Henare Tipiwhenua (Tipi) Kaa

Ngāti Porou

1903 - 1966

Henare Kaa was born in Rangitukia and was educated at Rangitukia Native School, St Stephen’s School, and Te Aute College. He returned to Rangitukia to farm and was an Anglican lay reader for many years in the Waiapu area before going into the ministry in 1957. Kaa worked as a deacon in the Te Kaha pastorate and was priested in 1959. In 1963 he became vicar of the Waiapu pastorate, a position he retained until his death. He married Hohi Whaanga and they had a family of twelve children. Kaa held many positions in the committees of schools, marae, churches and rugby clubs. He was a Justice of the Peace and was an honorary Welfare Officer. Kaa had a passionate interest in Education, was a keen performer and teacher of haka, and was a performer of moteatea. He was an editor and translator. Keri Kaa writes: "My father was a specialist in Haka.... He was also a performer of the long song-poems which contain the details of our history. These song-poems are sung at special gatherings - birthdays, weddings, political rallies, and funerals. They are a highly specialised form of knowledge and there is always discussion as to the appropriateness of this song or that one depending on the occasion or the people present."

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Keri Kaa, 15 Jan 1998.
  • "Haere Ki o Koutou Tipuna." Te Ao Hou 55 (1966): 2-3.
  • Kaa, Keri. "The Emergence of the Indigenous." "Global Change and Exchange: Social and Political Change. International Society of Performing Arts Administrators Eighth International Congress Sydney Opera House 21-24 June 1994.’ International Society of Performing Arts Administrators Foundation Forum 18.2 (1994/5?): 25-32.


  • "A Famous Haka. Te Kiri Ngutu/ The Rising." Ed. Rev. Tipi H. Kaa. Trans. Sir Apirana Ngata. Commentary by Ngata and Kaa. Te Ao Hou 26 (1959): 22- 23.
  • Kaa edits this haka using an English translation and commentary given to him by Sir Apirana Ngata. He adds his own commentary, noting that Tuta Nihoniho was the original composer and that it was written in response to the British Land Company’s increasing quest for land. Kaa writes that this haka is still performed on important occasions by East Coast groups as ‘a means of expressing... approval or disapproval.’


  • "Haere Ki o Koutou Tipuna." Te Ao Hou 55 (1966): 2-3.
  • Taylor, C. R. H. A Bibliography of Publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Oxford: Clarendon, Oxford UP, 1972. 83.