This beautiful waiata was composed in September 2016 by well-known Māori performing artist Te Taepa Kameta (Te Arawa, Ngāti Pikiao) for the annual Ngāti Apa Ki Te Rā Tō Hui ā Iwi. This waiata is a dedication to the many whānau who whakapapa to Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō and the two hapū within.
The Hemi whānau of Rātana Pā and uri of Eruera and Te Oranga Hemi would make the journey home to Omaka Marae annually to support the iwi and strengthen whakapapa ties to the area. The entire Hemi whānau are members, and some founding members, of the national Te Matatini performing Kapa Haka Te Reanga Morehu o Rātana. Joined by their kapa haka whānau, the Hemi whānau performed this waiata for the first time at the September 2016 hui at Omaka in Blenheim.
Ngāti Apa ke te Rā Tō have many uri spread across Aotearoa and Te Waipounamu and also abroad. This waiata is a reminder to us all to carry the dreams and aspirations of our tīpuna and build our lives on the foundations of Faith, Hope and Love to which are our core values, most important being Love.
Nau mai rā piki mai, nau mai rā kake mai
Haere mai rā ngā whetu matarau
Nō runga I te rangi me te whenua
This verse calls to the many uri who figuratively speaking are likened to the many stars in the sky and spread throughout the land.
E tū nei Te Aroha o Te Waipounamu e karanga nei
Nōreirā mauria mai te aroha e te iwi e
Here stands Te Aroha o Te Waipounamu (the love of Te Waipounamu) which reminds us all that our roots are embedded in the very fabric of who we are as Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō. This is a call to unite our people under the love and guidance of our tīpuna whare.
Kia Kotahi te pātuki o te manawa
Kia Kotahi nei te reo o Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō
Ka ea ngā wawata haere mai te iwi e
Let us unite as one beating heart, as one voice, as one people, it is only by unity that we are strong.
It is the hope of our Rātana whānau that this waiata reaches the four corners of the world and touches the lives of all Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō uri and reminds them to return home to be purified by the spiritual wellbeing of home “E hoki ki ō maunga, kia purea koe e ngā hau a Tāwhirimātea.”