[Treaty of Waitangi centenary celebrations - the opening of the new meeting house. 1940]

Rights Information
Media type
Ask about this item

Ask to use material, get more information or tell us about an item

Rights Information
Media type
D series, ca. 1935-1950s.
RNZ Collection
Galway, George Vere Monckton-Arundell (b.1882, d.1943), Speaker/Kaikōrero
Ngata, Apirana Turupa (b.1874, d.1950), Speaker/Kaikōrero
Paikea, Paraire Karaka, 1894-1943, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Tirikatene, Eruera Tihema, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Ratana, Haami Tokouru, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Willingdon, Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquis of, 1866-1941, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Fraser, Peter (b.1884, d.1950), Speaker/Kaikōrero
McBride, Philip Albert (b.1892, d.1982), Speaker/Kaikōrero

This is a continuation of recordings of radio broadcasts from Waitangi on the 6th of February 1940, marking the Centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
Following the re-enactment of the signing of the Treaty [See ID 37870 for the first part of this broadcast], the new Whare Runanga carved meeting house is to be opened.

Part 17. Introduction and description in Māori followed by Master of Ceremonies, Sir Apirana Ngata explaining what kapa haka performances are to come. He says when the official party arrives a Northern group will perform a Ngāpuhi war dance. Then two smaller groups from the Māori Battalion: one from Rotorua [B Company] and one from the East Coast [C Company] He comments that this is probably the last event at which such hakas will be seen until the war is over, as most Māori male performers are going into the Māori Battalion. Then a party of women from the North will perform. Then two other parties will take part, followed by what he calls "the very ordinary fare, speeches by public men."
He says Mr Paikea, M.P. for Northern Māori, who would have spoken on behalf of the local people, is not well and has asked Sir Apirana to say a few words on what the Māori people think at the present time.
Before the meeting house is declared open there will be a short service, with an address given by a layman, Mr Takarua Tamarau [?] of the Urewera country.
He explains the inspiration behind the meeting house which is being opened today and reads from the he plaque inside it, which says it is to represent that the Māori was also at the signing of the Treaty in 1840.

Part 18. Arrival of the official party and a peruperu and haka performed by Ngāpuhi party. This is followed by a Te Arawa group. Sir Apirana Ngata says the smaller party is from the Māori Battalion from the Rotorua district [B Company.] He says the item they performed was one connected with the opening of superior meeting houses.
He suggests the haka is a perfect drill for soldiers and recommends it to General Duigan [Chief of Staff] who is present, saying it would be much better than "too much left, right, left, right."

Part 19. Haka by a party from the Māori Battalion [East Coast - C Company men] followed by women singing a waiata,"Kia ora mai anō, ngā iwi o te motu."[?]

part 20. The waiata concludes. Radio commentator Clive Drummond notes that Sir Apirana Ngata led the last haka (by the East Coast men). Sir Apirana Ngata then makes an announcement about a Māoritanga Cup for the promotion of Māori culture. A grou p then sing two waiata "Haere mai te Kawana" and "Haere mai rā e ngā iwi e."

part 21. The waiata concludes and is followed by several haka [?] Sir Apirana Ngata thanks the performers in Māori and introduces Mr Paikea, M.P. for Northern Māori, who then speaks in English, welcoming the visitors to Waitangi. He notes the Māori involvement in the war effort with the Māori Battalion. He calls for equality and mentions the grievances his people have suffered 'from time to time.'

part 22. Mr H.T. Ratana, Member of Parliament for Western Māori is introduced. He speaks in te reo Māori, with his speech being translated into English. He welcomes Lord and Lady Galway and also refers to the Māori Battalion's participation in the war effort.
He followed by Mr. Tirikatene, Member of Parliament for Southern Māori.
He begins in te reo Māori and then continues in English. He greets Lord and Lady Bledisloe, the predecessors of the current Governor-General, which is met with applause. He notes the re-enactment of the signing of the Treaty and appeals for "A balance of the conditions which were presented this morning ...Are we the same today, as the words which were portrayed to us this morning?... And if not, why not?"

part 23. Mr Tirakatene's speech concludes, speaking about the men of the Māori Battalion: "We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Pākēha again."
Sir Apirana Ngata begins his speech with a request that those guests with blue luncheon tickets tickets are asked to go to the meeting house and those with red to go to the marquee with Paddy Webb. [There is laughter at this as Webb was a well-known left-wing politician.] He explains the meeting house is the embodiment of the desire of the Māori people not to be divorced from Waitangi. He says if only the Busby House stood at Waitangi there would not be Māori representation on the site.
He says the Māori people have approached the Centennial year with much misgiving and lists their grievances; lands lost, powers of chiefs humbled, Māori culture scattered and broken. He says the Pākēha has made his home in New Zealand and the Māori has to accept this and make the best of it. So what remains of the Treaty today? He says without Clause 1 of the treaty, handing sovereignty to the Queen, he doubts there would be a free Māori race today.

part 24. Sir Apirana Ngata continues his speech. He says as a result of this, the Māori have handed the flower of their young men to join the Pākēha in their fight today. He doubts whether any native race has been treated so well by Europeans as the Māori, [applause] but the spirit of the Māori remains and they wish to retain their individuality as a race and not be judged by Pākēha standards.
He says many of the things which Europeans do for Māori are appear to be for their betterment, but are forces which shatter Māori culture. He appeals to the Pākēha to understand Māori.
He refers to the Taranaki and Arawa land settlements and asks the government to assist Waikato, South Island, Bay of Plenty and Northland Māori to also move forward with settlements and move confidently into the future.
He says Māori would like a new treaty and calls the Treaty of Waitangi 'a gentleman's agreement.'
He talks about Māori dislike for taxes and the obligations which have come with citizenship.
He ends by welcoming the Governor-General to Waitangi and observes that most governor-generals only seem to visit Waitangi once.
He then leads the haka 'Ka mate, ka mate'.

part 25. Sir Apirana introduces Acting Prime Minister Peter Fraser, who moves to a different microphone before speaking.
Lord Willingdon and Senator McBride are welcomed as representatives of the governments of Great Britain and Australia. He says Prime Minister [Michael Joseph Savage] is sorry he could not be present and is with the ceremony in spirit. He also notes the absence of Mr Paikea who could not take an active part in today's proceedings. He lists the officials who are present, including the Mayors of the main centres and church leaders from around the country. Messages have been received from around the Commonwealth and from the Pope and other world leaders. He reads several: from the French President, King Leopold of Belgium, the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Part 26. Mr Fraser continues with messages of congratulations from the Mayor of the city of Durban, South Africa and the British Parliamentary Association. A message from Lord Bledisloe is read and greeted with applause. He says he would like to contribute 100 pounds for furnishing the Whare Runanga, as the Māori people see fit. The cheque is handed to Mr Kawiti of Ngāpuhi.[Break in the recording.]
Mr Fraser continues saying Europeans sympathise with the aspirations of the Māori people. He acknowledges there were mistakes over the past 100 years, but says efforts have been made to obliterate the mistakes under which the Maori people have suffered unjustly. He agrees with Sir Apirana who said the Māori is not fond of taxation, saying the Pākēha is not fond of it either. He says with regard to old injustices, nothing is to be gained by brooding over ancient wrongs, but they must be put right. As a further step in that direction the Prime Minister has asked him to make an announcement to the people of Ngāpuhi and the North that a commission is to be appointed to report on the surplus lands question.[Applause]
He says the Land Settlement Scheme started by Sir Apirana will be extended and educational opportunities for Māori should be the same as European. He says the question of housing is being attended too, but a great deal more needs to be done. He refers to the current war.

part 27. Mr Fraser concludes his speech, saying the Māori people are as determined as the Pākēha to commit to the current struggle for democracy.
Lord Willingdon, [the former Viceroy of India and Governor-General of Canada] who is representing the British government, speaks and makes some humourous remarks about the large number of speakers. He thanks New Zealand for the warm welcome he has received and makes some remarks about the common cause New Zealand and the Empire is engaged in at the present time.
Sir Apirana Ngata introduces Senator McBride, representing the government of Australia.

part 28. Senator McBride speaks and pays tribute to New Zealanders of both races, congratulates those who took part in the pageant and notes the role of the Māori Battalion in providing the Guard of Honour at this morning's ceremony. Clive Drummond describes the Governor-General being lead forward to open the meeting house (which he refers to as 'the marae'). Lord Galway, the Governor-General then speaks and refers to the past 100 years as having 'some injustices which we are doing our best to remedy.'

part 29. Lord Galway then reads a message from His Majesty King George VI to the people of New Zealand on the occasion of the centenary of the signing of the Treaty. He pays tribute to the part the Dominion is playing in the war effort. Lord Galway then refers to Māori participation in World War I and says since then a new compact was made between Māori and Pākēha who had fought together. He goes on to paint a rosy picture of Māori advancement since then. He says he has visited the North before and wears with pride today the cloak presented to him by Ngāpuhi. He then declares the meeting house open, paying tribute to his predecessor Lord Bledisloe who purchased the land and the Māori who built the meeting house. He then says his farewells from himself and his family as they are about to return to Britain.

part 30. Sir Apirana Ngata asks the crowd to stand and says Canon Kiratene [?] will say a short benediction before the house is opened. This is done and Clive Drummond commentates as a Māori mat is removed from the door. He says a large Māori crowd has gathered. There is applause and the official party enter the building. Sir Apirana then makes some announcements regarding lunch arrangements and Clive Drummond ends this part of the broadcast. He notes that he afternoon ceremonies to unveil memorials to Captain Hobson and the native chiefs and Mr Busby will take place around 3pm.

[For the final parts of these broadcast recordings see ID 37928.]