New Zealand inspires fully with her magnificent scenery and the easy friendly warmth displayed by her people. The longer I’m in country, the more the land provides insights, leading me deeper to her cultures, her languages. An appropriate choice of music can evoke a grand sense of longing and isolation that’s especially true, standing small in the midst of the Southern Alps.
Time has passed, but memories remain sharp and fresh. Multiple visits to Wellington and Auckland, and three weeks around the South Island have left me feeling ‘beached': “I’m beached, bru … I’m beached az …”
I’m also hopelessly in love with New Zealand.
New Zealand has three official languages: English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Along with definitive images of the country, two songs sung in Māori bring me back to this beautiful land. “Pokarekare Ana” and “E Ihowa Atua” are, respectively, the unofficial and official anthems for the nation.
“Pokareare Ana” began as a love song on New Zealand’s North Island in the second decade of the 20th-century. The song is identified widely as unique to New Zealand.
Pōkarekare ana (They are agitated)
ngā wai o Rotorua/Waiapu (the waters of Rotorua/Waiapu)
Whiti atu koe hine (But when you cross over girl)
marino ana e (they will be calm)
E hine e (Oh girl)
hoki mai ra (return to me)
Ka mate ahau (I could die)
I te aroha e (of love for you)
Tuhituhi taku reta (I have written my letter)
tuku atu taku rīngi (I have sent my ring)
Kia kite tō iwi (so your people can see)
raru raru ana e (that I am troubled)
Whati whati taku pene (My pen is shattered)
ka pau aku pepa (I have no more paper)
Ko taku aroha (But my love)
mau tonu ana e (is still steadfast)
E Ihowa Atua (Aotearoa)
“E Ihowa Atua” is a Māori adaption in 1878 of the poem “God Defend New Zealand” which was published two years earlier. Also known as “Aotearoa”, the Māori version of the song is an approximate translation of the English version. Royal assent in 1977 finally confirmed the song’s status as one of the nation’s two official national anthems, including “God Save the Queen.” Presently, the official national anthem is performed with the first verse of “E Ihowa Atua” in Māori, followed by the first verse of “God Defend New Zealand” in English.
E Ihowā Atua (Oh Lord, God)
O ngā iwi mātou rā (Of nations and of us too)
Āta whakarangona (Listen to us)
Me aroha noa (Cherish us)
Kia hua ko te pai (Let goodness flourish)
Kia tau tō atawhai (May your blessings flow)
Manaakitia mai (Defend)
Aotearoa (Land of the long white cloud)
God of nations at thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet
Hear our voices, we entreat
God defend our free land
Guard Pacific’s triple star
From the shafts of strife and war
Make her praises heard afar
God defend New Zealand
How do I love New Zealand’s South Island? Let me show the ways …
• Akaroa: Akaroa’s Long Harbour with special guests
• Akaroa: La petite ville française de Akaroa
• Christchurch: Christchurch’s changing Red Zone
• Christchurch: Christchurch’s Art Gallery: glass and light
• Dunedin: Baldwin Street, steepest in the world
• Fiordland: Cruising up and down Milford Sound
• Fox Glacier: The slow forest walk up to Fox Glacier
• Franz Josef Glacier: The slow approach to Franz Josef Glacier
• Interislander Ferry: On the ferry between the North and South Islands
• Lake Matheson: What are the sounds of a New Zealand sunset?
• Southern Alps: Flying over the South Island’s Southern Alps
• Southern Alps: The Southern Alps at sunset, from Lake Matheson
• Train: Coastal Pacific train, from Picton to Christchurch
• Train: TranzAlpine train, from Christchurch to Greymouth
This post marks Māori Language Week (Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori), celebrated annually in New Zealand since 1975. Māori Language Week in 2014 takes place 21 to 27 July inclusive. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com at http://wp.me/p1BIdT-5gd, and also appears as part of the Sunday Traveler series.