Na Te Kuia of Te Rawhiti

Ihaka Te Tai Diaries

By October 7, 2016 No Comments

About two weeks’ ago Anya and I went back to the

Whangarei Museum to view my Dad’s diaries – for the

years 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917.   I have no idea how

they ended up in the Whangarei Museum, but I have

consulted our lawyer to see if he would  follow it up with the

intention of having them back in my possession, especially

seeing that I have most of his other diaries over the years.

It was so nostalgic and overwhelming to read the different

events of those years which I won’t go into now, but I

want to pass on these snippets of information  from his

1916 diary.   I do not know whether or not they are of his

own composition, but I wouldn’t be surprised as he was

a prolific writer.

Now, these were just on a separate page and I would

like to share it with you all.


“The Three ‘Musts’ in Life – in no particular order –

To think about – life, death and eternity

To govern – temper, tongue and conduct

To love – courage, gentleness and affection

To hate – cruelty, arrogance and ingratitude

To delight – frankness, freedom and beauty

To avoid –  idleness, loquacity & flippant jesting

To wish for – health, cheerful spirit and friends

To advise – intellectual power, dignity and gracefulness


I suppose we could add to this list, think about it folks

Arohanui x x na

​ ​

te kuia nei.


​I need to clarify a couple of things here.

A few years ago, John Booth was researching some stuff of his own at the Whangarei museum.  He happened upon a set of diaries of Ihaka Mita Te Tai which were given to the museum in 1965-66, by a Mr D Barnett.  Mr Barnett was the Headmaster of Rawhiti School from 1912 to 1923.  While he was the head, he and Ihaka became close friends.  Mr Barnett recommended Ihaka for the position of Post Master, and he held that position until Mr Tommy Thompson moved to Te Rawhiti.  Tommy Thompson complained to the authorities that the Postmasters job should be his and he believed it was one of his responsibilities.

Mas mother recorded that Mr Thompson was not nice to her husband and took the postmaster job off him.

So, Ihaka may have given his diaries to Mr Barnett for safe keeping, and had them given to the Museum.  Whatever happened, they are a taonga that Mas whanau are so lucky to have access to.

I agree with Ma, it would be ideal to have them in her possession, but they are over a hundred years old and very fragile- they are safe in there.  We have begun digitizing the diaries and Ma is going to type them up.

Nga mihi


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