Kingi Kiriona (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Apa) has established himself as a prominent composer, orator and performing artist. Kingi rose to fame while still at secondary school, winning both English and Māori sections of the National Manu Kōrero competition. His prowess in oratory and composition followed through to Tainui Regional and National Kapa Haka competitions, co-founding a new and innovative team, Te Iti Kahurangi in 2003.
Songs by this composer
Tahu Pōtiki! Tō reo tāiri rā runga Aoraki
Te tiapu ki ngā wai papa pounamu o Arahura
Hura mai ko te rau tāwhiriwhiri a Ngahue...more
E Te Pouaka Whakaata Māori!
Kāore koa taku hōhā
Te kūhīhī nei i roto i ahau
Ka ngau ki taku puku, a haha!
Kua rongo rānei koe?more
Kua wehe atu tana wahine
Kei te mahi tarau makere
Kua rongo rānei koe?
Te Ōhākī o Wiremu Tāmehana
Te ōhākī o Wiremu Tāmehana
I tutuki i a Tupu Taingākawa
Ko Kīngi Mahuta kei tōna māhunga
5 Tana tī kōuka kei Rukumoana
Ehara! He tī e wana ake;
Ka wana mai ko Tarapīpipi
I kāwhakina e Kīngi Korokī
Ki runga Taupiri moenga ariki
10 Wāhia te tūngaroa o te whare
Ka puta tokotoru ture tapu e
Ko Taawhe he tangata whakapono
Te Waharoa he tangata whakairo
Ko Tahiwaru he tangata hūmārie
15 Ngā pou o roto he māhoe, he patatē
Ko Ranginui te piki tūranga
Ka riro ki a Waikato te torona
Engari anō te whakawahi Kīngi e
20 Kei runga i ahau pakaru noa e
Ka pakaru mai a Koro Wiripoai
Nō reira rā Papa Ānaru
Kei ō ringa te mana me te tapu
Kia kaha rā Ngāti Hauā
25 Ngā kaitiaki o te tumuakitanga
Te ōhākī o Wiremu Tāmehana
Kei Rukumoana, kei taku manawa
The legacy of the Kingmaker, Wiremu Tāmehana
Is one that was upheld by his son Tupu Taingākawa
At whose head stands the statue of King Mahuta
And whose cabbage tree prevails at Rukumoana
Indeed! The pedigree continued;
The mantle of Kingmaker passed to one Tarapīpipi
Whose body was taken at the request of King Korokī, To rest alongside the great chiefs at Taupiri
Letting forth new heirs to the legacy
Including his three sons;
Taawhe, who was a man of God
Te Waharoa, gained prominence as a carver
And Tahiwaru, is remembered for being extremely shy and humble.
Ranginui succeeded the three brothers
Under his leadership, Waikato procured the throne.
It was Tupu who said, that Waikato may claim all
But the mantle of Kingmaker.
And so came forth Koro Wiripoai as successor
But now that birthright is in the hands
Of the patriarch, Ānaru Tāmehana
Whose kin of Ngāti Haua must be resolute
As guardians to the cause.
For it is a legacy established by Wiremu Tāmehana
That lives on at Rukumoana; my heart, my home.
In February 2011, we were fortunate to be escorted by Waikato’s ‘Kingmaker’ Ānaru Tāmehana into what is believed to be Māoridom’s first parliament building, Te Kauwhanganui. This building stands a few metres away from our home marae of Rukumoana, and access is granted to but a few.
Upon entering its doors, one of the most noticeable features was the line of photographs of the Kingmaker’s predecessors, which graced the wall of Te Kauwhanganui’s main house. That was where the idea was born to compose a song that commemorates this illustrious line of leaders. Moreover, we recognised that in spite of the plethora of waiata written about the line of Māori monarchs, it seemed that there were very few, if any, about the line of Kingmakers from Rukumoana whose responsibility it is to crown the next monarch.
The information in this waiata was provided by kaumātua, Rubel Rāpana. It traces the line of Kingmakers, all the way back to Wiremu Tāmehana, who crowned the first Māori king Pōtatau Te Wherowhero.
 According to Ngāti Hauā, when the third Māori king Mahuta passed away, the Kingmaker at the time – Tupu Taingākawa – requested that a memorial be erected in his name. The wife of King Mahuta, Te Marae, responded by asking where the memorial should be erected. Tupu answered ‘put it on my head’. Not long after, Tupu passed away, and in accordance with his request, a statue of King Mahuta was built on top of his final resting place at Rukumoana, where it remains today.
 Taken from a quote by Tupu, which reads: ‘Waikato, take what you want. But as for the role of Kingmaker, that will remain here with me until it is broken’.