JGeeks head west for Waitangi Day

16:00, Feb 03 2014
GEEKIN' AROUND: JGeeks Eru Bennett-Paul, Jermaine Leef and Marino Taiatini are bringing their unique style to Hoani Waititi Marae.

They took the country by storm and wowed the judges with their humorous routines on New Zealand's Got Talent, now the JGeeks are performing for a West Auckland audience.

The trio are on the bill for the upcoming Waipareira Waitangi Day Celebrations at Hoani Waititi Marae.

Marino Taiatini, 27, Eru Bennett-Paul, 20, and Jermaine Leef, 27, formed the JGeeks in 2010 and were finalists in the television talent series two years later.

The urban Maori group combines traditional waiata and dance with humour, technology and 21st century street cred.

Frontman Mr Leef says the group members are not phased by their success.

"We are normal Maori but got put on the stage.


"We are just really lively and energetic and like to make fun of pop culture."

JGeeks has travelled the world playing in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Last year they played to thousands at Scotland's T in the Park festival.

"We always just try to be ourselves and just do ‘us'," Mr Leef says. "That's what makes you keep doing it."

Mr Leef, a former C4 television presenter and Cleo Bachelor of the Year finalist, explains how they became known as the JGeeks.

"It came from mixing the geek culture with the Maori culture. That's what we like."

They are looking forward to Waitangi Day.

"It's good for something to happen out west," Mr Leef says. "I'm based here so it's nice to be a part of it."

This free family event will be a first for Whanau Waipareira.

Waipareira chief executive officer John Tamihere says the day will be special on many levels.

"It's a great way to showcase Hoani Waititi Marae but also gather as a community and enjoy each other's company in safe surroundings," he says.

"It's all about family and for Waipareira, whanau comes first."


A day of music and entertainment will be held to celebrate Te Tiriti o Waitangi through music, food, arts, crafts and kids entertainment.

Train rides

Bouncy castles

Face painting

Stalls of Maori weaponry

Traditional tattooing

Whakairo/traditional carving.

Live performances by international superstars The Green, JGeeks, Abbie Leigh, Magic, Sweet and Irie, Sammy J and a special reunion of Kiwi greats, Golden Harvest.

Waipareira Waitangi Day Celebrations are being held on February 6 from 10am till 5pm at Hoani Waititi Marae, 451 West Coast Rd, Glen Eden. 

Western Leader