Ngatai Huata

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Porou

1952 -

Ngatai attended Te Kuiti Primary School, Waikato Diocesan School and Te Waipounamu College/ Avonside Girls High School. She went on to study at Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu where she graduated with a B.A. in Māori Performing Arts, and she completed a Masters in Mātauranga Māori from Te Wānanga o Raukawa in 2005. Ngatai is a composer of waiata and is a member of Black Katz. She has been a board member of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc., Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, Hawke’s Bay Cultural Trust, and Te Kaupapa Puoro Trust. She was director of Bro’ Town Collective in 2004, trustee of Tautoko Wahine Trust from 2001-4, hapu member of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga (and secretary from 1992-3), current iwi member of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc, Communications Officer (1989-1990) and Runanga Wāhine Board representative (1988-89) of Runanganui o Ngāti Kahungunu. She was founder, trustee and co-ordinator of Black Katz Trust from 1989-1990, and trustee, co-ordinator, trainer and Kai-awhina of Tumoto Waiata Trust from She was co-ordinator of Te Waka Toi’s Puatatangi Indigenous Music Festival from In 1992 she was tutor of the Mana Wahine Programme at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison, and was tutor of the Mana Tane/ Mana Wahine Programme at Te Aute College and Hukarere College. She was Iwi Communications Officer at Te Runanganui o Ngāti Kahungunu from She was co-ordinator/administration, counselllor and trainer for the Tautoko Wāhine/ Whānau Trust from She was an Editor, journalist and researcher for the Kahunugunu newspaper in 1985. She has been a Creative NZ assessor in 1998, was a reviewer at Kimiora School for the Ministry of Education National Operations in 2000. From 1999-2001 she was a researcher and curator for an Iwi Whakapapa Exhibition at the National Library. In 2004 she was Conference Convenor of the 6th World Indigenous Women and Wellness Gathering.

Biographical sources

  • Ngatai Huata’s Curriculum Vitae. [2004].
  • Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 3: Te Puāwaitanga O Te Kōrero: The Flowering. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1993. 31.


  • Hine. TWM Productions, Doco/Film, 1986.
  • Devolution. TWM Productions, Doco/Video 1986.
  • Te Kakaon o Te Whanau. TWM Productions, Doco/Video, 1987.
  • Music

  • "Kaua e Mataku (Te Aitanga). Black Katz Go Gamblin’.
  • "Wahine Atua." Black Katz Go Gamblin’.
  • "Mahinaarangi." Black Katz Go Gamblin’.
  • "W.A.R.N. (Women of All Red Nations)" Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 3: Te Puāwaitanga O Te Kōrero: The Flowering. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1993. 31-32.
  • Ngatai Huata’s biographical notes in Te Ao Mārama, volume three, state that the "inspiration for ‘W.A.R.N’ came at the international Indian Treaty Council Conference at Big Mountain, Arizona, in 1986, where it was first performed…. It appeared on the album Black Katz in 1990." In this waiata Ngatai encourages the women of the Red Nations to be strong. She accuses white men of trampling over cultural and spiritual boundaries and she urges the warriors of the Red Nations to be strong and to care for the women.
  • Non-fiction

  • "Black Katz Go Gamblin’. Te Iwi o Aotearoa 3 (1987): 4.
  • Co-authors Tiahine Kingi and Ngatai Huata. Kingi and Huata write of the kaupapa and vision of their group "Black Katz Go Gamblin’" and discuss their first two recordings: "Black Katz Go Gamblin’" and "Black Katz Go Gamblin’ 2", the latter of which was launched in November 1987.
  • "Hohepa ‘Bicky Boy’ Hudson." Kahungunu 1994: 720, 22.
  • "Tomoana, Paraire Henare – Biography", from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1-Sep-10
  • URL: Co-authors Angela Ballara and Ngatai Huata.
  • Nga Taumata: A Portrait of Ngāti Kahungunu 1870-1906. Ed. Ngatai Huata. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2003.
  • Sound recordings

  • Black Katz Go Gamblin’. TWM Records, cassette, 1983.
  • Black Katz – Devolution. TWM Records, cassette, 1986.
  • Auahi Kore – Wahine Ora. Black Katz Prodcutions, Poster Health Department, 1987.
  • Black Katz Salute the 28th Māori Battalion – Ko Wai Ka Hua. TWM Records, cassette, 1988.
  • Ko Wai Ka Hua. Black Katz Productions, Music/Video, 1988.
  • Black Katz in 1990 – Te Tiriti o Waitangi – Tangata Whenua. TWM Records, cassette, 1990
  • Aotearoa. TWM Recordings, music/video, 1990.
  • Mohaka. Mohaka River Waitangi Tribunal Claim, Doco/Video, 1991.
  • Te Runanganui o Ngāti Kahungunu. Kahungunu Iwi Productions, video – Kaupapa Iwi, 1991.
  • Nga Whetu. TWM Records, EP cassette, 1993.
  • Ngā Whetu mō ake tonu atu. Bro’ Town Records, CD, 2004.
  • Black Katz Go Gamblin’ 2. Hastings, N.Z.: Black Katz Publishing, 2006.
  • Launched on 28 November 1987 at the national Hui Waiata for composers and musicians in Wanganui. Sound recording with book.
  • Theses

  • "The Evolution of the Māori Voice." Unpublished dissertation, 1998.


  • Harawira, Wena. "What Makes Them Sound So Great?" Mana: The Māori News Magazine For All New Zealanders 12 (1996): 15-23.
  • Hewitson, Michele. "Pokarekare’s Mana." New Zealand Herald 24 Apr. 1999: J3.
  • Reviews

    Māori Art: The Late Photography, Rise and Fall of Te Hemara Tauhia, Nga Taumata: A Portrait of Ngåti Kahungunu 1870-1906
  • "Review of Māori Art: The Late Photography of Brian Brake. Review of The Rise and Fall of Te Hemara Tauhia, by Paul Goldsmith. Review of Nga Taumata: A Portrait of Ngāti Kahungunu 1870-1906, ed. by Ngatai Huata." Kōkiri Paetae Feb. 2004: 5210.