Māori Volcanics Profile

Graham Reid
28 Oct 2018

Years before New Zealand pop bands began trying to establish themselves in the Britain and the US, the Māori showbands were ambassadors for the country’s music. And of the showbands, the Māori Volcanics travelled further and lasted longer than their many contemporaries: they performed in nearly 60 countries over four decades.

Interviewed on television in the 1990s, Mahora Peters of the Māori Volcanics said, “We went for six months and didn’t come home for three years. That was the first time we came back, we had a couple of changes and off we went again.”

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The Maori Volcanics. From left to right: Nuki Waaka, Tui Teka, Mahora, Hector Epae and Johnny Nelson, with Gilbert Smith at back
Photo credit: Thanks to Rim D. Paul
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The Maori Volcanics in Scotland - with Margery Mahora Peters, Nuki Waaka, John Nelson and Prince Tui Teka
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The Maori Volcanics Live! at the Broderick Inn (Revolution, 1975)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
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Billy T James and Prince Tui Teka - The Maori Volcanics Showband
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The Maori Volcanics, mid 1970s. Back row from left: Billy Peters, John Rangi, Billy T James. Seated from left: Mahora Peters, Malcolm Edwards, Bernie Pukeroa.
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The Maori Volcanics, mid to late 1960s. From left: Gugi Waaka, Tui Teka, John (Gimmick) Cameron and Johnny Nelson, doing the 'Guitar boogie' where they played each other's guitar as well as their own
Photo credit: Thanks to Rim D. Paul
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Label, The Maori Volcanics - Live! at the Broderick Inn (Revolution, 1975)
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Billy T James and the Maori Volcanics
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Maori Volcanics, Radio New Zealand, 2016
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The Maori Volcanics play Timaru
Photo credit: Johnny Tucker collection
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Label, The Maori Volcanics - For Export Only (Revolution, 1975)
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Showband! Mahora and the Māori Volcanics - Mahora Peters with James George, 2005.
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The Maori Volcanics.
Photo credit: Publicity shot
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The Maori Volcanics, mid 1970s. From left: Charlie Te Hau, Billy T James, Mahora Peters, Dean Ruscoe, Billy Peters. 
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Label, The Maori Volcanics - Live! at the Broderick Inn (Revolution, 1975)
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The Maori Volcanics - For Export Only (Revolution, 1975)
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Prince Tui Teka with The Maori Volcanics. Front row from left: Nuki Waaka, Gilbert Smith, Mahora, Tui Teka (at rear), Hector Epae, John Nelson.
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The Maori Volcanics doing their broken glass act, with Margery Mahora Peters, Nuki Waaka, John Nelson, Gilbert Smith and Prince Tui Teka
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The Maori Volcanics Live! at the Broderick Inn (Revolution, 1975)
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The Maori Volcanics in 1976, with Billy T. James, supported by The Yandall Sisters, Eddie Low and Family Affair
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When The Haka Became Boogie - the showbands
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The Maori Volcanics, with Tui Teka at rear. Front row, from left: Nuki Waaka, Gilbert Smith, Mahora, Hector Epae, John Nelson.
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Labels:

Revolution

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Members:

Mahora Peters - vocals

Prince Tui Teka - vocals, saxophone

Billy T James - vocals, saxophone, impressions

Nuki Waaka - bass

Gugi Waaka - guitar

John Clarke - drums

Matti Kemp - guitar

Hector Epae - vocals, saxophone, impressions

Robbie Ratana - vocals

Paul Minhinnick - guitar

Billy Peters - guitar, ukulele, mandolin

Billy Nuku - drums

Heta Gilbert - saxophone, guitar, bass

Solomon Pohatu - vocals

Marama Smith - backing vocals, guitar

Sonya Taylor - backing vocals

John Nelson - guitar

Dean Ruscoe - drums

Charlie Te Hau - bass

Malcolm Edwards - bass

John Rangi - guitar, vocals

Bernie Pukeroa - drums

Gilbert Smith - drums

Tom Greening - drums

Junior Waaka - guitar

Norman Wanoa

Brownie Kapua

Mere Brown - vocals

Kimarni Waaka - vocals

Renata Kahuroa - keyboards, vocals

Selwyn Rawiri - vocals, saxophone, bass

Jesse Rawiri - drums, comedy

Richard Tate - vocals, saxophone, bass

Joe Haami - guitar, vocals, bass

Richard Booth - reeds, percussion, bass

John Daymond - vocals

Mervin Kaukau - drums

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