Kaumātua Wisdom: Hawaiki nui Hawaiki roa

Maori nature ancient Wisdom of a Kaumātua: Hawaiki nui Hawaiki roa

Whakarongo ki te Au

Our truth is this:

We come from the sea

this is where our bones lie

not on the summits of


Hawaiki nui Hawaiki roa

Is our ancestral Pacific land

and its location in history

can only be found in legend

yielding only to the sea’s


Maori nature ancient

He Kuaka Mārangaranga

Kotahi manu rere atu, rere atu

be not afraid to strike out alone

be like the godwit, which takes its wing

for the horizon, others will soon

circle and soar and then


Falcon - kārearea - Birds, Mana and Maori Culture
Falcon – kārearea – Birds, Mana and Maori Culture

Fish beyond your reach

like Māui who soothed the sea, sun

and air without metapoetic karakia

and for his adventurousness

was rewarded when the fishing line

smoked in his hands as

he hooked up Aotearoa 

Nurture your voyaging spirit

do not become like the karoro

the black-backed seagull which

feeds only on the coastline

of insubstantial flotsam

fringing the sea’s lure

Maori nature ancient

From Words of a Kaumātua by Haare Williams, edited by Witi Ihimaera

Dr Haare Williams MNZM has been Dean of Māori Education and Māori Advisor to the Chief Executive at Unitec. He was General Manager of Aotearoa Radio. He set up a joint venture with the South Seas Film and Television School to train Te Reo speakers as producers and operators in film and television. He has worked closely with iwi claimant communities and was responsible for waka construction and assembly at Waitangi for the 1990 commemorations. He has published poetry, exhibited painting and written for film and television. He was a cultural advisor for the Mayor of Auckland and is Amorangi at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

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