Tutira Mai Nga Iwi–Just Good Friends

This is the Maori identity song that Kate sings with Koti’s family in “Just Good Friends,” performed here by my son, Samuel Nolting, and set to some of my favorite images of New Zealand that seemed right for the book. I hope you enjoy it!

Do you want to know what the lyrics mean? Here you go!

Tūtira mai ngā iwi
D           A
Tātou tātou e

Tūtira mai ngā iwi
B7          E7
Tātou tātou e
Whai-a te marama-tanga
D        A
me te aroha - e ngā iwi!
Ki-a k'tapa-tahi, 1
Ki-a ko-tahi rā.		
E7          A 
Tātou tātou e.

Sing it all a second time.

Then finish with...
D          E7       A 
Tā  - tou, tā - tou E!!   

Hi aue hei !!!

Line up together, people

All of us, all of us. 

Stand in rows, people 

All of us, all of us.

Seek after knowledge

and love of others - everybody!

Think as one, 

Act as one. 

All of us, all of us.

Sing it all a second time.

All of us, all of us!!

Hi aue hei !!!

Kia Kaha San Francisco

Want to see an awesome video of the Maori legends of how NZ came to be? Here you go! Created for the America’s Cup.


“Mt. Zion”–2013 NZ Film Online

I saw this film, Mt. Zion, on Air New Zealand last night and really enjoyed it. Set during the period when the Maori people were just first starting to make some strides in the fight for their rights–compensation and return of lands taken from them illegally despite the Treaty of Waitangi. That’s just sort of a backdrop to this story though, not the main thing, which is about a young man who’s torn between his musical dreams and his duty to his family. Full of Maori family, love, struggle, and music. The accent can be a bit hard to understand, but the music is great and I loved the story and some of the characters. When it comes to family values, Maori have the real thing, that’s for sure.


New Zealand’s unofficial national anthem.  Koti sings this to Kate in the car in “Just Good Friends.” Sung here by Kiri Te Kanawa plus chorus, with gorgeous New Zealand images. Click the “Interactive Transcript” button below the screen for lyrics and/or translation.


Want to hear the songs from the books? Here’s a collection that has most of them:

Aotearoa Maori Chorale, Maori Songs of New Zealand II

This includes (among many others):

  • Pokarekare Ana (the song Koti sings to Kate in the car in “Just Good Friends,” and that Kristen hears at the marae in “Just My Luck”)
  • Hine e Hine (the lullaby Jenna sings to Harry in “Just for Now”)
  • Ka Mate, Ka Mate (the haka best known as the “All Blacks” haka–but it’s the Ngati toa haka)
  • E Ihoa (God Defend New Zealand)
  • E Te Tau (the song Liam sings to Kristen in “Just My Luck”–and my favorite!)

More great music available on Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns, Te Ku Te Whe (the definitive album featuring original Maori instruments, with haunting original melodies and lyrics. Spine-tingling. This includes “Homai o Ringa,” which Koti sings in the cave in “Just Good Friends”)





Maori performance and explanation of the chant and its significance—part of a PBS special.


Maori moko (tattoos)

You can see some of the traditional tattoo designs here.

Originally, ta moko was done with chisels (for scarring) rather than inking. These days, thankfully, it’s done with ink! Men were formerly tattooed on their faces (full face), buttocks, and thighs; women on the chin. M


Photo courtesy The Bone Art Place

The pendant given in “Just Good Friends.” Click to see more, including the pounamu (greenstone/jade) koru pendant from “Just For Now.”


The Maori meeting place—and what to expect and do should you have the opportunity to visit one.


Most famous Maori lullaby, sung by Jenna to Harry in “Just for Now.”