Tony Kemp:

In search of te ao Māori

Kia ora, Tony. You and I have got to know each other through radio, TV, and rugby league. But there’s way more to life than broadcasting and footy. And often that can be your nan — which is true in your case, isn’t it?

Yeah. I grew up in the north with my nan, Ida Te Ao Tauri. She’d stepped in because my mum (Elizabeth Tauri) needed to take some time out.

Still to this day, Mum won’t speak about it. But, when I was a baby, and we were living in Whangārei, I lost two brothers and a sister in a drowning accident. Norman, William and Diane.

They’re buried in the Maanu urupā, just up the hill, past the hospital. My dad (Bill Ellis) is buried there too. He died not long after the drowning when I was only six months old.

So I grew up with my nan. And, as with many Māori families, I thought my grandmother was my mother and that my aunties were my sisters. That’s until my mum showed up with my second father, Piripiri Te Aniwaniwa Kemp.

Link to article: Tony Kemp: In search of te ao Māori - E-Tangata


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