“Nanny” Hui Kahu was best remembered for her vocals and solo poi perfomance from the iconic New Zealand song ‘Poi E’.
Nanny passed away on Friday in her home in Hawera at the age of 73 after losing her battle with cancer. She was a teacher at Hawera’s Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngati Ruanui, and was married to Syd Kahu.
Kahu was taken to Pariroa Marae on Friday before being taken to Wai-O-Tui marae in Taranaki where she rested for the weekend so people could pay their respects. Her final farewell and burial took place on Monday in front of hundreds of mourners who had gathered to celebrate her life including members of the Patea Māori Club. As she was buried the Patea Māori Club performed ‘Poi E’, the song she loved dearly.
“It’s been very difficult these last few days but it was wonderful to give her the send off she deserves,” says Patea Māori Club tutor Janine Maruera.
Ms Kahu was a founding member of the Patea Māori Club and its members felt like she was watching over them.
MP for Te Tai Hauauru, Māori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Nanny was a local legend and an international personality who will be sadly missed.
“Hui had a lifetime of kapa haka. Her first competition was in 1972 in Rotorua, and some 40 years later she was ever the stylish performer; with her memorable voice and sparkly eyes,” she says.
Poi E is now a part of NZ music history and made a recent return in the NZ film Boy.