Kōrero: Rata, Matiu Waitai

Whārangi 1: Haurongo

Ngā whakaahua me ngā rauemi katoa o tēnei kōrero

Rata, Matiu Waitai

1934–1997

Ngāti Kurī, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Whātua; kaitōrangapū, kaihautū uniana

I tuhia tēnei haurongo e Tiopira McDowell, ā, i tāngia tuatahitia ki Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau i te 2020. He mea whakamāori nā Te Haumihiata Mason.

I nui te kauanuanutia me te awe o Matiu Rata, te Minita Take Māori, Minita Whenua o te kāwanatanga tuatoru a Reipa, ko ia hoki te kaiwhakawaha o te Taraipiunara o Waitangi me te rōpū Mana Motuhake. I whakapaua te nuinga o ana rā ki te kōkiri i te mōtika Māori, ka mutu, i kī ake te maha atu o ana hoa o tōna wā he tangata whakaaro ki tua, e kore e rite ngā tāpaenga a tētahi atu ki a ngāi Māori ki āna. He tangata matatini, he tangata rongorua a Rata: he āpōtoro kōkiri mana hapori, he matawhāiti aru tikanga hou, he ihu oneone i huri hei minita rūnanga, he manawanui ki te whakatikatika me te aru i te whakaaro ka toko noa ake. I raro i tōna tuakiri wahawaha e hū ana te hiahia aru tikanga hou, i hurihia ai ngā mamaetanga o ngāi Māori hei aruaru māna, i huri kē ai te ahunga tāmi tangata whenua o Aotearoa.

Tama o Te Hāpua

I whānau mai a Matiu Waitai Rata ki Te Tai Tokerau i te kāinga o Te Hāpua i te 26 o Māehe 1934. Ko ia tētahi o ētahi tamariki tokowhā a Āta (Arthur) Rata rāua ko tana wahine a Mereana Holloway, he tātai ōna ki a Ngāti Kurī, ki Te Aupōuri me Ngāti Whātua.

Ko te kōrero a Rata mō tōna ohinga, he harikoa engari he uaua. I Te Hāpua ia i tōna tamarikitanga i mua i te hūnukutanga o te whānau ki Dargaville, i āhua rima nei ōna tau. Ka 10 ōna tau ka mate tana matua, ka nukuhia e tana whaea ana tamariki tokowhā ki Tāmakimakaurau, ko tana mahi i reira he tahitahi whare i te Poutāpeta. I noho tahi te whānau ki ētahi atu whānau 11, kōpā ana tā rātou noho i tētahi whare i te puku o te taone, kia nuku rawa rātou ki tō rātou ake whare kāwanatanga i Panmure. Nā tēnei āwhina a te kāwanatanga, tētahi kaupapa a te Rōpū Reipa, i pai ake ai te noho me ngā tūmanako o tana whānau, ka ara ake tana ngākaunui ki te ao tōrangapū. Hei tāna, ‘Kīhai te tōrangapū i ariā noa ki a mātou.’ ‘I tino tūturu’, e tohu ana hoki i ‘te ara e puta ai, e aruarutia ai he huarahi hou, he taiao hou, he kāinga hou, he tīmatanga hou.’1

I haukotia te haere a Rata ki te kura i te pakarutanga mai o te mate whakamemeke i a ia ka 12 ngā tau, ka mutu, kīhai ia i hoki ki te aru ōkawa i te mātauranga. Ko tāna kē he mahi i tētahi pāmu me te haere hei kaumoana kaipuke rawa i te tau 1950, ka whiwhi i tana tiwhikete kaumoana mātau me te hono atu ki te Uniana Kaumoana. I whai wāhi atu ia ki te tāpetupetu a ngā kaimahi wāpu i te tau 1951, ka hono atu ia ki te Rōpū Reipa i taua tau anō.  

I te hokinga mai ki Aotearoa i tana mahi kaumoana rawa i te tau 1954, he nui ngā momo mahi a Rata, pērā i te kaipeita rehu i ngā Whare Rerewē i Ōtāhuhu atu i te 1960 ki te 1963. I reira ko ia te kaiwhakariterite uniana, he mema anō ia o te mana whakahaere o te Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants ki Ōtāhuhu. Ka pōtingia ia hei heamana mō te pekanga o tōna rohe o te Rōpū Reipa, hei kaiwhakarite takiwā anō mō Reipa ki Tāmakimakaurau mō te mema pāremata o Te Tai Tokerau, a Tapihana Paikea.

I moe a Rata i a Nellie Eruera (nō Ngāpuhi) i Tāmakimakaurau, i te takiwā pea ki te tau 1957, tokorua ā rāua tama, kotahi te tamāhine. He mema pono ia nō te Hāhi Rātana. I noho ana mātua mō tētahi wā ki Rātana Pā, ka mutu, i roto i te wā ka tohua a Rata hei Āpōtoro Rēhita, hei heamana o te pekanga ki Tāmakimakaurau o te Hāhi Rātana, hei heamana tuarua hoki o te Rātana Youth Movement. I pai anō ki a ia te tauomaoma hōiho me te whutupōro rīki.

Te ana o te raiona

I te whakatupu tahitia o Rata ki te hāhi Rātana, i ana hononga ki a Reipa, i te tautokohia ōna e te uniana me ana hononga tata ki te mema o Te Tai Tokerau o taua wā, ka tae atu ia ki te Pāremata. I te matenga o Paikea i te Hānuere 1963, ka tohua a Rata e ana hoa uniana kia whakataetae mō te tūru, ka kōwhiria ko ia mai i tētahi kāhui tāngata pai tonu. I ohorere a Rata i tēnei; tē aro i a ia mehemea ‘me wehi rānei, me ngākau whakahī rānei, me pōkīkī rānei’.2 Ka toa ia i te pōtitanga kimi kaiwhakakapi, ka hou atu ia ki te Pāremata i te Maehe o te tau 1963, e 28 ōna tau.  

Neke atu i te toru tau a Rata ki te rōpū tauaro, me tana tū pakari ki te whakahē i te kāwanatanga o Nāhinara, hei reo kaha anō mō ētahi take whānui. Ka arahina e ia te tohe i te pire whakarihariha nei, te Māori Affairs Amendment Bill 1967, me tana oati ka pīrahia ina taea e ia. I āta kōkiritia e ia te whakanui i te Rā o Waitangi, te puritia tonuhia me te whakawhanaketia o te whenua Māori, te whakatikatika whare, me ngā huarahi aru i te mātauranga mō ngāi Māori me ngā iwi o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, ngā mōtika o te kaimahi me ngā uniana. I tū pakari a Rata ki te whakahē i te whakamātautanga karihi a ngā Wīwī ki Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, ka haere i te kahupapa waka rongomau ki te mātaki i ngā whakamātautanga i Moruroa i te tau 1972, ka whakahē i ngā hononga hākinakina a Aotearoa ki Āwherika ki te Tonga.  

Ka toa a Reipa i ngā pōtitanga o te tau 1972, ka kopoua a Rata hei Minita Take Māori, hei Minita Whenua anō, ētahi kaupapa i noho kaha mai ai ia ki te whakahou i ngā ture whenua Māori. Hei tāna i oati ai, ka pīrahia e ia ngā tekiona kino o te Ture 1967. Ka whakatinanahia e ia ngā whakahounga e whakahau ana kia puritia tonuhia, kia whakawhanakehia te whenua Māori, kia kaha ake te mana whakahaere o ngāi Māori i ō rātou whenua, ka mutu, hei tāna i tatau ai, i whakahokia e ia te rangatiratanga o ētahi eka e 56,000 ki te Māori. He huringa tauaro hiranga tēnei o ētahi kaupapa here konihi a te kāwanatanga, heoi, kīhai tēnei i whakarata i a Rata tonu, i te kaupapa mana whenua a ngāi Māori rānei i tupu ake i te wā ki a ia. Ka tahuri ia ki te whakawhanake i ‘tētahi huarahi e whai ara ai te iwi Māori i raro i te ture ki te kimi puretumu.3

Te Taraipiunara o Waitangi

I noho te Ture o te Tiriti o Waitangi 1975 hei taonga tuku iho mā Rata. Ko tana whakakitenga tuatahi ko te āta whakapau kaha kia whakamanahia te Tiriti o Waitangi i raro i te ture, kia whakatinanahia ōna kupu i roto i te kōti. I te kore o tēnei e tautokona e te Rūnanga, ka tono kē ia kia whakatūria he komihana uiui here-kore ki te aruaru ake i ngā kerēme a ngāi Māori mō ngā mamaetanga o mua, o muri mai anō, mō ngā mahi i mahia me ngā tīpokatanga a te kāwanatanga matua me ngā kāwanatanga ā-rohe i takahi i te Tiriti o Waitangi. Ākiritia ana anō te tono tuarua nei e te Rūnanga, rūnātia ana i muri iho. Nā te Ture i oti mai i tū ai te Taraipiunara o Waitangi hei komihana uiui toitū ki te tūhura, ki te pūrongorongo me te whakatau tūtohunga here-kore mō ngā kerēme a ngāi Māori e pā ana ki ngā mahi a te kāwanatanga matua, me ngā mahi kīhai i mahia. I ngākaurua a Rata mō te kore e āhei o te taraipiunara ki te wānanga kerēme mō ngā take o mua atu o tōna whakatūnga, heoi, i whakaarotia te Ture ‘he kokenga whakamua’, ka mutu, ka taea te arotake te pātai mō te mana whakatau take o mua ki te hiahiatia.4 Ko tāna titiro ki te pire ‘he pukapuka nui whakaharahara mō te kokenga o te taha pāpori, taha tōrangapū’ ka āwhina ki te ‘whakatau i ngā mamaetanga kua auroa e titi hōhonu ana ki te whatumanawa Māori mō te tiriti, e whakapono nei rātou koia te tūāpapa o ā rātou mōtika.’5

Ka nui te hira o te pounga o te Taraipiunara e whakaōhia ai ngā karanga a ngāi Māori kia whakamanahia ō rātou mōtika, kia arohia ā rātou auētanga, otirā kia whakataungia anō pea. Kua neke atu tēnei i te kaupapa here ki te ao poropiti: kua tonoa kētia e Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana tana apataki ki te Pāremata ki te aru i te whakamanatanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi me te kōrerorero i ngā auētanga whenua Māori, ka mutu, kua pau te tini haora i a Rata ki te wānanga me te rapu māramatanga i ngā whakaakoranga a Rātana. Ka tapaina a Rata e te hāhi ko ‘Piri Wiri Tua’: te ingoa i uhia i ngā rā o mua ki runga i a Rātana tonu, i runga i te tūmanako o tana apataki ka huri pērā i te wiri (‘piri wiri’) ka ‘piri me te ore ki tērā atu taha’.6 Whakatinanahia ana e Rata te ingoa nei i te Pāremata i tana para i te huarahi i tīmata ai te aruaru ake i ngā mamaetanga a ngāi Māori.  

I te tau 1973 ka tāpaea e Rata tētahi pire kia tohua te New Zealand Day (i kīia ko Waitangi Day i muri mai) he rā hararei mō te motu, hei whakanui i te hainatanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi i te 6 o Pēpuere 1840. Nā tōna kaha i piki ai ngā whakapaunga ki te whare me te mātauranga mō ngāi Māori, mō ngā iwi o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, i whakaaehia ōkawatia, i tautokona hoki te reo Māori, te ahurea me te marae. E tohu ana ngā mahi maha i oti i te wā poto i waenga i te tau 1973 me te 1975 i tētahi o ngā taumata tiketike o te toronga tōrangapū a te Māori, me te tohu anō i a Rata ko te kaitōrangapū kawenga nui katoa o tōna reanga kaitōrangapū Māori.

Tai timu

Nā te matenga ohorere o te Pirīmia o Norman Kirk i te Ākuhata 1974 i huri ai ngā āhuatanga mō Rata. I uia e te piki tūranga o Kirk, e Bill Rowling ōna pūkenga, ka mutu, i muri mai i te hinganga o te pātī i ngā pōtitanga o te tau 1975, ka unuhia atu tana kōpaki Take Māori rōpū tauaro. I noho tonu a Rata hei paemua mō Reipa, engari kāhore ōna mana hei māngai mō te pātī i ngā take Māori.

Ka tino hē rawa atu i te 2 o Noema 1979, i te whakahekenga o Rata hei paemuri i te takahuringa o te pātī. Rihaina tonu atu a Rata i tana tūru, te tino tohu o tana whakatakariri. Kua parea tahitia e Nāhinara me Reipa ngā take Māori ki rahaki, ka mutu, ko te whakahekenga o Rata he takahi i tōna mana. I te wiki o muri mai i tana rihainatanga, ka tīmata tana raupapa hui i Te Tai Tokerau ki te whakamārama i tāna i mahi ai ki ana apataki, ka akiakingia e te hunga tohe kia whakatere i tētahi rōpū tōrangapū Māori hou. Whakaae atu ana a Rata, ka huri i Te Tai Tokerau ki te kimi tautoko i te hunga pōti, me te whakahau i ngā pekanga pōti o te Rōpū Reipa kia tahuri atu ki a ia, me te kohi koha anō hei whakatū i te rōpū e pihi ake ana, a Mana Motuhake.

Wana ana te whawhai a Rata, engari ahakoa te kaha o te rōpū, kīhai ia i toa i te pōtitanga kimi kaiwhakakapi mō Te Tai Tokerau i te tau 1980; i riro i a ia tētahi 37.9 ōrau o te pōti, i riro i tana hoariri o Reipa, a Bruce Gregory tētahi 52.4 ōrau. I te tau 1981 ka heke a Rata ki te 23 ōrau o te pōti; i te tau 1984 ko te 18.5 ōrau noa. I tana hinganga anō i te tau 1987, ka tohu ia e kore ia e tū anō.  

Ka tau mai tōna momo wikitōria nei, i te kōwhiringa o ētahi mema tokotoru o te rōpū Mana Motuhake ki te Pāremata i waenga i te tau 1993 me te 1999, i raro i te maru o te rōpū Alliance. Kīhai i ea ngā whakapaunga kaha o Rata ki te haukoti ake i te 50 tau e pono ana a ngāi Māori ki a Reipa, te haere mārō o te pūnaha rōpū-rua, te pūnaha pōtitanga o te tuatahi-ki-te-pou, me te ngoikoretanga o ngāi Māori ki te pōti. I kaha whawhai anō te wahine a Rata, a Nellie mō te rōpū Mana Motuhake, ka mutu, i te kore ōna i tautapangia e te rōpū mō te tūru hou ki Te Tai Tokerau, ka tū ia hei kanohi mō te Rōpū ACT i te tau 1999. 

He kuaka mārangaranga

Ka mutu haere tana aru i te ao tōrangapū, ka huri a Rata ki ngā tūranga hautū hiranga mā Ngāti Kurī me ngā iwi o Te Tai Tokerau. Kīhai i roa ka noho ko ia tonu tētahi o ngā kaikerēme matua ki tāna i waihanga ai, ki te Taraipiunara o Waitangi, i tukua nei ki a rātou i te tau 1985, te mana hoki ki te wānanga i ngā mamaetanga o mua, hoki rawa ki te tau 1840. I te tau 1986 ka tāpaea e Rata me ētahi atu te kerēme a Muriwhenua, WAI 45, mā Ngāti Kurī rātou ko Te Aupōuri, ko Te Rarawa, ko Ngāi Takoto, ko Ngāti Kahu, tae atu ki ētahi kaporeihana, ētahi rōpū kaitiaki, me ētahi mana whakahaere o te takiwā.  

Tāpaea ana e te kerēme te tirohanga whānui popoto, tukupū, mō ngā tini auētanga a Muriwhenua, engari i whakatau te hunga kerēme kia noho motuhake ngā kerēme ohu moana i te kerēme whānui, i tā rātou aru kia haukotia te hiahia o te kāwanatanga ki tētahi pūnaha whakahaere roherohenga. Ki te whakatinanahia hoki, kua katia atu a ngāi Māori i ngā mahi ohu moana. Ko te kitenga a te taraipiunara i te Muriwhenua fishing report (1988), nā te ohu moana i whai oranga ai ngā iwi o te rohe, kua ‘whakawhanaketia hei tā te ao arumoni’ i te taenga mai o te Pākehā. I te kaha rawa o te hīia o te ika, me te whakawhitinga o ngā mahi ohu moana ki te hunga arumoni, ‘kua kore tēnei mahi whai painga’ mā ngāi Māori o Muriwhenua.7Hei tā te taraipiunara, e tiakina ana te mana hī ika i raro i te tiriti, nō reira e herea ana te kāwanatanga kia whakarite tikanga e whakawhitihia ai ētahi rohenga hī ika ki te hunga kerēme.

Ka kopoua a Rata hei kanohi mō te iwi ki te Joint Working Group mō te Ohu Moana Māori, ka tohutohungia tēnei rōpū kia mātua riro mai tētahi 50 ōrau neke atu o te roherohenga ika ki a ngāi Māori. Whakaaetia ana i te whakataunga tuatahi i te tau 1989 kia whakawhitihia mai tētahi 10 ōrau roherohenga ki te Komihana Ohu Moana Māori, me te whakarite i te $10 miriona hei whakatū i te Aotearoa Fishing, tētahi mahi hī ika arumoni ko te komihana tōna rāngatira. Kīhai tēnei whakaaetanga i tino pai ki a ngāi Māori. I te tau 1992 ka whakataungia tētahi whakaaetanga nui atu, tāpaea ana ko te $150 miriona e āhei ai a ngāi Māori ki te hoko i tētahi hāwhe o te kamupene hī ika o Sealord; e 20% o ngā rohenga momo ika hou ka tāpuia mā te Māori, ka tau tūturu i konei te whakataunga mō ngā kerēme hī ika katoa a ngāi Māori. Tutū ana te puehu i te whakataunga, ka ātetetia e ētahi rōpū whai pānga. I whakaarotia te whakataunga e te hunga tautoko he uruparenga whai kiko, i āhei ai te Māori ki te kuhu atu ki te ao ahumahi hī ika. 

Ko te kitenga a te Muriwhenua land report a te tairaipiunara i te tau 1997, kua tata noho whenua kore a Muriwhenua i ngā kaupapa here a te Karauna, i hua mai ai ngā raruraru nui e haere tonu ana, taha pāpori, taha ōhanga, taha ahurea. Ka tūtohua e te taraipiunara ‘tētahi puretumu tino nui’ me ‘te whakawhitinga o ētahi rawa nui tonu, ka mutu, kia tere tonu te whakamanahia o tēnei’.8 Ka pirara ngā iwi o Muriwhenua i muri mai ki te aru motuhake i ā rātou kerēme, ka waitohua e Ngāti Kurī tāna whakataunga ki te Karauna i te Pēpuere 2014, 17 tau i muri i te matenga o Rata.  

Toitū te whenua

Kīhai a Rata i ora, i whai painga mō tāna i pukumahi ai i ngā rā ki a ia. E taraiwa ana ki te kāinga i muri o tētahi hui kerēme a Muriwhenua i te 17 o Hūrae 1997, ka tuki tika atu ki tētahi atu waka i Te Hana, ki te raki o Wellsford. Mate tonu atu te tokorua i tērā o ngā waka, ka tino kino te whara o Rata. Ka kawea atu i te tuatahi ki te Hōhipere o Whangārei, atu i reira ki te Hōhipere o Tāmakimakaurau, ka mate mai ki reira i te 25 o Hūrae, e 63 ōna tau. Noho mataora ana tana wahine me āna tamariki i muri nei.

Ka whakahaeretia he karakia whakamaharatanga ki te whare karakia i te Hōhipere o Tāmakimakaurau me Onehunga, i mua i te whakahokinga ki te Marae o Pōtahi i Te Kao mō tōna tangihanga. Ka takoto mai ki tōna marae haukāinga ki Te Reo Mihi i Te Hāpua, kua whakakākahuria ki ana kākahu Āpōtoro Rēhita, me te kākahuria o tana waka tūpāpaku ki te kahu huruhuru me te papanga tapa. Ka tanumia ki tōna moenga roa i te 29 o Hūrae ki te urupā o Te Hāpua, ki runga puke e titiro iho ana ki ngā tai nekeneke o Pārengarenga, e anga mutunga kore ana ki te aranga o te rā.

Kupu tāpiri
  1. Quoted in Roger Foley. ‘Matiu Rata: defector with a mission’. New Zealand Times, 25 December 1984 [sic]. In Ranginui Walker. ‘Mana Motuhake, 1980-1988, File 2’, p.17. University of Auckland Library. Back
  2. Insight 1988. Radio New Zealand documentary. https://www.rnz.co.nz/collections/treatyofwaitangi/audio/2533079/insight-1988-matiu-rata Back
  3. Ibid. Back
  4. New Zealand Parliamentary Debates (NZPD), 1974, v.395, p.5726. Back
  5. NZPD, 1975, v.401, p.4343. Back
  6. Keith Newman. Rātana revisited: an unfinished legacy. Auckland, 2006, p.560. Back
  7. Waitangi Tribunal. Report of the Waitangi Tribunal on the Muriwhenua fishing claim, Wai 22. Wellington, 1988, p.239. Back
  8. Waitangi Tribunal. Muriwhenua Land Report. Wellington, 1997, pp.xxi, 407. Back
Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Tiopira McDowell. 'Rata, Matiu Waitai', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2020. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/6r7/rata-matiu-waitai (accessed 2 October 2020)