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First published February 2011

Ike Metekingi, founder/leader of the Maori Hi Five, regarded as the first Maori Showband, passed away on 1st February 2011 at Whanganui Hospital.  Ike was 70 years old.

From the NZ Herald - METEKINGI Ihaka Epiha Turoa (Ike).  Passed away in Whanganui on Tuesday, February 1, 2011; aged 70 years.  Son of the late Whakari Te Rangi Takuku Dudley Metekingi and Wikitoria Kepa Metekingi.  Brother of the late Manu Metekingi, Hera Peina, Rere Paerau, the late Rangipo, Erina Metekingi-Ansen, the late Wire, and Apirana Ngata.  Wife of Valerie Metekingi.  Loved Dad of Robert, Dale, John, Lisa, and Ra.  Koro of Marara; Lee, Luke, Joshua, Tianni, Zara, Vani, Wynyard; Brianna, Samantha, Ihaka; Robert Kane, Brad, David, and Mikayla.  Ike will lay at Putiki Marae, Whanganui until his funeral service which will be held at the marae on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 11am.


I met Ike about 57, on tour with Johnny Devlin at the Wellington Town Hall, for Benny Levin.  He approached me and offered a place in this 'new group' he was starting, he was impressed with the latin we were doing and named the new group "HI-FIVE MAMBO", which ended up being the Maori Hi Five.  I said to Ike I had one more tour to do, but was interested.  I was based in Auckland, he gave me a letter to go to the blind Institute in Parnell for the release of Kawana Pohe - so we both headed to Wellington to join the group.  Of course the joining was the overseas travel which interested me and Kawana.  Ike was with out doubt a great organiser, I toured Australia with the Maori Hi Five but returned back to NZ, teamed up with Ike again, thus forming the group "Diplomats".  You can say that all the Maori Showbands that left this country were "kick-started" by IKE METEKINGI a really really great guy.  I'm sorry I didn't make it to the funeral because of late arrangements... - Tuki Witika
Rest easy with our whanau Papa....you gave me life you gave me music but more importantly you gave me peace arohanui - Ko-e-nui Mete-Kingi
I remember Ike and the band playing in Wellington at a community center I think it was.  I would drive in from Raumati on a Sunday night and enter the talent contest.  I must have been 15 or 16.  He was a great bandleader and a wonderful inspiration to me at the time.  I was a wide eyed beginner.  He was very encouraging.  I met Mary Nimo at the same time.  RIP - Jimmy Murphy
Ike was a former manager of a couple of bands I was fortunate to be in, the first was "The Troubadours" Wgton in the early 60's second was 'The Dagg Band" in the Mid 70's.  I am deeply saddened by his passing as there were some great memories.  Unfortunately I am unable to attend his funeral.  I would like to convey my condolences to the family and his many many friends - Runga Hema
Hei maumaharatanga ki te tino hoa . . . I didn't know Ike back in those Maori Showband days but I spent a lot of time with him from the 1970s on.  Ike can lay claim to influencing many Maori musicians, from Frankie Stevens to Herbs.  He toured as John Clarke/Fred Dagg's Musical Director and was Billy T James' right-hand man.  For many years he was kaitiaki at Whare Tapare in Kingsland and he was instrumental in the Maori Showband reunions over recent years.  The last time I saw him, last September, at Putiki Marae in Whanganui, he showed me his invitation to the Showband reunion at the Bruce Mason Centre, for which he was to be treated as a VIP.  Sadly, he was due to have an operation that weekend and couldn't make it.  Ike Metekingi was bloody good sort, knowledgeable and opinionated and with a mischievous sense of humour.  I sure will miss you, Ihaka.  Hei kona raa, e hoa, taku aroha nui ki a koe - John Dix
I did a tour with The Hi Fives playing keyboards in the 1980s – did the East Coast – Murapara, Opotiki, all round those ways.  It is one of the great memories I have of being on the road with some of the nicest and funniest people I ever met in the business.  I was the only pakeha on the tour and by the time I finished I could eat kina and party hard all night - and still be standing to do a show alongside Ike and those great professionals, the Maori Hi Fives, next night.  Ike was one of the Jedi Knights of New Zealand music.  Respect - Liam Ryan
I remember Ike as a guitarist in Wellington band, "The Diplomats" around 1962 -1964.  We (The Librettos) used to do Sunday arvo gigs with them at the Trades Hall which was in (or just off) Vivian St., not far from The Sorrento.  Also we did holiday seasons in Rotorua with them.  Fond memories - Rod Stone
"Gone to the band in the sky" - we had some good fun times.  Condolences to all the Whanau.  Arohanui - Max Purdie
RIP Ike..what a legacy you left..it still manifests itself - Ray Columbus OBE, CM
I am saddened by Ike's passing as all New Zealand musicians will be.  He was a wonderful human being.  No doubt about that.  Ike as we all know was at the forefront of the Maori Show band uprising.  Please convey to all his whanau our collective sadness as New Zealand musicians and entertainers.  God Bless Ike.  Much love….. Larry Morris
I didn't know Ike well but he was undeniably one of the greats.  The Maori Hi-Five created the template for all the Maori showbands that followed - Ian Saxon
(email me your tribute to Ike and I'll add it in - andy@nzmusos.co.nz)


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