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Rewind to the Nineties for Radio Wha Waho

Publicity Release
Thursday July 6 2006

Rewind to the Nineties for Radio Wha Waho

It’s a blast from the past when the classic comedy RADIO WHA WAHO returns to Maori Television next Tuesday July 11 at 9.30 PM.

The year is 1993 and rural couple Dossie (Kath Akuhata Brown) and Bob Tumahai (Lawrence Wharerau) are struggling to keep the family farm in Northland going. But Bob doesn’t fancy farming much – he prefers being a DJ on iwi station Radio Wha Waho. There he can discuss chicken manure, infested offal and “mountain oysters” to his heart’s content.

Even though Dossie’s fiery aunt Tui (the late Eva Rickard) calls Bob koretake (useless), Dossie loves him to bits and constantly feeds him boil-up, rewana bread and well-meaning advice.

Radio Wha Waho is based in an old shed near Bob and Dossie’s place and is managed by Sam (Juan Aspinall), who’s more interested in fishing than the station. The other DJs are ladies’ man, Hemana (Hori Ahipene), sassy beauty Hinemoa (Jenni Heka) and Wiremu (Greg Mayor), a frustrated youth dying to make it on radio in the big smoke.

In 1993, when RADIO WHA WAHO was made, Jim Bolger was Prime Minister, Zinzan Brooke captained three of the All Blacks’ games, Moana and the Moa Hunters released their album Tahi, and Once Were Warriors stormed our movie theatres.

Iwi radio in Aotearoa was still in its infancy in 1993 and the groundbreaking RADIO WHA WAHO was the first Maori sitcom to be broadcast. Notable guests on the popular show included singer Dalvanius Prime and late actor Wi Kuki Kaa.

So what’s happened to the cast of RADIO WHA WAHO in the last 13 years?

Lawrence Wharerau (Bob) continued to act. He has also worked for the NZ Film Archives in Wellington, and as reporter and director for TVNZ. He currently lives in the Northland town of Moerewa.

Kath Akuhata Brown (Auntie Dossie) is a panellist on Maori Television’s popular Ask Your Aunties. She has also been a successful script writer for a number of TV shows including Shortland Street and Maori Television’s Kai Korero.,

Greg Mayor (Wiremu) has produced youth show Mai Time, was co-producer and director of Maori Television’s comedy B&B and music show Toru, and hosted The Outhouse, a show dealing with issues facing gay New Zealanders.

Hori Ahipene (Hemana) became a household name with his portrayal of the bossy Samoan matriarch Mrs Semisi on the 1990s comedy series SKITZ. Since then, he has been acting and directing for television. Hori recently starred in Maori Television comedy series B&B and was a director of Maori youth show Pukana.

Photographs are available of all the characters from RADIO WHA WAHO.

Rewind to the 1990s and tune in for another chance to see classic Kiwi comedy when RADIO WHA WAHO starts on Tuesday July 11 at 9.30 PM.



Year 1993
Censor General Exhibition (G)
Duration 8 x 30 minutes
Language English and Māori

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