Opening of Tūrongo House

Media type
Ask about this item

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

Media type
Nonfiction radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings
Special events radio coverage
RNZ Collection
Te Puea Herangi, Princess of the Maori, 1883-1952, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Ngata, Apirana Turupa (b.1874, d.1950), Speaker/Kaikōrero
Galway, George Vere Monckton-Arundell (b.1882, d.1943), Speaker/Kaikōrero
Bennett, Charles Moihi Te Arawaka (b.1913, d.1998), Commentator
Jones, Pei Te Hurinui (b.1898, d.1976), Speaker/Kaikōrero
Tawhiao, Haunui, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Mahuta, Tumate, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Hira, Tiaki, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Katipa, Te Kiri, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Pokiha, Hemana, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Guide Rangi (b.1897, d.1970), Performer
Langstone, Frank, Speaker/Kaikōrero
2YA (Radio station : Wellington, N.Z.), Broadcaster
1YA (Radio station : Auckland, N.Z.), Broadcaster

Narration, actuality, music, and speeches recorded from radio broadcasts at the opening of Tūrongo House, Tūrangawaewae Marae, Ngāruawāhia. This event also featured the investiture of Te Puea Hērangi with the C.B.E., by the Governor-General. These ceremonies were performed at what was the largest hui held at the time, involving approximately 5,000 Māori and Pākēha guests from all over New Zealand.

The opening was broadcast by radio station 1YA Auckland, and was re-broadcast by station 2YA Wellington, where the discs described here were recorded. Throughout the recordings there are instructions by the commentator Charles Bennett to 2YA staff to 'cut' the disc where there is a break in events. Sir Apirana Ngata also greets 2YA in his speech at one point.

Part 1. Speeches by Māori royal family and elders, recorded in Mahingaarangi wharenui on 17 March 1938.
Charles Moihi Bennett is the broadcast commentator.
Pei Te Hurinui Jones, Waikato leader and a 'licenced interpreter of the Native Affairs Department', translates from Māori into English, and vice-versa.

The first speaker is Kingi Korokī. This was the first radio address made by Kingi Korokī, who rarely made public speeches. He greets the Governor-General and both races throughout New Zealand. Haunui Tāwhiao, son of King Tāwhiao and grand-uncle of King Korokī, speaks. He greets all tribes and sends greetings to the Prime Minister and all members of Parliament.
Tūmate Mahuta, son of King Mahuta and uncle of King Korokī, speaks and sends greetings.

Princess Te Puea Hērangi, grand-daughter of Kingi Tawhiao and first cousin of King Te Rata (father of Kingi Koroki), greets all the tribes who have gathered, and thanks those who have helped realise her dream of building the house Tūrongo. She thanks the Governor-General for coming to perform the opening ceremony, and sends greetings through him to King George VI.

Waikato kaumātua Te Kiri Kātipa speaks and his address is summarised by Pei Te Hurinui Jones. Sir Apirana Ngata speaks, and notes that 'these records are going to you from Mahingaarangi Meeting House'. He describes the inscription at the entrance to the house, saying it was built with support from the tribes of Tairāwhiti.

Tūrongo will be opened tomorrow - Tūrongo was the husband of Mahingaarangi. The opening of that house tomorrow will realise Te Puea's project to establish a marae at Ngāruawāhia worthy of the people of Waikato and the Māori of the Dominion. He says the Waikato kingship was established three generations ago as a semblance of resistance by Māori culture to the rising tide of Western civilisation. It is today finding its place in New Zealand, a good augury for the desire of both races to live together.

Part 2. Opening of Tūrongo - powhiri and whaikōrero.
Performances by a Waikato rōpu.
Unidentified waiata poi
Waiata: E noho e Te Rata [This is probably performed by Te Pou o Mangatāwhiri - with mandolin accompaniment, probably played by Tumokai Kātipa, Te Puea's husband.]
Waiata: Me he manu rere
Haka: Pākia kia rite
Peruperu: Ā uhi mai te waero
Waiata ringa: Ngā Rā o Akuwhata [an election campaign waiata]
Haka: Ka mate, ka mate

Whaikōrero by Hēmana Pōkiha (Te Arawa)
Haka and waiata by a Te Arawa rōpu.
Haka: Ko Te Arawa e
Waiata: E tama puta kino i te pō nei
Haka: Tōia ra te waka
Pātere: E noho ana anō i te roro o toku whare i a Tohiariki

Pei Te Hurinui Jones introduces kawanga chants and the kawa ceremony to be performed by Waikato tohunga Tiaki Hira, to lift the tapu from Tūrongo House.
Whaikōrero and kawa ceremony by Tiaki Hira.

Part 3. Opening of Tūrongo - mihimihi and whaikōrero at Tūrangawaewae Marae, 18 March 1938.
Unidentified Ngāti Kahungunu speaker
Waiata by Ngāti Kahungunu rōpu
Unidentified Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa speaker
Pātere from unidentified rōpu
Whaikōrero by Sir Apirana Ngata (Ngāti Porou)
Haka: Kura tīwaka taua [Ngāti Porou rōpu]
Mihi to the Governor-General by Te Kiri Kātipa (Waikato)
Mihi by Hēmana Pōkiha (Te Arawa)
Mihi by Reverend Hēmi Huata (Ngāti Kahungunu)
Welcome speech by Sir Apirana Ngata (Ngāti Porou). At the end, he greets radio station 2YA which is recording the event.

Part 4. Opening of Tūrongo and investiture of Te Puea Hērangi, 18 March 1938.
Waiata: Karanga Te Arawa
Waiata: Taumarumaru ko te rā
These waiata are performed by a Te Arawa rōpu, which Charles Bennett notes includes "Guide Rangi (Rangitiaria Dennan), Guide Susan and other well-known personalities of the thermal region".
Mihi by Waimārama Pūhara (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa)
Governor-General Sir George Galway begins the investiture ceremony with a speech, which is simultaneously translated into Māori by Hēmana Pōkiha. He acknowledges the warm welcome bestowed on him and his wife; and pays homage to Princess Te Puea for the hard work she has done over many years for her people.
The Royal Warrant from King George VI is read.
Waiata and haka are performed by Te Pou o Mangatāwhiri [Te Puea's group] after Te Puea is presented with the C.B.E. by the Governor-General.
Sir Apirana Ngata speaks, and praises the work of Te Pou o Mangatāwhiri in helping Te Puea's fund-raising efforts.

Part 5. Opening of Tūrongo
A Ngāi Te Rangi group performs a waiata and haka.
The official party moves across to open Tūrongo.
Governor-General, Sir George Galway, speaks. Pei Te Hurinui Jones simultaneously translates into Māori.
The Acting Minister for Native Affairs, Hon. Frank Langstone, speaks - his speech is also translated.
Both speeches talk about improving Māori housing, improving Maōri living standards, and lecture on the evils of alcohol and gambling.
The official party then enters Tūrongo House.

Part 6. Commentary by Charles Moihi Bennett.
Commentator Charles Bennett then continues the radio broadcast, while waiting for the official party to re-emerge. He begins by giving a history of the Kingitanga.

He gives listeners a detailed description of Tūrongo House and its carvings and decoration. He explains the King's coat-of-arms on the door, 'Te Paki o Matariki', which features the stars of the constellation Matariki. He also explains the detailed tukutuku panels inside the house, which were made by Waikato women. He talks about the arrangements at the marae for accommodating visitors, and the contributions 'mau aringa', or koha, towards the costs. He describes the arrival of the Ngāti Raukawa party, who came onto the marae bearing branches with pound notes attached to them, while another tribe dropped pound notes onto a mat. He goes on to explain how fields of over 40 marquees around the pā are being used to accommodate the estimated 4,000 visitors. He describes the marquees as being lined with raupō and then woven mats. Each tent is named with the iwi who are to stay there. He then talks about dining arrangements, and how a loud-speaker is used to call different iwi to meals at the wharekai at different times. The tangata whenua always dine last. Hangi and European methods are being used to cook all the meals.

He then describes events due to happen the following day, when the Ngāruawāhia Regatta takes place. Even more people are expected to attend this event. He describes the ceremony this morning, in which the Governor-General and his wife arrived by the river, onboard a waka taua [Te Winika], and accompanied by waka tiwai. This was the first time in thirty years that this has happened. He explains how a tree was felled to make a waka, and the rituals surrounding this. He ends the broadcast and signs off.