Te Aupouri broadcaster, kaumātua and cultural advisor, Kingi Ihaka has passed away. He was 74.
Kingi died in Auckland this morning surrounded by his family after a long illness.
His daughter Jodi Ihaka said this is a huge loss for her family but they were all grateful for his love and guidance.
“We’re so grateful to have had an amazing father who wanted and ensured we had so many opportunities. He was always giving, not only to us but to anyone who needed a friend, a mentor and someone who would listen.”
His son Stephen Ihaka says, "My Dad was there for me through ups and downs not only as a father but as my strength, as a leader, and a backbone for his family and the entire community whom he took under his arms,"
Kingi Ihaka was born in Te Kao on the 13th of September 1942. As a young man, he joined the New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment. His son Stephen Ihaka said he went on to join the SAS in 1961.
"His nickname in the forces was 'Boy' because he was only 19 years of age at the time he joined."
In an interview in 2013, he said he had spotted the S.A.S training in Papakura.
“Their motto is: ‘Who dares wins’ and I thought that’s me!” he said at the time.
Kingi Ihaka was part of the inaugural Māori broadcasting team of Te Waka Huia working alongside pioneers like Whai Ngata.
He was a strong advocate for Māori broadcasting and the establishment of Māori Television and a cultural advisor to many organisations.
His family are taking him to the Holy Sepulchre, Tātai Hono, in Khyber Pass tonight for a 7pm service before leaving at 8am for Te Kao tomorrow. His funeral service will be at Pōtahi marae at 11am on Friday, January 20.