Watch: Daughter of Tutira Mai Nga Iwi composer says we've been singing the song wrong for over 50 years

The daughter of the man who composed the iconic Maori waiata Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi says New Zealanders have been singing the wrong words since her father created it more than 50 years ago.

Ngatai Huata told TVNZ1's Te Karere how her father, Cannon Wi Te Tau Huata came up with the waiata in the late 1950s, while driving past Lake Tūtira, teaching her and her siblings the words as he made it up.

The song was then picked up by the mass populous in the 1960s, with the Ministry of Education publishing the song in New Zealand schoolbooks.

This is where the mis-translation of the song began according to Ms Huata.

"They never sought consent, never bothered to find out who wrote it, and they consequently wrote the wrong words," she said.

She says the original third-to-last line in the song was "kia tapatahi" not "kia ko tapatahi" as it has been taught for generations.

Ms Huata told Te Karere her father was a big advocate for the Maori people to rearm their morals and values, but the waiata was written for all people, regardless of their race, creed or political stances.

It's hoped this tune will be sung with gusto at rugby grounds over the next month or so. Source: Seven Sharp

The waiata has recently been in the spotlight after the All Blacks used it as a rallying cry for the nation during the tour by the British and Irish Lions.

The iconic Maori tune has recently been used as a rallying cry for the All Blacks during the Lions tour. Source: Te Karere