Prince fan delivers impromptu waiata for singer

Prince was treated to a taste of Maori culture by Kiwi fan Sharon Moana Hei.
Prince was treated to a taste of Maori culture by Kiwi fan Sharon Moana Hei.

A Prince fan took the initiative to welcome her favourite singer to Aotearoa "properly" with an impromptu waiata.

When Sharon Moana Hei found herself at a VIP afterparty in Britomart following the Purple Rain hitmaker's intimate ASB Theatre performances on Wednesday, she didn't let the opportunity pass.

An exclusive gathering for 60 VIP guests was held at Seafarers rooftop from midnight, though their guest of honour didn't arrive until 3am.

"He was taken to a corner and it was roped off, the security guards stood with blank faces, but he was close, we were all in the same room," Ms Hei said.

Sharon Moana Hei before the Prince performance.
Sharon Moana Hei before the Prince performance.

The Haruru Falls woman felt Prince had "missed out on something" having entered New Zealand without an official powhiri.

As a proud Kiwi she was determined to give him a taste of Maori culture, and grabbed her chance as security guards escorted the star into an elevator in the wee hours.

"I nudged my mate and said quick do a waiata he must at least have something - so we started singing Toro mai to ringa as they were shuffling him into the lift," she said.

"As chance had it we were there and we took our opportunity, he has a very expressive face, he put his little grin on as he got into the lift, he liked it, he looked right at us and nodded as a sign of acknowledgement."

Once downstairs, Hei questioned one of Prince's entourage to discover what he thought of the brief encounter.

"I asked if he liked it, he smiled and said, 'he sure did'. [Prince] said something to the effect of 'they really can sing'."

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Ms Hei understood it was the singer's promoter Dainty Group who did not allow a full powhiri at the airport - something she felt was disrespectful.

"This is important to Maori - Oprah got it - UB40 got it - why not Prince?" she asked.

"They should know about the protocols, that we want to welcome a guest, I would go as far as to say promoters should be respectful of the customs of our land in future.

"We are loving people as is Prince I think he would embrace a powhiri, I feel he missed out on something - he may not have liked it but I feel like that decision was taken away from him."

A post putting those queries to event management on Facebook, had so far received no reply.


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