Pillar of Māori entertainment William Gugi Waaka passes away

By Wikitōria Day

A pillar of the Māori entertainment realm has passed.  76 year-old William Gugi Waaka died on Saturday due to heart problems.

According to Hemana Waaka of Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Pūkeko, “Never will anyone gain the knowledge that he did.  This man was born into the entertainment world.  He lived and breathed the skills and knowledge of the entertainment world."

The sweet sound of his guitar resonated throughout many parts of the world.  It was in the 1960s when Gugi Waaka's musical career began in the dance halls of Auckland and since then, his singing and guitar skills were evident.

Tonight he will be surrounded by his former musical friends. Tomorrow he will then be taken to the Orākei marae cemetery where he will rest alongside his daughter.