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Sir Apirana Ngata, M.P

Sir Apirana Ngata, M.P.

In recognition of his services to the district, and especially his good work in connection with the erection and opening of Takitimu House, it was hoped to include in this book a short biography of the life of Sir Apirana Ngata, M.P. Sir Apirana, however, with true modesty preferred that nothing of the sort be written until after his death. He gave his reason for this by relating the following incident:

"After Christianity had made its impact upon the Maoris, one of the early misionaries, the well-known Bishop Williams, was on one occasion receiving a number of natives into Church membership. It was held necessary for one-time cannibals to confess and renounce their past, and while confessing they were asked to repeat their own names. One prominent chief of the old school submitted himself for membership, but refused to repeat his name. When asked for his reason, he said, 'It is only the shag (koau) that repeats his own name.' The Maori named the shag from its own cry, 'koau.'"