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Te Puoho, friend and ally of Te Rauparaha, invited the Rangitane chief Mahuri and his people to a feast at Kukutauaki in return for previous kindnesses. Kukutauaki stood in the middle of an area hostile to the Rangitane people. On his way to the feast Mahuri was warned of the danger of entering territory controlled by the powerful and dangerous Te Rauparaha whereupon he replied: "It is the boast of Te Puoho that he will not have his forehead smeared with blood." After the feast at which a new kind of food, the pumpkin, was introduced, the guests were invited back to Maimea, at the mouth of the Waikanae River, and massacred – most likely at the prompting of Te Rauparaha. This work was composed in 1987, commissioned and first performed by the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Jennings. It has been reviewed as, "sheer instrumental drama launched on a sea of seething, trilling strings."
Commissioned by the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra