Rangi Royal speaks at presentation on HMS Maori


Representatives of the Māori Battalion were received on board the HMS Maori as guests of the commander and his men. Māori achievements in Greece, Crete and Libya were marked by the presentation of the HMS Maori's ensign complete with the ship's talisman - a tiki.  Māori Battalion members present include Major Tiwi Love, Major Doug Harvey, Lieutenants’ Piiti Wordley, Taipa. Privates’ Aubrey Rota, Ropiha Korau, Edwards [?], Barrett [?], Rangi [?], Wharerau, Kurepo [?], Kelly Hawira, Tuhimareikura Manawaroa, Pene, Johnson, Hau, Robinson [?], Paraini [?], Katae, Te Kani, Te Tana, Warbrick and Hoia [?]

Major Rangi Royal thanks the hosts for the honour and his speech ends with a performance by the Battalion party of the famous haka “Ka mate”.

Major Rangi Royal: Commander Jonas, the Ships Company, ladies, members of the medical staff of No. 3 Annex General hospital, officers, and NCOs and other ranks of the Māori Battalion.  I would ask your indulgence just for a few minutes.  On occasions like this we have a custom we must observe and I intend at this stage to say just a few words to your good ship.

Te waka e tau nei e, tēnā koe.  Tēnā koe kua whakawahia nei ki te ingoa e mau nei hei ingoa o te iwi Māori.  Tēnā koe i puta mai i te mura o te ahi, a, e tau nei.  Mā Tangaroa koe e manaaki. Mā te Atua koutou katoa e manaaki.  Te Moananui a Kiwa e takoto nei, tēnā koe.  Tēnā koe e manaaki haere nei i te ingoa o to iwi.  Nāu e manaaki, a, tae noa te tutukitanga o tēnei pakanga, tēnā koe.  

Commander Jonas I think this is really an occasion of historical interest.  When the Māori khaki clad meets the Māori iron clad.  They meet today and the khaki clad is welcomed by the iron clad as your hospitality has shown today.  We are indeed very much honoured by your invitation and I say as representative of the race, that the race is honoured also by the fact that one of its most noted destroyers bears the name of the race.  We hope that the hosts of Tangaroa will always attend you, that Kiwa who commands the great oceans will always smile upon you and that God Almighty will guide and protect you and all of us so that we may attain that goal the world desires - victory, peace and joy for all.  I thank you.

28th Māori Battalion members:
Ka mate, ka mate! Ka ora ka ora!
Ka mate, ka mate! Ka ora ka ora
!Tēnei te tangata puhuruhuru nānā i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra
Ā hupane, a hupane, a hupane kaupane whiti te ra


Sound file from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, ref: 15026. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright.

Photo:  Destroyer HMS Maori (F24) underway, coastal waters.
Date: 18 March 1939
SourceImperial War Museums, FL 15085 (collection no. 8308-29[1])  
Author: Royal Navy official photographer

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