Topic: Kapa Haka

Tomairangi Paki receives Life Member award

By Taroi Black
  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
  • North Island: West Coast
  • North Island: East Coast
  • Wellington
  • South Island

Kingi Tuheitia's sister, Tomairangi Paki has been celebrated for her contribution to kapa haka. For four decades, the royalist was an active contributor to the famous cultural group, Taniwharau. 

Tomairangi Paki continues to grace the kapa haka stage with pure love and joy.

She's honoured by Waikato/Tainui for her contribution to performing arts within the region. Receving the Life Member award from Tainui Cultural Trust.

Rawiri Tamiana, Taniwharau says, “This award was overdue. But this is a great highlight received by Tomairangi.”

Her contributions to kapa haka stems over a four decade period. In 1981 Tomairangi becameme the youngest female tutor and leader for Taniwharau.

That year Taniwharau took the Duncan MacIntyre trophy back to Waikato. Becoming the only Tainui team to date, to win a national title.

Tamiana says, “Tomairangi and I and our team were stoked. We definitely carried the legacy on by our tipuna.”

Her interest in Maori Performing Arts stemmed from the inspiration she received from her late mother - Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

She would finally be introduced to many mentors she would meet over the years - Ngāpo Wehi and Ngoingoi Pewhairangi.

Ngatiki Nikau, Waikato Taniwharau Pakeke says, “I remember my elders fully supporting her every step of the way because we a fully immersed in Te Kingitanga.”

Kapa haka has also taken Tomairangi around the world. And since taking the team in 1980, Taniwharau has attended many NZ festivals and commemorative events.  

Jason Kereopa, Ko ngā maramara o Taniwharau says, “She was awarded because of her hard dedication to Tainui people. She's been a haka advocate in this region since the 1970's.”

Tomairangi dedicated this award to her mother who was largely responsible for the pathway she took in this field.