Kōrero: Nēpia, George

Whārangi 1: Haurongo

Ngā whakaahua me ngā rauemi katoa o tēnei kōrero

Nepia, George

1905/1908?–1986

Nō Ngāti Rākaipaaka; he tangata tākaro whutupaoro uniana, tākaro riki, he tangata mahi pāmu

I tuhia tēnei haurongo e Robin C. McConnell,, ā, i tāngia tuatahitia ki Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau Ko te wāhanga , 1998, and updated in October, 2013.

I whānau a Hōri (George) Nēpia i Te Wairoa ki Te Matau-a-Māui (Hawke's Bay); ko Ngāti Rākaipaaka ki Nūhaka me Te Māhia tōna iwi. I rēhitatia tōna rā whānau i te 25 o Āperira 1905, ēngari e ai ki a ia i muri iho, ko 1908 kē te tau i whānau ai ia. He poto noa iho te wā o ōna mātua, o Peta Piripoi Nēpia rāua ko Riripeti (Peti) Pirihi e moe tahi ana ka mahue rāua, ā, nō te whai hoatanga anō ka moe anō ngā tokorua nei. He kore i tau nō te noho a Hōri i te taha o tōna pāpā me tana matakēkē, noho kē mai ana ia i te taha o tana kuia, arā, o te whaea o tana whaea. I a ia e noho pātata ana ki te marae o Taihoa, haere ai ia ki te kura tuatahi o Te Wairoa, ā, pārekareka rawa atu tana tipu mai i reira.

Mateoho tonu nei tana titiro whakamuri ki te wā i a ia e tākaro whutupaoro ana, ā, i te ahiahi ka noho ki te kai i ngā kai o tana pereti kī tonu pea i te īnanga, i te hēki pārera, i te parāoa Māori rānei. Nā tana mōhio ki te hēmanawa o tana kuia ki te tiaki i a ia, ko tana hokinga atu tēnā ki te taha o tōna pāpā, haere ai ki te Kura Māori o Nūhaka. Ko te āhua o te kura nei he whai kē i ngā mahi tākaro, ā, nā te kore whutupaoro, riro kē ana ko te pōtae kura o Nēpia hei whutupaoro māna, hei porowhiu, hei kīkiki haere.

Nō te mutunga o te kura tuatahi, i tīmata ai te mahi a Nēpia i runga pāmu hipi, uru atu ai hoki ki tētahi rōpū hanga rerewē hei whakaputu moni māna hei hari i a ia ki te kura noho. Nāwai ā whakaritea ana me tuku ia ki te Kāreti o Te Aute i Te Matau-a-Māui. I tana haerenga atu ki te kura, i runga i te whakahauhau kē a Eru Tengaio me ētahi atu, i reira tonu ka mahue i a rātau ko ōna hoa te tereina, haere kē ana rātau ki te Kāreti Ahu Whenua Māori (Māori Agricultural College) whaka-te-tonga o te tāone o Heretaunga (Hastings). Nō te mea kua utua kētia te Kāreti o Te Aute mō tana noho ki reira, i whakamau tonu ai tana pāpā ki a ia, mōna i kotiti kē rā.

Ko ngā mana whakahaere i te Kāreti rā nō te Hāhi Mōmona, ēngari ahakoa ehara kau a Nēpia i te Mōmona, i whakauru tonu ia ki reira. Ko tōna kaiako pono i te Kāreti ko Erwin Moser, he Merikana, ā, nāna i āwhina i āna utu ki te Kāreti, whakaako hoki i a Nēpia ki te tākaro whutupaoro. He mea whakaako e ia a Nēpia kia tohunga, kia tōtika tonu tana kiki i te paoro, whakaāwhiowhio hoki. I koneki i whakatōngia te kākano o tana toa ki te rutu tangata. E noho mātakitaki ana a Nēpia i te kēmu whutupaoro i waenganui i te tīma toa o Āwherika ki te Tonga me te tīma Māori o Aotearoa i Ahuriri (Napier) i Hepetema o te tau 1921, ka whakamīharo rawa atu ia ki te pai o te whurupēke tino toa rā, o Gerhard Morkel. Nō taua tau tonu, ka uru ia ki te tīma o ngā rohe o Te Tai Rāwhiti (East Coast Districts). Whāia hoki i te tau 1922, he mema ia nō te tīma toa, tīma rongonui o Te Matau-a-Māui. I te tīmatanga he paehau tōna tūnga, ā, nō muri ka nukuhia atu ia ki te tūranga toparua.

I te kēmu mō te Kumete Rōhi a Te Mori (Te Mori Rose Bowl) i waenganui i ngā tīma whutupaoro o Te Tai Tokerau me Te Tai Tonga i te tau 1924, i whakaarotia ake he whakataetae tonu tēnei hei whakatau i te tīma toa o Aotearoa (All Blacks) mō te haere ki Ingarangi i te tau 1924–25. Kāti, kia wātea ai te tūnga topatahi mō te irāmutu a te kaikōwhiri, meinga kētia ana a Nēpia hei whurupēke. Tino mīharo ana a Nēpia, ka ngana ia ki te whakapakari i a ia ki te tūnga nei, ka tonoa atu ia ki tōna whanaunga, ki a Walter McGregor, tētahi o ngā paehau o te tīma o Te Tai Tokerau, hei ako i a ia. Nāna ia i tohutohu ki te hopu i te paoro i runga, ā, kauaka hoki e tukua kia pā ki raro. Na, i tua atu i tēnā me tika tonu tana rutu i te tangata, ā, me te tika mārika o tana kiki i te paoro ki waho. E rua ngā whakamātautau i muri iho, ka kōwhiria a Nēpia hei haere ki tāwāhi. Ko ētahi o ōna hoa rongonui o taua tīma ko Jimmy Mill rāua ko Lui Paewai.

I a rātau e rere atu ana ki Ingarangi mā runga kaipuke, ka tīmata te āwangawanga o Nēpia ki tōna kaha ki te purei. Ēngari ahakoa 19 noa iho ōna tau, tata kore ana e kitea tētahi mea hē ōna i a ia e purei whurupēke ana ki ngā tīma o Ingarangi, o Parani me Kānata, hui katoa e 32 ngā kēmu. Wini ana i a rātau ā rātau kēmu katoa, ā, nō muri i karangatia te tīma nei ko ngā kaitū tonu (Invincibles). Hui katoa e 77 ngā kaute whiwhinga a Nēpia, ā, ko ia tētahi o ngā tino toa tokorima o taua tau i whakaīngoatia e John Wisden's Rugby Football Almanac. Hau ana te rongo o Nēpia mō te kaha ōna ki te rutu i te tangata, mō te hopu me te kiki mārika i te paoro, kaupare atu hoki i ngā kōkirikiri mai o tērā taha. Nō te hokinga mai ki te kāinga, rūpeke ake ana ngā iwi o Te Matau-a-Māui me Te Tai Rāwhiti ki te whakanui i a rāua ko Paewai.

He whakatuwhera whare karakia i Tikitiki te hui i te tau 1925, i uru ai a Nēpia ki te kēmu whutupaoro i whakatūria ki reira hei whakanui i te rā. Nā ngā mahi kanikani i te pō, ka tūtaki rāua ko Huinga Raupani Kōhere, ko ia nei te kaiwhakatangitangi i te piana. Nō Ngāti Porou nei a Huinga, ā, ko tōna matua ko Rūtene Hēnare Kōhere, kua mate noa atu i te tūnga matā, i a ia i te Rōpū Paionia o Niu Tīreni (New Zealand Pioneer Battalion) i Parani i te Pakanga Tuatahi o te Ao. E rima tau noa te pakeke o Huinga ka mate tōna whaea a Ngārangi. Nuku atu te hiahia o Huinga kia noho hoa kanikani noa rāua ko Nēpia, ēngari he warea kē nō tōna whānau ki te whakataumau i a ia ki ētahi kē, kotahi tau ia e tatari ana, e konau ana, kātahi anō rāua ka moe. Heoi anō ko tā te kōrero, nā ngā mahi āwhina anō a Āpirana Ngata rāua ko tōna hoa wahine i tutuki ai tā rāua i kōingo ai, ā, e ai ki a Nēpia, mārena ana ngā tokorua nei i Tikitiki i te 6 o Mei 1926. Nō rāua te mārena tuatahi ki roto ki te whare karakia whakairo hou i Tikitiki.

Nuku atu ana a Nēpia rāua ko tana wahine ki Rangitukia mahi pāmu ai, i runga i tētahi whenua nā te whānau o Huinga i tuku mō rāua. Pukumahi ana a Nēpia ki te tapahi i ngā kōti i runga i te whenua, miraka ake hoki i ngā kau nā tana pāpā i hoatu mā rāua. Nō te tau o muri mai, ka tapaina tā rāua tamāhine kotahi ko Kiwi Rauponga, arā, te īngoa mō te tohu rauponga mō te tākaro whutupaoro i Aotearoa. Tokotoru hoki ā rāua tama.

Tutū ana te puehu i te whakarerenga mai o Nēpia ki waho i te tīma Māori o te tau 1926–27, i haere rā ki Parani, ki Ingarangi, ki Wēra, ki Ahitereiria, ki Hīrone (Ceylon, i nāianei ko Hiri Rānaka), me Te Taha Rātō. Ko te kī a te Kotahitanga Whakahaere o ngā Mahi Whutupaoro Rakapī o Niu Tīreni (New Zealand Rugby Football Union) he kore i wātea nō Nēpia; heoi anō, ko tā Nēpia i te wātea tonu ia. Nā te aukati iwi o te wā i whakarērea ai a Nēpia ki waho o te tīma i whakawhiti rā ki Āwherika ki te Tonga i te tau 1928; ēngari uru ana ia ki te tīma i haere rā ki Ahitereiria i te tau 1929, ā, nā tana wharanga i te whakataetae tuatahi, hāwhe noa te roa o te kēmu ka mutu tana purei. Ka hau ngā kōrero mōna i reira, mō te tino hūmārie o te tangata, manu tīoriori anō hoki ki te waiata; ko te waiata i mōhio whānuitia tana pai ki te waiata, ko te waiata rā, 'Beneath the Māori moon'. Ka hipa nei te kotahi tau, nō te taenga mai o te tīma o Ingarangi, whakatūria ana ko Nēpia hei whurupēke mō te tīma o Aotearoa, e whā nei ngā tēhi. Hui katoa e 46 ngā kēmu i purei ai a Nēpia mō te tīma matua o Aotearoa (All Blacks), ā, e 99 te kaute o ana whiwhinga.

Riro ana nā Nēpia i kāpene te tīma Māori o Aotearoa i haere rā ki Ahitereiria i te tau 1935. Nā te kaha ngau o te wā o te korekore i taua wā, i whakatau ai a Nēpia i taua tau tonu ki te tākaro rīki i Ingarangi mō ngā tīma o Streatham rāua ko Mitcham; £500 tā rātau utu i a ia. Nō muri, ka nuku ia ki Halifax purei ai. Tino mate tonu nei ia i tana poroporoakitanga ki āna tamariki ka mahue nei rātau ko Huinga i te kāinga, ā, nō muri mai, i tangi tonu ia i tāna i whai ai. Nō tana hokinga mai ki Aotearoa i te tau 1937, ka whakauru ia ki te tīma o Manukau tākaro rīki ai. I te whakataetaetanga ki te tīma o Ahitereiria, ka kōwhiria a ia mō te tīma o Aotearoa. Kātahi te whakataetae whakamīharo ko tērā; i toa te tīma o te tangata whenua 16 ki te 15, ahakoa te tōmuri o te kaute, e 6 ki te 15 i te wā haurua.

Nō te hohoutanga o te rongo i te tau 1947, whakamutua ana te aukati o te hunga tākaro rīki ki te purei rakapī uniana. Nō te pērātanga, e rua ngā pureitanga a Nēpia mō te tīma o Te Tai Rāwhiti. I te tau 1950, i te whakataetaetanga o te Karapu Olympians, ko Nēpia nei te kāpene i tētahi kēmu wāhanga matua ki te tīma o Tūranganui-a-Kiwa (Poverty Bay), ā, noho ake ana ko tana tama tonu ko Hōri hei kāpene mō tērā taha. Kāti, kātahi anō te kēmu whutupaoro anake o te rārangi tuatahi o Aotearoa, kei tētahi taha te pāpā, kei tētahi taha te tama. I taua whakataetae nei anō, noho ake ana ko Nēpia te tangata tino pakeke rawa atu o Aotearoa ki te purei whutupaoro wāhanga matua.

Ka nuku a Nēpia ki Te Wairoa, he kaiwhakahaere pāmu tana mahi, ā, i reira i tīmata hoki tana tū kaiwawao i ngā kēmu whutupaoro. Ko tētahi o āna mahi anō i ngā tau o muri mai he mahi i tētahi wheketere i Whakaoriori (Masterton). Tino mate tonu nei ia i te matenga o Huinga i te tau 1975, mahue mai te ōhākī a te kuia nei ki āna tamariki, kia kaha te tiaki i tō rātau pāpā. Ka tae nei ki te tau 1981, ka heke a Nēpia ki Ruatōria noho ai, i te taha o tana tama, o Winitana (Winston).

Ka haere te tīma Māori o Aotearoa ki Wēra i te tau 1982, haere anō hoki a Nēpia. I reira, whakanuitia ana e ngā iwi o te papa tākaro o St Helens i Swansea, he tohu nā rātau, kāore he whurupēke pēnei i a ia nei. I te tau 1986, whakatūria ana ia e te Poari Whutupaoro o Āwherika ki te Tonga (South African Rugby Board) hei perehitini āwhina ā mate noa; nō taua tau anō, ko ia te kaupapa i te pouaka whakaata mō te whakaaturanga e kīia nei ko This is your life.

Nō te 27 o Ākuhata 1986 i mate ai a Hōri Nēpia ki Ruatōria. He hōia te mahi a tana mātāmua, a Hōri i Mareia, ā, i hinga i te pakanga i reira i te tau 1954. Mahue ake ana, ko Kiwi rāua ko Te Ōmanga, ko Winitana.

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Robin C. McConnell. 'Nēpia, George - Nepia, George', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1998, updated October, 2013. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/4n6/nepia-george (accessed 6 December 2019)