May 9, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Leaders pay tribute to Maori performing arts visionary +video

2 min read


E te rangatira o te Whare Tapere o Ngati Kahungunu, o te ao Maori hoki, haere. Haere ki o matua tipuna noho mai hei whetu ki te rangi. Ko to tatau papa, a Takuta Apirana Mahuika hei hoa haere mohau. E aue ana te Tairawhiti, e aue ana te iwi Maori!

[quote_center]Tama Huata lived and breathed for Maori performing arts. He has made a massive contribution to its development and exposure both here and overseas, says Maori Party Co-leader Marama Fox.[/quote_center]

Mr Huata founded the Kahurangi Dance Theatre and the Takitimu Performing Arts School in 1983 as well as developing this countrys first Maori Performing Arts degree. These schools have nurtured generations of performers and created a viable industry for Maori artists.

At a community level, he organised Waitangi Day, Matariki and the Takitimu festivals. He also established the Waiata Maori Music Awards to celebrate Maori musicians and Kaumatua Kapa Haka.

[pull_quote_left]Tama Huata charged ahead with new performing arts initiatives, and always saw the opportunities never the barriers, says Mrs Fox.[/pull_quote_left]

Huata received a New Zealand Order of Merit for his dedication to Maori performing arts in 2006.

Maori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says the death of Tama Huata is a big blow for East Coast iwi who have lost two great leaders this week with the passing of Dr Apirana Mahuika earlier this week.

The Maori Party extends our aroha to the whanau of Tama Huata, his iwi: Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Porou as well as the Maori Performing Arts community who will be mourning his loss.

His legacy of innovation and excellence will continue to guide the Maori performing arts community for generations to come, says Mr Flavell.

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