Richard Eriwata

If not for his brother leaving him stranded onstage during a talent quest, a singing career may never have crossed teenaged Richard Eriwata’s mind. As his intended duo partner stalked off and the band launched into their song, Eriwata had a decision to make.

“We laugh about it now, but I owe it to my brother who literally threw me in the deep end,” Eriwata told AudioCulture of his first time singing in front of a crowd. “Sometimes when you take a risk you either pay for it dearly or it pays off. In my case it paid off, and I was grateful for the experience.”

Back cover of the self-titled Richard Eriwata album (Tartar, 1981)
Richard Eriwata single 'Tamaoho' (Polydor, 1982). The b-side was a cover of John Lennon's 'Imagine'. 
Richard Eriwata (right), president of the Nga Hau E Wha Newcastle Maori Club (Australia), with Marsh Tawa, an elder of the Newcastle Maori club, January 2014. This photo accompanied an ABC story about the club's efforts to establish a new cultural centre based in Lake Macquarie for Maori who live in the area. 
Photo credit: Ashleigh McIntyre, ABC Newcastle
Richard Eriwata sings Ain't Misbehaving on 12 Bar Rhythm 'N Shoes (1980)
The self-titled Richard Eriwata LP (Tartar, 1981). The album was arranged and conducted by TVNZ music director and jazz saxophonist Tony Baker, and produced by RNZ's Kevin Oliff. The recording was done at RNZ's Studio Two, Broadcasting House, Wellington. 
Richard Eriwata, 'Weekend' (the b-side of 'Drewdrops and Robins'), Tartar, 1980.
Richard Eriwata single 'Dewdrops and Robins' (1980, Tartar), written by Blenheim songwriter Grant Miller for Eriwata to perform in the Song For The Pacific Contest.
Richard Eriwata in the 2000s - a promotional photo from his agency, StarNow. 
Unsung Heroes of Māori Music - Richard Eriwata and Leon Wharekura
Back cover of Richard Eriwata single 'Tamaoho' (Polydor, 1982)
Richard Eriwata single 'Does She Have A Friend For Me' (Tartar, 1981).
Richard Eriwata with the Newcastle Maori Club's waka, which seats 20 paddlers - February 2015. Members of the 30 year old club in Newcastle, NSW, mark Waitangi Day with kapa haka and a hangi, wanting to reconnect the many Maori who live in the Hunter region with their culture. 
Photo credit: Robert Virtue, ABC Local



Funded by

Partners with