Author(s): Patricia Grace
This is the story of the great Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha and how he came to compose the haka 'Ka Mate, Ka Mate'.
Te Rauparaha is pursued across the island by his enemies and he fears for his life. At Lake Rotoaira, he is hidden in a kumara pit, and Te Rangikoaea, a woman of great power, sits in front of its entrance.
As he hears his enemies approach, Te Rauparaha whispers in the dark 'Will I die? Will I live?'. His enemies cannot find him, and he climbs back to the sunlight.
As he recounts this adventure to his people, his words are repeated and the haka rings out, and is now passed down from generation to generation.
This children's story is the story behind the haka which has become recognisable the world over being performed by New Zealand teams at national and international sports events.
Winner of the Te Kura Pounamu Award at NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2016
Shortlisted for HELL Children's Choice Te reo Maori at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2016