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Showband veteran Gugi Waaka dies

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Maori entertainers are farewelling one of the great showmen.

William Gugi Waaka died on Saturday aged 76 after heart problems.

Waaka was a member of the Quin Tikis, the Maori Volcanics and other bands in a career that started in the dance halls of Auckland in the early 1960s and took him to Australia and beyond.

With his brother Nuki, who died three years ago, he was one of the generation of musicians who gave the world the Maori showband.

Friend Dover Samuels first met him in the air force in the 1950s.

" When he came out of the airforce then he went in to it professionally and started his career basically from Boothill, Kitemoana street in Auckland and began playing the circuit at the Maori Community Centre. At that time you had Tony Williams, you had Hema Carl and the Carlisles, Danny Robins you had them all " he says.

Gugi Waaka is lying in state at Papakura Marae.

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