Kōrero: Wright, Rūmātiki Ruth

Whārangi 1: Haurongo

Wright, Rumatiki Ruth

1908–1982

Nō Ngāti Kura; he āpiha Māori toko i te ora, he poutoko iwi

I tuhia tēnei haurongo e Angela Ballara and Douglas Wright,, ā, i tāngia tuatahitia ki Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau Ko te wāhanga , 2000.

Nō te 27 o Āperira o te tau 1908 i whānau ai a Ruth Gray i Pipiriki i te awa o Whanganui. Ko ia tētehi o ngā tamariki maha a te tangata mahi pāmu nei, a Robert Gray, he Ingarihi, he Māori nei ōna tātai, rāua ko tana hoa wahine, ko Ngāraiti Tuatini o Ngāti Kura. Nō te taha ki tōna whaea me tōna tupuna wahine i whai wāhi atu ai a Ruth ki ngā iwi o Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi me Rangitāne me ērā atu iwi anō hoki. Ko Te Keepa Te Rangihiwinui nei tētehi o ōna tūpuna.

Nā tana tupuna ki te taha ki tōna māmā, nā Tuatini Te Waiho rāua ko tana wahine, ko Maria Whakaeapa ia i whakatipu. Nā te mea he huhua rawa atu ngā mokopuna a Tuatini nāna nei i tiaki, i kore ai ia i tino rata atu ki tētehi atu anō. Hoi anō, whakatipua ake ana e ia tana mokopuna, he mea tapa nei ko Rūmātiki, arā, ki te īngoa o te mate e poke nei i a ia. Kuraina ana a Rūmātiki i te kura Māori o Pipiriki, akona anō hoki ia e tana tupuna ki ngā kōrero me ngā tikanga tuku iho. Tekau mā ono tau nei te pakeke o Rūmātiki i te matenga atu o tana koroua, ka riro nei ia nā tana whaea kēkē, nā Huia Tuatini i whakatipu mai i Mangapōrau i waenganui ake nei i Pipiriki me Hiruhārama (Jerusalem). I āta tohutohungia rawatia a Rūmātiki e Huia ki te āhua o te noho pai o te whare, noho akuaku tonu, ki te kai i ngā kai tika mō te hauora, me te whakamōhio atu hoki i a ia ki ngā painga pērā i te uku kairangi.

Mahi ake ana a Rūmātiki i tētehi mira parāoa nei o te takiwā kāinga, tae noa ake ki tana moenga ake i a Angus Hikatoa Wright o Ngāti Tūwharetoa i Raetihi i te 27 o Mei o te tau 1926. He whiu kararehe nei te mahi a Angus i te teihana o Morikau. Uaua ana te ora o te tangata: he nui kē nei ngā wā e haere kē ana a Angus, ā, i ētehi wā nei kāore kē ia e utua ana; auau tonu te mate o te whānau i te kore kai, me te mate anō hoki o te noho wehe kē mai nei o Rūmātiki i tōna ake whānau. Tokotoru nei wā rāua tama, kotahi nei tā rāua tamāhine. Mai i te whānautanga o te mea pōtiki o ana tama, i mahi ake ai a Rūmātiki i te whare horoi o te hōhipera o Raetihi, whakapouraka mai i tana pēpi ki roto i tētehi pāhikete kaka wātea noa nei.

Nō ēnei tau i noho mema ngangahau ai a Rūmātiki ki te maha o ngā rōpū wāhine. Mai i te tau 1928 i noho ia hai mema mō te peka o Waimarino o te wāhanga wāhine (Women’s Division) o te kotahitanga o ngā tāngata ahu whenua o Aotearoa (New Zealand Farmers’ Union). Hai kanohi, kaiwhakahaere tūao anō hoki ia mō te tōpūtanga o ngā rōpū wāhine o Ruapehu (Ruapehu Federation of Women’s Institutes), perehitini tuarua atu hoki mō te wānanga wāhine o Raetihi (Raetihi Women’s Institute). Hai mema anō hoki a ia mō te Rōpū Turaki Waipiro o ngā Wāhine Karaitiana o Niu Tīreni (Women’s Christian Temperance Union of New Zealand). Nā tana mahi hautū i ngā take a Raetihi, nō te tekau tau atu i 1940 i tapaina a ia e te iwi Pākehā o reira ko ‘Mrs Rangatira Wright’. I te wā o te Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao i mahi ake anō hoki ia mā te rōpū tautoko i ngā Mahi Māori mō te Whawhai (Māori War Effort Organisation).

Kitea ake ana e te hunga kātipa, te rawe o te mahi mai a Rūmātiki i te taha o te tangata, ahakoa Māori, ahakoa Pākehā, nā noa rā te take i whakatūria a ia hai āpiha toko i te ora Māori i te tau 1947. Noho ake ana ia i Te Hāwera mahi mai ai, he takiwā tino nui kē nei tōna i raro i tōna maru i Taranaki. Ko tētehi o āna mahi huhua nei, he akiaki i te mahi whakatū rōpū hai whakatika ake i te momo noho rā o te Māori. Ko ētehi o ngā rōpū tino hira kē nei, ko ngā peka o te Rōpū o te Ora (Women’s Health League), nō te tau 1937 i tīmata ake ai i Te Moana-a-Toi-te-huatahi (Bay of Plenty). Whakarauikatia mai ana e ia ngā wāhine o te hau kāinga, ka haere nei tana whakamārama atu i ngā painga o te whakatū peka hou, ā, he aha atu hoki ngā wawata me ngā mahi ake anō mā taua rōpū rā. Ko te mahi mā rātou he haere ki te kite i te hunga e tūroro ana, whakamōhio atu i ngā mea e taumaha ana te mate ki te nēhi ā-rohe, rīpoata atu i ngā hiahia ki te whare noho, akiaki ake hoki i te mahi kia tōtika te whakahaere i ngā whare me te whakahau hoki ki te whai i te mātauranga. Tērā atu anō hoki te mahi he atawhai i ngā mahi pūkenga, mahi toi, mahi tākaro, āwhina hoki i te hunga pūmanawa o te hau kāinga, ahakoa he aha te mahi, tae atu ki te whakahaere hui hai kohi moni mā ngā mahi tautoko i te oranga, i ngā mahi tikanga ā-iwi hoki. E ai ki te kōrero whakakatakata a te hēkeretari a tētehi peka hou nei, pēnei tonu i te moemoeā whakamataku kē nei tā rātou rongo nei i te huhua ake o ngā mahi hai mahi mā rātou. Ahakoa kāore ō rātou whakaaro kino nei ki a ia, pai kē atu me i kore i kitea mai tōna kanohi i te rohe o Taranaki!

Nō Ākuhata o te tau 1949 i whakatūria ake ai e Rūmātiki ngā peka e rua tekau mā whā nei o te Rōpū o te Ora ki Taranaki, ā, tūhono ake ana ētehi o ngā peka nei ki te komiti tumuaki o Rotorua (Rotorua Central Committee); hāunga koa mānukanuka ake ana te noho mahi mai a ngā kaimahi a te komiti tumuaki, ko te nuinga o rātou nō te Tari Ora, tāpiri atu ki ngā peka o te Rōpū o te Ora, ko te nuinga o ngā mema kē nei he Māori. I Āperira o taua tau, i tāpaea atu ki a Rūmātiki te mahi hei kaiwhakahaere Māori mō te rōpū whakatapu i te waipiro. I tuhi atu a Rūmātiki ki a Rangi Roera (Royal) o te Tari Māori (Department of Māori Affairs), me ka whakakōroiroi tonu te komiti tumuaki ki āna mahi mā te Rōpū o te Ora, ka whakamutua ake e ia tēnei mahi ka whai kē i tērā. Ki tōna whakaaro, me ka riro tonu te Māori mā te Pākehā e whakahaere, ka manawa kore noa ngā wāhine Māori, ā, tono ana ia kia whakawehea tūturutia mai he rōpū ake mō rātou. Ki tāna anō hoki, me ka riro mā te Tari Māori e whakahaere te Rōpū o te Ora, he pai kē atu mā ngā āpiha wāhine toko i te ora Māori ngā mahi e whakahaere. Rite tonu ngā tohutohu atu a wētehi ki a Rangi Roera, ā, i te wāhanga tōmua ake o te tau atu i 1948 ki 1949 i pērā anō hoki ōna whakaaro.

Ka taka mai nei ki te marama o Oketopa o te tau 1949 kua noho kē mai a Rūmātiki Wright hai āpiha toko i te ora Māori ki Kirikiriroa (Hamilton). Haere tonu ana tana mahi whakatūtū haere mai i ngā peka mō te rōpū i nāianei e karanga kētia ana ko te Rōpū Wāhine o te Ora Māori (Māori Women’s Health League), ā, i te tautoko mai a te Tari Māori kia whakatūria te Rōpū Wāhine Toko i te Ora (Māori Women’s Welfare League) i tahuri ake ai a Rūmātiki ki te whakatūtū peka ake anō mō te rōpū nei.

Ka tae atu nei ki te wāhanga tōmuri iho o te tau 1951, kua noho pū kē te noho mai a Rūmātiki hei ‘Āpiha Toko i te Ora Māori Wahine Matua’. Riro ana ko ia hai tiamana ake mō te hui tominiana tuatahi o te Rōpū Wāhine Toko i te Ora, nō te marama ake o Hepetema 1951 i whakatūria ai ki Pōneke (Wellington). E ruarua marama nei a ia e hēkeretari tominiana ana mā taua rōpū. Hiahia kē ana ia ki te puta ki waho mahi ake ai, tērā i te noho mahi mai i rō tari, ā, nā tāna nei tono i whakamutua ake ai tana mahi hēkeretari, ka riro nei tōna tūranga i a Ralph Love. Nō te tau 1952 ki 1962 i noho ake ai a Rūmātiki hai kanohi mō te Tari Māori i te rōpū whakahaere nei a te Tominiana. Ko āna mahi nei he haere ki ngā hui a ngā peka, hari whakamōhio haere i ngā āpiha toko i te ora hou i ō rātou rohe, whakamōhio atu anō hoki i a rātou ki ngā peka o te rōpū, ā, he auau tonu tana mahi haere hei kaikōrero i ngā hui ā-rohe. I a ia i Kirikiriroa, i mahi tahi mai ai rātou ko ētehi atu o ngā āpiha toko i te ora Māori me ngā āpiha kātipa anō o te Rōpū Wāhine Toko i te Ora, ki te whakatū i tētehi marae tāone. tau 1958 i whai wāhi ai a Rūmātiki ki tētehi rōpū wāhine kanohi mō Aotearoa, he haere whakarata nei tā rātou haere ki te whenua o Rūhia. Nō te tau i muri mai i ūhia a ia ki te tohu MBE, ā, ka haere nei ia ki te kura i te pō, ka riro mai nei i a ia tana kura tiwhikete mō te Ingarihi. Nō te tau 1958 anō, ko Rūmātiki nei te āpiha toko i te ora i Taumarunui, i whakaritea me whakawhiti atu ia ki te Rōpū Wāhine Toko i te Ora, mahi wā kīkī mai te mahi ki reira, hai whakakaha ake i ngā mema o te Rōpū kua ruhi kē nei te nui. Mai i te tari matua o te Tari Māori i Pōneke i haerea e ia te whenua whakauru mema hou ai, whakatikatika ake ana anō hoki i te āhua o te mahi a ngā peka o te Rōpū. Nā te pūmau haere tonu o te taumaha o āna mahi i pāngia ia e te mate, ā, hai whakamāmā ake i ana toronga haeretanga, i whakaritea ake e te Rōpū kia waiho wātea noatia ōna rā mutunga wiki.

Ko tētehi o ngā kaupapa nui a Rūmātiki i a ia e mahi ana i Kirikiriroa i ngā tau pokapū o te tekau tau atu i 1960, he atawhai i te whakaakoranga i ngā tamariki kāhore anō kia haere ki te kura, he whakatū nei te mahi i ngā wāhi tākaro, me tana whakaara ake anō hoki i ngā rōpū hapori o ngā wāhi taiwhenua. Nō te rohe o Waikato–Maniapoto ngā wāhi tākaro tuatahi mai, nā rātou i akiaki te mahi kōrero i te reo Māori, i mātārere ake nei i te kaupapa Kōhanga Reo. I muri iho i haere atu a Rūmātiki ki Ahitereiria, whakahauhau atu ai i te hunga tangata whenua o reira, kia whai wāhi rawa ō rātōu kura kōhungahunga ki tētehi wāhanga o ā rātou tikanga tuku iho.

Ahakoa whakatā ai a Rūmātiki i ngā tau tōmua mai i 1970, kāore i mutu tana mahi. Pau katoa ōna rā e hokihoki tonu ana ia i ngā mutunga wiki ki Raetihi whakapūmau ai i te mau kotahi tonu o te whānau, me te tiaki mai anō hoki i ō rātou pānga whenua. He tamariki tino toa, tino whakatutuki kē nei ana tamariki me te maha atu hoki o ana mokopuna: e ai ki te whakapepeha a aua mokopuna, ‘Me e haurua noa ana tō pai i tērā o tō kuia, ka nui tēnā’. I te wā i a ia e whakatā ana, pau ana he wā nei i a ia i Ahitereiria e kohi hua rākau ana, whakatāhere kōura ana. E whiriwhiri ana ia i tētehi hararei mahi anō māna i Ahitereiria, ka mate oho mauri nei ia i te marae o Pōhara i Arapuni, e pātata rā ki Putaāruru (Putāruru). Nō te 15 o Tīhema o te tau 1982 a ia i hinga ai, 74 nei tōna pakeke. He mea whakatakoto a Rūmātiki ki te marae o Pōhara, ā, nō muri i haria atu ia ki te marae i Kirikiriroa; nō muri i whakahokia mai ia ki te kāinga i Ōhakune me Raetihi. Tata atu ki te 3,000 ngā tāngata i tae ake ki tōna tangihanga. E toru rā i muri mai i nehua ia i te urupā pangakuti o Raetihi i te taha o tana hoa tāne, o Angus, nō te tau 1974 tērā i mate atu ai.

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Angela Ballara and Douglas Wright. 'Wright, Rūmātiki Ruth - Wright, Rumatiki Ruth', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/5w50/wright-rumatiki-ruth (accessed 14 November 2019)