Tama Renata

Directed by Lee Tamahori, the opening scene of the 1994 film Once Were Warriors is among very few viscerally powerful sequences in New Zealand cinema. The camera lingers on a picturesque scene of Aotearoa New Zealand scenery of a river and mountains … then pans down to reveal it is just a power company billboard beside a motorway slicing through urban blight. As much as its visual power however, the scene gets added resonance by the soundtrack which opens with gently evocative taonga pūoro then morphs into searing, angry and distorted guitar passages which drive the darker message home.

That piece, created by Tama Renata, one of the finest post-Hendrix blues-rock guitarists of his generation, also gets a strident and extended reprise supported by a powerful haka over the film’s closing credits. It is a remarkable piece of music which captures the coiled rage and emotional chaos of a central character Jake The Muss, played by Temuera Morrison.

Tama Renata - Once Were Warriors theme
Tama Renata and Tuhi Timoti
Photo credit: Sarah Richards/Tuhi Timoti collection
Watch: Unsung Heroes of Māori Music - Ep6 Tuhi Timoti and Tama Renata
Tama Renata - Workshop back cover. The album featured a tribute to charismatic roadie Scruff. 
Tama Renata sings Korero Maori e, mid 1980s
Rangimai Te Hei interviews Tama Renata on Radio Ngati Porou, Ruatoria, early 1990s
Papa: Tama Renata and Dilworth Karaka at the Bastion Point 35th anniversary at Teachers Eastern Ruby Club May 25, 2013
Herbs 1993 - clockwise from top left: Tama Renata, Kristen Hapi, Morrie Watene, Dilworth Karaka, Juanito Muzzio, Charlie Tumahai, Tama Lundon.
Advertisement in December 1989 Rip It Up for Tama's Workshop album. 
Tama Renata, Tuhi Timoti, Martin Winch together with Murray McNabb and Frank Gibson Jr.
Tama Renata performing at a public concert at the Auckland Domain, 1990s. 
Photo credit: Sarah Richards/Tuhi Timoti collection
Tama Renata, Phil Crown and Tuhi Timoti, Waitangi Day 2008 on Queensland's Gold Coast, Australia.
Photo credit: Sarah Richards / Tuhi Timoti collection
Tama Renata's Workshop album, 1989
The Tuhi Tama Band, which played at Aladdin's nightclub under Auckland's Civic Theatre, 1979. From left: Armand Crown, Erana Clark, Tuhi Timoti, Chris Fox, Tama Renata, Josie Rika, Dave Noda.
Photo credit: Sarah Richards/Tuhi Timoti collection
Tama Renata - 'Working at the Workshop' was the single from the 1989 Workshop album.
Sonny Day - Saving Up (1983, featuring Tama Renata on guitar)
Papa: Tama Renata, Malcolm Edwards, Maurice Watene and Alec Hawke, 2013
Tama Renata in a publicity photo.
Photo credit: Publicity photo
Tama Renata guitar solo in the Prince Tui Teka Variety Show (1983)
Bruno Lawrence, Jools Topp and Tama Renata
Papa: the stage at the 35th Anniversary of Bastion Point with Mano Pratt, Eddie Te Amo, Maurice Watene, Dilworth Karaka, Truda Chadwick, Corina Fisher, Alec Hawke, Tigi Ness, Tama Renata, Ngamanaaki Pratt, Lloyd Latimer and Dez Brown all present.
Tama Renata performs at the 1994 APRA Silver Scroll, at the Power Station, Auckland. 
Paul Ubana Jones and Tama Renata

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