Treaty Sound Post

KarenPeterson Butterworth
Photograph courtesy of Karen Peterson Butterworth

‘This poem expresses the self-discovery which I owe to Ngati Raukawa, the Tangata Whenua of Otaki. It tells of my joy at the fruits, nga hua nui, of becoming bicultural. Then it uses my bicultural identity as a springboard to leap towards a better understanding of what it is to be human.'

ko te moana tokerau rāua ko te moana-nui-ā-kiwa ngā moana
ko ngāti piritene nui ngā tipuna – he hunga kaumoana māia
ko ngā kaipuke teremoana e ono ngā waka
ko aotearoa te whenua

ko papatōwai ki te taitonga o te wai pounamu te turangawaewae
ko te hunga ā māori rāua kō te hunga pākehā ngā whanaunga
ko te reo ingarihi rāua kō te reo māori ngā reo rangatira
kua rongo noa iho koe i taku pepeha taketake
whai ake nei taku pepeha whiriwhiria
ko everest te maunga
ko ngā tai katoa e taiawhio ana i te ao te moana
ko te aitanga katoa a ārama raua ko iwa ngā whanaunga
ko ngā kupu waha me ngā kupu tuhituhinga hoki ngā reo
ko ngā toi me ngā pakiwaitara katoa o te ao ngā taonga tuku iho
ko ngā whakaaronui o nehe ra te mātauranga
ko ngā tamariki a tane-mahuta ngā taonga kua murua

ko te aroha me te mamae o ngā manomano tau ā tātou ngoi ngakau
ko ngā toto maringi katoa huri noa i te ao ō tātou toto ora
kia tupato! kei wareware tātou i ō tātou whanaungatanga
ki ngā uri tāngata katoa

ko enei aku pepeha e rua arā ngā waewae e tautoko ana i taku wairua

statement of identity for the year 2000

the north sea and the pacific ocean are my oceans
the people of great britain are my ancestors – a people of brave voyagers
six ocean-going sailing ships are my canoes
aotearoa is my country
papatowai in the south of the south island is my home turf
my relations include people both māori and pākehā
the māori and english languages are my noble languages
you have just heard my identity of origin
my chosen identity follows

everest is my mountain
all the seas encircling the world are my ocean
all the descendants of adam and eve are my relatives.
oral and written words alike comprise my languages
all the arts and stories of the world are my inheritance
the great thoughts of old are my wisdom
the children of tane-mahuta are my plundered treasures

the love and pain of the ages are the life and strength of all our hearts
all the blood spilt throughout the world is our arterial blood
beware! lest we forget our kinship to all humankind

these are my two identities – the feet supporting my spirit

Karen Peterson Butterworth

Published in Song of the Family by Steele Roberts, 2003.
Next