Veteran iwi radio broadcaster Ken Eruera remembered

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Long-serving iwi radio broadcaster Ken Eruera of Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui lies in state at Hiruhamara Marae on the East Coast.

A Radio Ngāti Porou colleague and Hiruhamra Marae representative, Ngarimu Parata (Ngāti Porou) says, “He strongly supported New Zealand teams, netball, rugby, league, cricket, if marbles was the game and New Zealand were in the finals he would be supporting them.”

Eruera was instrumental in the early days of Te Atiawa Toa FM before taking his talents back to the East Coast.

Speaking on behalf of the bereaved, Ken’s sister Irene Eruera-Taiapa says, “Once he got into Māori media he found his niche in life and when he moved back to the coast, back to Ruatōrea, that was the proudest moment of his life because he was going home.”

For years and years the voice of Ken Eruera reverberated over the airwaves of Radio Ngāti Porou and it was easy for him to reach out to those in esteemed positions of the sporting community, such as Graham Henry and Noelene Taurua.  With his departure he leaves an abyss.

Ngarimu Parata says, “It was only Ken who could call up Graham Henry during the World Cup to get him to say on Radio Ngāti Porou what was happening with the rugby.  He spoke with those in cricket, rugby league and also to those of this region.”

After receiving messages of support, Irene Eruera-Taiapa says, “I suppose one of the heart-warming messages was from Debbie and Noelene who are currently with the Ferns in England.  I know that he had a lot of time for Noelene and I know that Noelene had a lot of time for him.”

In 2011, Eruera was a finalist at the Māori Sports Awards.

Irene Eruera-Taiapa says, “He had given his all to the radio station and to his iwi and to all the teams that he coached.”

Parata says, “He was true to his family ties, and in the sayings of the scriptures, the fight has been fought, the long-run is done and now it's time to rest.”

The funeral for Ken Eruera will be held tomorrow.