Category Archives: Song

The History and Meaning of the National Haka

Toastmasters Competent Communicator

Project 3 – Get to the point

  1. Select a speech topic and determine its general and specific purposes.

    To explain the words and meaning of Ka Mate, Ka Mate.
    After hearing my presentation, the audience will be able to recite the meaning of the national haka.

  2. Organize the speech in a manner that best achieves those purposes.
    1. History
      1. Composed by the chief Te Rauparaha on the occasion of running from his enemies, when he went to chief Te Wharerangi for protection.
      2. 1820
    2. Geography
      1. Ngati Toa
      2. Porirua, Kapiti Coast, Levin & Kapiti Islan
    3. Story
      1. Once when pursued by his enemies, Te Rauparaha came to Te Wharerangi and asked for his protection. The latter hid him in a kumara pit with his wife sitting over the entrance. According to custom, this was considered strange. Firstly, no male would ever place himself in a position beneath the genitals of a woman. Secondly, the female organs were believed to have a shielding effect. Of course, in times of danger Te Rauparaha was willing to forego custom in order to survive.
      2. “Ka Mate! Ka Mate!” (I die! I die!), he muttered when his pursuers arrived. Te Wharerangi indicated that Te Rauparaha had gone to Rangipo and he whispered “Ka Ora! Ka Ora!” (I live! I live!). When the pursuers doubted the words of Te Wharerangi, he gloomily muttered “Ka Mate! Ka Mate!” once again. When Te Wharerangi continued to convince the pursuers, he exclaimed “Ka ora! Ka ora! Tenei te tangata puhuruhuru nana nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra!” (I live! I live! For this is the hairy man who has fetched the sun and caused it to shine again!). The hairy man in the Haka refers to the chief Te Wharerangi who gave Te Rauparaha protection. And Te Wharerangi was a man of very noticeable hairy habit.
    4. Translation
      1. Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
        Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
        Tenei te tangata puhuru huru
        Nana nei i tiki mai
        Whakawhiti te ra
        A upa … ne! ka upa … ne!
        A upane kaupane whiti te ra!
      2. I die! I die! I live! I live!
        I die! I die! I live! I live!
        This is the hairy man
        Who fetched the Sun
        And caused it to shine again
        One upward step! Another upward step!
        An upward step, another … the Sun shines!
  • The direct translation of “Upane” is “terrace”. This probably refers to the step, which was cut into the side of the pit for access. Each “upane” describes the tentative steps Te Rauparaha made as he emerged from the pit. “White te ra! Hi!” sums up his feelings of joy for having eluded death and also of him coming out of the dark kumara pit into the light of the day.
  1. Conclusion
    1. There is a little-understood secondary meaning to this haka. Later in life, Te Rauparaha converted to Christianity.
    2. His haka, therefore, is also a metaphor for one crossing over from spiritual death into spiritual life.
  2. Ensure that the beginning, body and conclusion all tie into and reinforce the purposes.

    By putting the haka into historical and cultural context, the meaning of the words are explained and better understood.

  3. Project sincerity and conviction, and control any nervousness you may feel.

    By referencing my personal connection to it, I make the presentation more relevant.

  4. Try not to use notes.

    Use slides instead.

  5. Incorporate suggestions from previous evaluations as you prepare and rehearse this speech.

    Don’t say “So” to begin a sentence.


You’re Not My Clique

Verse 1

I had an attitude with the One who says,
That “Blessed are the meek.”
You see, I had a problem,
I thought He was weak.
If I ever saw Him, I was gonna say,
”You’re not my clique.”


But then I realised that to be meek,
Is not the same as being weak.
It’s really
The ability
To control my selfish streak.

Verse 2

Now I know He’s the One,
Who was strong all along.
You see,
When he looked at me,
He didn’t say,
”You’re not my clique.”