He Waiata tenei mo Parihaka

(by Taranaki poet JC Sturm)

Have you heard of Parihaka
Maunga Taranaki
And the sea
Where Te Whiti o Rongomai
And Tohu Kakahi
Passive resistance, not war?
Have you heard of Parihaka
Where Taranaki iwi
Seeking a way to keep their land?
Non-violence was their choice
Peace their aim
Raukura their badge
Ploughs their only weapons.
They pulled down fences
Pulled out pegs
Then ploughed whatever
The settlers claimed was theirs.
Have you heard of Parihaka’s
Boys and girls
Waiting outside the gates
When the mounted soldiers came
To rape and murder
Pillage and burn
To take Te Whiti and Tohu away
With all the ploughmen
And ship them south
To build a causeway
Around Dunedin’s
Wintry harbour?
Have you heard of Taranaki iwi
Denied a trial,
Chained like dogs
In sealed caves and tunnels?
Ngāi Tahu smuggled
Food and blankets
To the prisoners
Comforted the sick in the dark.
Kua ngaro ngā tangata
Kua ngaro i te pō!
Auē te mamae
That followed after!
If you haven’t heard of Parihaka,
Be sure
Your grandchildren will
And their children after them,
History will see to that.
But for now,
He waiata tēnei mō Parihaka –
Auē, auē, a-u-ē –