[Mobile Unit. Māori Battalion welcome at Kaikohe]

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Tono kōrero mai

Unedited recordings made at the pōwhiri to welcome the men of the (28) Māori Battalion to Kaikohe. A programme of haka, speeches and waiata presented by the people of Te Tai Tokerau to welcome back their troops.

There is some commentary in English [probably broadcaster Leo Fowler] and also some in te reo Māori by an unidentified announcer. Several speakers are translated simultaneously into English or te reo Māori. Some speakers are not identified.

Tai Tokerau welcome to men of the 28 Māori Battalion.

Broadcaster Leo Fowler from the Broadcasting Service Mobile Recording Unit describes the evening scene at a marae two miles outside Kaikohe [probably Kotahitanga Marae, recorded on the evening of 24 January 1946.]

Hundreds of Māori from all over the north are on the marae to greet their contingent of soldiers of the Māori Battalion who have come home. Chiefs of each of the tribes of Ngāti Whatua, Ngāti Pui, [sic. Ngāpuhi], Ngāti Kahu, Rarawa and Aupouri will be making speeches of welcome. Then there will be one to two short items, action songs, a haka, and supper.

The official ceremony will be held at 10am the next day, when the Minister of Defence Mr Jones and the official party arrives from Wellington to formally hand the men back to their tribes. He says the recorded ceremony will repeat the format of those at Ngāruawāhia and Aotea Quay [Wellington]: pōwhiri, haka, usual speeches and ceremonial greetings.
The soldiers of the Māori Battalion can be seen marching out from Kaitaia [sic. Kaikohe] to the marae.

25 January 1946.
Pōwhiri tangi by women; singing ‘Haere mai’. Loud speaker announcements in Maori. Karanga and an unidentified woman [possibly Whina Cooper?] and man addressing the crowd in both Māori and English [words are hard to decipher.]
In English, an unidentified commentator describes the iwi represented on the marae, with representatives from Tāmaki to Te Rerenga Wairua present.

Unidentified kaikōrero, haka.[On the original disc label, this speaker is named as Ripi Wihongi but according to whānau who have heard the recording it is not him.]
Whaikōrero: Tiopira Heiwari (Ahipara), haka
Whaikōrero: Hauraki Peneha (Peria), kīnaki: Kaore te aroha
Whaikōrero: Rapata Wiki (Te Kaeo), kīnaki
Whaikōrero: Haupapa Paikea (Batley)
Whaikōrero: Matiu Witana (Hokianga) "a returned soldier of yesterday" [20661,18th Māori Reinforcements, WWI]
Whaikōrero: Ihaka Poata (Ahipara)

Part of the speech by Mrs Whena [sic. Whina] Cooper. Whina Cooper makes a forceful appeal for men imprisoned for misdimeanours commited while overseas to be freed, reminding the gathering that the soldiers were volunteers. She also calls for official forms to be written in Māori so Māori can understand them better and fill them out correctly. She speaks in Māori with her comments translated into English by Colonel Ferris. She and an unidentified man [possibly also Colonel Ferris] then lead a haka.

Address by Hon F. Jones, Minister of Defence. His speech is translated into te reo Māori by interpreted by Col. Ferris. He welcomes the men home and tells the crowd he is returning the men to them. He says Princess Te Puea told him to convey her good wishes to them. He says he would like to address the remarks made by the chiefs and Whina Cooper this morning. He thanks Riri [Kāwiti] for a mere and says he will treasure it.

He recalls how the Māori people came to the aid of Britain when she was suffering. He praises the contribution of the battalion to the war effort and acknowledges the sadness for the men who have not returned. 600 Māori died, five out of every seven who served. He makes reference to the Victoria Cross awarded to Lieutenant Ngārimu [recording ends abruptly].

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Year 1946

Reference number 5443

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Special events radio coverage
Nonfiction radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits Cooper, Whina, 1895-1994, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Heiwari, Tiopira, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Paikea, Haupapa, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Peneha, Hauraki, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Wiki, Rapata, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Witana, Matiu, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Poata, Ihaka, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Jones, Frederick, 1884-1966, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Fowler, Leo (b.1902, d.1976), Announcer
Ferris, James Paumea, Translator
New Zealand Mobile Broadcasting Unit, Broadcaster

Duration 01:01:43

Date 24 Jan 1946