Topics: Entertainment, NZ Music, Waiata Māori

30 years on, Tui Teka's memory lives on

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

Today marks the anniversary of the passing of another late lamented New Zealand entertainer, the great Prince Tui Teka, who died in 1985.

His most famous song E Ipo was released in 1983. It reached number one, following te reo-dominated chart-toppers “The Bridge” by Deane Waretini in 1981, and Howard Morrison's 1982 version of “How Great Thou Art.”

Singer, actor, comedian, cheeky, just a few of the many talents of the man they called Prince Tui Teka.

Prince Tui Teka was born in the heart of Te Urewera, at Ruatāhuna where his musician parents taught him how to play the guitar and saxophone.

He had many songs that made the New Zealand charts and were popular on Māori and mainstream radio, however his most famous being E Ipo, had topped the charts in the early 80s at a time when there was a sudden surge of Māori language songs being heard.

Prince Tui Teka died on 23 January 1985. He will always be remembered as being larger than life, with a happy and bubbly nature and big voice.