In this first Sir Paul Reeves Memorial Lecture, I wish to honour a great New Zealander. Thoughtful, robust and astute, Sir Paul lived a passionate life, inspired by a quest for the shared good and the common ground, and a deep and abiding sense of justice.
Called 'Darky' at primary school, Sir Paul made sure that when Te Atiawa signed their Treaty settlement with the Crown, his people answered the Crown's apology by formally offering their forgiveness for the harms and insults that they had suffered.
The son of a Wellington tram driver, he never forgot what it was like to be poor. During his term as Governor-General in the mid to late 1980s, Sir Paul became fearful about the market-driven reforms that were transforming New Zealand society.
After a year in office, he remarked to a NZ Herald reporter, "I happen not to believe in the trickle-down theory. I fear we are in the process of creating a stratified society." This earned him a rebuke from the then Prime Minister, David Lange.
He was unrepentant, however, adding two years later, "...the spirit of the market steals life from
Sir Paul was also deeply concerned about the impact of market-led philosophies on iwi leaders. Noting that the transfer of wealth in Treaty settlements was not being reflected in improved social and economic statistics for Maori, he said in an interview with Chris Laidlaw, 'We don't want to go down in history as capitalists who built wealth for a few, but as those who distributed wealth and improved life for our people'.
By the same token, Sir Paul believed that taxation and community-owned assets should to be used to enrich the lives of ordinary New Zealanders. 'We're cancelling many community initiatives,' he added, 'putting money into things that just benefit a few'.
Born of a Pakeha father and a Maori mother, Sir Paul talked often about honouring tikanga Maori and tikanga Pakeha, Maori and European ways of being, and finding common ground between them. In learning about his Pakeha side, he studied at the University of Oxford as well as in New Zealand, and served as an Anglican priest in English parishes.
When questioned about his faith, he spoke above all about other people: 'I want to steer my hopes and aspirations to something bigger, outside myself: to absorb, transform human relationships, that's what I want to do with my life'.
Sir Paul cared about climate change, and education, and constitutional arrangements. It is a great honour to be asked to deliver a lecture in the memory of this marvellous man. In what follows, I will address some of the same topics that inspired him, if from my own perspective. Quite clearly, I am not an Anglican bishop but a scholar, from the world of knowledge rather than of faith - although the historical links between these two worlds run deep.
After all, the first Universities were monastic institutions, with the slight disadvantage that scholars were not permitted to marry. Until last century, too, women were excluded from equal participation in higher learning.
As Virginia Woolf wryly noted in A Room of One's Own, written for a lecture at Cambridge in the 1920s, it was thought that for women such as herself, advanced study would overtax their frail faculties:
To write, or read, or think, or enquire,
Would cloud our beauty, and exhaust our time, And interrupt the conquests of our prime.
Fortunately, women such as myself are now permitted to marry and have children and think - although when I spent a year as a Visiting Fellow at King's College in Cambridge in the 1980s, shortly after they admitted the first female fellows, people invariably thought that I was a wife who had got lost!
So let me now exhaust myself (but hopefully not you) by inquiring into aspects of our collective life as New Zealanders. It is possible that at present, we are trapped in habits of mind that limit our potential as a small, intimate society, inhabiting some of the most beautiful and productive landscapes and seascapes in the world.
Like Sir Paul, I am concerned about the current quality of our relations with each other, and fear that these have gone awry. As he remarked, 'I happen not to believe in the trickle-down theory. I fear we are in the process of creating a stratified society.'
Here, he was prescient. Over the past four years, according to a recent report, the median weekly income for European families increased to $580, while that for Maori families fell to $460, and for Pacific families to $390. Not just a stratified society, but one ranked by ethnic background.
As I have argued recently, in Europe this kind of hierarchy goes back at least as far as the mediaeval idea of the Great Chain of Being. Here, the cosmos was ranked, with God at the top followed by archangels and angels, a Divine monarch and the ranks of the aristocracy and commoners. Men were placed over women and children, and civilised people over 'barbarians' and 'savages'.
In this timeless, tiered world, it seemed only right and proper that ruling elites should profit from ordinary people, and that 'civilised people' should rule over 'barbarians' and 'savages.' Since people were placed over plants and animals, and the earth itself, it also seemed natural that people should exploit these other forms of life, even to the point of destruction. Somehow, it was supposed that such exploitation was for the common good - a 'trickle down' theory on a cosmic scale.
During the seventeenth century, this idea took a new twist when the French philosopher Renee Descartes had a new vision of the nature of things, at once powerful and intoxicating. In his dream, the Cogito - the thinking self' or Subject - became the eye of the world, which in turn was transformed into an Object for human inspection.
In this 'Order of Things,' as Michel Foucault has called it, mind was split from matter, subject from object, self from other, culture from nature, people from 'the environment,' and eventually, the disciplines from each other.
The characteristic motif of the Order of Things was the grid, based on binary oppositions which divided the world into bounded objects of various kinds - nation states, blocks of land, units of time and space measured by instrumental calculation.
Even people were defined as bounded objects - the idea of the autonomous, cost- benefit calculating individual. It is not difficult to see how this kind of model might lead to ideas of technocratic control, as Foucault has eloquently argued.
During the Enlightenment, however, this was not the only philosophy available. Many thinkers, including Tom Paine in The Rights of Man and William Blake in his visionary poetry ('Jerusalem,' for example) assailed these hierarchical models as self-serving, promoted by uncaring elites who presided over the destruction of the natural world, and the poverty, incarceration and suffering of the vast majority of their fellows.
Instead of a static, tiered universe, thinkers including Erasmus Darwin and many of those involved in the Scottish Enlightenment; Benjamin Franklin in America; the Humboldt brothers in Germany; and Buffon & Diderot in France described the cosmos in terms of dynamic networks of relations, generated by complementary pairings (rather than binary oppositions) between different elements, each necessary for survival.
In this 'Order of Relations,' as we might call it, the characteristic motif is the web, the net or the rhizome, and indeed, the World Wide Web is an iconic example of this kind of order. Here, exchanges in the middle ground between complementary pairs are the stuff of life, driving an ever-changing cosmos, working towards equilibrium or balance.
These vitalist thinkers were the precursors to evolutionary biology, the earth sciences, medicine, much cosmology and ecology, and indeed, the science of self-organising systems. In social theory, their ideas led to the emancipation of slaves and women, the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the US constitution, followed by the French Revolution and the fall of the Bastille - historical events that coincided with the early European exploration and settlement of New Zealand.
Thus when the first Europeans arrived in this country, they brought with them a cargo of colliding cosmological ideas. On the one hand, the Order of Things was powerful. As settlers spread across the land, surveyors divided it into gridded settlements and bounded blocks, cutting across the complex, overlapping networks of relations between Maori kin groups and local resources. As 'civilised' people, the settlers took for granted their right to control the land, and their superiority over Maori as 'barbarians' or 'savages.'
At the same time, however, that other Enlightenment tradition, the Order of Relations, was also present, helping to shape our history. In Britain, for instance, the Society for the Protection of Aborigines in Britain fought for the fair treatment of Maori, which led to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and protests when its agreements were dishonoured. Many early missionaries and officials (for instance the first Chief Justice, Sir William Martin) were inspired by these ideas, if in a paternalistic mode.
For themselves, most of the early settlers were on a quest for freedom, eager to strike off the fetters of social hierarchy. I think, for instance, of the Scots who fled the Highland clearances, or the young settler in New Plymouth who wrote jubilantly to his brother, 'I never will be an English slave more!' How ironic, then, that over the past thirty years
we have been busily recreating a stratified society in this beautiful land.
In their dislike of the aristocratic monopoly of land & waterways at home, the settlers fought for the establishment of the Queen's Chain, and made successive attempts to break up large estates. Part of their legacy is the idea of the 'fair go,' a powerful motif in our society, along with a marked dislike of arrogance and pretension.
At the same time, though, this idea of the 'fair go' was shaped by Maori ideas, where conduct described as whakahihi - ie. raising oneself above others - is also disfavoured. In fact, Maori ideas of the cosmos resonate closely with the Order of Relations from Europe. Here, too, the world is understood as dynamic nets of relations between different life forms - in this case, as described by whakapapa.
In the old Maori cosmological chants, the world begins with a burst of energy, which generates thought, memory and desire. Next comes the Kore, Nothing, the seedbed of the cosmos, and then the Po, long aeons of darkness, and the celestial phenomena - sun, stars, moon, and planets, and the earth and sky.
From the union of earth and sky, a complementary pair, the winds, sea and waterways, plants and animals are generated, and linked in layered, multi-dimensional webs of reciprocal relations. These are animated by the hau ora, the energy that drives the cosmos.
Here, there are no Cartesian splits between nature and culture, or subject and object. There is no idea of the autonomous, cost-benefit calculating individual, although the pursuit of mana may seem to drive in that direction. Rather, the mark of a rangatira is generosity, and the ability to provide food and hospitality, and successful leadership. Ordinary folk insist on their mana, with early European visitors often remarking on the
'democratic spirit' of Maori people.
Life is about negotiation and exchange, seeking those points of balance where all is ora - prosperous and well - a process that applies to plants and animals and other life forms, as well as people. This happens across the pae - the threshold or horizon, a fertile middle ground. This logic is neither utopian nor sentimental. Such engagements sometimes fail, leading to mate - dispossession, illness and failure. This is very like the vitalist vision of reality espoused during the Enlightenment in Europe.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given these competing, entangling ideas of reality, the colonial history of our country is philosophically far from simple. Just when the Order of Relations seemed dominant - at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi, for instance - the Order of Things came into play - with autocratic arrangements that denied Maori the right to participate in the new governance arrangements, for example; attempted to sell the so-called 'wastelands;' or instigated the Land Wars.
At the same time, however, some Europeans - like William Martin, the first Chief Justice of New Zealand - reasserted relational thinking, arguing that the Land Wars were fundamentally unjust and a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi; while some Maori kin groups asserted it by fighting for the Crown.
And in the wake of the Land Wars, when Maori lands were confiscated and the Native Land Court was established, there was that curious phase of our national history when New Zealand called itself 'Maoriland,' and many early settlers, including men like Elsdon Best, Percy Smith, James Hamilton and my own great grandfather James McDonald made a serious study of Maori language, art and ancestral practices, working with men like Sir Apirana Ngata on their projects of cultural revival.
The era of 'Maoriland' was followed by two World Wars, when Maori soldiers fought for 'the price of citizenship,' as Apirana Ngata put it, winning the respect of their comrades in battles such as Gallipoli and the Somme, Tunisia and Monte Cassino. This was followed by a more autocratic era when assimilation was all the rage, and Maori children were required to learn English, and more Maori land was seized.
It was at that time, no doubt, that Sir Paul was called a 'darky' at primary school, and his father, who had married his Maori mother and fought in WW2, worked on the Wellington trams. Having survived his youth, Sir Paul went on to study at Oxford and became a priest in English parishes.
During the 1970s, after Sir Paul had been appointed as the Bishop of Aotearoa, a ferment of debate and protest swirled around the Western world as rising generations sought to free themselves from old hierarchies. Feminism, anti-racism, anti-war sentiment fuelled anger among the young, and much social experimentation.
The Maori Renaissance got under way, along with the feminist movement. New Zealand was still a relatively prosperous, egalitarian society, with a strong welfare state delivering health and education to a high standard across the social spectrum. At the time, most of us took these things for granted.
Looked at in this way, the history of our country looks far from black and white. Rather, it has many complex, contradictory strands. As a way of understanding our past as New Zealanders, the Order of Things - with its sharp-edged oppositions between nature and culture, 'civilized men' and 'savages,' Maori and Pakeha - is misleading.
Equally, this kind of 'black and white' logic does not take us far in thinking about the present, and the future of our country. In its binary oppositions, A is set against B, with a sharp dividing line between them - what you might call 'bi-polar' thinking, which cancels out the middle ground.
In this logic, A and B are abstracted, purified of any qualities that they might have in common, and opposed to each other. This is an inherently divisive way of seeing the world. Take the polarities Maori vs Pakeha, men vs women, Left vs Right, greenies vs corporates, and you will soon see what I mean. Take these labels, add the term 'bloody' and you will have accounted for quite a lot of talk-back and in-group chatter in New Zealand.
In addition, the binary oppositions between such terms are almost invariably weighted, with in-built power imbalances. Because these imbalances are presupposed, they are often difficult to detect, let alone to challenge. Taken-for-granted inequalities between Maori and Pakeha, rich and poor, men and women drive fissures into our small, otherwise intimate society, threatening its ora - its well-being, health and prosperity.
Genuine differences do exist between Maori and Pakeha, men and women, Left and Right - but so do networks of interlocking relations, shared values and mutual dependency. Rather than excluding the middle ground, the challenge is to get the networks of relations across it working in ways that are mutually positive and creative, not hostile and destructive. This, I think, is the task that Sir Paul set himself, and why his life mattered so much to us all.
Who knows how philosophical shifts occur? When Rogernomics was launched in the mid 1980s, it is possible that this apparent lurch to the right was another reflex of the Order of Things, with its Cartesian habits of mind. At this time, sharp-edged binary oppositions were often deployed - women vs. men in feminism; Maori vs. pakeha in bi-culturalism; Self vs. Other in the pursuit of personal freedom, for example.
As selves were split from others and nature from culture, the idea of the autonomous individual pursuing his or her own rights and interests without constraint, was reframed as a virtue. Because New Zealand has few checks and balances, it was possible for a relatively small number of people to drive this idea beyond its reasonable limits, as Sir Paul argued at the time.
As a result, over the past thirty years much of our collective life has been re-shaped in the image of the market, with citizens defined as cost-benefit calculating customers, required to buy and sell even the most basic of their needs - education, health, personal safety and security in old age, for example. As in the case of many finance companies, values such as truth, justice, integrity and generosity have been set aside.
As a template for running for a small, intimate society, this kind of logic is remarkably ruthless. It is also non-adaptive, cutting across our key advantages as a species. As Homo sapiens, we are social animals, able to think and communicate through language, forge strategies and combine our efforts to achieve them. Our offspring have a long, vulnerable period while they learn these capacities, during which they have to be protected.
Any society that ignores these basic truths puts itself in danger. In New Zealand, this is obvious from the indicators of social distress that have rocketed since the 1980s - child abuse, youth suicide, increasing gaps between rich and poor, sharp educational and health disparities. Very high rates of incarceration, especially of young Maori, provide a satirical counterpoint to the rhetoric of personal freedom.
At the same time, our society has become very fragmented. There has been a seismic shift in our patterns of work, so that there are now 325,000 enterprises with no employees in NZ (70% of the total), while another 20% have five employees or fewer - 90% of the total. Increasingly, our elderly are isolated and vulnerable, with their care regarded as a business opportunity. Last year the top 151 individuals on the Rich List added $7 billion to their wealth, while 1 in 5 of our children went to school hungry.
Coupled with the illusion, born from the Cartesian split between nature and culture, that people can exploit other life forms and the earth without risk to their own survival, and you have a recipe that seems very unlikely to create a prosperous, happy society in our beautiful land.
Beyond the Binary
Over the past 30 years, if many New Zealanders have adopted ideas that drive towards widespread inequality and fragmentation rather than prosperity and collaboration, what options are available?
I have already suggested that with Maori and Polynesian (and Asian) ways of thinking and the Order of Relations from the Enlightenment, we are fortunate, well placed to experiment with new and more adaptive habits of mind.
Why should we do this? With rising indicators of disparity and distress, many people fear and detest the widening chasms in our society, and yearn for greater amity and cohesion.
During the Rugby World Cup, for instance, when the divisions that haunt us were set aside, Kiwis were seized by a collective euphoria. Fuelled by a love of the sport and a sense that we were on show to the world, there were moments when our country did seem like a 'Stadium of 4 million people.' Black flags with silver ferns fluttered off car aerials, people's houses in the cities, and across rural landscapes. When the Cup was won, almost everyone celebrated. It felt fantastic.
I know that most New Zealanders would love to feel this way more often. It will require new styles of leadership and decision-making, however, which I for one, would find refreshing. At present the world is changing in ways that challenge the old sharp-edged silos - nation states, government departments, ethnic groups, the disciplines.
While the grid remains a powerful form of order, networks of relations are literally going viral. People, ideas, goods, influence and investment whizz around the globe with ever-increasing frequency and speed. Work is changing, with crowd-sourcing and other new forms of production. IT and the World Wide Web are transforming our ideas of the cosmos, also in relational directions.
Here, there are brilliant opportunities. In our small, intimate society, the tyranny of distance may at last be cancelled. If we are smart and agile, the legacies of our ancestors can help us to make the most of new global exchanges, and thrive and prosper. While other, older societies remain trapped in non-adaptive rigidities, we can organize ourselves flexibly and quickly, and in ways that give us joy, contributing to greater equity and prosperity.
In order to achieve this, it is possible to draw on Maori and Pacific philosophies as well as the best of contemporary science. Although some see these as mutually incompatible, I disagree, profoundly. Here, I take inspiration from the recent science of complex networks, and self-organising systems, for example.
Although I am no expert in these fields, those who are have proposed a resonance between the complementary dyads of Pacific and Asian philosophies and the patterns they generate, and the generative pairs involved in many aspects of contemporary science.
In a recent work, The Complementary Nature, for example, the authors cite an array of such patterns, including the base pairings in DNA and the bi-stability of neurons, for example. In many areas of science, patterns based on dynamic interactions within and across complex networks are emerging - based on complementarity - both/and - in addition to binary opposition - either/or. Even at this most fundamental level, complementarity prevails.
Let me now take these ideas, which no doubt seem rather heady, and see how they might help us to move beyond the binary in our collective lives.
In civic affairs, for example, it is not difficult to see how the binary logic of the Order of Things, with its tiered models, drives towards autocratic styles of leadership. The idea of a bifurcated political order - Left-Right, Labour-National, for example - is so ingrained that we forget that this is a cultural artefact, and not the way that democracy has to be.
Here, the job of running the country is seen as a form of gladiatorial combat. Every three or five years, one side or the other wins an election, claims a mandate and imposes its policies on the electorate, whether or not these enjoy majority support. In the process, the best interests of citizens are often set aside.
In New Zealand, however, many people are fed up with this style of governance. The shift to proportional representation was intended to move away from successive lurches from left to right, towards negotiation across the middle ground. When politicians subvert this, maintaining the old binary arrangements through self-serving deals and using these to impose extreme ideas, they lose the respect of ordinary citizens, who become cynical and/or disengage from the political process.
Some politicians understand this better than others. In places, inclusive, relational styles of governance are emerging that work across the ramparts. The Land and Water Forum, for example, is an exciting experiment with collaborative styles of decision- making, used to tackle vexed questions of water use in New Zealand.
Instead of fighting each other in the courts, key players including the dairy industry, Federated Farmers, forestry, environmental NGOs, iwi groups and regional government decided to come together. Rather than resorting to 'end runs' to the law or Government, they agreed to engage with the facts of the matter, and work towards optimal policies for water use based on shared values as well as divergent interests. This includes baselines for water flows, quantitative indicators of water health and collaborative ways of working these through at more local levels.
As a model of smart, flexible, evidence-based decision-making for a small country, this is terrific. One can see how in this process, different values and ways of understanding the environment might converge. It would be great to see such an approach applied to other contentious areas in our national life - superannuation, maybe, and land use regimes, for example. The outcomes are likely to be infinitely superior to those achieved by the old, bi-polar arm wrestling. Such a flexible, nimble approach, based on fostering collaboration across various networks of relations, would be a major step towards a new kind of democracy in New Zealand.
In education, too, one can still see the old hierarchical rigidities at play. The decile system, for instance, although a useful way of allocating funding, arranges schools into tiered arrays that serve as a proxy for educational quality. Here too, the job of running the education system is understood as a form of gladiatorial contest, with politicians pitted against teachers and schools against each other. In the sort of policy-making that emerges, the interests of young people are often set aside.
As a result, over recent years, achievement gaps between students from Maori, Pacific and low income backgrounds and others have widened. For these children and their families, and for the wider society, this is a disaster. Since these young people represent an increasing proportion of the future work-force, the failure of the school system to adequately prepare them for new kinds of knowledge-rich work places New Zealand at high risk of economic and social failure.
In order to change this, rather than a series of short term, 'big bang' experiments, collaborative, evidence-based strategies are required. The Starpath project, for example, is working on ways of tracking students along their educational journeys, so that the 'chokepoints' where significant groups of young people falter in their learning can be identified, along with strategies that lead to better outcomes.
As a result, some pioneering schools have developed academic mentoring based on target-setting and strategic advice, aimed at making sure that every child achieves their potential. In the Te Kotahitanga programme, too, similar insights are at work - that students learn best when teachers understand and appreciate their backgrounds, and build creatively on their existing knowledge and learning styles.
To her credit, the current Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, understands the dangers of current educational disparities, and is determined to change them. In order to achieve systemic change, however, evidence-based collaboration among parents, teachers, students and researchers is vital.
In this context, old, arrogant, unilateral habits of decision-making are bound to backfire - whether over charter schools or class sizes. Collaborative processes for forging strategies and policies, such as those used by the Land and Water Forum, for example, are much more likely to succeed. With so many lives and the future of the country at stake, surely such an experiment is worthwhile.
To give another example, one dear to Sir Paul's heart, inter-ethnic relations on the old hierarchical, bi-polar model are also changing. Rather than seeing Maori and Pakeha, or Maori and Pasifika, or for that matter, Kiwi and Asian as binary opposites with some kind of Berlin Wall between them, these are increasingly understood as linked across the middle ground - the pae.
In a philosophy based on whakapapa, for example, there is no need to regard oneself as purely Maori, or Pakeha, or Pasifika, or Asian. Rather, an individual is made up of all the relationships in which they participate, with their different taha or 'sides' turning from one network to another. One can see how readily such a person can adapt to the diverse, rapidly changing world in which we dwell. A Pakeha child, for instance, who learns Maori will find themselves equipped with a new way of thinking, and one moreover that resonates with Pacific and Asian ways of being, and many ideas in contemporary science.
I could go on, almost ad infinitum. In architecture and town planning, for example, the
Order of Things divides up communities and buildings into sequestered silos. Instead of planning zones (or dwellings) that operate like boxes, with work in one place, domestic life in another, recreation somewhere else, relational thinking suggests that we might mix them up in new and creative ways. As Sir Ian Athfield has demonstrated in his own buildings, this makes life more vital, varied and interesting for us all.
In inter-generational relations, for example, instead of segregating older people and isolating them from their families, why not create communities that work more like the old kainga, or villages in Europe? Here, elders are respected, and mix with the young, supporting them in their work and projects, while passing on the wisdom they have acquired. At present, house styles, planning and thinking in silos make it difficult for this to happen. It would be far more enjoyable if the generations in New Zealand could interact creatively, to their mutual benefit and pleasure.
With respect to the environment, too, the old idea from the Great Chain of Being that the world is there for people to exploit without limit has put our own future at risk, with few sensible remedies emerging. One can see this in the talk of 'environmental
services' and 'resource management,' for example, and talk of 'protecting' and 'taking care' of Nature, both of which assume that people control the planet. Here again, unilateral, hierarchical decision-making and bi-polar thinking - Nature vs. Culture - is non-adaptive, and potentially catastrophic.
In the science of self-organising systems, on the other hand, humans are understood as part of the ecosystems in which they dwell, and like other life forms, entitled to prosper. At the same time, the mutual dependencies between them and other living systems are explored, and as in the Land and Water Forum, used to inform decision- making. The illusion that human beings are in charge of the cosmos is given up for more adaptive ways of thinking.
For one short lecture, I have said quite enough, or more! As a quote that my husband Jeremy recently unearthed remarks, 'A closed mouth gathers no feet.' Over the past three-quarters of an hour, no doubt I've become a centipede of sorts.
In my wish to do honour to Sir Paul, however, I wanted to share my sense of excitement about the creative possibilities that lie before us, arising from these new / old ways of thinking. The great thing about such ideas is that we don't have to wait for the Government to try them out, or anyone else.
All we need is a creative project, and a few good people to work with, and a new thought may spread like wildfire. As the anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, 'Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.'
A group of us, for example, have come up with the idea of greening our rivers, the Te Awaroa project - aimed at breaking down barriers between town and country, young and old by planting bush buffers along our waterways, restoring integrity to the 100% Pure New Zealand brand. We want this to be a world-leading project that celebrates this beautiful country, and brings us all together.
Na reira e aku rangatira, kua mutu enei korero inaianei. In closing, I'd like to give the last word to my mentor Eruera Stirling, whose favorite chant sums up the kind of philosophy that I've been advancing, and by which Sir Paul Reeves lived and died:
Ki te tangi a te manu e karanga nei
Tui, tui, tuituiaa!
Tuia i runga, tuia i raro,
Tuia i roto, tuia i waho,
Tuia i te here tangata
Ka rongo te po, ka rongo te po
Tuia i te kawai tangata i heke mai
I Hawaiki nui, I Hawaiki roa,
I Hawaiki pamamao
I hono ki te wairua, ki te whai ao
Ki te Ao Marama!
To the cry of the bird calling
Bind, join, be one!
Bind above, bind below
Bind within, bind without
Tie the knot of humankind
The night hears, the night hears
Bind the lines of people coming down
From great Hawaiki, from long Hawaiki
From Hawaiki far away
Bind to the spirit, to the day light
To the World of Light!