31 Jul 2015

Māori Ode of Remembrance gets update

7:29 am on 31 July 2015

The Māori version of the Ode of Remembrance is being changed to better recognise the service of women in the military.

The Defence Force said the first line, 'E kore rātou e koroheketia', was being changed to 'E kore rātou e kaumātuatia'.

Whereas the word 'Koroheketia' means to grow to be an old man, 'Kaumātuatia' refers in most iwi to both males and females growing old.

The ode is recited at commemorative events including military funerals, and each evening at RSA's around the country.

It is typically followed by one minute's silence.

Chief of the Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating said the change was to ensure that the service of all those who have served New Zealand is fully recognised.

"Women have served, and in some cases made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, in major wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations New Zealand has been involved in since World War One," he said.

"This change to the Ode of Remembrance allows us to acknowledge and remember their service and sacrifice."

The revised ode was first used officially at the commemoration to mark the 62nd anniversary of the Korean War Armistice at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park last month.

The Defence Force is putting on a number of events during Māori Language Week, including an exhibition of Māori woodwind instruments.

The Ode of Remembrance

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

We remember them.

E kore rātou e kaumātuatia

Pēnei i a tātou kua mahue nei

E kore hoki rātou e ngoikore

Ahakoa pehea i ngā āhuatanga o te wā

I te hekenga atu o te rā

Tae noa ki te arangamai i te ata

Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou

Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou