Tīmoti Kāretu

Tīmoti Kāretu

1937 -

Tīmoti was born in 1937 and is a descendant of the Ngāi Tūhoe and Ngāti Kahungunu tribes. He is a scholar who is nationally and internationally recognised for his knowledge of the Māori language. Tīmoti is also a prolific composer and Māori performing arts expert.

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Songs by this composer
Te Ipukarea

E nanawe ake ana i ahau

  • Composer: Tīmoti Kāretu,
  • Year: 1986
  • Genre: Waiata-ā-ringa
  • Ref#: KAR002


         E nanawe ake ana i ahau
         Te aroha, te mamae, te pōuri
         Ki te ngako, ki te matū
         O te ao Māori
5       E ngaro nei, e ngaro nei
         Ki ōna rerenga, ki ōna tauranga
         Ki ōna whakataratara, ki ōna whakairoiro

         I tutū ai te puehu
         I heke ai te toto
10     I puta ai te ihi
         I pā ai te wehi
         I tau ai te mana

         Kāti rā, e te iwi,
         Te whakapae noa nō konei te hē
15     Nō korā te hē
         Te warea kē ki te reka o te rangi
         Te whiu o te ringa, te huri o te māhunga

         Ngā whakawai i te tangata
         Hei huna i te kore mōhio
20     Te waiho tonu ko te kore noa iho
         Hei mea nui
         Ko te mea nui kia kore noa iho.

         I te wā i a rātou mā
         Ko te kupu te tīmatanga
25     Ko te kupu te whakamutunga
         Ko te kori i hanga noa
         I te wā ia i a tātou nei
         Ko te kori te tīmatanga
         Ko te kori te whakamutunga
30     Ko te kupu kua hanga noa

         Kua rite ki te ika
         Hāmama kau!  Hāmama kau!
         Arā ngā iringa kōrero, ngā takahanga rangatira
         Hei whakahau, hei whakapakari

35     Ki te kore te ngako, te matū
         Me pēhea te kōrero e iri, te rangatira e takahi?

         Takatū ake rā tātou
         Whakahokia ki ōna taumata!
         Kei pātai ngā mokopuna,
40     'I ahatia e koe taku taonga e?'


Gnawing away within me
Is sadness, pain and sorrow,
For that most important aspect
Of the Māori world
Which is fast disappearing,
For its literary flights, its aptness
For its barbs, its great beauty

That which caused the dust to be stirred
Blood to be spilt
The spine to tingle
Admiration to be demanded
And reputations to be made.

Let us now desist
From stating that the blame lies here
Or that the blame lies there

From being obsessed with the beauty of
the air,
The actions and the turn of the head

Those elements employed to distract people
And thereby disguise the fact that they
know nothing
From letting the peripheral
Assume a position of importance
And the important become insignificant

In their day and time
The word was the beginning
And the word was the end
The actions were secondary.
However, in our day and time
The actions have become
The be all and end all
The lyric unimportant.

We are like fish
With mouths opening meaninglessly!
Note that we have places where words have
been suspended in time, and where chiefs
have trodden
To motivate and strengthen us

For without that most essential of aspects,
the language,
How can words be suspended or chiefs stand
on the marae?

Therefore let us prepare
To return the language to its proper position
of importance
Lest our descendants should ask,
'What did you do with my heritage?'


This song was composed for the competitions of the New Zealand Polynesian Festival held in Christchurch in the month of October 1986.  Because of my great fear that groups are preoccupied with the peripheral things in haka, this song came into being.  The most important aspect of haka, indeed of all things Māori, is the word and it is this that has been brushed aside, with all energy concentrated on the superficial and not the essential.