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E Maria

E Maria

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Verse 1
E Maria hunga tapu e
Kua riro koe he rerenga maaku e
Ko koe e inoi mo tatou nei
Mo tatou te tangata hara nei


Ko koe to matou Whaea honore
Mai nga rangi te i tei
Ko koe to matou 
Kaitiaki tata nei
Mo tatou te tangata
Te tangata hara nei



Verse 2
E te whaea o tenei whenua
Ko koe e karanga ki a matou e
Whaka ako mai tou waiata
Ka whakanui taku wairua i a ia x 2


English Translation

Verse 1:


Holy Mary

you are my source of refuge

it is you who prays for us

for all of us as sinners




You are our honourable Mother

from the highest heavens

You are our

protector close at hand

for all of us as people

for all of us as sinners


Verse 2:


Mother of this land

It is you who calls to us

Teach us your song

So that my soul will be glorified in Him

So that my soul will be glorified in him


I was introduced to ‘E Maria’ by Fr Tony Dunn a priest colleague of mine who had worked in the Cook Islands.


The song is a favourite of his and he asked me to consider recording it. Friends of his translated the song into New Zealand Maori from Cook Island Maori.


From all accounts the song and melody originated in Tahiti. It is a traditional melody from the Pacific certainly. I recorded a rough demo for Peter van Gent, my producer. A verse and chorus. He arranged what I presented extending the song to an introduction, verse, two choruses and a repeat verse. He sent his arrangement to Richard Anaru to lay down the guitar.


Peter felt the need for a new lyric for the repeat verse. I sought the help of one of our Marist Seminarians, Hemi Ropata, who helped me compose the second verse of the song.


I am delighted, as a Marist, to add another Maori song to the repertoire in honour of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. We are very familiar with the iconic song ‘Mo Maria’ and the very beautiful ‘Ka waiata kia Maria’ which are widely used throughout Aotearoa. It is my hope that this song will uplift and inspire many too.


I wish to thank all those involved with the production of ‘E Maria’, Peter van Gent producer and percussion, Richard Anaru, guitar, Stuart Pearce, piano and bass, Hemi Ropata, new lyrics plus backing vocals and Fr Anthony Dunn for his support and motivation.


I am very grateful also to Loren van Gent who has edited and produced the video of the song available to you on this site.

Special thanks go to Ben Christie, Matua and director of the Sacred Heart College, Glen Innes Kapa Haka Group, and group members Myles Soa, Sam Ngaau, Mairoa Ruki and Jordan Samuels who gave of their time during the school holidays to provide backing vocals.  Thanks to Tana Hakaraia for his contribution during our second visit to the College. Kia ora boys!

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