Whiti te Rā!

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Written by Patricia Grace | illustrated by Andrew Burdan | translated by Kawata Teepa

This is the te reo Māori version of Haka!

This is the story of the great Ngāti Toa chief Te Rauparaha and how he came to compose the famous haka 'Ka Mate, Ka Mate'.


Te Rauparaha is pursued by his enemies, and he fears for his life.

At Lake Rotoaira, he is hidden in a kūmara pit, and Te Rangikoaea, a woman of great power, sits in front of its entrance. As he hears his enemies approaching, Te Rauparaha whispers in the dark, ‘Will I die?’ Will I live?’. His enemies cannot find him, and he climbs back to the sunlight.

As he recounts this adventure to his people, his words are repeated and the haka rings out, to be passed down from generation to generation.

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