The School Haka | He Haka maa te Wharekura o Paaora Tapu

He Haka maa te Wharekura o Paaora Tapu, Ki Waikato is the haka for St Paul’s Collegiate School. It is rich in meaning and was written with the School’s motto State in Fide (stand firm in our faith) as the inspiration.

The School Haka was written in 2010 by Collegian Te Aro Moxon (School 1998 – 2002, Head Boy).

It is a biblical-based haka following the example of Saint Paul to show that we can be challenged about the dark side of our past, healed and stand firm in the faith.

The school haka is written in the context of Waikato and the region’s distinguished heritage of Tainui Chieftainship, with the river and the land.

The haka was initiated by Headmaster, Mr Grant Lander (2010 – 2021) to be used on occasions of great significance or welcome. Since its introduction in 2010, the haka has been performed at funeral services, sports’ competitions and to welcome special guests and visitors to the school.

Each year it is performed at the School’s Poowhiri service to welcome new students and staff and the Tihoi students perform it at Whanganui Bay, as part of the whakatau that is performed on the local marae after each boy has completed his mihi.

Since its inception, He Haka maa te Wharekura o Paaora Tapu has become a proud part of the school’s culture and the annual House Haka competition is one of the biggest house events.

He Haka maa te Wharekura o Paaora Tapu – Ki Waikato

Kei ngaa ringa mahi i te Riu-o-Waikato
I ngaa rua taniwha
Whaaia raa te ara o Paaora Tapu
I call upon the ‘Serving Hands’ of the Waikato
Who hail from the realms of Chiefs
Follow the path of Saint Paul

The first stanza of the Haka calls upon all members of the school, who are referred to as the ‘Serving Hands’, to stand in unity. The words place the school in the Waikato region and pay tribute to the great Chiefly tradition of Waikato Tainui.

Taahoroa te ao
Taahoroa te poo
Te haaora horanga kupu whakawehi
Ka rohai te ao tuuroa
I ngaa kahu tarutaru o te poouri, o te riri, o te mate Hei
Tee kitea nei
Tee rangona nei
Ka matapoo
Ka matapookere
For chaos reigned through the day
And chaos reigned through the night
At a time when words of terror were widespread
Indeed the world of light was draped in shadow
By the garments of darkness, of hate and demise
Nothing was seen
Nothing was heard
T’was blindness
Indeed they were blind

The reference to the spiritual blindness of Saul and his party, due to their prejudice and malice, is designed to contrast later in the story with the physical blindness of Saul, when he was blinded by the light of the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.

Whakatata mai Haaora ki Ramahiku
Kia ketua, kia horoia
Purea, purea ki te wai maarama o Kaawari
Draw nearer Saul, to Damascus
Let the shadow be lifted, let him be cleansed
Purify him with the waters of enlightenment
That flow from Calvary

The phrase ‘wai mārama’ meaning ‘pure water’ comes from the Epistle to the Hebrews Chapter 10, Verse 22, a letter by Saint Paul to the Jewish Christian community. For Paul, this cleansing water, washes away evil and purifies the heart. The flowing water is a symbol of the saving grace that came from the cross of Christ. The death of Christ on Calvary, was his high priestly sacrifice of himself, achieving a new and living way into the nearer presence of God for all people.

Mahea ake ngaa unahi, puurangiaho mai te ara
Tuu ake au i te taumata tapu, taumata tipua, taumata tawhito
Ko Paaora Tapu hi
Kei ngaaueue
Kei pāheke
E kore nei tōku waewae e nekehia
He mea whakauka ki te whakaponotanga
Noo namata iahaha
The scales were shed and the path became clear
“I will stand upon the sacred summit, the summit of the Saints, the summit that is ancient”
Behold, it is Saint Paul!
Do not be shaken
Do not stumble
“My foot will never be moved for I stand firmly in the faith that has withstood all the tests of time”

The choice of the word “Tipua” for a “Saint”, comes from the idea of someone who seems almost super-human, someone who has been given spiritual grace. The “Taumata” “Summit” referred to, means the spiritual high ground, the elevated stance of faith.

Tuu tonu Paaora Papakirua
Tuu tonu Pāora Te mata hoari Tuu tonu Pāora Paaora Tapu Hi!
Behold the raging winds
Paul stands firm Behold the clashing of seas Paul stands firm Behold the edge of the sword Paul stands firm Indeed he is Saint Paul

The last lines of the Haka anticipate the trials and challenges Saint Paul rises to for the rest of his life, as the Apostle to the Mediterranean region. He often faces buffeting winds, and raging seas, having been beaten, persecuted and imprisoned at different times. Through all of these adversities, his firm faith still stands, and his hope and love endures. This is what finally converts the world.