Nau mai, tomo mai, piri mai
E ngā karanga maha. Koinei he mihi maioha,
he tangi hotu manawa ki ngā taonga raka
kua waihohanga atu nei e ngā tūpuna
kua tūpeke atu ki mua i te ārai tapu
mō mātou i ngā uri whakatupuranga.
He nui oti rawa ngā whakawhetai atu ki a Kerei
mō ngā tukunga nō taua wā e ora ana rātou.
Tukua ngā roma me ngā ia kia hīkaka te ohorere
o ngā pūmahara, ngā hua wānanga,
me ngā pūtohutohu i ā tātou tai hinengaro.
Otīa, me ruku iho ki ngā puna mōhioranga
kia tohia ai tātou.
Mā te mukunga karamea e whakarei kura tātou,
ko ngā taonga ki ngā taonga.
Haumi e! Hui e! Tai eke e!
Grey’s collection of Māori manuscripts and early editions of printed Māori is one of the most significant in New Zealand. During his first term in New Zealand, Grey established close relationships with Māori, which continued throughout his lifetime. Grey developed an interest in Māori traditions, which led him to recognise the significance of recording this information. He began encouraging various hapū representatives, such as Wīremu Maihi Te Rangikāheke, Hāmi Hōne Ropiha, Hōri Pātara, Himiona Te Wehi, Piri Kawau, Te Uramutu, Tīmoti Tahi and Tamihana Te Rauparaha to write down their traditions.
As Grey’s proficiency with tikanga Māori and Te Reo developed, so did the aspiration to publish. Ko nga Moteatea, me nga Hakirara (1853) was his first publication, followed by Ko nga mahinga a nga tupuna Maori (1854) which he translated and published as Polynesian mythology and ancient traditional history of the New Zealand race, as furnished by their priests and chiefs in 1855. Grey completed his publications of Māori material with the publication of Ko nga whakapepeha me nga whakaahuareka a nga tipuna o Aotea-roa and Ko nga waiata Maori in 1857, The corpus of Grey’s Māori manuscripts that provided the content to these publications continue to be appreciated by those that share a similar interest as Grey or a vested hapū interest in their, history, customs, rituals, songs and genealogical ancestry.
The greater majority of the taonga within the Māori manuscripts collection are unpublished and await to inspire others, exactly the intent of both Grey and the Māori contributors.
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