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Peter Cape’s famous “Taumata…”

Following all the interest in long place names, here’s Peter Cape’s song about the place where Tamatea sat and played his nose-flute to his beloved, just outside Waipukurau.

It first appeared on a 45rpm EP issued by Kiwi Records in the very early 60s. Interestingly the song features the 58-letter version, not the 85 letter version on the sign.  It was probably a duration issue …


Maori joker on a hilltop, playing a flute,

Cooler than Goodman – boy he was beaut!

And the thought that he thought in between each toot was:



Soon the Maori shielas began to gather around,

Hitch up the piu-piu and sit on the ground      

“Man”, they say,” You send me – what’s that new new sound?” and he says:



Soon these Maori jokers meet another race:

Along comes the Pakeha with his whitewashed face.

“Hey”, they say to the Maori, “What do you call this place?” and he says:



Now I farm a Station up in South Hawke’s Bay.

You’re tired out with mustering every day,

But never get as tired as I do when I say:



What was that, mate?

Oh, Crikey!



  1. Marianne Marianne 28 October 2015

    I learned this song when I was in grade 4 (in Canada) and we had a music teacher who came from New Zealand. I only remembered the first verse but never forgot the Taumata…….part. Very cool to find it here and g a refresher. Thanks.

    • Doug Coutts Doug Coutts Post author | 28 October 2015

      My parents had a Peter Cape 45rpm EP. I was almost word perfect on this song (and others) before I went to school. Tragic…

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