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Good to Go / E pai ana, Ka haere

The Second Māori Contingent is shown parading at Narrow Neck Training Camp in Auckland before leaving for the front on the SS Waitemata on 19 September 1915. According to the waiata “Te Ope Tuatahi”, composed by Apirana Ngata, the recruits of the Second Contingent were drawn mainly from the East Coast tribes of Ngāti Mahaki, Ngāti Hauiti and descendants of Porourangi. Among them was Second Lieutenant Hēnare Mōkena Kōhere of Ngāti Porou. Kōhere died of wounds on 16 September 1916 following the Battle of the Somme. He is mentioned in the sixth verse of “Te Ope Tuatahi” with the phrase: I haere ai Hēnare, I patu ki te pakanga, Ki Para-nihi ra ia. ("Farewell, O Hēnare,Me tō wiwi, and your 'clump of rushes' who fell while fighting in France". The ‘clump of rushes’ is thought to refer to the men under Kohere’s command who died alongside him.)

Year:1915

Location:Narrow Neck, Auckland, New Zealand

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Good to Go / E pai ana, Ka haere

The Second Māori Contingent is shown parading at Narrow Neck Training Camp in Auckland before leaving for the front on the SS Waitemata on 19 September 1915. According to the waiata “Te Ope Tuatahi”, composed by Apirana Ngata, the recruits of the Second Contingent were drawn mainly from the East Coast tribes of Ngāti Mahaki, Ngāti Hauiti and descendants of Porourangi. Among them was Second Lieutenant Hēnare Mōkena Kōhere of Ngāti Porou. Kōhere died of wounds on 16 September 1916 following the Battle of the Somme. He is mentioned in the sixth verse of “Te Ope Tuatahi” with the phrase: I haere ai Hēnare, I patu ki te pakanga, Ki Para-nihi ra ia. ("Farewell, O Hēnare,Me tō wiwi, and your 'clump of rushes' who fell while fighting in France". The ‘clump of rushes’ is thought to refer to the men under Kohere’s command who died alongside him.)


Year: 1915

Length: 00:17

Production Company: Gaumont

Source: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Catalogue Reference: F48604 Major General Henderson Inspects Māori Troops


People: Hēnare Mōkena Kōhere (Ngāti Porou), Major General Henderson (Director of Medical Services)

Location: Narrow Neck, Auckland, New Zealand


Hēnare Mōkena Kōhere was born in Te Araroa on the East Cape of the North Island. He attended Te Aute College before returning to work the family farm on the East Cape.

Kohere followed his younger brother Tāwhai who enlisted in the first call up and had departed with the first echelon of the New Zealand Māori Contingent. He inspired up to 60 young Ngāti Porou men to do the same in the following days. Kōhere was wounded on the Somme 14 September 1916 and was visited by Major Peter Te Rangihiroa Buck who asked in te reo Māori (the Māori language) “How is it, Kōhere?”. He replied quietly “Ka nui te kino” (“Things are very bad.”) Hēnare Mōkena Kōhere died of his injuries two days later.

Te Ope Tuatahi enjoyed a new surge in popularity as a recruiting song for the 28th Māori Battalion in World War II. Listen to it being sung to farewell men from Gisborne in 1940.

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Good to Go / E pai ana, Ka haere

  • Narrow Neck Training Camp, Auckland

  • 0:00

    The 2nd Maori Contingent is lined up on parade ground at Narrow Neck Camp, Takapuna, Auckland, dressed in tropical dress wearing cork Wolesley-pattern pith helmets and the soldiers are seen fixing bayonets before inspection.

  • 0:04

    Major Gen. Henderson, Director of Medical Services, accompanied by senior officers, inspects the troops.