ‘Ain’t it a shame’ me ‘Sweetheart in calico’, he mea rekoata katoa e Pixie Williams mā TANZA. I ngā tau tōmua o te tekau tau mai i 1950, i tuhia ake, ā, i rekoatatia hoki e Karaitiana te waiata nei ‘It’s just because’, hei waiata mihi māna ki te ope taua Kayforce e pakanga mai rā i Kōrea, me te waiata nei hoki, me ‘Saddle Hill’, e kōrero nei mō tētahi tohu whenua i Ōtepoti (Dunedin). Nō te tau 1952 i meinga ko ia te tangata tuatahi o Aotearoa ki te whiwhi i te paraihe, £25 te nui, a te rōpū a te mana whakakitenga o Ahitereiria me Aotearoa (Australasian Performing Right Association) mō te hokohokonga i ‘Blue smoke’ me ‘Let’s talk it over’ (nuku atu i 10,000 ngā kape o tēnei waiata i hokona).

Nō te 27 o Oketopa o te tau 1949 i moea ai e Karaitiana a Joan Charlotte Franzeska Chettleburgh, he hēkeretari, he kaiwhakakite kākahu āna mahi. He mea mārena rāua i te tuatahi i te tari rēhita i Pōneke, ā, i muri mai i mārenatia anō rāua i runga i te marae o Tahoraiti. Whānau ake ana he tama mā rāua, ā, tokorua hoki ā rāua tamāhine whāngai. Nuku atu anō hoki i te rua tekau ngā tamariki he mea whāngai hāramuramu noa mai e rāua. He Katorika nei a Karaitiana, ā, i kaha mau tonu tana whakapono ki ngā painga o te mātauranga me ngā tikanga a te Māori. I Ōkaiha (Brighton) e tata atu rā ki Ōtepoti te whānau e noho ana, ēngari nō te whānautanga o tā rāua tama i te tau 1951, ka hoki atu nei ki Tahoraiti mō te rua tau noho ai, i mua i tō rātou nekenga atu ki Woodville. I whai tonu a Karaitiana i ngā mahi ā-tau, arā, i te mahi kutikuti hipi, mahi atu hoki i ngā whare patu mīti.

Tino mōhiotia ana a Karaitiana hei tangata whanonga pai, me tana tino rawe kē nei hoki ki ngā motokā o tauiwi. He tangata pakupaku noa nei tōna hanga, he tangata nguengue, huna nei te āhua, ēngari me ka tū mai ana ia i te whatārangi, tū mai ana he tangata rerekē. I te wā i rongo nei ia i te rōpū whakatangitangi o te motu (National Orchestra) e whakatangi mai ana i tana waiata, i a ‘Blue smoke’, me tana rongo anō i taua waiata e waiatatia mai ana i te reo Māori i runga i te reo irirangi, i tino whakahī rawa atu nei ia. Nō te tau 1964 i wehe tūturu ai a Ruru rāua ko Joan. Kāti, nō te 15 o Tīhema i te tau 1970 i mate ai a Ruru Karaitiana ki Pōneke, ā, mahue mai ana ko tana tama. He mea tāpuke a Karaitiana ki Tahoraiti. Mahue mai ana ko te waiata nei ko ‘Blue smoke’ tana tino waiata. Ka taka mai nei ki ngā tau tōmua o te tekau tau atu i 1990, ka riro anō ko ‘Blue smoke’ te reo puoro tangi mai o ētahi pikitia, he mea mahi mai i Aotearoa nei, anei rā ko Ruby and Rata , ko Bread and roses me An angel at my table.


He whakaaturanga anō

Rārangi pukapuka

    Spittle, G. Counting the beat. Wellington, 1997

    Spittle, G. ‘Out of the blue…’. Southern Skies. Nov. 1993: 52–57


Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Gordon Spittle. 'Karaitiana, Rangi Ruru Wānanga', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/5k3/karaitiana-rangi-ruru-wananga (accessed 15 June 2021)