Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Obituary : Wi Kuki Kaa

Obituary : Wi Kuki Kaa - shining light of Maori Theatre

Dr Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

20 February 2006

Aue, aue! Kua tau te hau tonga, ara te hau makariri o te ringa kaha o Aitua. Kei te rangatira, kei te hoa, haere atu ra ki o taua tupuna matua. He whariki mo matou nga morehu o nga waka. Haere te rangatira, haere.

The Maori Party today mourns the loss of an extra-ordinary performer, a multi-talented artist, and a beloved personality of Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu, who delighted in treating the world as a stage, Wi Kuki Kaa.

“Aotearoa is all the richer for the gifts Wi Kuki shared with the nation” stated Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, Maori Party. “He has been in our theatres, on our large screens and in our homes through television, video and now DVD for over four decades”.

“Wi Kuki is an old boy of Te Aute College who will be missed through-out the motu” said Dr Sharples.

Wi Kuki Kaa is remembered for his award-winning role as ‘Iwi’ of the Ngati Tribe in Ngati (1987), as a homeless man confronting memories of the Vietnam War in Turangawaewae (2003); as ‘Old Koni’ in Taniwha-Water Spirit; as ‘Wiremu’ in Utu (1983); as ‘Rewi’ in Te Rua (1991) as ‘King Tynah’ in The Bounty (1984) and for an extensive range of other films, and short features.

“He was an outstanding actor who was able to bring life to a huge range of characters” said Dr Sharples. “Indeed, he was a very versatile performer - able to give of his best to roles as diverse as the ‘travelling scarecrow maker’ in Worsel Gummidge; ‘Bible Bill’ in the TV series The Strip, or ‘Nikolu Yaramoto’ in Spyforce (The Samurai)".

“Wi has left a proud legacy of talent and composition” stated Tariana Turia, co-leader, Maori Party. “Whilst the nation is right now able to admire his distinctive presence in The River Queen (as the grandfather), our tamariki and kura will have an enduring memory through the many different stories he recorded for school publications".

“I will always remember Wi Kuki for demonstrating the passion of performance” said Tariana Turia. “He was the ultimate artist - performing Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People”; composing bicultural opera and Taku Wana, the Enduring Spirit with Helen Fisher; writing short stories and other literature; and more recently an amazingly evocative music-video clip with Trinity Roots (Little Things). His strength of character was able to appeal to all generations, and make vital connections across all cultures".

“Wi Kuki had such energy and charisma that I think we all saw him as immortal” said Tariana Turia. “In fact, it was only just before Christmas that he withdrew from the role of ailing war hero Te Keepa Rangihiwinui in Dr Buller’s Birds - Survival of the Fittest, which opens this Saturday night as part of the International Arts Festival. Knowing Wi, I am sure his presence will be there on opening night".

“Wi Kuki Kaa was a veteran artist in all senses of the word” said Tariana Turia. “ “We share with his whanau, the profound loss of a remarkable man. His people of Ngati Porou refer to Te Uranga o te Ra, the shining of the rays on Mount Hikurangi. With the passing of this radiant light of the Maori theatre world, the clouds have no doubt settled upon Mount Hikurangi, and upon us all, as we farewell this descendant of Ohinewaiapu”.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election