Wednesday, March 09, 2011


2629 Aug 2011 Cheltenham Racecourse
Greenbelt Festival / Blog / "Wally" Tetaki Tai Rakena

"Wally" Tetaki Tai Rakena


Greenbelt would like to send our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Tetaki Tai Rakena, better known as "Wally", who has died at the age of 60 in the Christchurch earthquake.

Wally played drums in The Velvettes at Greenbelt in the '80s, and subsequently with Steve Apirana. He and the Velvettes are remembered by many Greenbelters with much affection.

Wally had become a teacher, and worked at the Canterbury TV building for a company teaching English to international students. The building was one of the sites hit hardest by the earthquake, with ninety students and staff, including Wally, thought to be buried in the rubble.

We send our love and prayers to all those affected, particularly Wally's wife Donna.


Garth pays tribute to Tetaki Tairakena, Wally of the Velvettes

by Garth Hewitt on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 at 12:07

"I want to draw attention to the sad news we have received of the death of Tetaki Tairakena, who we knew as Wally or Thump of the Velvettes, who was one of those who died in the collapse of the CTV building in Christchurch in the earthquake in New Zealand recently.

He played at the Greenbelt Festival with Steve Apirana and the Velvettes some years ago, and then later they played for me at the Main Stage Festival in New Zealand. He was a delightful guy, and our thought and prayers are with his wife Donna. Today we will be lighting a candle for him in our Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes service.

We remember him with deep affection as fun, friendly and warm spirited, and will be praying for family and friends."