May 8, 2019
This was not planned. Which makes it the perfect 100th episode as we always look for depth and meaning in unexpected moments. Justice Joe Williams got up to give the keynote speech at the recent Charity Law and Regulation conference held at Te Papa in April 2019 and rather than start straight into that topic he took time and instead reflected on the Karakia which had been said just before that, "Whakataka te Hau". I thought the description and explanation provided was really beautifully done as it opened an understanding of what this prayer was really about. So I got permission to release those reflections as this podcast episode. Have a listen to some of the other 100 for more diverse content and interviews!
The Karakia goes:
Whakataka te hau ki te uru,
Whakataka te hau ki te tonga.
Kia mākinakina ki uta,
Kia mātaratara ki tai.
E hī ake ana te atākura he tio,
he huka, he hauhunga.
Haumi e! Hui e! Tāiki e!
Get ready for the westerly
and be prepared for the southerly.
It will be icy cold inland,
and icy cold on the shore.
May the dawn rise red-tipped on ice,
on snow, on frost.
Join! Gather! Intertwine!
The latest news since he spoke there was the following:
"Justice Joseph Williams is the first te reo Maori speaker be appointed to the judge's bench in the Court of Appeal. The former Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court was named a judge of the Court of Appeal by Attorney-General David Parker last week. Justice Williams, who is of is of Ngati Pukenga, Waitaha and Tapuika descent, has had a distinguished legal career and was appointed the head of the Maori Land Court in 1999. The following year, he was appointed acting chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal, a position to which he was permanently appointed in 2004."
About Karakia, from http://folksong.org.nz/whakataka_te_hau/
Karakia are the chants of Maori ritual, using traditional language, symbols and structures. They are a means of achieving oneness - one with the atua, one with the ancestors and one with events of the past.
They have their own traditional structure, symbols and rituals, and their concern is the whole of the universe, earth, sea and sky and into the night.
Karakia are not magic spells depending on the exact recitation of the words. The words can be, and are, changed. The power of the karakia came from the atua, and the effectiveness of the karakia depended on the faith of the people using the chants.