Taye inspired by sad song of war
Year 10 Aotea College student Taye Tibble said she was shocked to be given top honours in a Maori essay competition.
Taye won $800 for her composition on the 1946 New Zealand folk song Tomo mai e tama ma and its significance to Maori today.
The contest was run by the Ngarimu Trust, which asked students to write on the 28th Maori Battalion to test their understanding of their heritage.
Taye said inspiration from her grandmother was ‘‘heaps of help’’.
‘‘ My grandmother, Charlotte Karaka, was there when the 28th Maori Battalion came home and she performed that song. Her brother died in the war and now she can see the significance of what he did for our country.’’
Taye hopes Kiwi kids will stand together in the future like her ancestors did.
‘‘[ Tomo mai e tama ma] was quite a sad and sombre song about welcoming the soldiers in the 28th Maori Battalion home from war. It was remade years later by Sir Howard Morrison and he called it Hoki mai e tama ma, which had a happier tone to it. I wrote about how they’re both about moving on from sadness and into a happier future. For me, it’s about family and the whole of New Zealand coming together.’’
Te Papa board chairman and former soldier Sir Wira Gardiner presented Taye with her award at a prizegiving on December 2.
Aotea College board member Mark Uri-Puati said the competition was not just about writing an essay.
‘‘It’s about understanding what they’re writing about. The essay topics challenged their understanding about the war and made them think about its significance to them.’’
Back in time: Taye Tibble won an essay-writing competition with a piece about keeping the memory of the 28th Maori Battalion alive in New Zealand.