By Patricia Grace. This is the story of the great Ngāti Toa chief Te Rauparaha and how he came to compose the haka ‘Ka Mate, Ka Mate’. Te Rauparaha is pursued across the island by his enemies and he fears for his life. At Lake Rotoaira, he is hidden in a kūmara pit, and Te Rangikoaea, a woman of great power, sits in front of its entrance. As he hears his enemies approach, Te Rauparaha whispers in the dark ‘Will I die?’ Will I live?’. His enemies cannot find him, and he climbs back to the sunlight. As he recounts this adventure to his people, his words are repeated and the haka rings out, which is now passed down from generation to generation.