One of Ngāti Kahungunu's most profound Māori performing arts stalwarts, Tama Huata has passed away.
Huata founded the Kahurangi Dance Theatre and the Takitimu Performing Arts School in 1983. He also developed the first Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts degree programmes and was group leader of the Te Māori Exhibition in San Francisco in 1985.
Huata was a prominent figure in the Ngāti Kahungunu area and was a part of organising Māori events in the Hawkes Bay area, including the Waitangi Day and Matariki Celebrations.
In 2006 he received a Queen's Birthday Honour for his dedication to Māori performing arts and more recently in 2008, established and was executive director of the Waiata Māori Music Awards. An event that celebrates and acknowledges Māori artists.
Huata will arrive at Waipatu Marae at 9am on Thursday 12 February . He will travel to Mihiroa Marae, Pakipaki early on Friday morning where he will lay until his final service at 11am on Sunday 15 February. His burial will take place at Whenuakura Urupā, Pakipaki.