Broadcasting mourns the loss of Māori industry leader

A leader of Māori broadcasting has passed away in Auckland this morning.

Tanara Whairiri Ngata, also known as Whai Ngata passed away at Auckland Hospital after an illness, he was 74.

Whai Ngata was the great grandson of Sir Apirana Ngata and paved the way for the advent of Māori programming on mainstream television and radio.

He devoted over 30 years of his life to broadcasting and led the Māori Programming department at TVNZ until his retirement in 2008.

His whānau plan to take him  Ruatorea tomorrow.

His wife Geraldine Ngata told Māori Television’s producer, Hone Edwards, “we were to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in September and I thought he would’ve waited for that, but will still have a champagne.” 

She says, “His mum is in her nineties and is still alive and waiting for her son to be bought home to Ruatorea so we want to fulfil that final wish.”

Whai Ngata was known for his no nonsense approach and remained a fierce supporter of Māori broadcasting throughout his final days.