Kōkiri 19 – Rau Tau: Waiata

Published in Kōkiri 19, Hōngongoi - Hereturikōka 2010

‘Hoki Mai’, ‘E Te Hokowhitu’ and ‘Whakaaria Mai’ are some of the waiata that have been part of the New Zealand Māori team’s repertoire since its inception. In the early years New Zealand Māori were expected to perform concerts following their games on tour. Pat Walsh recalled from the 1958 tour the level of organisation required when the men sang. “I distinctly remember Ray Keepa being in charge of our singing and he would just listen to you and say, Righto boy, you go right in the corner, you are alto, and you are bass”. That expectation has continued in the modern era, for instance, when the 1982 team sang with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at the Royal Albert Hall. Regardless of where the players find themselves – on a ship, in an airport or in a hotel foyer – they can be found gathered around the guitar singing away to their hearts’ content.

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