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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 12 (March 1, 1935)

Maoriland's Farewell

Maoriland's Farewell.

When great occasions call for a touch of the poetic and the imaginative, our Maoris can be depended upon to surpass the prosaic pakeha. What could be more touching and beautifully appropriate than the Waikato tribes' good-bye address to their Excellencies Lord and Lady Bledisloe at Ngaruawahia? The Maori mind seeks the wealth of ancestral symbolism and legendary allusions for such ceremonial good-byes. The address likened the greatly popular pair to the “kowhai-tu-rangiora” of ancient imagery, the golden trees of life and health, showering their sweet blossoms upon the people, and they metaphorically waved a farewell to them as they voyaged across the great ocean which Kupe the navigator explored centuries ago.

“Let the vast ocean be spread out smooth and calm for you, may it glisten like the precious pounamu; may the dancing shimmer of summer be about you as you go!”

That is a true New Zealand farewell, something racy of the land and the forest, of halcyon days on shore and sea. And when the pakeha comes to add his farewell to the send-off of the Maori, he is not likely to find words more fitting and full-hearted than the godspeed that now belongs to the two races—“Haere ra! Haere ra!”