Dalvanius Prime

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Dalvanius Prime
Birth nameMaui Dalvanius Prime
Born(1948-01-16)16 January 1948
Patea, New Zealand
OriginTaranaki, New Zealand
Died3 October 2002(2002-10-03) (aged 54)
Hawera, New Zealand
Years active1975–2002

Maui Dalvanius Prime (16 January 1948 – 3 October 2002) was a New Zealand entertainer and songwriter. His career spanned 30 years. He mentored many of New Zealand's Māori performers, and was a vocal and forthright supporter of Māori culture.

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Patea, Prime was of Tainui, Ngapuhi, Ngati Ruanui, Tuwharetoa, Nga Rauru, Pakakohi and Ngai Tahu descent. The sixth of 11 children, Prime grew up in a musical household. He attended the Church College of New Zealand located in Temple View, Hamilton during his high school years.


In the late 1960s Prime moved to Wellington and worked as a cook by day and musician at night. His involvement with The Shevelles, a Māori female vocal trio from Porirua, lead to several trips to Australia.

In 1970, Prime travelled to Australia and performed at the opening of the Sydney Opera House. The resignation of Australia's Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975 inspired the song Canberra, We're Watching You.

In 1983 he formed his own production company, Maui Records. And he became increasingly involved with Māori music. In 1984, Prime recorded Poi E with the Patea Māori club. The album was very popular in New Zealand, attaining platinum certification.

He appeared in the film Te Rua in 1990 and sang the theme song "Chudka Pā Poy", which is about apartheid.

He also worked closely with Ngoi Pēwhairangi, who helped develop Te Kohanga Reo, Māori language pre-school system. He provided the music for many of her lyrics.


Later, Prime became a campaigner for the return of mokomokai (preserved, tattooed human heads) from overseas museums.

Prime was an advocate for young people involved in court cases and victims of domestic violence.

At the 1999 general election, Prime stood for the Piri Wiri Tua Movement in the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate, placing seventh.[1] During the campaign he endorsed Ken Mair who was running for the affiliated Mana Māori Movement.[2]


Prime died in 2002 in Hawera after a long battle with cancer. He was buried in his family urupa at Nukumaru, South Taranaki, New Zealand.


Date of Release Title Label Charted Country Catalog Number
1996 Poi E Maui Records/Jayrem Records - - CDJAY377
2003 A Man Of Passion Maui Records/Jayrem Records - - CDJAY381


Year Single Album Charted Certification
1983 "Poi E"
(with the Patea Māori Club)
1 Platinum
"Ngoi Ngoi"
(with the Patea Māori Club)
- -
1990 "I Loved Me A Man"
(with Mika X)
- -
"Aku Raukura"
(with the Patea Māori Club)
10 Gold
"Hei Konei Ra" 21 -


External links[edit]