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Love, Eruera Te Whiti o Rongomai

by Susan Love De Miguel

Biography

Nō te 18 o Mei o te tau 1905 i whānau ai a Eruera (Edward) Te Whiti-o-Rongomai Love i tō rātou whare, i Top House, te kāinga o te whānau Love i te whanga o Waikawa i ngā kokorutanga o Te Wairau (Marlborough Sounds). Ko te tama tuarua ia o ngā tamariki tokowhitu ora ake a Wī Hapi Pākau Love rāua ko tana wahine, ko Rīpeka Wharawhara Mātene. Hei mokopuna tuarua tana māmā ki a Hōniana Te Puni-kōkopu o ngā hapū nei, o Ngāti Te Whiti me Ngāti Tāwhirikura o Te Āti Awa, ā, i whai pānga anō hoki ia ki a Ngāti Ruanui. Hei mokopuna tuarua ake a Wī Hapi mā te kaipatu tohorā rā, mā John Agar Love rāua ko Mere Rure Te Hikanui, he wahine rangatira rā nō te iwi o Taranaki. Hei uri ake anō hoki a Eruera ki te whānau o te poropiti o Parihaka rā, ki a Te Whiti-o-Rongomai III. Ko Eruera te Māori tuatahi hei kaingārahu mō te Ope Taua 28 (Māori) o Aotearoa (28th New Zealand (Māori) Battalion). Ko te īngoa karanga o tōna whānau me ana hōia anō hoki i a ia ko Tiwi, ko Tui kē rānei.

Nō te tau 1911 i mahue atu i ōna mātua tō rāua teihana hipi a Homebush i te motu o Arapaoa (Arapawa), ka neke mai nei ki Pito-one (Petone), ā, whakatūria ana e rāua he kāinga mō te whānau i Korokoro, ko te īngoa nei ko Taumata. I kuraina a Eruera ki te kura o Pito-one ki te hauāuru (Petone West School). Tekau mā tahi nei ōna tau ka kuhu atu ia ki ngā hōia tauira, ā, nō te tau 1922 i whakauru atu ia ki te ope hōia ā-rohe (Territorial Force). Ka tae atu ki te marama o Mei o te tau 1926, kua noho kē ia hei rūtene tuarua. Atu i te tau 1924 ki 1925 haere ai a Eruera ki te kāreti o te whare wānanga o Wikitōria (Victoria University College) ako ai i te ture, ā, whāia ka noho mai nei ia hei kaiwhakamārama reo mō te Kōti Whenua Māori.

Mana ana i a ia ngā hiahia o tōna pāpā, ka rangahautia ake e ia ngā whakapapa o te whānau Love. Otirā, ki te whakaaro hoki o Wī Hapi me ka ora tonu tōna whānau i roto i te karanga iwi o te motu nei, e peia haere tonutia ake nei te Māori kia kawe kē, ā, tēnā kitea ake ai mā te whakapapa kua oti nei te rēkoata e ora ai tōna whānau. Mau tonu te tūmanako o te tini whānui tērā kawea ake ai e Eruera te pūeru hautū o tōna whānau; he tangata māhorahora noa nei ia ki te whaikōrero, kitea ake ana hoki tōna hihiri ki ngā mahi tahua. He mea whakatō ki roto i a ia e ōna mātua me ōna kaumātua kia pūmau tonu tana whakapono, inarā mā te mau o te Māori ki ō rātou whenua, ki tō rātou reo me ā rātou tikanga, kātahi ka ora tō rātou iwi, ka ora hoki te hunga Māori katoa.

Pārekareka ana ki a Eruera ngā mahi tākaro. Noho hoe waka ake ana a ia mā te karapu hoe waka o Pito-one (Petone Rowing Club), kaitākaro anō hoki mō te tīma kirikiti Māori o te hau kāinga. Hoi anō ko te whutupaoro kē te tākaro i tino toa ai ia, ka uru nei ia ki te tīma o Pito-one, iara mō te tīma o Pōneke (Wellington). Hei mema anō hoki a ia mō ngā tīma toa Māori o Aotearoa (Māori All Blacks) o ngā tau 1925 me 1926, arā, ko te mea tuarua rā o ngā tīma nei i haere rā ki Parani, ki Peretānia, ki Kānata, ki Ahitereiria me Hīrone (Ceylon), i nāianei ko Hiri Rānaka (Sri Lanka). I te wā o tētahi hararei kura, he mea whakanoho ake e te māmā o Eruera ngā kōtiro taiohi tokorua nei nō Rarotonga, a Takau (Margaret) Tinirau Makea Rio rāua ko tana teina noa nei. I te pekanga atu ki Rarotonga o te kaipuke o te tīma toa Māori o Aotearoa o 1926, i tūtaki anō ai a Eruera rāua ko Takau. Pū ana te whakaaro o ngā tokorua nei me moe rāua, ā, taro rawa ake i whakaaetia e ō rāua whānau e rua. Otirā nō te 17 o Hepetema o te tau 1928 i moe ai rāua i Pare-o-Tāne i te marae ake o Taputapuatea i Rarotonga i ngā Kuki Airani. Ūhia ana a Takau e tana pāpā ki te īngoa nei o Rio Rangatira, me tana hoa tāne me Eruera ki te īngoa nei o Rangi Makea.

Pau ana te toru tau nei i a Eruera rāua ko tana hoa wahine e noho ake ana i Pare-o-Tāne, te wāhi i whānau ai ā rāua tamāhine, he māhanga nei, i te tau 1930. I tēnei wā i akona e Eruera ngā tikanga me te reo o te iwi o tōna hoa wahine me ngā kawenga anō hoki e pā ana ki te īngoa o Makea Nui, tērā te wā ka tukua atu ai ki te mea pakeke o wā rāua tamariki, ki a Rio Rangatira Mokoroa ki Aitu Love. Nō muri i te whānautanga mai o tā rāua tamāhine tuatoru i hoki mai ai rāua ki Aotearoa i te tau 1931. Noho ake rāua i Pito-one i te tuatahi, kātahi ki Whiorau (Lowry Bay), ēngari nō te whānautanga mai o tā rāua tamāhine tuawhā i te tau 1934, kua toitū kē nei tā rāua noho mai i Taumata.

I hoki atu a Eruera ki te Kōti Whenua Māori mahi ake ai, tīmata ake anō i tana mahi mai mā te ope hōia ā-rohe. Ko ia tonu te mea kaha mō ngā mahi kohi moni ake nei hei whakatū i te whare nui nei, i Te Tatau-o-te-Pō e pātata tonu rā ki Taumata. Ko te take nui i whakatūria ai te whare nei hei kāinga whare noho mō ngā whanaunga o Taranaki e tae ake nei ki Pōneke ki te whai i ngā āhuatanga e pā ana ki ō rātou whenua. Kātahi te hui tino rangatira rawa atu i kitea nei i te whakatuwheratanga i Te Tatau-o-te-Pō i te 18 o Oketopa i te tau 1933. Tinitini ana a Te Āti Awa mai i Taranaki me Te Waipounamu, me ngā rangatira Pākehā anō hoki i tae ake ki taua hui. I ngā rā tīmata ake o Te Tatau-o-te-Pō, riro ana ko Eruera te kaiwhakahaere, te kaitiaki moni hoki.

He mahi nēhi nei tā Takau, ā, he haere tonu tā rāua mahi ko Eruera ki ngā hui me ngā mahi ngangahau a tōna hapori me ērā i Pōneke hoki. Ko ngā wā i tino pārekareka rawa atu ai ki a Eruera, ko ngā wā i a rātou ko tōna whānau e mahi ake ana i ngā māra hokohoko kai a te whānau Love i Waiwhetū. Taetae ake ana ngā rōpū rahi kē nei me ā rātou tamariki ki te mahi i ngā tipu kai, kaukau ake ai i te awa, tākaro kirikiti kē rānei. Ko ngā kai i whakatipua ake i reira he mea tohatoha haere ki ngā whanaunga, ā, hei whāngai anō hoki i te maha e rauika mai nei ki Taumata me Te Tatau-o-te-Pō. I ngā marama ake o te raumati he haere tonu te mahi a Eruera me tōna whānau me ōna whanaunga o Rarotonga ki Top House me Homebush i Te Wairau noho ai.

I te pakarutanga mai o te Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao – inarā, he kaingārahu matua tonu ia nō te ope hōia ā-rohe – i whakawhitia atu ai a Eruera ki te tari matua o te ope taua, hei āwhina i te mahi whakatū i te Ope Taua 28 (Māori), arā te 28th (Māori) Battalion, te hokowhitu Māori rānei. Nō mua i tana whakatūnga atu ai hei kaiwhakahaere mō te Kamupene Tari Matua (Headquarters Company), he wā poto nei i noho ake ia hei kaiwhakahaere mō Kamupene D. Nō te marama o Mei o te tau 1940 i eke atu ai a Eruera me te hokowhitu Māori ki runga ki te Aquitania , haere atu ai ki Ingarangi. I te taenga atu ki te marama o Maehe o te tau 1941 kua tae kē atu te hokowhitu ki Īhipa. I tēnei wā e pēnei ana ngā whakaatu mō Eruera, arā, ehara ia i te tangata tāroaroa, poto kē rānei, ēngari he tangata rahi, whāiti mārō ana tōna hanga. E ai ki te kōrero, hāparangi kē ana ia i ana whakahau waihoki rā te īngoa tapa o ana tāngata i a ia ko ‘Te Pūru’. Kotahi māero te tawhiti atu o te tangata e rongo tonu ana i tana reo.

I ngā rā whakamutunga ake o te marama o Maehe o te tau 1941, i nekehia atu te hokowhitu Māori ki Kariki, noho tatari whakawawao ai rātou i te whakawhitinga o Orimipia (Olympus Pass) ki ngā Tiamana e whakaeke haere mai ana. Nā te whakatahinga ake nei o te ope taua haumi i whakatahia ake hoki te hokowhitu Māori ki Kariti. Ko te mahi a te Whare o Aotearoa (New Zealand Division) i Kariti he wawao mai i te papa rererangi o Maleme. E ai ki ngā kōrero o tana reta – aroha ana te pānui mai – ki tana wahine, tūwiriwiri ana ia he patu kē nei hoki tana mahi i ngā hōia heketau e puta paraheahea noa ake ana i ō rātou waka rererangi, kāore nei e taea te aha. Nō te pō o te 22 o Mei i whakahaua ai te hokowhitu Māori ki te whakaeke i te papa rererangi, kua pāhoro kē nei i ngā Tiamana. I te pakanga, wehea kētia mai ana ia me ngā tāngata tekau pea nei rātou. Hoi āno, moata tonu i te ata o te 23 o Mei i kaha ai tō rātou pūhia mai e ngā pū karawhiu waka taua me ngā pū mīhini hoki. Kōkiritia ana e rātou aua pū rā, patua ake ana e rātou ngā kaipupuhi. Taotū ana te pakihiwi o Eruera, ā, kōpā ana. Kotahi rā atu anō hoki ia e noho tonu ana, karawhiua ake ai e ngā pū mīhini me ngā pōma a te hoariri. I te paunga o ngā rā ruarua anō e whawhai tonu ana, kātahi ka whakatahia atu rātou ki Arekehānara (Alexandria).

I te mutunga ake o te wā whakaako i a rātou i Īhipa kia waia ai rātou ki te whawhai i te koraha, i nekehia atu te hokowhitu Māori ki Arameina (El Alamein). Nō te 23 o Noema o te tau 1941 i pakanga anō ai te hokowhitu, ka whakamahia ake nei ki te whakarau i a Sollum, e pātata atu ana ki te wāhi rautaki nei o te whakawhitinga o Halfaya. Taotūria ana a Kānara George Dittmer i te pakanga i Sollum, ā, taka mai ana te whakahaere o te hokowhitu ki a Kāpene Love. I te wā e whakahaere taupua noa nei ia, i toa a Kāpene Rangi Roera (Royal) me Kamupene B i Musaid, tekau mā rima nei ngā waka o te hoariri i mau i a rātou. I te tononga atu i a rātou ki Menastir ki te aukati atu i ngā whakaputanga atu i Bardia ki te Afrika Korps, i te 3 o Tīhema o te tau 1941 i tino toa hiranga i te hokowhitu Māori ki ngā hōia o te Whare Panzer 15 (15th Panzer Division). Whakatauitia atu ana e rātou ngā Tiamana. Whakarōpūpū ake anō hoki te hokowhitu Māori i te takiwā o Sollum–Capuzzo, ā, i konei i tukua atu e Love te whakahaere o te hokowhitu ki te rūtene kānara hou nei, ki a Humphrey Dyer. I mua i tana wehenga atu ki te hōhipera ki te whakatika ake i tana taotūnga nei i Kariti, he mea whakahau e ia te hokowhitu kia pai tonu tā rātou tiaki i ngā mau herehere o te pakanga.

I tana oranga ake i Kairo (Cairo) ko tana hokinga atu tēnā ki te hokowhitu i Hiria i te marama o Maehe o te tau 1942, he meiha kaiwhakahaere tuarua tōna tūranga. Nō te marama o Mei i tono ai a Dyer kia whakawāteatia mai ia i te mahi whakahaere i te hokowhitu. Whakatūria ana ko Meiha Love hei whakakapi mōna, ka mau ake nei i a Eruera te tūnga taupua rūtene kānara. Noho ake ana ko ia te Māori tuatahi hei kaiwhakahau mō te hokowhitu Māori, ā, harikoakoa ngātahi ana te hokowhitu me Aotearoa nei hoki. Nā te karawhiutanga a Whīra Maihara Erwin Rommel i te Taua Nui Tuawaru (Eighth Army) i Rīpia me te pāhorotanga i a rātou o Tobruk (Tubriq), i hoki atu ai te Whare o Aotearoa ki Awherika ki te Raki, ā, nō te 25 o Hune i tae atu rātou ki tō rātou tūranga parepare i Minqar Qaim. Nō te ahiahi o te 27 o Hune i taiāwhiotia te Whare o Aotearoa e te Whare Panzer 21 (21st Panzer Division). Nō te hāora 1.45 o te ata, i hono atu ai te hokowhitu Māori ki ngā hokowhitu 19 me 20, ko rātou nei i te para atu i te huarahi i te pakarutanga mai o te Whare o Aotearoa, ā, tae atu ana tō rātou Whare ki te io o Arameina.

Nō tōmua ake o te marama o Hūrae o te tau 1942 i whakahaua ai te Whare o Aotearoa kia whakaeke i te hiwi o Ruweisat. He taunga wāhi nui tēnei kāore e ngaro te kitea atu i te koraha o Arameina i raro rā e toha atu ana. Nō te 11 o Hūrae o te tau 1942 i whakaekea atu te hiwi rā, ēngari noho whakapae kē ana te momo o te whawhai. Taro ake i te porehu, i taraiwa atu ai a Eruera rāua ko tana āpiha kaiāwhina ki te kite kei te pēhea āna tāngata; karawhiua mai ana te pupuhi mai a te hoariri i tana waka, ā, taotū mate rawa ana a Eruera; nō taua pō rā, nō te 12 o Hūrae i mate atu nei ia, e 37 noa tana pakeke. Nehua ana ia i te urupā mō ngā hōia i Arameina i Īhipa. He mate nui te ngaronga atu o Eruera ki tōna whānau, anā kē atu ngā whakahīrautanga mō ia whakatupuranga haere ake nei. Mahue mai ana ko tana hoa wahine – nō te tau 1947 i mate atu ai – me ā rāua tamariki tokowhā.


Hononga, rauemi nō waho

Ētahi whakaaro puaki, takenga

    Cody, J. F. 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, 1956

    Gardiner, W. Te mura o te ahi: the story of the Maori Battalion. Auckland, 1992

    Obit. Evening Post. 17 July 1942: 4


Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Susan Love De Miguel. 'Love, Eruera Te Whiti o Rongomai', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000, updated January, 2002. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/5l17/love-eruera-te-whiti-o-rongomai (accessed 7 December 2019)