Programme 1939 – “Marama” Script




A New Zealand Comedy Opera


Words by H. S. B. Ribbands

Music by A. R. Don.

Copyright 1920, by H. S. B. Ribbands, Hastings, N.Z.


Page 1

No public performance may take place unless a written authority has first been obtained, but single numbers may be sung at concerts without costume or action.

First produced at the Municipal Theatre, Hastings, November 16th, 1920.





His Excellency the Governor-General.
Lord Aucklington, F.R.S., a Professor of Ethnology.
The Honourable Tony Cantago, Aucklington’s Son.
Alan Dale, a Sheep Farmer.
Pat Palmerston
Inver Cargill
Ted Nelson
Harry Hastings   Alan’s Cobbers.
Lady Betty Cantago, Aucklington’s daughter.
Kitty Gisborne
Polly Plymouth
Sally Sumner
Nancy Napier   Nelly’s Chums.
Nelly Britain, a Farmer’s Daughter.

Picnickers, Campers and Tourists.

The Tohunga, a Native Priest.
Huia, a Young Chief.
A Rangatira.
Rangi Taihoa, an Old Woman.
Marama, a Princess.

Warriors, Poi Girls and Haka Dancers.

A Pohutukawa Grove.

A fortnight has elapsed.

A Maori Pa in the Geyser Valley.

Time: The Present, during Christmas Holidays.

Page 2


ACT I.   page

Opening Chorus   “Tell us truly if there be land”   3
Song    “The Coo-ee Call”   4
Duet   “Looking for Somebody”   5
Song   “Farming”   7
Chorus   “By the big, deep, bright, blue sea”   7
Quartet and Chorus   “Billy Tea”   10
Song   “Manuka”   11
Recitative and Song   “Greenstone Tiki”   13
Duo   “Forgive Me, Gentle Sir”   16
Ensemble   “Kiss – Rapturous Kiss”   16
Octet   “A place In the Moon”  18
Ballet   “Moonmoths and Moonbeams”   18
Song   “I found my love in Maoriland”   19
Duo   “Oh, Cruel Man”   20
Duet   “Dear Love, I long to know”   20
Song   “Marama, Maid of the Moonlight”   21
Chorus   “Hush! Hush!”   22
Finale   “I have found you again”   23
“To Koro, To Koro”   24


Opening Chorus   “Kapai the Life”   25
Song   “Maoriland Maid”   27
Duet   “No one ever loved as I love you”   29
Duet   “Go Slow”   31
Chorus   “Hall to the Governor”   32
Poi Dance   32
Action Song   32
Song and Chorus   “One and all for Maoriland”   33
Song   “Come Canoeing Down the Wanganui”   36
Scena and Finale   37

Page 3


Scene – A Pohutukawa Grove on the sea coast near Auckland.

The foreground, shaded from the hot summer sun by green foliage, falls back to the edge of a steep bank, whose hidden base is lapped by the sea, thirty feet below.

The tops of Pohutukawa trees in full crimson bloom are seen over the slope; and through and over their branches the blue sunlit water stretches away to promontory and island until lost in the distance.

A Camper’s tent shows among the tree trunks L.

The season is between Christmas and the New Year, and a picnic party of boy and girl campers are finishing their lunch on the grass.


Tell us truly if there be land
Fairer than this ocean isle;
Happy, peaceful, bright New Zealand,
Blest by Fortune’s favoured smile.
Ne’er will you discover dwelling
Better found to live and thrive;
And we prove it in the telling:
“Good It is to be alive.”

Radiant skies and sparkling waters,
Wide expanses swept by breeze;
All New Zealand’s sons and daughters
Wax upon such things as these.
By the laws of Nature’s framing.
We by fitness must survive.
While we greet each day exclaiming:
“Good it is to be alive.”

They don’t understand it at Home,
In the hemisphere north of the line,
How we eat our mince-plies under sapphire blue skies,
And whisk off the flies as we dine.
How Christmas is season to roam,
By a river, a lake, or a sea,
And a plum-pudding slice is not nearly so nice
As a strawberry ice ‘neath a tree.

They don’t understand it at Home,
It is England that’s meant by the way,
We at Christmas resume, in a bathing costume,
Our sport in the spume and the spray.
And here, ‘neath the canopied dome
Of the Pohutukawa was in bloom.
We should almost expire, in our surfing attire,
At the thought of a fire in a room.

Boys are busy clearing up lunch. Girls rejoin them.

Don’t you bother about the dishes,
Plates and spoons, and forks and knives;

We are sorry to thwart your wishes,
But we “clear up” all our lives.

Page 4

Since we boys have invited you here,
We must have our will obeyed;

As it’s holiday time and New Year,
Compromise by mutual aid.

We understand – all give a hand
Two can get through twice as quickly as one;
Helping hand lend, to the task bend,
So in a moment the work will be done.
A fatigue party of dish washers is at work at back.

For everyone keeps his Christmas
In his own sweet Christmassy way;
Plum pudding and holly may make others jolly,
And add to the joy of the day.
The fog and the frost may please some,
Our sun and our heat suffice;
Of pleasure, we have measure,
In our Christmas summer leisure,
For New Zealand is Youth’s paradise.

A loud “COO-EE!” is heard off R.

Enter ALLAN DALE R. He a prosperous young sheep farmer, and is dressed in riding attire. He comes down C.

SONG   “The Coo-ee Call”   ALAN

Of all the cries of Christendom, that ring with hope and cheer,
There’s nothing like the coo-ee call to tell a friend is near;
Away out in the back blocks, where the solitude benumbs,
A “coo-ee” seems some bosum pal – its echoes scores of chums.
And when the bush has trapped you in its green and leafy snare.
Your head is lost as well as track in thickets of despair.
Then grip your courage ‘ere it goes, and lusty “coo-ee” shout,
And set the gullies ringing till they come to pull you out.

Coo-ee! Coo-ee!
Carry it down the wind;
Let it be known you are lost and lone,
And surely a friend you’ll find.
Ring out – sing out –
Holloa it loud and true;
And listen for the coo-ee call
That answering comes to you.

From parting ship and shore, you hear the farewell coo-ees rise.
Like strident sirens thro’ the fog that dims your straining eyes.
But when the mists have cleared away, far out across the main,
The notes like bell-buoys guide the thoughts, in fancy, home again.
And out in shell-swept No-Man’s Land, where death is looming large.
What cries go forth from savage throats, when comes the order “Charge!”
But foreign to the war-whoop yell and the battle cry of hate,
Is the signal sound of comradeship – the call of man to mate.

Exit PICNICKERS R. and L. up stage.

Enter LADY BETTY CANTAGO L.  Her summery frock is rather smart for the beach, and she carries a vanity bag and sunshade. She looks up stage then goes to tent L. peeps inside as if looking for somebody, then turns and discovers ALAN who has been interested in her movements.

BETTY   Excuse me, have you seen my father or brother about?

ALAN   I am sorry I have not seen any such fortunate persons.

Page 5

BETTY    Why fortunate?

ALAN   Because close relatives of yours

BETTY   As we are at present total strangers, relationships need not enter into the question. I thought, perhaps, you might be of assistance to me.

ALAN   My dear, lady, I am at your service entirely.

BETTY   Well, then perhaps you can assist me to find my father. Are you any good looking?

ALAN   That’s not for me to say. Preening himself.

BETTY   Don’t fish for compliments. I mean are you any good looking for anybody?

ALAN   Not for anybody; but for somebody – for the right somebody I have been looking for years.

BETTY   If you have been that long about it, I cannot see you will be very much help.

DUET   “Looking for Somebody”   ALAN and BETTY

I am just looking for somebody,
A very close friend that I need;

ALAN    I, too, am looking for somebody,
A very dear person indeed.

But there’s not the remotest or slightest of chance,
That our object of search is the same;
So, after a hurried and cursory glance,
I will go back the way that I came.

No, I beg you a moment to stay.
Our paths may both lead the same way.


Looking – just looking for somebody,
Seeking and searching in doubt.

ALAN   Empty the world but for somebody –
Somebody I am without.

BOTH   Looking – just looking for somebody,
‘Tis a task that is tiresome to do;

And I think, on my soul, I am far from the goal,

BETTY   But I think, on my soul, I am near to the goal.

BOTH   When there’s somebody ‘looking’ like you.

BETTY   I am just looking for somebody,
Who left me some moments behind;

I, too, am looking for somebody,
For years I have wanted to find.

Then your system of search has been sadly at fault,
As a hunter your help must be slight;
And I think your assistance should come to a halt.
If I would not be here for the night.

No, my find, if I keep at all cost,
Will compensate time I have lost.


Page 6

Enter NELLY BRITAIN R.U.E. with billy of milk.


NELLY  to Tony. Good day! I have brought your party’s milk.

TONY   Good-day to you! You live up at the farm, don’t you?

NELLY   Yes.

TONY   You are just the one I have been wanting to see. brings out pamphlets and papers. Look here! What do you think of this? A New Zealand publicity pamphlet entitled, “A way to make a fortune from cows.”

NELLY   Never heard of it. What they mean is, “How to make a fortune away from cows” – the farther the better.

TONY   Well, you know, I have had a hankering after a dairy farm ever since I was a youngster, for one day, out in the country, I discovered a cow’s nest.

NELLY   You mean a mare’s nest

TONY   No, a cow’s nest with six cracked eggs in it, at least I thought they were, but it turned out to be a ditch where campers had chucked their empty condensed milk tins.   excitedly.   I am sure if I once got the tang of the cowbail into my nostrils, nothing would hold me.

NELLY   Someone would soon fix you with a leg rope.

TONY   opening page of pamphlet.   Now this looks like a diagram of a cow.

NELLY   looking over. It is a cow.

TONY   I thought I was right – it is a cow.

NELLY   A Jersey.

TONY   A pull-over?

NELLY   No, no I was not alluding to the cow cover. I referred to the breed of the animal. She is a champion Jersey; reading average annual yield, eleven hundred pounds of butter fat.

TONY   Well, what that animal wants is not a cow-cover, but a brassiere, looking over pamphlet. By the way, how do I know which one to plug in at?

NELLY   folds up the pamphlet and hands it back.

TONY   Do you know why I have come out to New Zealand?

NELLY   No, wouldn’t they keep you at home?

TONY   Because I long for the wide open spaces – the broad horizons – the scope for pushful enterprise in fact the adventurous life of a pioneer in the way out back of beyond.

NELLY   Very well, you can have it on your own.

TONY   You disappoint me. I had hopes – I couldn’t do without a mate. I want a wife who will be sharing with me in my struggles, blazing a trail into the rugged ranges, blasting a track through the torrent-riven gorges.

NELLY   You want to carry a bull-dozer In your swag. It would be the ‘semple’ way.

TONY   growing enthusiastic.   Don’t you long to hack a pathway through the impenetrable bush – to lay about you with a slasher in the scrub?

Page 7

NELLY   scornfully. Not on your life – the idea. Carving a way out in the bush – a cow of a job.

TONY   No, that’s the job of a cow.

NELLY   I think we are getting off the track into rough country. No, I think I should prefer to keep farming.

SONG   “Farming,”   NELLY.

‘Tis good to be a farmer,
A daughter of the soil,
A buxom country charmer
All free from city toil.
But lest you think there’s little
To do except to play,
I’ll tell you how I whittle
My lazy hours away.

I am milking at five in the morning,
I am churning the butter at six,
There is breakfast at seven, and then on to eleven
There’s the housework, the chooks and the pigs.
There is dinner at twelve, and then baking,
With milking again – just for play –
While others may squeak at a forty hour week,
Why, I laugh at a forty hour day.

‘Tis good to be a farmer
Uprising with the lark,
In weather rough or calmer
To slave from morn till dark.
And if you wonder by it
I do not fade away,
It’s just because I diet
On umteen meals a day.

There is five o’clock tea, early morning,
With burgoo and bacon at eight,
There is smoko at ten and I’m fasting from then
Till the dinner Is served on my plate.
There is smoko at three, at six tea time,
At nine supper’s cleared and away;
So when others squeal for the want of a meal,
Why, I’m slimming on eight feeds a day.

Exit NELLY and TONY L.I.E. after dance.


Girls are wearing up-to-date bathing costumes.

Boys are dressed as surf life-saving squad.

CHORUS …. “The big, deep, bright blue Sea” …. BATHERS

If you would learn the King of Sports,
And emulate the frogs,
Just pitch a private bathing tent,
And don your swimming togs.

You should go to get denuded in some quiet spot secluded,
And defy what borough-bye-law there may be;
And in water to your middle you may solve natation’s riddle,
By the big, deep, bright blue sea.

Page 8

By the big, deep bright blue sea,
When you venture on your morning dip,
You may let the shiny shingle
Tingle your tootsies, if you’re careful.
By the big, deep, bright blue sea.
You may potter round about the brim,
If you note the rule you wrote at school,
“Don’t go in till you can swim.”

Peel beside the breakers with the early morning wakers,
It’s a happy source of appetite -for food you’re in the mood.
Then you take a running header, you will find you’re not a “deader,”
But a mouthful – one or two – will do you good.
Never go a buckin’ at a chuck in with a duckin’
Tho’ you sorter feel you oughter have a water-wing supporter,
And the cold, an old offender, makes you tender, don’t surrender,
Just go in till you can swim.

If you would learn the King of Sports,
For prowess are athirst.
Remember swimmers wet their heads.
And not their feet, the first.

You should dive into the billow from an overhanging willow.
It’s the height alone that matters – not the tree;
Or attempt at breaker shooting, on a surf-board gaily scooting,

BOTH   By the big, deep, bright blue sea.



Aucklington an elderly man of 60 years, has light summer clothes. His coat is over his arm, and he is mopping his almost bald head with handkerchief. Being a Professor of scholarly attainments, his speech is precise, and his move ments deliberate –

AUCK.   to Alan. My dear young friend. I have to thank you for extricating me from a most unpleasant predicament. I wandered away into a perfect jungle of ragwort, gorse and blackberry, and became completely lost, or, as you colonials would say – “bushed.”

ALAN   I assure you, Sir, it was nothing. Three returned soldiers have already walked off this same property without any assistance whatever.

AUCK.   But, 1 believe my adventure was not without compensation because, at the bottom of a gully, I discovered what I think to be the femur, otherwise drum stick, of the extinct moa – shows large bone.

ALAN   looking at bone, doubtfully, Well, perhaps – are you sure?

AUCK.   Oh, I am nearly positive. There are certain characteristics –

BETTY   who has been up stage looking at beach comes down C.   Father, I do wish you would throw that nasty, smelly thing away.

Page 9

AUCK.   continuing to Alan. The moa belonged to a most unique and interesting species of wing-less, herbiverous or grass eating birds of which there were some half-dozen varieties; the mountain moa – the bush moa – the swamp moa –

BETTY   impatiently. And the lawn mower.

AUCK.   And the lawn moa – Tut, tut!

ALAN  Well they both chew grass, and fortunately the old bird is not alive today or he would probably have been mechanised.

BETTY   has brought camp stool from tent. Father is simply boring you I know – she goes up stage and sits.

ALAN   examining bone. I sincerely hope this is not going to be a bone of contention; but, if you will consider the humble opinion of a farmer, I should say it looks remarkably like the leg bone of a bogged bullock.

Aucklington looks taken aback.

Now, here I have something that really should interest you.  produces greenstone mere from his pocket.

AUCK.   A magnificent Maori mere.

ALAN   A symbol of chieftain rank.

AUCK.   examining the mere with delight. How came you by it?

ALAN   I turned it up ploughing.

AUCK.   What a lucky find.

ALAN   I am beginning to doubt that. Maybe the original owner lost his life in battle, and this relic has had the evil spell of tapu cast over it.

AUCK.   What makes you think so?

ALAN   Ever since I found this mere things have been going wrong. Two cows got blown in the lucerne paddock, the Government took over the Reserve Bank and have brought in petrol restrictions –

AUCK.   Instead of bringing bad luck, I should imagine anyone most fortunate to possess such a fine specimen of Maori craft. What value do you place on it?

ALAN   Are you a buyer?

AUCK.   Certainly! Money in reason is no object.

ALAN   with a side-glance at Betty up stage. Well, money to me is not the object; so, if you will pay me the compliment of permitting me to further my acquaintance with your daughter, I ask nothing more in exchange.

AUCK.   rising. My dear Sir, the girl is yours – the girl is yours.

BETTY   has been making-up from the vanity bag, comes down stage. What are you two talking about? I’m simply famishing for a cup of tea.

AUCK.   I have just made a great bargain.

ALAN   Sir, I didn’t bargain for –

BEYTY to Alan.   A secret bargain between you and father?

ALAN   For the present it is a secret between me and –

BETTY   And whom?

Page 10

ALAN   Just between me and myself.

BETTY   How mysterious you are. sees Aucklington examining mere. What a pretty butter pat – but what is the use of that without the butter and the bread?

ALAN   Of course, what we all want is a nice cup of tea. In half a jiffy we will get the billy going, calling off. Coo-ee!

BETTY   And who is Billy?

ALAN   A very old friend of all campers. Haven’t you tasted billy tea?


ALAN   Then you shall, and realize that appetite gives to tucker a relish inferior to that which a billy gives to picnickers’ tea.

BETTY   mystified. Tucker – Billy?

AUCK.   has been examining mere. Yes, Billy Tucker, my dear, probably one of his so-called cobbers.


BOYS get fire going down stage.

GIRLS are introduced to Aucklington and Betty by Alan. They help Betty to spread small table fetched from tent L.


“Billy Tea”

First you pick a likely possie –
There are many here around –
Close against a stump or boulder,
Scoop a hollow in the ground.
Build with kindling twigs and dry wood
On a base of leaves and straw;
Don’t despise a bit of fence post
Which your friends have fossicked for.

If you have these rules obeyed,
Your fire is well and truly laid.

Strike a match, take care about it,
Puff of air will quickly out it;
Gust of wind is most provoking
Nurse the flame! We are not joking!
Take care. Has the paper caught?

INVER   Don’t shout!

HARRY   Take care!


Take care yourself!
It’s out!

First attempts are unavailing.
Soon you find your language failing,
When you’ve damaged half your matches,
Lo, behold! The paper catches!
Now a respite from your toil.
Sit and watch the billy boil.

Page 11


Now you see
How we boil billy tea –
Toil and trouble make billy boil – billy boil and bubble;
All agree.
This is the recipe,
How to make the good old billy boil.


So boil the billy –
We will boil the billy.
With a bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble all can see;
The secret true
Of campers’ brew,
Is willy-nilly make the billy ‘boil’ for billy tea.

AUCK.   Very – very gratifying. I never realized before that tea was something to make a song about, much more a chorus.

ALAN   Why should beer, glorious beer, be the only beverage that gets all the shouting?

AUCK.   What a marvellous country you have in New Zealand. Every day and in every way you must thank Providence for your mercies.

ALAN   Many think we have to thank our Government.

AUCK.   But the Government might change.

ALAN   Ah, then we should thank Providence.

AUCK.   I am pleased to see you treat your present government as something of a joke – it is only when rulers are past a joke that things become really serious.

BETTY   I think it very rude of you two to monopolize all the conversation. to Alan. What is that pretty spray of white blossom you wear in your coat?

ALAN   removing buttonhole. Manuka. One of our national blossoms. One just out from England could not possibly under stand what manuka means to me.

NELLY   You would soon understand if you took on a scrub-cutting contract.

BETTY   I think I realize. In all countries some particular bloom has a special appeal. Substitute manuka for shamrock or rose – give a touch of local colour-add a lilting melody and you have all the ingredients of a popular ballad.

ALAN   But incomplete without the singer. Can you show us how it is done?

SONG   “Manuka”   LADY BETTY

There is a blossom that blows
By a wee wooden where I love.
Where the winter and summertime snows
Circle round on the ranges above.
Manuka, that is its name,
And no matter how strange it may seem,
Yet this quaint Maori word is the only one heard
As I murmur in oversea dream.

Page 12

Manuka! Manuka! Flower of my dream,
Emblem of love and of home;
Far, far away how your star petals beam,
Beacons to guide where I roam.
Manuka! Manuka! Flower of my dream,
You are the vision I see –
Night hours of gloom, bright with your bloom,
Round a whare that waits for me.

Bathed in the sun’s morning fire,
I have seen you all spangled with dew,
And no princess in festal attire
Was so richly bejewelled as you.
Still have I loved you the most,
Unadorned, in simplicity sweet,
When I plucked off a spray, at the falling of day,
Just to give someone, dear, I might meet.

England is fond of her rose.
And the shamrock is Erin’s delight.
But the blossom our Maoriland knows
Is the dear little manuka white.
Pakeha though you may be,
And still cherish a Home floral crest.
Like New Zealander born, but one badge must be worn-
It is manuka pinn’d to your breast.

ALAN has been standing at side of Aucklington during Betty’s song, wrapt in admiration. At end of song he conducts Betty to her seat.

ALAN   to Betty. Thank you so much. Song and singer delightful. he looks over R up stage and sees Marama approaching.

ALAN   touching Aucklington’s shoulder. Ah, there is a young friend of mine. beckons to Marama. Come along Marama, don’t be shy – we are pleased to see you.

Enter MARAMA  R.C.

she is somewhat bashful, but comes down stage. Everyone pleased to see her.


I thank you very kindly for your greeting.
And would for my intrusion make amends,
Though welcome I expected at our meeting,
Since Pakehas and Maori girls are friends.
Our skins are brown, but you will find beneath them,
True hearts that beat with every thought that’s “white”;
If racial prejudices you will sheath them,
I’ll sing to you and dance for your delight.

AUCKLINGTON shows rnuch interest in Marama, and asks Alan the meaning of the greenstone tiki hanging round Manama’s neck.

ALAN   to Marama. Marama, this gentleman would like you to tell him about your greenstone tiki.

MARAMA curtsies to Aucklington and sings.

Page 13

SONG   “Little Greenstone Tiki”   MARAMA

My greenstone tiki is a queer, quaint thing,
With red and round goo-goo eyes;

CHORUS   With red and round goo-goo-eyes.

With crooky bent body of emerald hue,
To love and cherish it as I do,
Is a matter of some surprise;

CHORUS   Is the matter for some surprise.

The secret I now impart,
Why it nestles so near my heart.

Little greenstone tiki-tiki mine,
In you my trust and confidence I lay;
My Maori mascot charm to ward off ev’ry harm,
That may be met and so beset my way.
The four-leaved clover fades within a day,
The horseshoe trinket wears with silver stain,
But my little greenstone tiki is ever span and spicky,
Hanging by its old gold chain.

My greenstone tiki is an idol rare,
I worship in harmless way.

CHORUS   She worships in harmless way!

You know, by the study of old folk lore.
The uglier-fashioned the gods of yore.
The more, more esteemed were they.

CHORUS   The more, more esteemed were they.

But beautiful, in my sight.
Is this savage-faced fearsome mite.


AUCKLINGTON and BETTY go up stage chatting. Aucklington showing by his gestures his great interest in Marama.

ALAN and MARAMA R.C. down stage.

MAR.   Oh, Mr Alan, knowing you would be here to-day, I came to see you about a greenstone mere which I hear you have found.

ALAN   Yes. to Aucklngton up stage. Please excuse me a moment; Marama has a little matter of business with me. to Marama. Yes quite correct. I did find a mere. Why do you ask?

MAR.   Will you let me have it? My whole life’s happiness is depending.

ALLAN   Hullo! We both seem to be in the same boat. I have just been making my whole life’s happiness depend on the very same thing.

MAR.  Ah! you do not understand. If this mere is what I believe it to be, its history is part and parcel of my past and the controlling influence over my future. Is the mere noticeable by a gap on one side of the blade?

ALAN   Yes, it certainly had some such distinguishing feature.

MAR.   Then here is the missing part carved into my tiki! shows tiki to Alan.

ALAN   Indeed, and what are the ties between the tiki and the mere?

Page 14

MAR.   The mere belonged to an old ancestor of mine, who carved a tiki from the blade, and gave the tiki to his wife on the eve of battle. In the fight my ancestor was slain, and the mere disappeared.

ALAN   Then it brought no luck to its original owner.

MAR.   The tiki has been in the possession of my family for a hundred years, finally coming down to me; and it is a family tradition that while the tiki would bring me luck, yet, if ever the mere were found, I must unite myself with the finder in order to obtain a life of perfect bliss and happiness.

ALAN   Do you mean to say I should be obliged to marry you?

MAR.   But I don’t want to marry you. I love Huia; he loves me; and, if I die for it, the mere shall be his.

ALAN   It wouldn’t do either of you any good if you took such desperate steps, and although I like you – half aside. By Jove I should have been a Jonah if I had met you first and Betty afterwards. The luckiest stroke I have made for a long time was to have parted with that fatal old fetish.

MAR.   alarmed.  You have it no longer?

ALAN   No, I have not.

MARAMA   deeply distressed, turns R.

AUCK.   from up stage to Alan. Can my daughter join her brother with the bathers on the beach?

ALAN   Why, certainly. I will take her along with pleasure.

BETTY   pointedly, to Alan. I wouldn’t disturb you for worlds if you are engaged.

AUCK,   to Alan. But if you are not, I should like a quiet chat with your young friend. Being a student of native customs I want to become better acquainted for reasons of ethnology, you know – ethnology.

ALAN   To know Marama needs no apology or any other -ology. She is a charming young lady, but, for the moment, is a trifle worried. Perhaps you can set her mind at ease. In fact, you, of all people, are the only one who can.

AUCK.   My dear. Sir, I have a way all my own with the fair sex – and the dark, he moves towards Marama R.

ALAN   going up stage to Betty. Are you ready, Miss?

Exit ALAN and BETTY R.U.E.

AUCKLINGTON brings a seat from L. and sits C. He removes his hat, and makes himself at ease, preparing to subject Marama to a scientific scrutiny.

AUCK.   to Marama who comes down stage. My dear child, you interest me very much, and being old enough to be your father, you must treat me as an old friend.

MAR.   Please, Sir, but I do not know you.

AUCK.   But I know your family very well indeed. Marama looks surprised. The Maori family of the Sawaiori race of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Mongolic group. Skull, brachycephalic or broad headed; jaw, mesogonathous, or medium – Marama is bewildered. You don’t understand, perhaps that mankind is not all cast in the same mould. Some of your friends, for instance, are probably only half-caste.

Page 15

MAR.   with waking intelligence. Is that why some men are more mouldy than others?

AUCK.   You don’t quite grasp. You see, racially I am in a totally different classification to yourself. Being English, I am of the Aryan branch of the Caucassic group, and, true to type, you will observe that my colour is whitish; hair, flaxen, long, wavy and silky; skull dolichocephalic; orthogonathous jaw –

MAR.   seriously. Excuse me, if jaw refers to conversation yours is altogether beyond me.

AUCK.   continuing, unheeding interruption.  – in temperament, active and enterprising, practical, serious, and highly imaginative.

MAR.   Oh, yes; very highly imaginative.

AUCKLINGTON noticing that he is not making as much headway as he would like; hits on the idea to awaken Manama’s interest by producing the mere from his pocket, but takes out bone by mistake.

AUCK.   Here I have something which should be of common interest to us both; I prize it immensely, and would not part with it for worlds.

MAR.   You have a leetle bone to pick with me? laughs heartily.

AUCK.   discovering his error. How silly – my mistake! You are making merry, and ‘merry’s’ the word.  replaces bone and brings out mere.

MARAMA at sight of the mere is overcome with emotion; she sways slightly, and AUCKLINGTON rises as if to steady her.

AUCK.   My dear, don’t be so distressed. This object is surely not what you Maoris call “tapu,”

MARAMA at Aucklington’s touch turns away as if stung.

AUCK.  mystified. Well, well. Never mind, never mind, I don’t want to hurt you.

MARAMA increases the distance between herself and Aucklington.

AUCK.   pacifically. Let me go to fetch my camera and take a pretty picture of you; a charming little snapshot to give your sweetheart. There now – don’t be upset – I will be back in a moment. exits hurriedly L.I.E.

MARAMA   half stunned, realizing that she is alone, comes down stage, distractedly. Why am I too late – too late? Had Mr. Dale still possessed the mere, he would have understood – have sympathised –  and given it to me to bestow upon Huia, my betrothed, as a wedding gift. Huia with this priceless heirloom of highest chieftain rank would have made a fitting companion for me, a princess of equal birth, and our marriage would have been celebrated by a hui attended by hundreds.

And now. what is the alternative? Some moonlight night, Huia, after one of his passionate pleadings will carry me off to his raupo whare, and the hui, with its feasting and congratulations, will be only a honeymoon dream.

soft music as MARAMA falls on her knees and clasps her tiki, kissing it.

Oh, Tiki! Tiki! Mascot and comforter, help me, help me and guide my destiny.

MARAMA again hugs her tiki to her breast; then heartened, as if struck by a bright idea, she rises.

Page 16

MAR.   I see my duty; It is to marry him. He of the long-winded speech – he of the bald and desolate cranium – he of the – oh, it is too awful to think of all his horrible tribal deformities. determinedly.  But I will marry him – marry him quickly, and he shall never know the reason why; and I will pray that, so soon as the wedding is over, good luck may release me – even spare me the tortures of a honeymoon. cheerfully.  Who knows what mortal effect a wedding breakfast of shark, puha, and pipis may have on a pakeha pukenui. fully relieved, she joins in refrain of her song, “Greenstone Tiki,” which orchestra has been playing softly.

The four-leaved clover fades within a day,
The horseshoe trinket wears with silver stain,
But my little greenstone tiki is always span and spicky
Hanging by its old gold chain.


AUCK.   aside. How childlike are these simple children of nature; one moment in tears, the next all wreathed in smiles, their fleeting troubles quite forgotten.
crosses to MANAMA R. who turns to greet him.


Forgive me, gentle sir, for seeming rude,
My outburst was a wanton Maori mood;
Unlike yourself, in self-suppression schooled,
My feelings boiled as speedily they cooled.

You owe me no apology, capricious elf.
You interest me most when just your own sweet self;
Let us our time in harmony and peace employ,
And test my vocal powers, neglected since a boy –
La-la-la-la! I’m groggy.

MARAMA   You went to C-

AUCK.   And found the channel foggy.

I trust I meet with your sincere approval.
And, true to type, my Maori race reveal,
Without a feature’s moulding or removal
My cranium conforms to your ideal.
My locks betrayed no ringlets when you shook them;
My eyes have just the right oblique effect;
And if my lips are sensuous, overlook them,
Their ethnologic contour is correct.

‘Tis here, my dear, we have so much in common,
My skull is perfect in its Aryan way;
And if my nose is Greek, or slightly Roman,
And yours is concave – let them be, I say.
But lest our features overlook their beauty,
And pass without a recognisant smile;
To introduce our lips it is our duty,
And let our noses greet in Maori style.

Aucklington rubs noses with Marama; then, pleased with himself, he kisses her cheek.

Marama suddenly flings her arms round Aucklington’s neck and kisses him rapturously.

Kiss – kiss – rapturous kiss
Through my senses you steal!
Bliss – bliss – what is this bliss.
To my soul you reveal?
Surely it proves I have met my affinity,
Surely it moves me to hail a divinity,
Name him, acclaim him, from now to infinity,
Sovereign and lord!

Aucklington breaks away.

Page 17

MARAMA   Stay! Stay! I beg of you, and pray!

AUCK.   Some pressing business calls me and brooks of no delay.

What pressing business have you but with one
Whose lips shall do all pressing to be done?
The bright sunlight of the golden afternoon changes into sunset glow.


Hah! Hah! Hah!
What meaning, then, is this?
Give the girl a kiss;
It’s very aggravating
To keep a lady waiting,
To keep a lady stating
She is anxious for a kiss.

Aucklington, urged on by Campers, reluctantly gives Marama a kiss.

Kiss – kiss – rapturous kiss.
Through my sense you steal;

Bliss – bliss – heavenly bliss.
To my soul you reveal.
Surely it proves I have met an affinity,
(she has)
Surely it moves me to hail a divinity,
Name him, acclaim him, from now to infinity,
Sov’reign and Lord!

Kiss – kiss – horrible kiss.
Through my senses you reel;
Bliss – bliss, is nothing like this –
On my soul I appeal
Surely it proves she is void of timidity.
Surely it moves me to bolt with rapidity.
Run till I’ve done with this blatant stupidity –
“Sov’reign and Lord.”

CAMPERS laughing exit R.U.E. following MARAMA and AUCKLINGTON.

Sunset glow increases in brilliancy up to Marama’s and Aucklington’s exit.

The scene grows gradually darker, and at end of the following dialogue, moonlight begins to lighten the landscape.

Four pairs of boys and girls only remain.

HARRY   You never had to chase me like that.

NANCY   pouting. No you are so slow, you never get a move on.

SALLY   I don’t think any man is worth running after.

INVER   Girls don’t mind having a run on his banking account.

POLLY   Marama was always such a shy, unassuming little girl.

Page 18

TED   Well, she is going the pace now and making it very hot.

PAT   The effects of love are so contradictory – one person is run after, another run from –

KITTY   Yes, and quite a few run in.

OCTET   “A Place In the Moon”   BOYS and GIRLS

GIRLS   Don’t you think we should look for a place?

BOYS   You and I.   GIRLS: I and you.

Where our love we may safely efface
From all view.

Yes, I do – very true.
Your suggestion is certainly wise –

GIRLS   So I thought – very wise.

And a place in the moon would be surely a boon
And secure from all rude prying eyes.


We shall want a wee place in the moon
Very soon – soon – soon,
Where our love lullabies, without fear of surprise,
We may croon – croon – croon.
Such a spot would be surely a boon
For a spoon – spoon – spoon,
And if others have won a big place in the sun,
We may win a wee place in the moon.

BOYS   But they say there’s a man in the moon –

GIRLS   How absurd!   BOYS:   So I’ve heard.

And my jealousy fierce very soon
Is upstirred.

Oh, my word! What’s occurred?
But the story is childish and old –

BOYS   Well, I grant he Is cold –

And if chance he’s not gone an ideal chaperon
He would make if you grew overbold.

BOYS and GIRLS dance off R. and L.

BALLET   “Moonmoths and Moonbeams”

Enter TONY and NELLY R.U.E.

Enter PICNICKERS boys and girls in pairs up stage.

TONY   with arm round Nelly’s waist. What a lovely night, but rather cool; wouldn’t you like a wrap on your shoulders.

NELLY   No thank you, but you will get one on the knuckles if you don’t watch it.

TONY   You know I am beginning to worship the very ground you tread on.

NELLY   You wouldn’t at five o’clock on a winter morning in our cow bail.

TONY   I was talking of worship in the abstract.

NELLY   Well if you saw our cow bail you would know it wasn’t worship on the concrete.

A camp fire starts to glow, followed by another, and during song are dotted at intervals about the scene.

PICNICKERS recline round fires.

TONY   Look at the camp fire lighting up; In after years I shall never forget how I found my love in Maoriland.

Page 19

SONG   “I found my love in Maoriland”   TONY

Down the years there will come a time
When you remember
Camp-fire’s glow in the summer time
Days of December.
And as fancy reaches
Back to picnic beaches –
How those happy mem’ries cling:
In time a-coming
You will be humming
The haunting notes of this sweet song I sing.

I found my love in Maoriland
Beside the camp fire glow,
One summer night in Maoriland,
Dear Maoriland, you understand
Just how it is
I wish the moon would never set.
And stars would ever shine,
For love lies dreaming where the campers’ fires are gleaming
In that Maoriland of mine.

Pitch your tent ‘neath a shady bough
Screen it with willow;
Softest couch in the glade, I vow,
Has fern for pillow.
Then with love beside you
Wealth may be denied you
Peace and sweet content shall reign;
By camp fire glowing,
Warm cheer bestowing,
You harmonize the while this sweet refrain.

TONY and NELLY dance off R. PICNICKERS have stolen quietly off stage. Camp fires die down and out. Moonlight pervades the tranquil scene.

TONY and NELLY return quickly R. They cross centre then look off L.

TONY    Hullo! Whatever is that running loose in the paddock? He has jumped the rails –

NELLY   He has cleared the sod wall –

TONY   He’s coming up the straight –

NELLY   The rest of the field is nowhere – it’s Padishah! (any well-known steeplechaser).

AUCKLINGTON dashes in from L. out of breath and panting.

TONY   No, it’s dad!

AUCKLINSTON   ready to drop, is supported on either side by Nelly and Tony.

TONY   Whatever is the matter?

AUCK.   Marama is after me.

NELLY   She won’t hurt you.

AUCK.   Oh! I’m winded.

TONY   You’re puffing.

AUCK.   I’m done for, I’m blown.

NELLY   A little while ago I saw you with Marama, and you seemed so happy.

AUCK.   So I was, I thought I was in clover.

TONY   In clover – that’s where you’ve been – you are blown.

NELLY   We must not let him get down.

TONY   You will soon be all right, dad; you are only blown. We will fetch a vet. to stab you in the stomach.

Page 20

NELLY   to Tony. Don’t be so brutal. to Auck. He will only tap you in the paunch.

TONY and NELLY exit R.

MARAMA enters quickly L. up stage, at seeing Aucklington she comes down.


Ah, cruel man!
Why scorn my protestations of affection?
You, who have stirred within my maiden breast
A love that needs your manhood and protection
Till you are mine – are mine. I shall not rest.

Oh, foolish maid!
My deep regard for you is but paternal;
My interest was centred solely in your race,
And has been for six solid hours infernal.
In which you never ceased to make the pace,

Was I not perfect in your eyes,
But such a little while ago?
My trusting heart, forsooth, denies
A falsehood, since you told me so.
I thought you were not other than veracious
To praise my dimpled chin mesogonathous.

Were you not perfect in my sight,
With virtues far my race above;
Your persevering enterprise
Could only yield an honest love.
You would not let me think flirtation Gallic
Was born in cerebellum dolichocephalic.

Self-satisfied was I to place reliance
On psychologic theories learnt at college.
If passion’s grounds I oft have traced by science
The basis of this love transcends all knowledge.

Aucklington stands dejected, the picture of misery. Marama feels a touch of pity, and goes to him as a child to a father, gently laying her head on his shoulder. He pats her gently saying “Poor Child!” then implants a paternal kiss on her forehead. At the kiss Marama breaks away in hysterical ecstasy.

Enter HUIA R. up stage, he comes down stealthily.

Melody of “Kiss -kiss,” and then Marama takes up the strain.

After my fears, which were more than chimerical,
Laughter and tears roll in orbit that’s spherical,
Grasp me and clasp me! I’m growing hysterical –
Sov’reign and –

AUCK.  She’s off again and so am I. exit rapidly L.

Marama, finding Aucklington again fled, utters a loud “Ah!”

HUlA catches MARAMA in his arms as she is about to fall.

HUIA    holding Marama.

Dear love, I long to know
If I may call you still my own.
Dear love, oh, say ’tis so,
That you are mine – are mine alone.
Scatter the fears that infest me –
Banish the doubts that molest me –
Dear love, I long to know
If you are mine – are mine alone.

Page 21

MAR.   reviving –
Deep in my heart there a true love lies
Only for one and that is you.
Clear in the depth of my honest eyes
Surely you read my love Is true.
Trust me to follow my fate –

HUIA   Only follow me.

MAR.   You will be mine soon or late –

HUIA   Then too late ’twill be.

Deep in my heart there a true love lies
Only for one and that is you.

Deep in my heart there a true love lies
Only for one and that is you.
Deep in my heart there a true love lies
Only for one – she sees AUCKLINGTON creeping to enter tent up stage. She springs out of Hula’s arms exclaiming and pointing towards Aucklington – and that is you.

AUCKLINGTON exits rapidly followed by MARAMA.

To love, I fancied, I was wise,
But who can understand, forsooth,
If ‘deep in heart a true love lies’ ,
How love that lies can speak the truth.

HUIA is bewildered by Marama’s behaviour. He seats himself a little up stage on tree trunk – brings out a flute and sings second verse down stage.

SONG   “Marama, Maid of the Moonlight”   HUIA

Marama, hearken my call;
Welcome the notes as they fall;
The night is with silvery sheen
Made for wooing.
If you hold aloof it will mean
My undoing.

Marama, maid of the moonlight,
Grant me your favour to find,
Moonbeams, your sisters, are kissing,
Kissing the waves, and are kind.
Moonlight was made for the gladness
Of Earth in the arms of the Sea;
Moonlight was made for the lover,
As Marama, you are for me.

Hushed is the world in desire –
Dearest, my passion’s afire –
The moon, in her fullness above,
Light bestowing,
Is like to my heart, with its love
At end of song Huia conceals himself behind tree, up stage.

Page 22

enter AUCKLINGTON and BETTY up stage L. They quickly enter tent. A light appears in tent throwing Aucklington’s and Betty’s profiles on canvas.

BETTY   soothes Aucklington.

Enter TONY and NELLY R.I.E.

TONY   seeing shadows on tent. Whoever is that?

NELLY   Well, I suppose it Is your father with his Maori maid.

PICNICKERS enter R.U.E. They are attracted by shadows on tent, believing them to be those of Aucklington and Marama.

CHORUS   “Hush!”     CAMPERS

BOYS   Hush, you girls!

GIRLS   And, hush, you boys!

Don’t you make – don’t make a noise;
We shall see – if not a sound –

GIRLS   Something funny, we’ll be bound.

ALL   Something funny!   BOYS:   Something funny!
Very funny, we’ll be bound.
The shadow shows a girl kissing a man’s brow.

BOYS   Look! I say –

GIRLS   Just look at that!

Fun enough to kill a cat.
Why, it makes the looker laugh
Like a kinematograph.

GIRLS   Like a kine –

BOYS:   Like a kine –

Comic kinematograph!

The shadow man’s head hangs dejectedly -the girl’s shadow disappears.

BOYS   It’s the end

GIRLS   Of number one –

Second part has not begun;
Takes a minute, as a rule,
For the changing of the spool;

GIRLS   For the changing – BOYS:   For the changing –

Re-arranging of the spool.
The light in the tent is extinguished.

GIRLS   Beware!   BOYS:   Take care!

It is time for us to go
From our shadow picture show.
Hush! Hush! Hush! Hush!

The CAMPERS exit on tip-toe.

BETTY comes from tent, leaving same in darkness.


Poor father’s nerves are hopelessly upset.
And still, I scarcely know where help to get;
For Mr. Dale has wished our friendship off
Since he has learned I’m what he calls a “toff.”
Tho’ titled I, he sure must understand
A Prince was proud to take a Digger’s hand;
And rank’s objection, in his case, must fail
Should be but prove the missing heir to Alandale.

She goes off for assistance L.

Page 23

MARAMA creeps slowly and cautiously towards the door of the tent and peeps through flap. Aucklington, disturbed by an unknown intruder, comes to tent door.  Marama utters an exclamation of joy. clasping and hugging Aucklington.


Enter NELLY and TONY.

I have found you again,
Yes, again I have found you;
Escape it is vain
From the bonds that have bound you;
The shackles and fetters of love that surround you
Shall ne’er be in twain – shall be never in twain.

She has found him again.
Yes, again she has found him;
Escape it is vain
From the bonds that have bound him;
The shackles and fetters of love that surround him
Shall ne’er be in twain – shall be never in twain.

Enter BETTY.

I implore you to desist
From father dear so ruthlessly tormenting;
No more shall you insist
On persecution mad and unrelenting.
Is here no one to aid him in resistance?
None man enough to come to my assistance?

Enter ALAN.

‘Twixt lovers and sweethearts, and husbands and wives,
No reason you’ll ever discover
To stand in the breach, but keep out of reach
Of a row ‘tween a maid and her lover.

I am quite in my right
As to law, and in sight
Of the world he is truly my lover.

It is wrong and it’s strong.
But the short and the long
Of it is that this man is her lover.

In dealing with maidens, and spinsters, and such
The lessons I thought you had learned ’em.
In failing to wed, after promise is said,
You are bled of your riches – they’ve earned ’em.

Yes, it hurts, when he flirts,
And so quickly deserts
But I’ve got him, and jolly well earned him.

Yes, it hurts, but experts
Will agree your deserts
You have got, and have jolly well earn’d ’em.

Marama moves to Aucklington and would put her arms round him.

Away with you, and your misplaced affection.
Your arguments henceforth have no avail;
The law you claim as yours for your protection,
Is mine – is mine! I charge you with blackmail!

Marama quails before his violence.

Page 24

Shame! Shame! We campers here have seen
Your guilt betrayed upon the canvas screen –
In black and white we saw it on the screen.

Campers turn, as if disgusted. Marama, seeing Aucklington checkmated, again approaches him. Aucklington, beside himself, in a moment of frenzy hurls Marama on one knee and turns to flee up stage.

HUIA leaps from behind tree, R. up stage, catches AUCKLINGTON, and carries him up stage and off L.

ALAN goes to MARAMA, raises her and leads her L.C.

TONY and BETTY attempt to follow and rescue Aucklington.


TONY and BETTY recoil and rejoin NELLY R.C.


To koro koro, to koro koro
Tanuku kau, tanuku kau,
E tanuku, ana ki te pai o te wahine
Kia riro ia koe,
Nowhia! Nowhia! Nowhia hoi

Campers, laughing and enjoying the excitement, repeat Haka.


Page 25


The scene represents a Maori pa near Lake Rotorua, a fortnight later than the incidents in Act I.

There is a large whare-puni, i.e., meeting house, with image-carved and painted facade, L., with steps leading off the length of its verandah.

Immediately opposite, R, is a stockade fence, and an entrance through an elaborate carved archway.

In the background a mound of rock conceals the crater of a fitfully steaming geyser.

Behind the meeting house, scrub covered banks border a thermal valley, through which a swift-running stream flows down to the pa.

MAORI MEN and WOMEN in old native dress, lounge, and squat on the marae.

While the curtain is still down they sing –

Hoki hoki tonu mai,
Tewairua o te tau.
Kite awhi reinga ki,
Tenei kiri e te tau ei.

The curtain rises.

CHORUS   “Kapai the Life”   MAORIS

Kapai the like that we Maoris lead,
For it’s little we want and little we need,
A mat of flax, and a skirt of reed,
As we wore in the days gone by.
A tiki of jade, as ornament rare,
A feather or two to stand in our hair,
Oh, life is happy and free from care,
For it’s little we want – little we need –
Smoke and a feed of kai.

But when the war god Tu is round about.
Our “mana” never, never stands in doubt;
Like fierce volcanos waking,
We set Te Rangi quaking
With “Ake” shout!

And if the foe has not already fled,
And asks a further dose of fear and dread,
We give him all he’s wanting,
With wild, barbaric chanting.
To haka tread.

Kapai the life that we Maoris lead,
For it’s little we want and little we need,
A mat of flax and a skirt of reed,
As we wore in the days afar.
A tiki of jade, as ornament rare,
A feather or two to stand in our hair,
Oh, life is happy and free from care,
For our money is so easy come – go –
Gone in a motor car.

MAORIS continue with business as at curtain rise.

Page 26


Aucklington is dressed as a Pakeha-Maori with dingy black coat, soft dirty white shirt tucked beneath a piu-piu waist skirt. A shabby bowler hat is on his head with a huia feather stuck in the hat band.

He takes an unwashed shirt from under his arm, together with a bar of ‘Sunlight’ soap, looks at the things disgustedly – and then flings bundle and soap R. by side of hot pool.

AUCK.   A fortnight’s washing. I imagine it can wait another half hour, although it is part of to-day’s going-away trousseau.

Squats Maori fashion C. Produces crayfish from coat pocket and proceeds to pick crayfish throughout following scene.

Well, I suppose things could have been worse. A hundred years ago I might have been tucked away in their forefathers’ digestive organs, but I am more comfortable as I am – losing his balance. Hang it! I have to practice this idiotic squatting, it is part of Marama’s training in native customs.

Aucklington scrambles to his feet and goes to façade of meeting house L.

WAHINE   Tenakoe! squatting and smoking pipe.

Aucklington, unheeding, proceeds to count the legs of his crayfish.

AUCK.   She loves me – she loves me not – she loves me – she loves me not –

WAHINE   louder. Tenakoe!

AUCK.   he hears her. Oh, Taranaki to you!

WAHINE   Without stirring. You te Auke – you marry Marama, to-day. You te rangatira squatter from te Big Smoke.

AUCK.   Pulling himself together. A squatter! Oh. dear no – a misapprehension entirely. It’s you, my good woman who are a squatter.

WAHINE   Laughs softly.  Me squatter – he! he!

AUCK.   Yes, it is a curious fact in connection with all races that squat, but if you would examine the lower end of your tibia you would find the front margin marked by a small auricular facet for the neck of the astragalus.

The wahine looks at Aucklington with surprise, and rising, enters Meeting House.

THE TOHUNGA comes out of Meeting House, stands at entrance and looks at Aucklington sternly.

TOHUNGA   fiercely:   My wife.  alluding to departing wahine.

AUCK.   Retreating. You are welcome.

TOHUNGA   What you mean – “welcome”?

AUCK.   Welcome – haeremai.

TOHUNGA   Here am I – there are you – keep your distance.   he stands prominently on meeting house verandah.


They are in merry mood and gather round Aucklington, leading him down C.

Page 27

Ist GIRL   You come to see our pa?

AUCK.   No, I didn’t come particularly to see your pa. coming down C, glances L. at Tohunga.

2nd GIRL   Why not? He nice pa. Alluding to the marae enclosure.

AUCK.   And have all you girls got the same pa?

GIRLS   Yes! Yes!

AUCK.  pause.  How many wives he got?

GIRLS   puzzled. Who?

AUCK.  alluding to Tohunga. That noble, dignified Apollo of the Pacific over there.

Ist GIRL   He only one wife.

AUCK.   So most of you girls are twins.

GIRLS   Twins! What you mean?

2nd GIRL   Twins! I know, ‘pairs’!

AUCK.   Not pairs, I should rather think ‘quints.’

Voice off R. singing “Little greenstone tiki.”

GIRLS to Aucklington.   Marama, she come –

Exit AUCKLINGTON quickly round Meeting House L.

Enter MARAMA R.I.E. She is just in time to catch a fleeting glimpse of Aucklington. The Maori Girls point to Aucklington’s exit significantly, then seat themselves centre of stage round Marama.

MAR. coming C.   Ah, well, I suppose he does not understand, like many others, the nature of a Maoriland maid.

SONG   ‘A Maoriland Maid”   MARAMA

Oh, a simple and sweet Maori maiden.
Has of artifice never a taint;
For her velvety skin is ne’er laden
With the horrors of powder and paint.
All her charms are the gifts of the seasons,
Of the sun and the moon – earth and air;
And in them you discover the reasons,
Why the maiden “by nature” is fair.

Maori maid!  Maori maid!
Merry mixture of sunshine and shade,
Of the bright laughing light of the mountain,
Of the deep mystic gloom of the glade.
From her voice, like the rippling of waters,
To her lips, red as sunsets that fade,
All the beauties of earth are bestowed, at her birth,
On a Maoriland – Maoriland maid.

In raven black strands intertwining,
Like a night, without moon, is her hair;
While her eyes are a-twinkling and shining,
With the glitter of stars you find there.
She can dance with the grace of the grasses,
Beating time to the tune of the breeze;
And the swing of her rhythm surpasses
E’en the sway of the warm southern seas.

Page 28

Her emotions are found to assemble
The capricious reflect of the sky;
As at noon, when the hot thunders tremble,
In a flash, lightning’s leap from her eye.
Then her anger, like vapour impassioned
Will dissolve in the smiles of the sun,
Just to show that Dame Nature has fashioned
But a maid and a mirror in one.

At end of song MARAMA indicates to GIRLS that they are to fetch Aucklington from Meeting House.

Enter AUCKLINGTON from L. led in by Girls.

Exit MAORI GIRLS L. and R., up stage.

AUCK.   L.C. Good Morning!

MAR.   R.C. Tenakoe!

AUCK.   correcting himself. Oh! Tenakoe!

MAR.   You haven’t forgotten yesterday’s ‘hongi’ lesson, have you?

MAR.   Let me see.

Marama and Aucklington in Maori fashion, wailing, with halts every few paces, finally meet and rub noses.

MAR.   Kapai! You will be a Pakeha-Maori in no time – caressingly   Dear Aucke – I may call you Aucke?

AUCK.   resignedly. Very well – nothing matters much now.

MAR.   Do you know, I am just beginning to like you.

AUCK.   Good heavens, child! If, so far, I have only encountered the beginning of your affection, I shall never survive its advanced stages when we are married.

MAR.   Will not survive? Dearest, do you mean it?

AUCK.  I shall collapse.

MAR.   disappointedly. But that is not sufficient.

AUCK.   alarmed. What do you mean, child? You wish to marry me in order to –

MAR.   No, no, not that. You don’t understand that fate decrees that I must marry you – I cannot escape.

AUCK.   I thought it was I who could not escape.

MAR.   Neither of us can. moves R. up to hot pool.

AUCK.   Not now perhaps – we have gone too far.   aside.   My only hope is that my old friend the Governor may have received my letter in time, and will rescue me in his car; or, if too late, annul my marriage by one of his popular ‘orders in council’!

MAR.   up stage by pool. Why you haven’t finished your washing.

AUCK.   No, I am not accustomed to washing my dirty linen in public.

MAR.   picking up washing. I will do it for you, – if you are good.

AUCK.   coming round. Do you know, I believe I am beginning to like you.

Page 29


“No one ever Loved as I Love You.”

There’s a feeling, through me stealing.
Oh, there never was the like before;

Such emphatic joy ecstatic,
For the fascinating object I adore,

Tho’ the sages, through the ages,
Have attempted this emotion to portray,
Their conclusions are but delusions
Of the passion gigantesque I feel to-day.

I’m sure that no one ever loved a girl
In quite the way that I love you,
Love is as old as the hills, we are told,
But I hold that mine is something new.

I’m sure that no one ever felt the same.
It is nonsense if they say they do.

And dear Cupid’s amours chronic,
Were a sentiment platonic,
Compared with what I feel for you.

2nd time refrain.

But a classic case there known is
Of Venus and Adonis,
And Venus must have looked like you.

Adonis never looked like you.

With the high-born love is night worn out
And treated as a passing episode;

You endure it, or can cure it.
By a simple dose of marriage a la mode.

But with low folk love is no joke –
I am casting no reflection, dear, on you –
First sensation needs vaccination.
Like a brutal epidemic of the “flu.”



TONY   excitedly.  Don’t talk to me about cows; I never want to hear them mentioned again.

NELLY   I thought you had cows on the brain – instead of chewing the rag, I imagined, by this time, you would be chewing the cud. Whatever has happened?

TONY   You know very well what happened the very first day in your milking shed.

NELLY   Yes, but I am never tired of hearing your version; poor dad’s account leaves him apoplectic. Do tell me again.

TONY   Well, at some unearthly hour – I think they called it “day break” – I went down to the cow yard with your father. He told me I could have my own choice of a milker.

NELLY   And, I suppose, with your previous experience among condensed milk tins there was nothing wrong with your selection.

Page 30

TONY   No, in my opinion it was the pick of the herd – the catch of the season – a perfect little beaut.

I christened it at once, “Mrs. Langtry.”

NELLY   Why. “Mrs. Langtry”?

TONY   Because she was always known as the “Jersey Lily.”

NELLY    Not very complimentary to the lady; I shouldn’t like to be compared with a cow.

TONY   Why ever not? Oh, if only you had such well sprung ribs – such a dream of a brisket – such full deep flanks – such a long broad barrel – a rump to rave over –

NELLY   interrupting. Stop, stop! Don’t you go making odious comparisons with my withers. That will do, and now let us hear how you got “Miss New Zealand” into the bail.

TONY   Well, I got the animal up to the bail but it wouldn’t go in.

NELLY   Naturally a superb creature like that would never want to be milked, it wanted a manicure in a beauty parlour.

TONY   At last I manoeuvered It into position and gave it a jolly hard slap.

NELLY   Of course, that was what you were there for – cow spanking.

TONY   Then I began shoving, and twisting its tail. “Now or never,” says I, as I heaved – “now or never.”

NELLY   Cow or heifer?

TONY   Cow or heifer be damned, it was the pedigree bull.

NELLY   shaking with laughter. What a joke! You have brought down the house.

TONY    also convulsed with laughter. The bull saw the joke too; he brought down the cow shed.

NELLY   What a mess you must have been in – your clothes –

TONY   Clothes never came into it. Your dad warned me that no one was a finished milker unless they thoroughly stripped. I had.

NELLY   Poor old Paddy, I can’t understand what upset him; he is always so quiet among the cows.

TONY   Well, I suppose even a bull can get madly jealous.

NELLY    You are a finished milker all right, and I am finished too. I shouldn’t mind if I never set eyes on another cow, again; and I am certainly not inclined for those broad open spaces of yours, blazing a trail, blasting a track, damming a creek, and all the rest of it. I want some far away Pacific Isle of eternal summer, where I can laze in the sun all day, and gaze up at the stars all night.

TONY   No, no – the very first glimpse of the milky way would remind me of Paddy.

NELLY   I want a tropical ‘dolce far niente,’ where ‘taihoa.’ and ‘go slow’ are the beginning and end of all things.

Page 31

DUET   “Go Slow”   NELLY and TONY

I want a lazy love – La-lu-la-lu –
Under a pale moon beam;
I want a “go slow” – you know – two show.
Where I may drowse and dream,
I loathe the whirl of life – La-lu-la-lu
No joy-rides for me;
But let me dose in sweet repose
Beside some sleepy sea.

Do go slow, dear.
Say, don’t you know, dear,
Love should flow, dear.
Deep as a tide;
Without commotion let us spoon,
Tranquil as in ocean in still lagoon, dear:
Cool and calm be –
Placid as palm tree
Under the dreamy moon;
Oh, go slow, lazily love
By the lazy lagoon.

I want a one hour day – La-lu-la-lu –
Wherein to work to live;
I want a rest time, love’s own best time;
What else has life to give?
I hate all gala fetes – La-lu-la-lu –
All times so-called ‘gay’;
The fate I crave is silv’ry wave
On “sand-bank” holiday.

Exit NELLY and TONY after dance R.I.

Enter TOURISTS R. and L. up stage. They are full of excitement.

CHORUS   Entrance of Governor   TOURISTS

The Governor (Girls) is here to-day,
His presence has been detected;
Why ever should he this honour pay.
With visit so unexpected?
It was a surprise to see his car.
Just he and his chauffeur spedding –
Who thought there was such a fine finishing touch
To a Pakeha-MaorI wedding.

Enter ALAN.

The Governor, friends, is on the way –
Yo seem to know all about it –
Of course, you must “hip” and shout “hooray.
His welcome won’t do without it.
It came as a shock to see his car
Full straight for the Kainga heading,
I don’t know the pros and the cons, but suppose
He is here for his old friend’s wedding.

We don’t know the pros and the cons, but suppose
He is here for his old friend’s wedding.


Page  32


Hail! to His Excellency the Governor –
A welcome sing – Hip-hooray!

MAORIS   Haeremai!

Most worthy representative
Of Britain’s King; Hip-hooray!

MAORIS   Haeremai!

Bestowed with gracious mark
Of favour royal – Hip-hooray!

MAORIS   Haeremai!

On this Dominion
Ever true and loyal – Hip-hooray!

MAORIS   Haeremai!

GOV.  Your loyal protestations of affection
Shall be transmitted in the right direction;
But, for myself, to-day – I wish it so –
I come among you quite incognito.
Please overlook my birth and rank baronial.
And so dispense with trifles ceremonial,
For in Dominions democratic, overseas,
The Governor is pleased to put his people at their ease;
Colonial policy would meet with dire disaster
Did it not recognise Jack ‘better’ than his master!

ALAN advances and shakes the Governor’s offered hand.

ALAN   Well and truly said, Your Excellency; but these our Maori friends would be disappointed if they could not give you an official welcome in their time-honoured way – the same as has been given not only to your illustrious predecessors in office, but also to royalty.

GOV.   Convey to our friends that I shall feel honoured in acceding to their desire.

ALAN signs to Natives that the ceremony may commence, and leads THE GOVERNOR to the steps of Meeting House.

At the same moment TOHUNGA appears from interior of house.

THE TOHUNGA is introduced to THE GOVERNOR, who takes a prominent seat on the verandah.

ALAN stands by foot of steps by the Governor’s right.

TOURISTS seize points of vantage R. MAORIS are R. and L. down stage in front of Tourists.

Enter AUCKLINGTON R.U.E. He is still in Pakeha-Maori dress as before. He comes down R.C. cautiously and nervously; he starts on seeing the Governor, but, finding everybody busy and himself unrecognised, he plucks up courage. As the crowd adjusts itself he slips round back of Natives and exits R.





Page 33

SONG   “One and all for Maoriland”   ALAN

One and all united,
Welded by the flame
At Waitangi lighted
In Victoria’s name.
Nought shall kinship sever –
Swear by kowhai gold –
One and all for ever,
What we have we hold.

One and all we live for Maoriland,
One and all we live and die;
Dangers call and all for Maoriland,
One on earth, and sea, and sky.
Onward! Ake! Ake! Onward!
Onward ever this shall be our cry;
One and all we live for Maoriland,
One and all to live and die.

Bright as crimson rata
Glows our mana pride,
Deep as Waitemata,
Forceful as the tide.
Stalwart oak and kauri,
Sentinels we stand;
Pakeha and Maori
Guard our honoured land.

AUCKLINGTON enters R.I.E. as TOURISTS and MAORIS march off to song chorus; the GOVERNOR alone remaining

AUCKLINGTON now wears a Maori cloak over his shoulder, has a taiaha in his hand, and, since his last appearance, has painted tattoo markings on his face. He sees the Governor and is ashamed to make himself known, but tries to hide his nervousness beneath an assumed swagger.

GOV.   A most interesting and enjoyable spectacle in which you, my brave warrior, in your younger days, were doubtless a vigorous performer.

trying to make himself affable. Pray don’t think we rudely personal, but that artistic tattooing on your noble countenance must have been the result of a slow and most painful operation. How long did it take?

AUCK.   Oh, ten minutes.

GOV. surprised. Ten –

AUCK.   correcting himself. Ten years.

GOV.   Ah, ten minutes or ten years they are all the same to you light-hearted carefree people.

AUCK.  That is where we Maoris have the advantage. You Pakehas are the slaves of time, we are its masters.

GOV.   But these tattoo markings are they intended as a disguise?

AUCK.   Starting – thinking he is discovered. A disguise! Oh, no; merely an old Maori custom.

GOV.   After the arrival of the pakeha tattooing gradually fell out of favour, although, I understand, all you Maori chiefs were tattooed before.

AUCK.   And many of us behind.

GOV.   Indeed, and for what reason?

AUCK.   A ruse to fool the foe in battle. The enemy was uncertain whether we were advancing to the attack or in strategical retreat.

Page 34

A happy combination of Maori Art and Craft.
I should image a military tattoo on an Aldershot scale, must
have been an occasion of wide-spread suffering.
I cannot think how even your virile young braves stood up to it.

For months there was never any thought of sitting down.
‘Twas thus we learned to face the stern realities of war.

GOV.   has been staring, at last penetrates Aucklington’s disguise.   Richard!

AUCK.   Arthur!

GOV.   Ha! Ha! You completely deceived me. What are you doing masquerading in this ridiculous get-up? seizes Aucklington’s hand. Your scientific investigations scarcely warrant your conversion into a cross between a tramp and a savage.

AUCK.   I am not so much the result of a savage tramp as the mishap of a barbaric marathon in which, a fortnight ago, I ran a very poor second. I am just now preparing for another flight.

GOV.   My dear Dick, you are no more suited for flight than a Kiwi. It was indeed fortunate I received your note and hurried here, unbeknown to anyone at Government House. What is the trouble, and what is to be done?

AUCK.   The trouble is I am pledged to marry a charming native princess this afternoon; as to what is to be done – don’t ask me

GOV.   But this girl – didn’t you know what was happening?

AUCK.    She completely took me unaware.

AUCK.    Misunderstanding   Took your underwear?

AUCK.   She fell for me and chased me.

GOV.   Couldn’t you run?

AUCK.   I never got into my stride.

GOV.   And haven’t got into your strides yet. Have you no friends here?

AUCK.   Yes. Tony, my son, and Betty, my daughter; also a Mr. Alan Dale, who has been watching over me, not altogether disinterestedly, because he and my daughter have struck up a friendship –

GOV.   ‘Alandale,’ the name is familiar. Any connection with the old Devonshire family?

AUCK.  I believe distantly connected.

Enter ALAN R.

AUCK.   Ah, Mr. Dale, His Excellency would like a word with you.

ALAN stares, then laughs as he recognises Aucklington.

AUCK.   Yes, it’s Aucke alright – you may well laugh, goes R.

GOV.   to Alan. I had the pleasure of making your acquaintance half an hour ago. By the way, I was asked to make enquiries about the Exeter Alandales – do you know of them?

ALAN   I think my grandfather severed connection with the family when he came out to New Zealand ninety years ago. The trouble was that my great grandmother would not receive the second scullery maid into the bosom of the family.

GOV.   Unfortunately, or fortunately perhaps for you, there is a baronetcy which awaits an heir; you may be interested

Page 35

ALAN   A baronetcy? Now I understand; but I always thought father said it was a bankruptcy.

GOV.   Probably the same thing. Death duties and super-taxes are putting all the old families on the dole, goes up R.C.

AUCK.   to Alan. And how are you progressing with Betty?

ALAN    Well, my lord, seeing who she is I thought it presumptious on my part to aspire to anything but a passing friendship, which I regret to say has already passed.

AUCK.   And what does my daughter say?

ALAN   I don’t know for I have not seen her since the night I followed you; she and her brother have been staying with Nelly Britain. I understand Betty is here to-day but so far has avoided seeing me.

AUCK.   Well, don’t you avoid seeing her, for my sake. My advice to you both is ‘go ahead’!

ALAN   A dream about to come true – and you and your daughter need not be separated, you could come and live with us out on the run.

AUCK.  On the run – never again.  Exit ALAN R.

GOV. comes down from R. where he has been strolling – to Aucklington. Are we any nearer finding a way out of your difficulties? Seriously, is the girl trying to blackmail you?

AUCK.   No, I believe, and I am considerably bucked by the conviction that she is genuinely and desperately in love with me.

GOV.   For your money or your title?

AUCK.   Neither – for my personal charms. She has insisted on my taking oath before a Tohunga that should anything happen to me, I should only bequeath her this extraordinary heirloom. produces mere from pocket.

GOV.   taking mere. Which is everything to her, but useless to you. The New Zealand Government prohibits the exportation of these native historical curios.

AUCK.   Nonsense – the first occasion on which she saw it she almost had a fit. Why the thing is ‘tapu’ – has brought ill luck to Mr. Dale who found it, and positive disaster to me.

GOV.   handing back mere. Get rid of it at once.

AUCK.   How?

GOV.   Lose it – throw it away – bury it – drop it down some geyser. Isn’t there one handy?

AUCK.   pointing to rocks up stage. Yes, over there; but it is as extinct as the moa – hasn’t spouted for years.

GOV.   The very thing. Drop it into the bowels of the earth, but, as these Maoris might be sensitive over what to them, would be gross sacrilege, I shall retire so as to be no witness of your action.


AUCKLINGTON creeps cautiously to rocks and is on the point of dropping the mere into the geyser when he is disturbed by voices off R. He conceals himself L.U.E.

Enter ALAN and BETTY R.I.E.

ALAN    So here you are, I have been looking for you everywhere.

BETTY    And found me at last. It seems to be a hobby of yours to be always looking for somebody.

Page 36

ALAN   You know I haven’t looked for anyone else since I first saw you.

BETTY   Indeed, it almost sounds like love at first sight. Do you believe in love at first sight?

ALAN   Of course I don’t. That is why I was so anxious to see you a second time.

BETTY   And by a process of second sight presume to read my heart as if it were an open book.

ALAN   Yes, a guide book to our future happiness.

BETTY   You talk as if we should be planning a honeymoon tour almost at once.

ALAN   And why not? A week-end at the Chateau, followed by a trip down the Wanganui.

BETTY   Your beautiful Wanganui. I suppose you would like me to sing its praises without having seen it.

ALAN   Well, you have been three weeks in this country and are therefore as qualified to do so as the luxury liner tourists.

They come ashore for a day in Auckland, and then tell us all we ought to know about New Zealand.

SONG   “Come Canoeing down the Wanganui”   BETTY

Beside the River Wanganui
On summer days I love to dream;
Beneath the fern where pipes the tui
His obligato to the stream.
And when the flirting fantails hover,
And almost brush me with their wing;
I, lonesome, long just to discover
A someone who to me will sing –

Come canoeing down the Wanganui,
Where the ferns grow tall and fair;
Come canoeing where the waters wooing
Kiss the tress of the maiden hair.
Slip your paddle while the “Drop-scene” ‘s lifting-
Hand in hand to go a-drift-drift-drifting –
Come canoeing down the Wanganui
River with me.

Alas, to few the chance is given
Upon a stream to float and laze;
By unkind fate we most are driven
To stem some city’s tidal ways.
But when the zephyrs fan my curtain.
No matter where my thoughts have lain,
They wake and wend a pathway certain
To river singing this refrain –


Page 37


AUCKLINGTON goes to the crater of the geyser and hurls in the mere. A cloud of steam rushes from the vent hole, startling Aucklington. There is another burst of steam, more violent than before. The TOHUNGA appears at the door of the Meeting House. He calls loudly in rage.

AUCKLINGTON quits geyser and comes down R.C.

Enter HUIA, R.2.E.; he stands over Aucklington, ready to strike with taiaka [taiaha].

Enter GOVERNOR R.I.E., he separates Huia and Aucklington.

Enter TOURISTS and MAORIS, all entrances.

What, may I ask, is all this fierce commotion?
In justice summary you know there is a flaw.
You Maori race have ever shown devotion
To British principles of order and of law.

That man has cast a mere at Te Reinga;
God of the Underworld – the feared Te Reinga;
Offended, he is snorting through his nostrils,
And who shall stay his wrath and fiery anger?

Enter MARAMA L.I.E. with bundle of shirt and soap.

What crime have you committed, luckless one?
What dreadful deed has my betrothed done?

I do not know – your friends may tell you later,
I only threw the mere down the crater.

Marama, overwhelmed at the news, runs up to look in geyser: and comes down C.

“He only threw” – “He only threw” –
He lightly says, as if to do
A deed like that were nothing at all.
An ev’ry day affair.
But let him try – just let him try
The Maori Earth God’s wrath defy.
He’ll find the crime is other than small
To rouse him in his lair.

Despair! Despair! ‘Tis left to me to follow.
Let Earth my grief, my soul and body, swallow.

She thrusts the bundle she is carrying into the Governor’s hands and rushes towards the geyser. HUIA intercepts and holds her back.

In the general excitement the Governor is unconscious of the bundle he is holding.

Try to be calm, distracted maid,
Let cooler wit with a solution cope;
Let me at least your anguished mind persuade,
While there is life there’s hope.

The washing shirt becomes unwrapped, and the bar of soap drops at the Governor’s feet. He starts, and, realising what he is holding, drops the shirt also.

TONY   R.C. with Nelly. While there is soap there’s life.

GOV.   An Idea! When I first paid an official visit to these thermal regions, I saw several geysers coaxed into action for my benefit by feeding them with soap. Soft soaping has appeased many a mortal – why not a divinity. Why should not Te Reinga, thus mollified, be induced to spout and return to us the famous mere?

Page 38

Thy words are wisdom. O Chief of Rangatiras,
Sunlight shall scatter the darkness of Te Reinga.

Wonderful wit – splendid idea,
The wisdom of it is perfectly clear;
Intelligence rare we expect to find
In a Governor-General’s master mind.
Splendid idea – wonderful wit
Nobody here would have thought of it,
We say it right now, and we say it again,
Hurrah! for a Governor’s Pelmanised brain!

GOV.   I think we have found a solution par excellence.

TONY   A solution de “luxe.”

GOV. to Tony. You seem to be very much a “live boy”; per haps you can inform me of the procedure to follow.

TONY   You just pick up the soap – take it in your hands, and throw ‘her in so’ – demonstrating.

GOV.   And ‘lever’ there. Tourists burst into laughter.

Silence! Silence, please! the crowd is immediately serious.
Crown not the crime of sacrilege with verbal vulgarity.

GOV.   We humbly ask for pardon.

TOHUNGA   So be it. Soap be it – Soapy bit – he retires up stage in confusion, as Tourists suppress laughter.

THE MAORIS break into a low wail as THE GOVERNOR joins TOHUNGA and proceeds to mouth of geyser.

A Maori picks up shirt and drops it by meeting house.

GOVERNOR drops the soap in the crater. A low rumbling is heard, swelling to a climax with a loud explosion.

Enter ALAN and BETTY LI.E.

From the geyser bursts steam and spray, through which the mere is seen to shoot upwards. Aucklington, when the mere falls to earth, makes a swift grab to pick it up. The mere, raised to the temperature of boiling water, burns his hands, and he drops it at once, sucking his burnt fingers.

TOHUNGA   Let none dare touch – at peril those who do – Te Aucke proves the mere is tapu.

Tapu – Tapu –
The mere is tapu;
Disaster dire if you aspire
This reckless thing to do.
Tapu – Tapu –
The act you will but rue –
A lifelong curse, or death, or worse,
To touch a thing tapu.

GOV.   One moment, if you please. I think I see a way to solve the difficulty.

He picks up the now cooled mere.

GOV.   You see, in the hand of the King’s representative this mere is harmless; and now, I understand there is only one person entitled to it.

Aucklington, recovering his nerve, moves towards the Governor.

Page 39

GOV   to Aucklington. No; not you, this time, to Marama.  Marama!

Marama, will you accept this, on condition of giving up all claims to that? – meaning Aucklington.

TOHUNGA coming down L. whispers to GOVERNOR, C., and hands him a large bone completely concealed beneath Aucklington’s shirt which, with soap, was previously dropped. TOHUNGA returns L

GOV.   holding parcel towards Aucklington. But so that you should not depart empty-handed –

AUCK.   Ah, my shirt!

GOV.   shifts package R., out of Aucklington’s reach. Yes, and don’t put your shirt on the wrong horse next time.

As I was saying – so, that you should not depart without some little souvenir, the Natives, here, wish you to accept this gift which, doubtless, you will immediately recognize as the wish-bone of a prehistoric moa.

AUCKLINGTON takes parcel and lifts off shirt.

AUCK.   How touched I am I need not say, but, without posing as a scientific authority, this relic appears to me – looking towards Alan – to be the disinterred pelvis of a bogged bullock.


“I’m sure that no one ever loved a man,’
In quite the way that she loves you, etc, etc.

Tony   Nel   Huia   Mar   Gov   Auck   Bet   Alan   Toh




May-June 1921, N.Z. Tour.

“EVENING POST” – Wellington. 6/5/1921: –
“Mr. Archie Don’s score is light and melodious. The songs are tuneful, and the choruses bright and harmonious. The libretto by H. S. B. Ribbands is worthy of the setting. In its original production this New Zealand comedy opera was among friends – intimate friends. It has not come to a hostile camp in Wellington, but it Is required to show its merits. This it did last night.”

“THE SUN” – Christchurch, 17/5/1921: –
“Most of the people in the large audience last evening went to the Theatre Royal from a more or less patriotic reason, prepared to be mildly entertained. They left the theatre very pleasantly surprised…”Marama” is of the composition that makes one feel – “way down deep” – a solid satisfaction at being a native of such a unique country as Ao-tea-roa.”

“CHRISTCHURCH PRESS” – Christchurch, 17/5/1921: –
“Until last night, when “Marama” was presented for the first time at the Theatre Royal, no play, much less comic opera, had been seen here which had a thorough Pakeha-Maori setting. The author, the composer and the producer are to be congratulated on the all-round excellence of the first New Zealand play.”

“TIMARU HERALD” – Timaru, 2/6/1921:-
“The close of the first act of “Marama” is a fine crash of music and motion, that the audience re-demanded and demanded again. The second act is intensely interesting, and the finale a grand display of the full force of the company, Pakeha and Maori, chorus and movement, that held the audience spellbound. “Marama” can be recommended to those who have not already seen it; it is so “different,” so redolent of New Zealand and so good.”

“WANGANUI HERALD” – Wanganui. 16/6/1921: –
“There was a splendid house for the only Wanganui presentation of “Marama” in the Opera House last night, and the unanimous verdict was that the advance reports of the opera were more than justified. The “book” is a good one, embodying an interesting plot, well told, and with the grave and gay excellently balanced. As for the music, it is tuneful, bright, and captivating from end to end; some of the numbers are real gems.”

“AUCKLAND STAR” – Auckland. 20/6/1921: –
“The curtain had not been lifted for three minutes on “Marama” at His Majesty’s on Saturday night, when it was plainly apparent that here was no ordinary show; and from the rousing opening chorus until the closing scene, the applause came with enthusiasm from an audience which had not recovered from its delighted astonishment at the finale of a continuously sparkling performance. Let this be said at once, “Marama” is not only a vindication of Colonial genius; it is a production of which no country need be ashamed.”

“STAR” – Dunedin, 24/5/1921: –
“Mr. Archie Don, in his “Marama” music, has given us music that is consistently pleasing, full of defined melody and well-scored harmony, and for all practical purposes original. Every song in “Marama” is worth hearing every chorus is built up on a system and comes to definite development; the orchestration is singularly effective and so rich as to occasionally carry the players away and beguile them into forgetfulness of the singers. Then the words as written by Mr. Ribbands will get a fair hearing. They deserve such treatment. The libretto is distinctly meritorious, being pertinent and abundant in wit, undoubtedly smart and racy of the soil.”


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Script from Ralph Spence, 160 Beach Road, Haumoana – property manager for 1939-40 production

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Hastings Amateur Operatic Society (Inc.)

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