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
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
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
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
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
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
Ko te kupu kua hanga noa

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

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,
'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.