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

Te Ōhākī o Wiremu Tāmehana

  • Composer: Kingi Kiriona,
  • Year: 2011
  • Genre: Waiata-ā-ringa
  • Ref#: KIR004

Lyrics

               Ringa pākia!
               Te ōhākī o Wiremu Tāmehana
               I tutuki i a Tupu Taingākawa
​               Ko Kīngi Mahuta kei tōna māhunga[1]
​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

               Ringa pākia!

               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[2]

               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

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Hands together!

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. 

Hands together!

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.

Explanation

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.

[1] 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.

[2] 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’.