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.
Songs by this composer
E nanawe ake ana i ahaumore
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
E noho ana i te ranga māheuheumore
Ka titiro whakarunga ki ngā whetū o te rangi
Āritarita noa , āritarita noa
Engari tē riro mai ki te kapu o taku ringa e
Ko te rite ki...
Aue! taukuri aku taumata kōrero
Aue! taukuri aku taumata kōrero
Ka kai atu rā aku mata ki te mokopunamore
a te motu
Te mauri i pōtaea, Te Ata-i-rangi-kaahu
Whakaipuipu mai rā te moana kei waho e
E āki kau ana ki Te Toka-namu-a-Mihi-marino
Ki uta rā, ki Pākirikiri e
Ko te rite o te wai kei aku kamo
5 Tīneia te whetū mārama o te ao Māori
Kia pōuri, kia tūohu noa, kia mamae au e
Kei hea rā tōu ritenga hei whakamau atu mā te iwi e
E koe, e te ngākau māhaki, e te ngākau aroha
Te tohunga whakairo kupu, te manu tīoriori o te motu
10 Mū ana i te rā nei e
Ngaro atu koe i te kitenga kanohi e
Ō taonga ia, ka mahue mai
Anō he toka whatiwhati ngaru
E kore e ngaro, e kore e wareware e
15 Kāti, e hika, haere i tō tira mokemoke e
Ko au e kapo atu ki te rehu o te tai
E pā mai nei ki ahau e
The sea offshore is overcast with clouds
As it pounds against Te Toka-namu-a-Mihi-marino
To the shore at Pākirikiri
It is like tears in my eyes
5 The bright star of the Māori world is extinguished
I am in sadness, I bow down and I am in pain
Where is your likeness as a focus for the people (to follow)
You the generous heart, the loving heart
The expert in crafting words, the singing bird of the land
10 Is now silent this day
You have disappeared from view
But your gifts remain
Like a rock where the waves break
Which will never be lost and never forgotten
15 Well, my friend, go with your lonely travelling party
And I will snatch at the sea spray
That strikes me
‘Whakaipuipu’ is a waiata tangi or lament. Dr. Tīmoti Kāretu composed the waiata tangi as an expression of the enormous loss he felt following the passing of his dear friend and fellow composer, Ngoi Pēwhairangi. ‘Whakaipuipu’ was first sung in 1985 (the year of Ngoi’s passing) at Pākirikiri Marae in Tokomaru Bay, Ngoi's home. The waiata tangi was only ever sung once on this occasion.
Kāretu in Lines 2 and 3, locates the lament within Ngoi’s hapū by using traditional landmarks ‘Toka-namu-a-Mihi-marino’ and one of her marae ‘Pākirikiri’, the largest marae at Tokomaru Bay.
The underlying political element of this waiata is the loss to the Māori community of a great leader and repository of knowledge. Kāretu highlights this in line seven, ‘Kei hea rā tōu ritenga hei whakamau atu mā te iwi e’, asking who will now fill her role in Māoridom. This is one of the significant issues facing Māori. As repositories of Māori knowledge pass away, there are fewer of the younger generations who are capable of stepping into those roles.
Lines 8 and 9 describes Ngoi’s personal attributes and talents, while Lines 11 and 12 suggest that Ngoi’s legacy will indeed live on.
In the mid-1990s the waiata was revived by Professor Tania Ka‘ai and Professor John Moorfield, with Dr Kāretu’s blessing. They both felt it was a waste for such a beautiful mōteatea to lay dormant. In the years since, it has become the primary waiata for the Professors and for their students when visiting marae, and as such, ‘Whakaipuipu’ has been heard on marae throughout the country. This will continue on, as ‘Whakaipuipu’ is the mōteatea of choice for Te Ipukarea, The National Māori Language Institute, founded by the aforementioned professors and their mentors.