Poroporoaki to Kepa Ehau by Te Whati Taamati February 1970.

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.

Te Whati Tāmati was a kaumatua of the Ngāti Mahanga sub-tribe of Waikato and one of the chief spokesman for the King movement in the 1970s, held in very high regard as one of the few remaining ‘old time speakers’ steeped in the classical Māori language and culture. He was welcome as  an orator all over the country and spent his time travellign from one hui to another. Te Whati chose a tauparapara that relates to Te Arawa folk history. The well-known tale concerns Tamatekapua (who later became captain of the Te Arawa canoe), and his dog, Pōtakatawhiti.

Throughout his speech he emphasises Tainui and Te Arawa links. It is likely that the two canoes left Hawaiiki as a double-hulled vessel with a house built between them.

Whaikōrero - Kepa Ēhau

A panel hosted by Wiremu Parker (1914 – 1986) ) nō  Ngāti Pōrou, Tamati Kruger nō Tuhoe and Ruka Broughton (1940 – 1986) discuss the Whaikorero of Te Whati Taamati at the poroporoaki of Kepa Ēhau (1885 – 1970).

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.