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Composer

Ngapo Wehi

Biography

Ngapo Wehi, leader of the Wehi Whānau, is a prominent figure in Māori arts and music in New Zealand with special interests in education and tourism. The tribal affiliations of the whānau (family) are with Tuhoe, Te Whakatohea, Nga Puhi, Te Whānau-a-Apanui and Ngati Kahu.

Nagpo’s association with the arts has developed through performances with a variety of Māori performing groups. He is associated with top performing groups Te Waka Huia and Waihirere and he has performed at New Zealand, Polynesian and Aotearoa Festivals with Pounamu, a family-oriented cultural and entertainment group. His family lives and works in Auckland often presenting cultural performances for international conferences and visits by foreign dignitaries. His choral works are performed regularly by New Zealand choirs and he has undertaken a number of projects with the Tower New Zealand Youth Choir and composers such as Helen Fisher.

Ngapo Wehi has represented New Zealand at four South Pacific Festivals, the opening of the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the closing of the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada. In the 1990s he served as chair of Te Waka Toi, the Māori Arts Board of the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.

Ngapo Wehi is currently a lecturer in the Māori Studies Department at the University of Auckland where he is researching kapa haka.

Source: SOUNZ choral seminar booklet, 1998; updated May 2008

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