New Zealand Labour Party

Māori broadcaster Whairiri Ngata dies

He ko kākā uru, he ko kākā wehe

Turuturu a uta, turuturu a tai

Kei mua rā, kei mua rā

Kei te whare pātahi, kei te whare pārua

Kei te whare pātōtō

Ka hui, ka tūtaki Aituā

It is with great sadness we learn of the passing of pioneering Māori broadcaster, journalist and lexicographer Whairiri Ngata, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“The son of Ngati Porou worked for more than 40 years in print, radio and television specialising in telling Māori stories in te reo Maori. He also wrote an award-winning English-Māori dictionary.

“He is described as one of the key figures in the revitalisation of Māori language and culture.

“Mr Ngata worked for Radio New Zealand from 1975 to 1983, and made an award-winning documentary on the Maori battalion.

“He also transformed TVNZ’s state broadcasting. As head of the Māori programmes he heralded news and current affairs programming such as Marae and Mai Time.

“He was the great-grandson of long-serving Cabinet minister Sir Apirana Ngata and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2007.

“Labour’s Maori caucus and the wider party send our sincere condolences to his wife Geraldine and the whanau.

“Nō reira moe mai, okioki,” says Kelvin Davis.