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”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment And Conservation: Changes To Our Oceans Pose Serious Concerns

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure, according to the first national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand about the marine environment. More>>


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news