10 Mar 2015

Rare record found at jumble sale

2:47 pm on 10 March 2015

The organisers of a Wellington church fair have come across a rare copy of New Zealand's first commercial recording of Maori singers while sorting through items for a jumble sale.

Patricia Thompson with the 1927 recording.

Patricia Thompson with the 1927 recording. Photo: SUPPLIED

The 1927 acoustic recording of Medley and Haka by Rotorua singer Ana Hato, her cousin Deane Waretini and other local musicians is also believed to among the first sound recording of Maori performers.

Patricia Thompson organises the St Michael's and Kelburn Village Fair's vintage and clothing and bric-a-brac for its jumble sale.

"Somebody pointed out to me that there were some boxes and suitcases of really old 78s, so I thought I'd have a dig through them, to see if I could find anything interesting, and they were really grimy, in fact covered in mouse poo, and a couple of really old ones with Maori labels stood out."

They were among eight recordings Hato, Waretini and other local musicians made during a performance in Rotorua for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York in 1926.

The records were then pressed in Australia and issued for sale on the Parlophone label.

Te Papa has some earlier cylinder recordings made in the 1900s of Maori singers, but the recording is believed to be the first available for sale to the public.