January 16, 2017
Te Ao Maori mourn the loss of Te Aupouri Maori language exponent and broadcaster Kingi Ihaka.
Te Aupouri and the motu have lost soldier turned broadcaster Kingi Ihaka, who died of cancer in Auckland this morning at the age of 74.
Mr Ihaka was the youngest person accepted for the New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment, a tribute to his mental as much as his physical toughness.
After leaving the army, which included service in Vietnam, he joined the Police, including being part of the Armed Offenders Squad, before embarking on a media career.
That included being there at the start of Te Waka Huia, managing communications for Te Ohu Kaimoana, and advising on tikanga and language quality for Maori television.
Kingi Ihaka was also a valued contributor to Radio Waatea hosting Maori language sports commentaries, a Maori language advisor and was a regular talkback host in the past.
He will also be remembered not only for his strong te reo Maori skills and tikanga but also his quick wit and light-hearted jokes.
His daughter Jodi Ihaka says as a father he ensured his children had many opportunities.
“He was always giving, not only to us but to anyone who needed a friend, a mentor and someone who would listen,” she says.
He will be taken to the Holy Sepulchre, Tatai Hono, in Khyber Pass today and on to his birthplace in Te Kao tomorrow.
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