Kariri – the bullet. This waiata retells historical accounts of the East Coast forces that supported the Kingitanga, the Pai-mārire faith and the people of Tauranga-Moana in the battle of Pukehinahina (Gate Pā) and Te Ranga from the prospective of the families, hapū and iwi that stood against the crown and its Māori allied forces. The words of Hoera Tamatatai from Ngāti Porou are echoed throughout the waiata. In April 1857 at Rangiriri, and in support of a Maori King, he stated that the salvation of the Māori people lay not in the hands of the new settlers but in the might of a united Māori nation. He said, “Ka whana te hoiho, ka tuki te kau” or “You might as well yoke a horse with a bullock for the horse would kick and the bullock would use his horns.”
It also references the siege at Waerenga-a-Hika in Gisborne as the troops who were involved in the battles in Tauranga were also involved in this historical siege. The song pays homage to the patience, grace and integrity our people had and continue to display towards our treaty partners even in the face of such historical atrocities, horrors, acts of crown tyranny and hardships. Notwithstanding the brown-nosing, dismissive and derogatory slant of the battles written history as boasted by crown historians and leaders of Māori allied troupes. The music references sounds of war and a great sense of loss: of land, of lives, of tikanga, of ways of being and of autonomy. The melody follows an old mōteatea style type of chanting, timing and phrasing to reference the Māori music of the era.
Lead Vocals: Rob Ruha / BV’s: Rob Ruha / Production: Tiki Taane / Musical soundscape: Tiki Taane