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Kōrero: Morrison, Howard Leslie

Whārangi 1: Haurongo

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Morrison, Howard Leslie

1935–2009

Te Arawa; kaiwaiata, kaiwhakangahau, kaihautū hapori

I tuhia tēnei haurongo e Chris Bourke, ā, i tāngia tuatahitia ki Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau i te 2019. He mea whakamāori nā Te Haumihiata Mason.

Ko Howard Morrison tētehi o ngā kaiwhakangahau o Aotearoa i aroha nuitia i te haurua tuarua o te rautau rua tekau. He tangata i poipoia e te ngutu tangata i ngā tau 1960, mōna i noho mema ai o te Howard Morrison Quartet me tana tū takitahi anō. I āwhina ia ki te kawe ake i te ahurea Māori ki te hapori whānui o Aotearoa.   

Tamarikitanga me te mātauranga

I whānau mai a Howard Leslie Morrison i te 18 o Ākuhata i te tau 1935 ki Rotorua. Ko ia te tuarua o ētehi tamariki tokowhitu a Temuera Morrison, o Te Arawa me Kotarangi, rāua ko Gertrude Harete ‘Kahu’ Morrison (Davidson i mua), o Tainui me Airangi. He āpiha haere a Temuera i te Tari Take Māori, i tākaro anō ia i te tīma whutupōro Māori o Aotearoa. He reo waiata a Kahu i te Tira Rōreka Māori o Rotorua i ana haerenga para huarahi hou ki te hopu puoro o te tau 1930.

I tōna ohinga i noho a Morrison ki Rotorua me Ruatāhuna, tētehi kāinga i Te Urewera. Ka 10 ōna tau i te hūnukutanga ki Ruatāhuna, ka haere a Morrison ki te Kura Māori o Huiarau. Ko te nuinga atu o ngā tamariki o reira i kōrero Māori, tō rātou reo taketake ake.

Ko te tīmatanga o te tahuringa atu a Morrison ki te puoro ko te whakarongo ki ngā ika a Whiro o Te Ope Taua 28 (Māori) e waiata ana i ā rātou waiata Neapolitan i ngā pātī, ki ngā hīmene i te whare karakia i ngā Rātapu, me te hōtaka irirangi Lifebuoy Hit Parade o ia wiki. I pārekareka ki a ia te tāwhai i ngā waiata me te ako ki te waiata i te reo whakaniko. 

I kuraina a Morrison ki te kura tuarua o Te Aute ki Kahungunu me te Kura Tuarua Tāne o Rotorua. I a ia i te kura noho o Te Aute, tokorua ana kaiārahi puoro, ko Canon Wi Te Tau Huata rāua ko Reverend Sam Rangiihu. Atu i te taha puoro, i kaha kōrero rāua mō te hiranga o te whakangahau i te whakaminenga, mā te whakamahi i te kōrero whakakata me te whai whakaaro ki te wā.

Mahi whai oranga tōmua

Ka 16 ngā tau o Morrison ka mutu tana kura, ka kitea he mahi māna i te whare patu mīti o Whakatū i Heretaunga, ka tīmata i konei tana waiata ki te whakangahau i ōna hoa mahi. Ka tonoa ia kia whakauru atu ki te tira rōreka i te whare karakia o Kahupātiki i Heretaunga, ka noho hoa rātou ko ngā tuāhine, a Isobel rāua ko Virginia Whatarau. Ka whakatūria e rātou ko Kahu Pineaha te Clive Trio, tētehi rōpū waiata i hopu puoro mā Tanza, te tapanga rekoata tuatahi o Aotearoa. Ka uru atu a Morrison me ngā tuāhine Whatarau ki Te Awapuni Concert Party, ka huri haere i Te Waipounamu i te tau 1954. Karawhiua ana i ngā whakaaturanga nei te puoro o mua me te puoro o te ao hou; i mau piupiu rātou i te wāhanga tuatahi o ia whakaaturanga, ka mutu, ko te Clive Trio tētehi o ngā rōpū puoro arotini o te ao hou i te wāhanga tuarua o te whakaaturanga.  

Ka noho a Morrison hei whakakapinga mō Pineaha i tana wehenga atu i te Clive Trio ki te whai oranga mōna hei reo waiata takitahi. Ka ako a Morrison ki te taki i te waiata, ki te waiata whakaniko, me te whakariterite anō i ngā momo taera mō ētehi waiata. I whakarongo pīkari ia ki ngā rōpū waiata pērā i ngā Mills Brothers, ngā Ink Spots me ngā Four Aces. Kua eke atu hoki a Mario Lanza ki ngā tiketiketanga o tōna rongonui; i tana ngākaunui ki ngā reo waiata Neapolitan, ka tāwhai a Morrison i a Lanza, ka tohu i a ia anō ko ‘te Mario Māori Lanza’.

I te tau 1954 ka hoki a Morrison ki Rotorua noho ai, ka tākaro whutupōro me te tū ki te waiata i ngā pō ngahau a ngā karapu. I a ia e mahi ana i tētehi kāhui tātai whenua i te tau 1955, ka whakatūhia e ia tētehi rōpū waiata takiono i toa nei rātou i tētehi whakataetae waiata i te papaoro i Rotorua; i roto i te rōpū ētehi mema takirua o ngā rā ki tua o te Howard Morrison Quartet. I te tau 1956, ka tāpoi haere a Morrison i Ahitereiria i te taha o te Aotearoa Maori Concert Party, tētehi pikinga hiranga ki tōna huringa hei kaiwhakangahau ngaio.

I muri tata mai o tana hokinga mai i Ahitereiria, ka whakatūngia e Morrison tētehi rōpū takiwhā, me te uru atu a tana tuakana a Laurie, me tana karanga tahi a John Morrison. I kite ia i tētehi kaiwhakatangi kitā, a Gerry Merito, e toa ana i tētehi whakataetae whakangahau, ka whakapā atu ki a ia kia uru mai ki te rōpū. Ko te whaea o Morrison, a Kahu, he reo waiata ngaio mai i a ia e 16 ana, ka mutu, ko ia tētehi o ana kaiatawhai i ngā tau tōmua nei. I tautoko ia i ō rātou wawata puoro arotini, ka whakapai ake i ō rātou āhua, ka āta whai kia mahara tonu rātou ki ngā puoro Māori o tō rātou ohinga.

E tū ana te takiwhā nei i Te Moana-a-Toi me Waikato i te kitenga o te kaiwhakatairanga, a Benny Levin i a rātou i te Ritz Hall i Rotorua i te tau 1956, ka pōwhiritia rātou kia uru atu ki tētehi pō whakaaturanga rau i te Hōro Taone o Tāmakimakaurau. Nā Levin i tūtaki ai rātou ki te rangatira o tētehi taiwhanga hopu puoro, te rangatira anō o te tapanga, a Eldred Stebbing, ka heria atu e ia tētehi mīhini hopu oro kawe ki Rotorua, ka hopukina ētehi waiata maha tonu a te rōpū. Ko ētehi o ngā waiata nei ko ‘Hoki Mai’, ki tōna kaitito a Henare Waitoa, ko ‘Tomo Mai’ (i tīkina atu te rangi i te waiata ‘There’s a gold mine in the sky’, i eke nei ki ngā taumata mō tētehi reo waiata tuawhenua o te US, a Gene Autry), me tētehi wāhanga o ngā waiata a Te Awapuni Concert Party. Mō te rōpū takiwhā, i waiata nei i te waiata ki tā te waiata pātī pārekareka tēnā i te waiata paki pōturi, eke ohorere tonu atu te waiata ki ngā taumata i te tapanga Zodiac a Stebbing. I te kimi ingoa te rōpū mō rātou, ka whakaaro a Stebbing ki te ‘Howard Morrison Quartet’.

I a ia e noho ana ki Rotorua, ka whai a Morrison i a Rangiwhata Ann (Kuia) Manahi. He hoa tata ngā matua o Kuia rāua ko Morrison, me te hiahia o ngā whānau e rua kia moe rāua. Ka pērā i te 11 o Mei 1957, i te Whare Karakia Mihingare o St Faiths i Ōhinemutu. Tokotoru ā rāua tamariki: ko Donna Mariana rātou ko Howard Hiwaroa, ko Richard Te Tau.

Te Howard Morrison Quartet

I te huringa o te takiwhā kia whai oranga i te waiata, ka whakatau a John, he kaiako, me Laurie, he kaihanga metarahi, kia mau tonu ki ā rāua mahi ake. Ko ētehi o ngā whakakapinga rangitahi ko Tai Eru, rātou ko te karanga-tahi o Howard, a Terry Morrison me Eddie Howell. Ko te tokowhā i tino rongonui nei rātou, ko Morrison rātou ko Merito, ko Wi Wharekura me Noel Kingi. Ko Wharekura tētehi o te takiono o te tau 1955; he reo nguru taitamariki a Kingi i rangona e Morrison i Rotorua. Ka kite a Morrison ko te whānui o ā rātou momo waiata tētehi taonga nui a te rōpū: i waiatatia te waiata aro whānui, ētehi tino waiata ki te Māori, te waiata tuawhenua, te waiata arotini me te waiata Itāriana. Ko te kōrero whakakata i te tāhuhu o ā rātou mahi. Ko Morrison te reo waiata matua i te nuinga o te wā, ko Wharekura te reo pekerangi, ko Kingi te reo nguru, ko te wāhi ki a Merito ko te reo niko, ko te kitā manawataki, ko ia anō te hoa whakakata.

I te tau 1960 nā tētehi waiata, nā te ‘Battle of the Waikato’– he tāwhaitanga nō ‘The battle of New Orleans’ a Johnny Horton – i titoa nei mō ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa, i piki ai rātou ki taumata kē. Ka hopukia i tētehi konohete i te Hōro Taone o Tāmakimakaurau, eke tonu atu ki ngā taumata, ka mutu, neke atu i te 25,000 ngā kape i hokona. Ko tētehi atu waiata tāwhai i te tau 1960, a ‘My old man’s an All Black!’ e 60,000 kape i hokona. I takea mai te waiata i te waiata a Lonnie Donegan ‘My old man’s a dustman’, me te kōrero pārekareka mō te kaupapa ‘No Maori – No Tour’, me te mautohe ki te noho Pākehā katoa o te Kapa o Pango e huri haere ana i te wā whakatāuke tangata i Āwherika ki te Tonga. E mau ana i ngā waiata tāwhai nei te taha ngahau o te rōpū, i kaingākau whānuitia ai rātou. 

I whakahaeretia rātou e te rakahinonga, a Harry M. Miller, ka mutu, ko te Takiwhā nei ngā tino kaiwhakangahau o Aotearoa katoa i te tīmatanga o ngā tau 1960. I pau katoa ngā tīkiti ki ngā konohete puta i te motu te hoko, whāia ana tētehi pao e tētehi atu, ko ā rātou kiriata whakatairanga i whakaatuhia i ngā whare pikitia, i tū anō rātou i te pāhotanga tūmatanui tuatahi a te pouaka whakaata i te tau 1960. Ko ngā tau e whā o muri i tō rātou angitu, mutunga kore ana tā rātou tāpoi haere, te tū ki te atamira me te hopu waiata. I waenga i te tau 1960 me te 1962 ka puta ētehi waiata takitahi e 28, e waru ngā EP, e waru anō ngā kohinga waiata i puta i te tapanga o La Gloria a Miller.

Tae rawa ki te tau 1964, ka whakaaro a Morrison e memeha haere ana ngā whakatara ki te Takiwhā. Ka whakatau ia kia wehe te Takiwhā, ka mutu, i muri o tā rātou tāpoitanga whakamutunga ki te motu, ka wehe rātou i te Hānuere 1965. I parā e rātou ētehi huarahi maha i te ao puoro: te rurukutanga o te whakaputa waiata me te tāpoi haere, te whakamahi i te ao pāpāho hei ara whakatairanga, te rere whānui o te whakaaehia o te ahurea Māori hei whakangahau i te whakaminenga Pākehā. I whakatakētia te Takiwhā e ētehi Māori o Te Tai Rāwhiti mō tā rātou huri i te ahurea hei kaupapa whakangahau, pērā i te huri i te waiata poururu, a ‘Tomo mai’, ki te waiata pātī, a ‘Hoki mai’. Engari anō te reo waiata Māori, a Dalvanius Maui Prime, hei tāna he ‘kaiwhakangahau whakamīharo te Takiwhā nei. He tuahangata ō te ao Māori. Ko te mea kē mō te takiwhā nei, ko tō rātou paingia e te tini Pākehā. Anei te Māori, e waiata ana ki te reo Māori, ki te whakaminenga auraki nunui.’1

Whai oranga takitahi

I muri o te wehenga o te Takiwhā, ka tū a Morrison ko tōna kotahi, e tāpoi haere ana ko tōna kotahi, hei wāhanga rānei o ngā whakaaturanga o te Miss New Zealand a Joe Brown me ētehi atu tāpoitanga tōpū, me te hopu waiata ki te tapanga a Brown. He kiripuaki kaikuti ia i te kiriata o Ahitereiria, Funny things happen down under (1965), i kuhu moni atu ia me te noho kiripuaki matua anō i te Don’t let it get you (1966). Ko te ringatohu ko John O’Shea, ko te papa whakaari i Rotorua, koia nei te kiriata puoro roa tuatahi o Aotearoa. Taha ahumoni nei, kāore i angitu te kiriata, engari i whakawhiwhia a Morrison ki te tohu Kaiwhakangahau o te Tau o Aotearoa i te tau 1966.

Atu i tana tū i ngā karapu pō o Aotearoa, ka pau i a Morrison ngā tau 1968 ki te 1976 ki te huri haere i ngā hōtēra o Ahia–Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa ki te whakangahau. I a ia i ēnei takiwā, ka rite tonu te tonoa ōna e te kāwanatanga o Aotearoa ki te whakatairanga i ngā rawa hokohoko me ngā mahi tāpoi. Nā ēnei mahi me ētehi atu mahi āna i whakawhiwhia ai ia ki te OBE i te tau 1976.

I te tau 1978 ka whakatā a Morrison i ana pakihi whakangahau kia haere hei mātanga, i muri mai hei whakataka whakapakari rangatahi o te motu i te Tari Take Māori. I hiahia ia ki te āwhina i te taiohi Māori e tūraru ana, me te whakahau i a rātou kia uaratia te mātauranga; e tutuki ai tēnei, i āwhina ia ki te whakatū i te hōtaka kura a Tū Tangata, i runga i te tūmanako ka ara mai anō te ‘pūmanawa huna e moumou ana i ngā whare aha noa iho’.2 Ora ana, ihiihi ana tana ngākau i te mahi nei, me tana tino pōuri i te mutunga o te mahi i te tau 1991. I kōkiritia e ia ētehi atu mahi aroha, tae atu ki te kaupapa hauora Fight for the Future, te whakatūnga o te Sir Howard Morrison Education Foundation (i tautokohia ā-pūtea e John rāua ko Susan Amos), tētehi pūtea karahipi mātauranga mā ngā tauira o Te Arawa e haere ana ki te whare wānanga, me tana noho anō hei kaitiaki, hei whakaruruhau, hei mema poari hoki mō ētehi whakahaere ratonga me ētehi whakahaere aroha maha tonu.  

Heoi, i kumea tonuhia ia e te ao whakangahau. Ka whakakotahi anō Te Takiwhā i te 1975 mō ētehi konohete e rua, i te tau 1979 ki te whakatere i te hōtaka a Tū Tangata, i te 1992 mō tētehi tāpoitanga poroaki ki te motu. Ka ara hou mai anō te tū takitahi a Morrison i te tau 1981 i muri i tana tū i tētehi Royal Variety Performance i Tāmakimakaurau ki te aroaro o Kuīni Irihāpeti II me te Tiuka o Edinburgh. Ka waiata reoruatia e ia a ‘Whakaaria mai’/‘How great Thou art’ (i tuhia ngā kupu Māori i te tau 1959 e ana kaiatawhai, e Wi Te Tau Huata rāua ko Sam Rangiihu). Nā tēnei tūnga āna ka whai ko tētehi whakaaturanga pouaka whakaata motuhake i whakaahuatia ki Kirikiriroa, ka tuatahi a ‘Whakaaria mai’ i te tūtohinga waiata o Aotearoa me te noho tonu ki reira mō te 19 wiki.   

Atu i te tau 1982 ki te 1985, he mema a Morrison i te poari o te Kaporeihana Pāpāho o Aotearoa, he tūranga i whakatakariri ai ia ki ngā tikanga here whakapōrearea, me te kore e tautokohia o te hunga whakangahau o Aotearoa, te puoro me ngā hōtaka Māori. 

I te Hepetema 1989 ka whakanuia e te hōtaka pouaka whakaata i tino kaingākautia, e This is your life ana mahi. Ka whai ko tētehi tāpoitanga ki te motu i te taha o tētehi 18 o tana whānau i kīia ko te Howard Morrison Family Variety Spectacular. 

Ka whakatuwheratia e Morrison ngā Taumāhekeheke o te Commonwealth 1990 ki Tāmakimakaurau ki te waiata ‘Tukua ahau’, kua roa nei e waiatatia ana e ngā reo waiata Māori. I taua tau anō ka tohua ia hei kaiaka mō āna ratonga ki te ao whakangahau; i whakahaeretia tēnei ki tana marae i Ōhinemutu. I ōna wā i rongo ia i te ‘kore e tino whakamahia ōna’ e Aotearoa; i hiahia ia ki te whakamahi i tōna rongonui hei painga mō ngāi Māori e noho rawakore ana, ina koa te hunga rangatahi.3 Ka kite ia ka taea e tana kaiakatanga te hāpai kaupapa, i tā rāua takahi ko tana hōiho i te mata o te whenua i te Hepetema 1990, ka ea tētehi $1.2 miriona mā te Life Education Trust.

I mate a Howard Morrison ki tana kāinga i Rotorua i te 24 o Hepetema 2009, e 74 ōna tau. Ka tangihia e te motu te kaiwhakangahau rongonui i eke nei ki ētehi taumata maha tonu: te kaihautū ātahu i whakatere haere i ētehi ahurea e rua e whai painga ai ko rāua tahi. I tanumia ia ki te urupā o Kauae i Ngongotahā, pātata ki Rotorua.

Kupu tāpiri
  1. Dalvanius Prime, interviewed by Chris Bourke, 2000, private collection. Back
  2. Quoted in Mike Houlahan, ‘Sir Howard: the Mana & the Mistakes’, Evening Post, 4 November 1992, p23 Back
  3. Ibid Back
Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Chris Bourke. 'Morrison, Howard Leslie', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2019. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/6m6/morrison-howard-leslie (accessed 26 October 2021)