Te Kumeroa Ngoingoi Pēwhairangi

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Te Kumeroa Ngoingoi Pēwhairangi, QSM

Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare

Ngoi Pēwhairangi is well-known as the composer who collaborated with Prince Tui Teka and Māui Dalvanius Prime and created classic hits such as "E Ipo" and the Pātea Māori Club’s "Poi E". Composition was, however, just one area where this inspirational woman excelled. Pēwhairangi was a key figure in rebuilding Māori confidence in their art, culture and crafts from the mid-1960s. Able to motivate and inspire people of all ages and ethnicities Pēwhairangi was groomed by her aunt, Tuīni Ngāwai in performance, composition and leadership from a young age. 

The accomplishments of Ngoi Pēwhairangi include being: a kapa haka expert and judge, a foundation member of Ngā Puna Waihanga (Māori Writers and Artists Association), Tairāwhiti representative on the Māori and Pacific Arts Council, a script writer and advisor for the groundbreaking television series Tangata Whenua and an advisor to the National Council for Adult Education. She worked with Kāterina Mataira to develop the language programme Te Ataarangi. 

Known as a cultural bridge builder, she was "revered for her unrelenting work for the advancement of the Māori language and culture and the development of her ideal of a bicultural nation in which Pākehā would help to ensure the survival of the Māori language".(Tania M Ka’ai, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography)

Watch this excerpt from Waiora – Waiata Rongonui, a tribute to Te Kumeroa Ngoingoi Pēwhairangi which was recorded live at Pākirikiri Marae, Tokomaru Bay, after her death in 1985.

Find out more about Ngoi Pēwhairangi:

View her profile on the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.

Read about Ngoi Pēwhairangi on Audio Culture

See her biography on The Tāmata Toiere website.

Watch the video of the song she co-wrote – "Poi E" being sung by the Patea Maori Club

Listen to this waiata written in tribute to Ngoi Pēwhairangi by Māui Dalvanius Prime and the Tokomaru Bay Collective, sung by the Pātea Māori Club and Annie Crummer. 

Image: Ngoi Pēwhairangi holding the gold disc, while Tui Teka and his wife, Missy sing E Ipo (Ngoi wrote the song when Tui was dating her niece, Missy), 1982.

Catalogue Reference F279529

Year 1985


Production: Te Waiora Trust

Excerpt: 00:03:39

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