Ramon Te Wake

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Ramon Te Wake (born 25 March 1976) is a documentarian, singer-songwriter and television presenter from New Zealand. She is a trans woman and her first presenting job was for Māori Television, where she was one of three people fronting Takatāpui, which is Maori Television's first ever lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) show.[1][2]

Te Wake was born in Dargaville to Māori parents Ray and Tilly Te Wake.[3] She grew up in Ascot Park, a suburb in Porirua. She moved to Wellington in the early 1990s, and then to Auckland shortly after.

She released her debut EP, The Arrival in 2002 and toured New Zealand in R&B / Funk band Pure Funk during 1995 and 1996.[4] In June 2005 she received a grant of up to $15,000 to record a new CD from Te Waka Toi, the Màori arts board of Creative New Zealand.[5] Her second album, Movement is Essential, came out in 2008.[6] In 2008 Ramon started a DJ residency at Kiss bar called "Delicious Thursdays."[7] She is also a well known model and "the first transgender girl to appear in music video clips and a Coca-Cola commercial."[4]

Her first presenting job was for Māori Television, where she was one of three people fronting Takatāpui, which is Maori Television's first ever LGBT show.[1] The show began in 2004 and still continues today. Ramon's storytelling was noted by Scoop Independent News as "strong, creative and visual."[8] Ramon's most celebrated work from the program was the coverage of the 2011 death of activist Carmen Rupe.[9] She had made a documentary of Rupe's life in 2006.[2] In 2008 she was one of several actors selected to portray Georgina Beyer, a trans woman who became the world's first openly transsexual mayor, as well as the world's first openly transsexual Member of Parliament, in a feature-length film.[10] In 2009 The Making of Ramon was a Takatāpui-produced documentary about Ramon which was aired as part of Triangle TV's Sunday Nights Out.[11]

In 2005 Te Wake joined King Kapisi in presenting Pasifika 2005 festival, the biggest Polynesian culture festival in the world held in Auckland every year since 1992, it was televised on TV2.[12]

In 2011 Te Wake directed a 25-minute video "Pacific Voices" for the NZ AIDS Foundation addressing issues and lives of Pacific LGBT people "such as identity, sexual health, bullying and family estrangement" the project "offers hope through mutual support and self-determination."[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Profile: Ramon Te Wake". Maori Television. 2004-09-27. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  2. ^ a b "A moment to remember Carmen at DNA tonight: Transgender songwriter and singer Ramon Te Wake will be acknowledging the passing of one of her heroes, Carmen Rupe, during her Soul Session With Ramon at Auckland's DNA tonight". GayNZ.com. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Making of Ramon" Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine. documentary film
  4. ^ a b "Queer Life Maori Style Is Back". Scoop Independent News. 28 February 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Music Features in Te Waka Toi Grants". Scoop Independent News. 2 June 2005. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ramon premières new songs on MySpace: Auckland-based transgender singer-songwriter Ramon Te Wake has premièred six songs on MySpace.com from her long-awaited second album Movement is Essential". Gay NZ. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Party marks a decade of K' Rd's Kiss bar". GayNZ. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Queer Life Maori Style Returns To Maori Television". Scoop Independent News. 22 May 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 February 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "7-figure budget for Georgina Beyer movie: The Australian-based Kiwi couple making a feature film telling the story of transsexual former MP Georgina Beyer are sparing no expense when filming begins this year - their budget is in the millions of dollars, reports TV3 News". GayNZ. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Triangle TV's Sunday Nights Out: After one week off, Triangle TV's Sunday evening festival of iconic Kiwi-made LGBT films and documentaries continue this weekend with some short docos about transgender New Zealanders". GayNZ. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Hauiti, Executive Producer, Claudette; Makerita Urale, Director, Producer (2005). "Pasifika 2005: Synopsis". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Pacific Voices video resource goes online: A new resource addressing issues and lives of Pacific glbt people has gone online after being launched last Wednesday night". GayNZ. 17 July 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2012.