He Waiata mō Aotearoa (Song for Aotearoa)

Tune: Hanover (O worship the king)

Give thanks for Creation: orokohanga
that cosmic explosion—our whakapapa;
for logos and mythos, for spirit and word
give thanks for the ethos through which they are heard.
 *****
Remember nga tūpuna—those gone before
their stars shining on us in Aotearoa
for we are the ashes of stars as they die
niho taniwha1on the cloak of the sky.
 *****
Give thanks for the speakers: nga kaikōrero2
we hear and we listen—aroā whakarongo3.
With courage, with passion we greet the new day
nga pā harakeke4 of cosmos and clay.
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Kahutoi Te Kanawa, ‘Te raranga me te whatu – Tāniko and tukutuku’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/diagram/43485/taniko-designs


1. Niho taniwha: (noun) saw-edged pattern of tukutuku panels and in the tāniko weaving on the hems of cloaks. The principal motif that represents the realm of mythology and a chief’s lineage from the gods. Also symbolises family houses within the tribe.

2. Nga kaikōrero: (noun) speaker, narrator.

3. Aroā whakarongo: (noun) listening comprehension. Aroā: comprehend, comprehension, be aware; whakarongo: hear, listen.

4. Nga pā harakeke: (noun) flax bush, generations – a metaphor used to represent the gene pools inherited by children from their two parents and the passing of attributes down the generations.