Composer

Kingi Kiriona

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. 

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Songs by this composer
Te Ipukarea

Poukai ki Te Arawa

  • Composer: Kingi Kiriona,
  • Year: 2012
  • Genre: Whakaeke
  • Ref#: KIR005

Lyrics

               (Kōrero)
               I te matenga o Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu

               Nā Pikiao te tono, ko te rā o tōna koroneihana
               Hei rā poukai ki Te Arawa.
               Nā Tūheitia te whakaae
​5             ‘He kuwaha whānui kua puare
               Ki te puna tangata me te puna kai e’[1]

               E rau rangatira mā[2],
               Huia mai ki te tāwara
​               O te kai a Te Arawa e!

​10           E rau rangatira mā
               Kia teretere mai
               Kei riro i Te Iti Kahurangi e!

               E Rongo, whakairihia ake ki runga
               Kia tīna, hui e, tāiki e!

​15           Haupū mai rā ki runga ki te
               Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe!
               E, me poukai tātou!
​               Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou
               Ka totō te puna kai, totō te puna tangata
​20           E te iwi ruku kapa o Te Arawa
               Anei te toru kapa a Tainui[3]
               Te rourou iti[4] a haere mai nei
​               Ringiringi te kete ki te whakatekau
               Ki te tāwhara kai atua[5]
​25           Hei aha? Hei utu i te kai korikori[6]
               Hei aha? Hei utu i te kai i ngā kai
               Nō te kete rukuruku a Whakaotirangi[7]
​               Ka noho  i a Tamatekapua
               Ko te uretū i paratī mai ai
​30           Te ure tārewa o Te Kīngitanga
               Ko Pikiao, he pou tangata,
               He pou whenua, e te poukai
               Ki Te Arawa!

               Wāhia ngā rua, hākarimatatia[8]
​35           A, te hākari, a ha ha!
              Hākari ki te hua o te manaaki
              Hākari ki te haka a Tāne Rore
              Pūnaunau te whataroa a Manaia
​              Mōrurururu ana!  Mōrurururu ana!

​40          He aha te kai a te rangatira e?
             E ko te kai a Te Arawa!

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(Spoken)
Following the passing of Te Arikinui,
Te Atairangikaahu, leaders of Pikiao put forward the request to host an annual poukai on the day of her coronation.  Her son, King Tūheitia, agreed.  Thereby opening a doorway
To the well spring of food and people

To all those assembled
Let us gather to sample the mouthwatering
Foods of Te Arawa!

My fellow guests
Lest you dawdle;
For Te Iti Kahurangi is hungry!

O Rongo, we raise our offerings
For a bountiful feast!

Thus, amass all provisions
Here at Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe
Let the Poukai commence!
Your basket and mine will together provide
A well spring of food and people
To our penny-diving hosts, Te Arawa
Behold your penny-giving cousins of Tainui
But a small travelling party;

We hereby present the traditional thrupence
So as to add to the collections
And expand the kitty
For what purpose?  To pay for the jelly!
For what purpose?  To pay for the foods
Acquired from the basket of Whakaotirangi
Who married local hero Tamatekapua
And engendered progeny through to Pikiao
The latter producing a male line of descent to Te Kīngitanga, whose offspring lead to the arrival of Poukai here in Te Arawa!

Open the pits!  Devour the contents!

Ah, dinner is served!  A ha ha!
Feast on the fruits of Te Arawa hospitality
In the splendor of the provisions of Tāne Rore
Till our paunches can take no more
And we are well and truly satisfied!

What is the food of chiefs?
It is unequivocally the food of Te Arawa!

Explanation

Following the passing of Te Arikinui, Te Atairangikaahu, leaders of Pikiao put forward the request to host an annual poukai on the day of her coronation.  Her son, King Tūheitia, agreed.  Thereby opening a doorway to the well spring of food and people.

[1] An expression by Taranaki fighting chief Tītokowaru, adopted by King Tāwhiao to explain the functions of Poukai.  Moreover, the term ‘Punakai’ mentioned in the words of Tītokowaru was the original name for ‘Poukai’.
[2] A common Tainui pao or short song, used to call people to the table and signal that it’s time to eat!
[3] One of the protocols observed at Poukai, is the offering of ‘koha’ when entering into the dining area to eat.  In the early days of Poukai, thruppence or toru kapa was the most common ‘koha’ presented.  This comes from a saying by King Tāwhiao: “I welcome thruppence as payment for the jelly”.
[4] There are many accounts associated with the term ‘rourou iti’ or ‘small basket’.  In short, the term is a metaphor for a small travelling party.  It comes from the utterance made by Parewhete to her husband Wairangi and his war party, ‘Why did you come with the small basket of the traveller? Better if you had stayed away with the large basket of the home dweller’ (Te Ara Encyclopedia, 2014, p.5.).
[5] ‘Whakatekau’, ‘rau-kai-atua’, and ‘tāwhara-kai-atua’ are all names given to koha presented at Poukai.
[6] Kai korikori – ‘food that dances’.  This is what King Tāwhiao used to refer to jelly, as per the explanation given in footnote 3 above.  In the context of this item, the ‘food that dances’ is also another reference for the dance of kapahaka.
[7] According to Tainui history, this was the name of the basket in which the kūmara was brought to Aotearoa.
[8] Taken from the stories about Ngāruawāhia and the surrounding Hākarimata ranges.