Kōhine Whakarua Ponika of Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou descent was an expert in song writing.

She wielded taiaha and performed haka. One of many songs she composed was ‘Kua Rongorongo’. She was only 18 years old at the time.

This performance, and the story behind the song, are featured in Rongo Toa, a series by Creative Nātives and Hāni Dread commemorating and celebrating the waiata of the 28th Māori Battalion this Anzac Day. 

Heeni Brown (Te Arawa, Te Aupōuri) and Te Wehi Preston (Mataatua, Te Arawa) uncover the stories behind the songs that have become part of our history. 

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