Kōrero: Ruru, Lena Matewai

Whārangi 1: Haurongo

Ruru, Lena Matewai

1902–1977

Nō Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki; he poutoko iwi, he wahine tākaro, he kaiwhakatangi piana, he āpiha toko i te ora Māori

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

I whānau a Rina Matewai Ruru, he mea karanga kē nei ia ko Lena, i Tūranga (Gisborne) i te 5 o Hune o te tau 1902, ko ia nei te mea tuaono o ngā tamariki tekau mā tahi a Hēnare Keepa Ruru rāua ko tana wahine, ko Maata Rewanga Parāone. Orua tonu tana whānautanga mai me te matenga atu o te whaene kēkē o tana māmā, o Rina Matewai Balneavis (ko tōna īngoa whānau tuatahi ko Wilson), ā, e ai ki te tikanga ka tapaina te tamaiti ki te īngoa o Rina. Hai tamāhine te whaea o Rina mā Katerina Taumatua Wilson rāua ko tana tāne, ko Tiemi Parāone o Ngāi Tāmanuhiri me Rongowhakaata. He rangatira tōna pāpā nō Te Whānau-a-Taupara, he hapū nō Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, he hononga anō hoki ōna ki a Ngāti Kahungunu. I moe tana pāpā a Karaitiana Ruru i a Katopūhā Brown, te tamāhine a William Brown, ko ia nei tētahi o ngā tāngata whai tuatahi, arā, he Pākehā i tae mai ki Tūranganui-a-Kiwa (Poverty Bay) noho ai. He kaihautū whakarae i te taha o te kāwanatanga te matua ake o Karaitiana – a Hēnare Keepa Ruru – ka nui kē nei tana kaha ki te hāpai i te noho ake a te Pākehā ki te rohe.

I haere a Rina ki te kura o Te Karaka, ā, i muri mai e toru tau ia i te kura o Hukarere (Hukarere Native Girls’ School) i Ahuriri (Napier). I te matenga atu o tōna māmā i Tīhema o te tau 1920 i nuku atu te whānau ki te marae o Tākipū i Te Karaka noho ai. I reira e tiakina mai ana e Rina ōna tungāne, a Tiaki rāua ko Eru – he tamariki kē rawa atu rāua i a ia – me tōna pāpā anō hoki kua tūroro kē nei ia. Nō muri i hokona mai e te whānau he kāinga ake mō rātau i Te Karaka, ka tae atu nei ki te tekau tau atu i 1950 tō rātau roa ki reira, ka hoki atu rā a Rina rāua ko Eru me ā rāua irāmutu – tokorua he wāhine – ki Tūranga.

I te wā i a Rina i Hukarere he auau tonu te pekapeka atu o tōna pāpā rāua ko tana matua kēkē, ko Te Raumoa Balneavis (ko ia te hēkeretari tūmataiti a te Minita Māori i taua wā), ki te mau atu i a ia, i a rāua e haere nei ki Pōneke (Wellington), he pitihana nei e haria atu ana ki te Whare Pāremata. Noho ake ana a Rina hai hēkeretari, hai kaiwhakamārama reo anō hoki mā tōna pāpā, ā, ko ētahi atu o āna mahi he rangahau, he tuhi i ngā kōrero tuku iho me ngā whakapapa. Tāpiri atu ki tēna he āwhina anō tana mahi i ngā pitihana me ngā pitihana ātete atu hoki a tana pāpā e tukua nei e ia ki te Kōti Whenua Māori me te Whare Pāremata mō te āhua o ngā poraka whenua o Mangatū, o te Kaitiaki Māori o Te Tai Rāwhiti (East Coast Māori Trust), me ngā kerēme kāpeneheihana anō hoki o Pātūtahi. Mau kaha tonu te aronga atu o rāua ko tana pāpā ki te Kāreti o Waerenga-a-Hika, he mea takoha atu e te tupuna tuarua o Rina, e Hēnare Keepa Ruru te whenua ake mō taua kura. Nō muri i te kainga o te kura rā e te ahi i te tau 1937, i pūmau tonu te whai wāhi atu o Rina ki ngā mahi a te poari kaitiaki o Waerenga-a-Hika (Waerenga-a-Hika Trust Board), he āwhina nei tā rātau mahi i ngā rangatahi Māori, kia nuku atu ai tā rātau whiwhi i te mātauranga.

Nō muri i te matenga atu o tōna pāpā i te tau 1943 i mau tonu a Rina rāua ko tana tungāne, ko Eru ki āna mahi, arā, e pā iho nei ki te maha o ngā take mō ngā whenua o Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki me Te Whānau-a-Taupara, tae atu ki ngā poraka o Mangatū. Noho ake ana ko Rina tētahi o ngā wāhine tuatahi hai tiamana mō te komiti whakahaere Māori i tētahi poraka whenua (i Whaitiri Nama 2), ā, i kō atu i tēnā hai mema ana hoki ia mō te Kaunihera Kaitiaki Māori o Te Tai Rāwhiti (East Coast Māori Trust Council).

Ngākaunuitia ana e Rina Ruru te oranga o ngā rangatahi, ka āwhinatia e ia te mahi ki te whakatū i ētahi rōpū nei, arā, he rōpū kaiārahi kōtiro, he rōpū kōhine parāone, he rōpū matataua; i te tau 1934 kua noho kē mai a ia hai kāpene mō te kamupene o te rōpū kaiārahi matua o Te Karaka (Te Karaka Ranger Company). I te tau i muri mai, nā runga i te tono ake a te kōmihana tumuaki o te rōpū kaiārahi kōtiro, a Ruth Herrick, i mahia ake ai e Rina me ana kaiārahi he tauira o te pā o Popoia (arā, te pā o te rangatira o te takiwā kāinga, o Ruapani) hai whakaatu atu ki Poipiripi (Melbourne); nō muri i takohatia atu ai ki te whare whakairi toi, whare taonga hoki o Te Matau-a-Māui (Hawke’s Bay Art Gallery and Museum). I muri i tana nekenga mai ki Tūranga i mau tonu a Rina ki te mahi ārahi, ka whakatūria nei e ia te kamupene kaiārahi matua o Tūranga i te tau 1952, noho ake ana ko ia te kāpene. Ko te rōpū nei te rōpū kaiārahi matua Māori anake i Aotearoa nei, ka nui kē nei te whai wāhi atu o taua rōpū ki ngā hui kaiārahi o te motu me ērā o te ao whānui. I tua atu i tēnā i riro anō nā te rōpū nei i whakataka he pukapuka, he mea tuhi ā-ringa, he puka whakaata i ngā kōrero tuku iho a te Māori, hai tuku atu ki te whānau ariki tapairu o Ingarangi i te tau 1953.

Ko ērā atu anō o ngā mahi a Rina mā te iwi ko tana noho tekau mā whitu tau te roa hai mema mō te wānanga wāhine o te takiwā kāinga (Women’s Institute), nō muri iho ka karangatia ko te wānanga mō ngā wāhine o te taiwhenua (Country Women’s Institute). He wahine whakarae ia i ngā mahi a te Hāhi Mihingare, ā, nuku atu i te rua tekau mā rima tau a ia e noho ana hai kaiwhakatangitangi ōkena mō te Whare Karakia o Hoani (St John’s Church) i Te Karaka; i taua wā ka noho ake anō ko ia te kaiwhakaako o te kura Rātapu. Riterite tonu tana tae ake me tana whānau ki ngā rā karakia o ia marama o te Hāhi Ringatū ka tū nei ki Tākipū marae. He wahine kaingākaunui hoki ia ki ngā mahi a Hakipia (Shakespeare), ā, i whai wāhi atu anō hoki ia ki te rōpū whakaari runaruna noa nei, ki Te Karaka Follies. I te wā o te Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao, i āwhina a Rina Ruru ki te whakatū i te komiti ā-rohe tāmau whenua o Waikohu, arā, ko te mahi he tuku pūhera, reta, taonga whatu hai oranga ngākau atu mō ngā hōia e whawhai mai rā. Ko tērā atu anō hoki o āna mahi he whakahaere mahi whakangahau nei mā ngā hōia Amerikana e toro mai nei.

He wahine hākinakina ngangahau kē hoki a Rina, ka toa kē nei ia ki ngā tākaro nei, ki te hōkī, ki te korowha, ki te tēnehi me te whiu awe. Noho ake ana ko ia te kāpene o te tīma hōkī o Te Karaka, ko Tangata Rite te īngoa, ā, i te takiwā o te tekau tau mai i 1930 i noho ia hai kanohi mō Tūranganui-a-Kiwa. He mema tūturu hoki ia nō ngā karapu korowha nei o Waikohu, o Tūranganui me te Rōpū Korowha Māori o Aotearoa (New Zealand Māori Golf Association), ā, i te tau 1952 ko ia ake te hēkeretari a te peka o Tākitimu. He wahine pūmanawa anō a ia ki te patu piana, ā, i te wā o te Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao me muri mai hoki, i whakatangi mai ia i rō pēne, whakatangi mai rānei ko tana kotahi. I te ekenga atu o ōna tau ki te rua tekau i tīmata ai tana mahi patu piana i ngā kanikani o te wā kāinga, me ērā o ngā kura, tae atu ki ngā kanikani mau kaka rerehua, haere atu i te rohe o Tūranga ki Te Tai Rāwhiti. He auau tonu te tonotono mai i a ia hai kaiwhakatangitangi i ngā mārena me ngā hui whakanui i ngā rā whānau rua tekau mā tahi.

Ko tētahi o ngā mea whakaharahara o te tauoranga o Rina Ruru ko tana piri roa kē nei ki te rōpū mō ngā hōia mōrehu (RSA), otirā, i tīmata ake ia i te peka o Waikohu. Ko ia tonu te kaiwhakatangitangi mō ā rātau hui katoa, ā, i ngā rā karakia me ngā rā whakamahara ki ngā hōia o Ahitereiria me Aotearoa (Anzac Day), ka tū nei i te tauranga whakamaharatanga mō te pakanga i Te Karaka, noho kē mai ana a Rina me tana piana i runga i te taraka i muri purei ai. Kāti, ko te whenua ake e tū mai rā te whakamaharatanga i Te Karaka ko te whenua i tukua atu rā e tōna tupuna tuarua. I te tekau tau atu i 1950 i whai wāhi tonu a ia ki te rōpū o ngā hōia mōrehu o Tūranga, he maha kē nei ā rātau huinga anō, hui noa rānei, ko ia ake te kaiwhakatangitangi, kore rawa ia e whakaae ana kia utua. I te tau 1974 harikoa katoa ana ia i te whakatūnga i a ia e te rōpū o ngā hōia mōrehu o Tūranga hai mema hōnore mō tō rātau rōpū, ka hia tau kē nei tana roa e piri ana ki ngā hōia mōrehu o te rohe.

Nō mai i te tau 1950 ki 1956 i noho ake ai a Rina Ruru hai āpiha toko i te ora Māori i te Tari Māori (Department of Māori Affairs). Otirā, kātahi hoki te mahi tauhou rawa atu ki a ia ko tēnei, inarā, kātahi anō ia ka noho hai kaimahi mā tētahi rōpū pēnei, ā, kāore hoki ia i mōhio ki te taraiwa motokā. Heoi rā, kīhai ia i takaroa ki te haere ki te whakaako i a ia ki te taraiwa, ka whiwhi nei ia i tana raihana; he tere tonu te kapi i a ia o te whaitua mai i Tūranga ki Te Wairoa. Tū ana ia hai mema mō te Kaunihera ā-Rohe o Kahungunu (Kahungunu District Council), ā, atu i te tau 1950 ki 1953 i āwhinatia e ia te whakatūnga o ngā peka tekau mā tahi o te Rōpū Wāhine Toko i te Ora (Māori Women’s Welfare League), i ngā wāhi pēnei i Te Māhia, i Mangatū, i Tūai, i Huramua me Erepeti.

I noho tonu mai a Rina hai mema ngangahau mō te Rōpū Wāhine Toko i te Ora, ā, ngana tonu ana ia ki te whakapai ake i te taha mātauranga me te whiwhi mahi o te hunga tamariki Māori. Otirā, nā runga i te whakahau mai o te peka o Mangatū i meatia a Rina hai mema tūturu mō te Rōpū. I tana mutunga ake i tana mahi i te Tari Māori, whāia ake ana a ia e ētahi tū momo rōpū o te rohe kāinga pērā i te rōpū mō ngā tamariki hinengaro hauā (Intellectually Handicapped Children’s Society), i te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa (National Council of Women of New Zealand) me te Rīpeka Whero (Red Cross). I mau haere tonu te mahi whakatangitangi a Rina, ā, nuku atu ana hoki tana whakapau i tana kaha ki te mahi kāri, he mea whakatipu e rāua ko Eru i tō rāua kāinga i Tūranga, auau tonu te noho mai hai tauranga ake mō ngā hui whakangahau, hui tōrangapū rānei.

Hore rawa a Rina Ruru i moe tāne, ā, i te matenga o Eru i te tau 1969, whakaikatia ana a ia e te mamae. I te matenga atu o te tokorua whakamutunga o ōna tuākana, tēina rānei, ka mahue mai ko ia anake o tana whānau e ora ana. Nā te mea he taetae tonu mai te tangata ki te kite i a ia, arā, ōna hoa, āna irāmutu wāhine, tāne atu, me ā rātau tamariki, mokopuna hoki, i kore ai ia i mokemoke. He wā poto nei a Rina e pāngia ana e te mate ka hinga nei ia i te hōhipera i Tūranga i te 26 o Ākuhata i te tau 1977. Nehua ake ana a Rina Ruru ki te urupā o Waerenga-a-Hika.

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Tum Glover. 'Ruru, Lena Matewai', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/5r30/ruru-lena-matewai (accessed 26 June 2019)