Poroporoaki to Bishop Frederick Augustus Bennett by Kepa Ēhau in 1950

Kepa Ehau.

Frederick Augustus Bennett was born at Ohinemutu, a member of the Ngāti Whakaue tribe of Te Arawa people.

He was ordained a priest in 1897 and in 1928 was appointed as the first bishop of Aotearoa, becoming effectively the spiritual representative of the generation of Ngata, Pomare and Buck with whom he had earlier played an influential part in the history of the Young Māori Party. He died on 17th September 1950 aged 79, soon after the death of Ngata, and in his poroporoaki Kepa Ehu implies that the Māori people were thus left leaderless.

Kepa Ēhau, a member of the Ngāti Tarāwhai sub-tribe, has been described as the greatest Te Arawa orator. His knowledge of Māori ceremony and tradition was claimed to be unsurpassed in Te Arawa territory. Sir Apirana Ngata said that Kepa Ēhu interpreter of Māori in the country. Many of his speeches in Māori and English were learned by heart by those who admired his oratory. A World War I wound led to Kepa having both legs amputated in the 1960s but he continued giving whaikorero from a wheelchair until his death in 1970 at the age of 85.

Whaikōrero - Bishop Bennett

Wiremu Parker hosts a panel discussion with Ruka Broughton and Taamati Kruger.

The panel talks to the whaikorero delivered by Kepa Ēhau in 1950 at the poroporoaki (farewell ceremony) to Bishop Frederick Augustus Bennett.

The Panel

Wiremu Parker ex Te Ara

Wiremu Parker broadcasting to the nation. Photo via Te Ara.

Wiremu Parker (4 Feb 1914–10 Nov 1986) - Ngāti Porou

A widely known and respected broadcaster in the Māori language and in English In addition to more than 40 years of broadcasting work he was a lecturer in adult education, and a teacher and translator of the Māori language.

Ruka Broughton (21 April 1940–17 April 1986) - Ngā Rauru

A tohunga and authority on Nga Rauru and Taranaki history, esoteric lore, whakapapa, and the interpretations of ancient karakia and waiata. He also trained and served as an Anglican priest, and a university academic.

Tamati Kruger - Tuhoe

A recognised authority in Māori language and customary practices and an Māori advocate and social/political analyst who has spent much of his life working in tribal research and development. He has also lectured in Te Reo at Te Pū Wānanga o Anamata

This series was produced by David Somerset in 1981 for the Continuing Education Unit of Radio New Zealand.