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Wright, Rūmātiki Ruth

by Angela Ballara, Douglas Wright

Biography

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.


He whakaaturanga anō

Rārangi pukapuka

    Macdonald, C. et al ., eds. The book of New Zealand women. Wellington, 1991

    Obit. Wanganui Chronicle. 22 Dec. 1982


Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Angela Ballara and Douglas Wright. 'Wright, Rūmātiki 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 25 June 2021)