Ngarimu VC investiture, part 1 - Haka pohiri


The Ngarimu Victoria Cross Investiture Meeting and Reception to His Excellency the Governor General, 6 October 1943

On 4 June 1943 news was broadcast world-wide that 2/Lt Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu had been awarded the Victoria Cross for his role in the attack on Point 209 at Tebaga Gap, Tunisia. It was the sixth VC to be awarded to a New Zealander in the war, and the first to a Maori soldier.

The public investiture ceremony where the Governor-General presented the award to Mr & Mrs Hamuera Ngarimu was held at Whakarua Park in Ruatoria, Ngarimu’s home town. At the time it was one of the largest and most fully documented Māori gatherings ever held.[1]  Despite the rain and mud, 7000 people attended the event, including the Prime Minister and other parliamentarians, Battalion members on furlough, Home Guardsmen and 1300 schoolchildren, who came from all parts of the country. Three hundred performers had been brought together from the Gisborne district alone. Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāti Porou, led by Sir Apirana Ngata hosted the event that featured five hours of entertainment.  Members of the National Film Unit, the official Government photographer - John Pascoe, and the press documented the event. Cameramen from the US Marine Corps also headed to Ruatoria to record the event.  Read more about the event here.

There were two booklets printed for the occassion:
1) Souvenir of the Ngarimu Victoria Cross Investiture Meeting (NSP)
2) Supplement to the Souvenir Programme (SSP)
This recording of the haka pōhiri was made on the morning of the investiture at Whakarua Park.


Note: Recording marred by speed fluctuations.

Kaea:  Aue! No wai te motoka e huri mai nga rori?
Katoa: Aue! Nohou nei Kawana
Tika mai nei taua, i nawa!
Aue! Aue! Aue ha!
Aue! Aue! Aue ha!

Kaea:  Aue! I haere te Moana ki roto ki te pakanga!
Katoa: To mate kino e tama,
I wehe ai taua, i nawa!
Aue! Aue! Aue ha!
Aue! Aue! Aue ha!

Sir AT Ngata :  Na ke te mate akuni ka mate ai koutou.

Kaea:  Aue! No wai te oha pa (?) e ruku mai nga ngaru?
Katoa: Nohou nei Te Moana,
Tika mai nei taua, i nawa!
Aue! Aue! Aue ha!
Aue! Aue! Aue ha

Verse repeated

Sir AT Ngata:  Kati, kati, kati.

Kaea:  Homai he mata, kia haehae au,
Katoa: Kia kotia i te kiri
I awhi ai  taua, i nawa!
Aue! Aue! Aue ha!
Aue! Aue! Aue ha!

Pakeke:  Kati, kati. Kia mau. Kia mau.


[1] Nga Tama Toa, p. 270.

Site editors notes:

  • There is intermittent static throughout the audio
  • A question mark (?) after a word indicates audio is inaudible

Sound file from Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero.  Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright.

The image is a detail of DA-01832-F. See full image here.
Alexander Turnbull Library
Sir Cyril Newall presents to Mr Hamuera Ngarimu the VC awarded to 2 Lt Te Moananui-a-kiwa Ngarimu - Photograph taken by J D Pascoe Date: 6 Oct 1943.

Further information and copies of this image may be obtained from the Library through its 'Timeframes' website,  Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

Submitted by mbadmin on Mon, 22/04/2013 - 16:48

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