27 Jul 2015

Tributes pour in for Anzac Pīkia

8:38 pm on 27 July 2015

Tributes from the Māori broadcasting community continue to flow for Anzac Pīkia, an experienced journalist who died suddenly during the weekend.

Mr Pīkia, of Waikato, Ngāti Hikairo ki Kaawhia, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāpuhi descent, collapsed at a Rotorua cafe on Sunday and died soon after in hospital.

Anzac Pīkia

Anzac Pīkia Photo: Supplied / Facebook

The 35-year-old worked for Māori Television between 2004 and 2008, and most recently for Television New Zealand's Te Karere Māori news programme.

A close colleague of Mr Pīkia, Tini Molyneaux, said he would be dearly missed not only because of his professional mahi, but his ability to boost morale in the workplace.

"He was a unique person, he was mischievous, he was unpredictable, but at the end of the day, he was always fun," she said.

"He had his own sense of humour and everybody that knew Anzac would say that is exactly Anzac, because he had a character of his own."

Ms Molyneaux said Anzac Pīkia was very proud of his Tainuitanga, or his Tainui tribal identity.

"There was no way you could actually get Anzac to pronounce kōrero in any other dialect, but his Tainui dialect.

"He was very passionate about being Tainui, everything about him was Tainui and he encompassed the Kīngitanga movement.

"He would jump on people if they pronounced words wrongly."

Ms Molyneaux said although there would be a sombre mood at TVNZ, his colleagues at Te Karere will be carrying on with their mahi, and they would find the time to mourn and remember Mr Pīkia together at an appropriate time.

Māori Television sends its condolences

Māori Television chief executive Paora Maxwell said Mr Pīkia was a unique character and devoted to Māori broadcasting and to the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori.

"His early passing leaves a large gap in the industry. He is fondly remembered by staff at Māori Television, and he will be hugely missed," Mr Maxwell said.

"We extend our condolences and aroha to his whānau at this sad time."

Mr Pīkia's body will lie at Parawera Marae near Kihikihi.

A large crowd of friends and family are expected to pay their respects to him before his burial later in the week.