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Te Harinui, written by Willow Macky (1921-2006), has become New Zealand's best-loved iconic Christmas carol, and was first performed in New Zealand by an Australian choir in 1959. The carol commemorates the first New Zealand Christmas in the Bay of Islands in 1814, and the coming together of Māori and Pakeha at that time. The first recording in 1964 was presented to Samuel Marsden's direct descendent and namesake in that year. This work is widely sung and performed at Christmas. It has been arranged by many composers.
This arangement was originally made for the Graduate Choir (conductor: Terence Maskell) in Auckland, and featured guitar accompaniment (view this version here). It is included on the choir's CD of Christmas music.
This version with piano (transposed from E major to F major) was made for the Oriana Singers, Tauranga.
Text by Willow Macky