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Potatau, Hemi

by Angela Ballara, Tame H. Takao

Biography

I whānau a Hēmi Pōtatau i te 20 o Mei o te tau 1904 i Te Mimi o Te Hiki i Nūhaka. Ko ia te tamaiti tuaiwa o ngā tamariki tekau mā rua a Hata Pōtatau, arā, ko Tīpene anō hoki tōna īngoa, rāua ko tāna wahine, ko Te Raita (Taraita rānei) Rore, arā, ko Te Waimātao tētahi anō o ōna īngoa. Nō te taha ki tōna māmā te pānga o tōna matua ki te ariki o Ngāti Porou, ki a Te Kani-ā-Takirau, ā, nō tētahi o ngā tūpuna o Te Kani anō tōna pānga ki a Te Rarawa o Te Tai Tokerau. Nā te mea ko Ngāi Te Apatari tōna tino hapū ka noho ko Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa tōna iwi matua. Nō te hapū o Ngāti Whare i Te Whāiti te whaea o Hēmi, kua kaha kē te moemoe haere o ngā tāngata o te hapū nei ki a Tūhoe me Ngāti Manawa hoki. Heoi anō, ko tōna hapū anō i Nūhaka ko Ngāti Rangi, ka noho nā ko Ngāti Rākaipaaka tōna iwi matua. He pōhara noa ngā mātua o Hēmi, uaua ana te kitea o tētahi oranga ake i tā rāua mahi ahu whenua me te mahi kaimahi haere a tōna pāpā.

Mai i te whā tau te pakeke o Hēmi, ka haere ia ki te kura Māori o Nūhaka (Nūhaka Native School), ā, wepua ana ngā tamariki ki te aka pirita me ka mau e kōrero Māori ana. Tekau mā rua ngā tau o Hēmi, i tīmata ai tana mahi mīraka kau mā tētahi tokorua o te hau kāinga, i mua i tana haerenga atu, hokinga mai rānei i te kura. Pēnei tonu te momo tiaki a ngā tokorua nei i a Hēmi hei tama tonu ia mā rāua, ā, hokona mai ana e rāua he kaka, he hū mōna. Tekau mā whā tana pakeke, ka tonoa atu a ia e te minita wahine, minita kaiāwhina rā, e Edith Walker – te mihingare Perehipitīriana i Nūhaka – ki te tapahi wahie mā te mīhana i muri i te kura. Mai i te tau 1917, i riro a Hēmi i te wahine nei hei tamaiti whāngai māna. Kua iriiria kētia a Hēmi hei Mihingare, ēngari hei mihi māna ki a Edith i whai kē ia i te Hāhi Perehipitīriana. Nō te rironga mai i a Hēmi i tētahi karahipi hei mau atu i a ia ki Tīpene (St Stephen’s Native Boys’ School) i Panēra (Parnell) i Ākarana (Auckland), ka riro nā Edith a ia i āwhina ki te utu i ana nama. Nā Edith anō i whakarite te haere a Hēmi ki te Kāreti Kōtarani (Scots College) i Pōneke (Wellington), tīmata mai i te tau 1920. E whā noa ngā mahi akoranga i tatu tika i a Hēmi i te kura nei i te tau 1923, ēngari i te tau i muri mai, i a ia i te kura tuarua ā-takiwā o Te Wairoa (Wairoa District High School), ka oti i a ia te whakamātautau ki te uru atu ki te whare wānanga. Nō te tau 1925, i uru atu ia ki te Wānanga-ā-Rangi (Theological Hall) i te Kāreti Nōki (Knox College) i Ōtepoti (Dunedin) ki te whai i ngā akoranga hei minita Perehipitīriana. Nō te tau 1926 i haere ia ki te whare wānanga o Ōtākou (University of Otago); tākaro whutupaoro mai ana ia mō te tīma tuarua o te whare wānanga, ā, i ētahi wā mō te tīma tuatahi, ēngari kāore kau i oti i a ia tana tohu mātauranga. Nō te tau 1931 i oti āna akoranga i te Kāreti Nōki, ā, whakanōhia ana a ia hei minita kaiāwhina i Taupō.

Mai i te tau 1932 ki 1933 tana roa ki Taupō. Nō muri mai i te whakawahinga i a ia hei minita i Tāneatua, i whakawhitia atu a ia ki Te Waimana. Atu i te tau 1934 ki 1936 a ia e āwhina ana i te minita i Nūhaka, ka mutu ka neke atu ia ki Waikaremoana ki te āwhina i te minita wahine rā, i a Edith. I a ia i reira, ka tutaki ia ki te poropiti, kaiārahi hāhi, ki a Tūtekohi Rangi, ā, i te aroaro tonu o te iwi, i whakaritea e ia te tangata nei ki te pāpaka, e tītaha haere kē atu ana te haere ki te māramatanga. Nō muri ka noho ko ‘te pāpaka’ te īngoa karanga o te nuinga o Tūhoe i a Tūtekohi. I te tau 1937, i te rarurarutanga o tētahi hononga āna, ka mahue i a Hēmi te mahi minita mō te kotahi tau, ā, haere kē ana ia ki te mahi pāmu. Heoi anō i hoki atu ia hei minita mō Taupō mō te wā atu i te tau 1938 ki 1940.

Nō Hānuere o te tau 1941, i haina tūao ai a Pōtatau ki te haere ki te pakanga, mahue kūware noa ana i a ia ana rangatira Perehipitīriana i tēnei mahi āna. Nō taua marama tonu i kuhu atu ia ki te puni hōia, ā, whakawhitia atu ana ia ki tāwāhi i te marama o Hune. Ka tata atu ki te whakamutunga o Hūrae ka tae atu ia ki Kairo (Cairo). Nō Oketopa, i whakatūria a ia hei kāpara iti mō te rōpū kōpapa tohu hiato (Composite Signal Depot). Nō muri i tana whakaaturanga i tana kitenga atu i tētahi raiti i Herewana (Helwân) – i te āhua nei he raiti whakaatu tēnei ki ngā waka rererangi Tiamana nā ngā Ārapi e kaikiri nei ki ngā Ingarihi – i whakawhitia atu a ia ki tētahi kura hopu tūtei hoariri i te Pū Rāwhiti (Middle East), hei whakaako i a ia ki te rapu i ngā āhuatanga mōhiotanga. Otirā, ko tāna mahi o muri mai he āta titiro, he āta whakarongo ki ngā mahi a ngā tāngata o tōna tira, arā, i a rātau e unu ana i ngā pāparakāuta kia kite mehemea kei te kūware noa te kōrero, ka mutu hei painga ki te hoariri. Ko tētahi mahi āna i ngā whare kai o NAAFI he tiro haere i te āhua o te ngākau whakapuke o ngā hōia, ina rā, i muri tonu mai i ngā karawhiunga o aituā. I whakatūpato anō ia ki ngā ope tānga hou kia kaua e manawarere noa, ā, i a rātau i te taha o te tangata noa me kōrero Māori anake. Nāna anō i whakarite te āhua o te tahu o ngā rāpihi pepa kei mahue noa ētahi e mau mai ana ngā kōrero e pai ana ki te hoariri. I tua atu i tēnā he mea ako anō a ia ki te kōrero i te reo Ārapi ake o taua takiwā, me tana ako anō hoki i te reo Wīwī.

Ka pau i a Pōtatau te rima marama i tēnei tūāhua mahi, ka puta te whakaaro ki te whakapiki ake i tōna tūranga, ēngari me ako rawa ia ki te patopato. Kāore ia i whakaae, ā, whakamahia kētia ana a ia hei karaka mā te kamupene. I Noema o te tau 1942, i whakawhiti atu ia ki te kamupene tohu Māori (Māori Signal Company) o te Ope Taua 28 (Māori) o Aotearoa (28th New Zealand (Māori) Battalion), arā, te hokowhitu Māori. Nō te takiwā tōmua ake o taua tau, i haere ia i tana hararei tuatahi, haere atu rā mā runga tereina ki te Whenua Tapu. Ka mau kē te wehi i te kitenga o Hēmi i ngā tāngata o wai noa iwi, o wai noa hāhi, e karakia ngātahi ana i ngā wāhi tapu o tērā whaitua. Nō muri mai, me ka wātea a ia ka haere tonu atu ia ki Pirihitia.

Ka noho, ka roa, ka tutuki i a Pōtatau tana hiahia kia kite ā-kanohi tonu ia i te kauhanga riri, ēngari i tōna taenga atu rā e taui kē atu ana ngā Tiamana i Arameina (El Alamein); ka mutu, i tata tonu ia te mate i te kōkiringa mai a tētahi waka rererangi Mehemete (Messerschmitt) i a rātau. I te tau 1943, i te wā e tatari ana te kamupene kia tae mai te minita Mihingare whakakapinga, he wā poto nei i noho ko Hēmi hei minita mō te kamupene. I te tau 1944, i tonoa atu a ia ki te ako i te mahi patopato, ā, me ka wātea mai he tūranga ka whakawhiwhia ko ia. Heoi anō, he mahi pokanoa nāna ki te haere atu i te taha o te hokowhitu Māori ki Itari, i whakawākia a ia e te kōti hōia, ēngari i te mutunga kāore a ia i whiua. E ai ki tāna, warea kē ana ia ki te oma whakamua atu ki te pakanga; kīhai ia i oma whakamuri. Nō Noema o te tau 1944 i whakahokia mai ia ki te kāinga, ā, nō te 5 o Hānuere o te tau 1945 i tae atu ia ki Nūhaka, ā, i reira i pōwhiritia ia e Ngāti Rangi me Ngāti Rākaipaaka.

Nō te wiki o muri mai, i haere a Pōtatau ki Tūrangi kia tutaki a ia ki a Ira Rangiita, tuhituhi reta ai rāua i a Hēmi e hōia ana. Mārenatia ana rāua i te 28 o Hūrae o te tau 1945, i Hīrangi i Tokaanu. Hei tamāhine a Ira mā Rangiita Tamaira (e mōhiotia ana hoki a ia ko Te Rangiita Te Waaka), ko ia te rangatira o te hapū o Ngāti Te Rangiita, he hapū nō Ngāti Tūwharetoa, rāua ko tana wahine, ko Rangimārama Nuku, o Tūrangi. Ahakoa kāore ā rāua tamariki ake, kotahi tā rāua tama whāngai, he mea whakatūturu e te ture, ā, kotahi te kōtiro, he whāngai noa nā rāua. Nō te takiwā tōmua o taua tau anō, arā, nō te marama o Mei i whakatūria ko Pōtatau te motoreta Māori tuatahi o tētahi komiti Māori Perehipitīriana mō ngā mīhana. Taka rawa mai ki te tau 1947 i mau i a Hēmi taua tūranga rā.

Atu i te tau 1945 ki 1946 a Pōtatau e minita ana anō hoki i Te Whāiti. I muri mai i whakawhitia atu ia ki Taumarunui, ā, taka rawa mai ki te tau 1959 tana roa ki reira. Nā runga i ngā pānga whakapapa o Ira ki ngā iwi o taua takiwā, i whai wāhi ai rāua ki te ārahi me te tātaki mai i ngā mahi o reira. I ētahi wā riro ngātahi ana i a Pōtatau te whakahaere o te pāriha Māori me te pāriha Pākehā. I whai wāhi anō hoki ia ki ngā mahi whakahaere tākaro, arā, te whutupaoro me te hōkī. I noho ake hoki ia hei hēkeretari mā ngā komiti ā-iwi e rua, ā, i āwhina anō hoki ia ki te whakatū i te kaporeihana nei, i Mangahouhou Nama 3A. Nō te tau 1948 pea, i riro nā Pōtatau i whakahaere tētahi hui nui hei whiriwhiri i te take o te whakatapu waipiro i te Rohe Pōtae. Ko Hepi Te Heuheu rāua ko Pei Te Hurinui Jones ētahi o ngā rangatira i tae atu ki taua hui. Ka mutu, e ono rau te rahi o te rōpū māngai a Korokī, ko Pōtatau tonu tētahi, i haere atu rā ki Pōneke i te tau 1949 ki te tono kia mau tonu te rāhui i te waipiro ki taua takiwā. Hēoi anō, hore kau ana i tutuki tā rātau tono.

Nō te tau 1959, i whakawhitia atu a Hēmi rāua ko Ira ki Ōpōtiki. Whāia hoki nō te tau 1964 i whakatūria a Hēmi te Motoreta o te Hīnota Māori o te Hāhi Perehipitīriana, ā, ka neke atu nei rāua ki Whakatāne. Ko āna mahi i reira he torotoro haere i ngā pārihā katoa, tae atu ki te whakanohonoho haere i ngā kaimahi. Nō te marama o Mei o te tau 1967 i whakatā ai a Pōtatau, ā, i tō rāua nekenga atu ko Ira ki Ākarana, kua pāngia kētia tana hoa e te mate pukupuku. Nō taua tau anō i te 2 o Hūrae i mate ai a Ira, ā, haria atu ana a ia ki Waitetoko ki Tūrangi, tanumia ai.

Hei whakatutuki i te ōhākī a Ira me oti rawa i a ia tana tohu BA, i uru atu ai a Hēmi ki te whare wānanga o Tāmaki-makau-rau (University of Auckland), ka whai nei tana ako i te kaupapa reo Māori me te mātauranga tikanga tangata. I mau haere tonu te uru atu o Hēmi ki ngā mahi a ngā tauira Māori, arā, i ngā mahi tautohetohe pēraka i te haerenga o te tīma whutupaoro toa o Aotearoa (All Blacks) ki Āwherika ki te Tonga i te tau 1970. I te otinga i a ia o tana BA i te whare wānanga o Wikitōria i Pōneke (Victoria University of Wellington) i te tau 1972 me te tau 1973, ka tahuri ia ki te āwhina i ngā mahi hei whakarite i te tikanga o te wiki mō te reo Māori.

I te tau 1975 i pōtitia anō a Pōtatau ki te Hīnota Māori hei motoreta mō tērā wā, ā, i mau tonu taua tūranga i a ia mō te tau kotahi. Nō te tau 1977 i whakahokia āno ia ki Taumarunui hei minita; i reira anō hoki a ia i te tau 1978 i te whakatūranga i te hui ā-tau a te Māpu Mangarū (Mongel Mob) ki te marae o Hiakaitupeka. Riro ana nāna i whakahaere ngā karakia o tā rātau hui, ā, ahakoa tonu te aumārire o te hui, i a ia te mahi i muri mai ki te whakamutu atu i te whawhai a tētahi tokorua, he whanaunga nei rāua tahi ki a Ira. Nō te tau 1979 i neke atu ia ki Waitetoko, ēngari nō tana wharatanga i te motokā ka roa ia e takoto ana i te hōhipera, i taua tau me te tau o muri mai. Ka ora mai ia, ka tahuri ia ki te tuhi i tana haukiri. Nō te tau 1984 i tukua atu te pukapuka nei hei whakataetae mō te taonga whītiki a Pegasus (Pegasus Prize) mō te tuhi kōrero Māori, e ai ki te whakaaro rā he tuhinga tino pai. Nō te tau 1991 i tāia te pukapuka nei, ko te īngoa ko He hokinga mahara , ā, ko te haukiri tuatahi tēnei i tāia ki te reo Māori.

Nō te tau 1988 ka hoki atu a Hēmi Pōtatau ki Nūhaka noho ai. I mate ia i te 18 o Hānuere i te tau 1994 i Te Wairoa, ā, i tanumia ia ki te urupā i reira, i Te Mimi o Te Hiki.


Hononga, rauemi nō waho

Ētahi whakaaro puaki, takenga

    Laughton, J. G. From forest trail to city street. Christchurch, 1961

    Obit. Daily Telegraph (Napier). 20 Jan. 1994: 4


Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Angela Ballara and Tame H. Takao. 'Pōtatau, Hēmi', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/5p35/potatau-hemi (accessed 9 December 2019)