Whaia Te Rangi McClutchie

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Whaia Te Rangi McClutchie

Ngāti Porou

“I speak for the benefit of the people” was the catchphrase of Whaea Whaia Te Rangi McClutchie and the reason she would stand and deliver whaikōrero on the paepae – traditionally a male domain. Seen as a revolutionary act by some, McClutchie asserted her mana and right to speak – she also held the respect and consent of her iwi to do so.

Born Whaia Te Rangi Tūhaka in 1931, McClutchie spent her childhood at Pakairomiromi in Rangitukia and was brought up by her grandparents. Later she moved to Ruatōria to live with her mother and was educated at Manutahi School. Steeped deeply in her Ngāti Porou traditions and history, she became a leader of her people.

McClutchie took her mana from the myriad of tīpuna wāhine who had the prestige and whakapapa enough to have iwi named after them. She supported and attended many hui around the country, including Māori Women’s Welfare League conferences, the National Māori Congress, Kingītanga and Koroneihana hui, as well as Waitangi Day Commemorations. When she felt it necessary she would speak up to ensure her voice was heard, for the benefit of the people. She certainly had naysayers from outside of her Hinetāpora hapū, but she stood up for her right to a voice.

In this excerpt, from a 1978 radio interview, McClutchie explains (in te reo Māori) to broadcaster Purewa Biddle, about her right to stand and speak on the marae ātea as God-given, and complimentary to supporting men on the paepae.

Find out more:

Listen to the whole interview. 

Watch a Waka Huia profile on Whaia McClutchie. 

Read an article by Hine Parata-Walker – Whaikōrero: A woman’s place too? 

Image: Screengrab, Waka Huia, courtesy TVNZ.

Catalogue Reference 40581

Year 1978


Interviewer: Purewa Biddle, Te Reo o te Pipiwharauroa, RNZ National

Excerpt: 00:01:07

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Whakamahia ai mātou ngā pihikete ki te rapu māramatanga ki te āhua o tō whakamahi i tēnei paetukutuku, ki te whakapai hoki i tō whai wāhi mai. Ki te rapu kōrero anō pānuitia te kaupapahere tūmataiti.