Well known as bass-baritone opera singer, film actor, whakairo (carver) and artist Inia Te Wiata also made an appearance on British TV screens, as documented in the October 21, 1966 issue of New Zealand TV Weekly.
It takes British TV to dramitise New Zealand History
- with the help of a couple of roving New Zealanders
In a recent British independent television episode of a detective thriller series Sergeant Cork Maori singer Inia Te Wiata played the part of a Maori chief. The episode, named 'A Simple Savage' was based to some extent on the visit by Honi Heke to England, and was written by New Zealander Bruce Stewart, now a successful script writer in London
Sergeant Cork first aired between 1963 and 1968 on ATV. It was a police procedural show that followed the efforts of two police officers in their battle against crime in Victorian London. Inia Te Waita's episode has been released on DVD as part of the series two set by Network DVD.
Just Call Me Happy (CD.DVD set)
Five years in the planning, this is the definitive release devoted to the great New Zealand entertainer's career. The National Library of NZ and Atoll Ltd present this commemorative set of recordings by Inia Te Wiata on 2 CDs and a DVD, chosen by his widow Beryl Te Wiata.
The 49 music tracks - several of which had never been released before - were accompanied by a DVD which included the documentary film Every Bend A Power which screened as part of Kaleidoscope in 1976 showing Inia's skills as a master carver along with a rare interview filmed with Inia's friend Spike Milligan. In the 40-page booklet of notes and photographs, Beryl Te Wiata shares her personal memories and impressions.
"Viewed in retrospect, the breadth of Inia's repertoire is nothing short of astounding. Extending across the musical spectrum, it embraces classic and contemporary opera, lieder and ballads. through to pop songs. Broadway and West End musicals and concert recitals come in along the way, with the whole interrupted now and then for acting in stage plays, on radio, TV and films. And always, proudly, there are the beloved Maori songs he learned as a small Ngati Raukawa boy and treasured all his life." Peter Downes