Peter Cape’s famous “Taumata…”


September 11, 2015 by Doug Coutts

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!



2 thoughts on “Peter Cape’s famous “Taumata…”

  1. Marianne says:

    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 says:

      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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