Archdeacon Anaru Takurua : ko tōna whakapapa, whakapono me tōna whakapono me tōna whakatika : "I am what I am" : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Māori Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Archdeacon of Waiapu Anaru Takurua from Te Whanau-a-Ruataupare in Tokomaru Bay was an accomplished kapa haka exponent in his time, with over 60 years of kapa haka experience. He was also a Mihingare priest for Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa for over 40 years, and a tutor of Te Hokowhitu-a-Tu kapa haka. However, up till now there had been no full-length biography written about him, due to the dearth of published literature.
This research explores the history and background of Anaru focussing on the themes whakapapa, whakapono and whakatika. This thesis is organised in a chronological structure centred on the thematic selection based on the rationale that they frequently feature prominently in Anaru’s life story. This study utilised a Maori-centred research approach in conjunction with a biographical narrative method in analysing the data collected.
Anaru’s own personal transcripts that transpired last year from an interview conducted shortly before his passing ten years ago, also complements this research. Supplementing these transcripts are the narratives of kaumatua rangatira participants, who knew him personally, grew up with him or worked with him throughout his life.
This study found that Anaru worshiped God in his own true authentic voice, and affirmed his identity as a man of God in Aotearoa –New Zealand. He implemented the guitar, haka, poi and waiata-a-ringa into his karakia services as cultural tools of worship to express the highest activity of the spirit and love of God.
Anaru understood the value of whakapapa and as a result committed himself to using his innate gifts, talents and leadership qualities in the church, on marae and in the community. He remained committed to his love for God, his family, marae and church. As a result he devoted years to maintaining and retaining the knowledge endowed to him and transmitted this korero tuku iho, and taonga tuku iho onto the next generation. Even when at times it was met with resistance from both maori and non-maori, believers and non-believers.