Handover

 You sing Te Waikoropupu waiata
& heart thumps – heart thumps – heart thumps

& eyes are full of tears
As you speak of the hard road 

& those who’ve passed & cannot be here
& how Ngati Tama fought to protect the Springs

& you look the Environment Minister straight in the eye
& say, ‘We’ll be here; we’re not going away’

& it strikes like a promise & beats like a drum
& it’s man to man, & full of pluck

& the Environment Minister holds on tight
To the Water Conservation Order delivered to his hands

& I stand with you, & all the rising crew
Who will see this thing through

Dedicated to Ngati Tama, Kaitiaki of Te Waikoropupü Springs

Handover’ tells the story of Ngati Tama’s long struggle to protect The poem celebrates the handing over of the Water Conservation Order co-authored by the Iwi and Andrew Yuill to the Minister of the Environment.  The poem finishes with a promise to stick with Ngati Tama until ‘we see this journey through.’ The destination is an effective & enforceable Water Conservation Order. The poem was banned from the Golden Bay Weekly.

 Te Waikoropupü waiata

Waikoropupü, Waikoropupü
Pupü ake te whenua
Pupü ake ko ngä waiora
Waikoropupü
Ngä puna wai o Täkaka
Ngä puna roimata wairua
Waikoropupü,
Waikoropupü

Bubbling waters from the throat of the spring,
Bubbling waters from the throat of the spring,
Forever bubbling from the land
Forever bubbling for the health of the people and the spring waters
The spring waters of Täkaka
The tears of the spirit ancestors,
Waters bubbling from the throat of the spring
Waters bubbling from the throat of the spring

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