New Zealand music stars who deceased at age 79

Here are 23 famous musicians from New Zealand died at 79:

Frederick Whitaker

Frederick Whitaker (April 23, 1812 Bampton-December 4, 1891 Wellington) was a New Zealand lawyer.

He was also a politician and served as the second Premier of New Zealand from 1863 to 1864. Whitaker started his career as a lawyer in England before he emigrated to New Zealand in 1842. He quickly established himself as a key figure in the political and legal sphere of the country. In addition to being Prime Minister, he held several other key government positions including Attorney-General, Minister of Native Affairs, and Minister of Finance.

Whitaker was a firm believer in the benefits of colonialism and was known for his efforts to expand British influence in New Zealand. His tenure as Premier was marked by the New Zealand Wars, a series of conflicts between the British government and various Maori tribes. Despite his aggressive stance towards the Maori, Whitaker is also credited with improving relations between the government and Maori leaders.

After leaving politics, Whitaker continued to be a prominent figure in New Zealand society. He served as Chancellor of Auckland University College and was instrumental in the establishment of the University of New Zealand. He was also a founding member of several institutions, including the Auckland Savings Bank and the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

Today, Whitaker is remembered as one of the most important figures in New Zealand's early history.

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Keith Holyoake

Keith Holyoake (February 11, 1904 Pahiatua-December 8, 1983 Wellington) was a New Zealand personality.

He was a politician who served as the 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand, and also held several other important government positions during his career. Holyoake began his political career as a member of the Young National Party in the 1930s, and was elected to parliament in 1932. He later became leader of the National Party and served as Prime Minister between 1960–1972, making him the longest-serving Prime Minister in New Zealand's history. During his tenure, he oversaw the country's transition from a predominantly agricultural economy to a more diversified economy, and also played a key role in forging stronger economic ties with Australia. Holyoake was known for his conservative views on social issues, but was seen as a pragmatic leader who was able to navigate complex political situations.

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Eric Halstead

Eric Halstead (May 26, 1912-June 18, 1991) was a New Zealand personality.

He is best known for his pioneering work in broadcasting, particularly in the field of television. Halstead was one of the first broadcasters to work in the fledgling medium of television in New Zealand, and his innovative approach helped to shape the development of television in the country. He was also a successful actor, writer, and director, and worked on a number of popular television shows and films in New Zealand and overseas. In addition to his work in broadcasting and entertainment, Halstead was also a dedicated philanthropist, and he supported a number of charitable causes throughout his life.

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Douglas Carter

Douglas Carter (August 5, 1908-April 5, 1988) was a New Zealand personality.

He was a well-known radio and television broadcaster, journalist, and author. Carter was born in Wellington, New Zealand and began his career in journalism in the 1920s. He worked for several newspapers and broadcasting companies in New Zealand and Australia before joining the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC) in the 1950s.

During his time at the NZBC, Carter became a household name in New Zealand for his radio broadcasts, including his popular show "The Teenage Club" which ran from 1957 to 1972. He also hosted several television programs, including the quiz show "It's Academic" and the children's show "The Magic Country".

In addition to his work in broadcasting, Carter was also a prolific author, writing several books on a range of topics, including New Zealand history and travel. He was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in 1985 for his contributions to broadcasting and the community.

Carter passed away on April 5, 1988 in Auckland, New Zealand at the age of 79.

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Mal Matheson

Mal Matheson (February 27, 1906-December 31, 1985) was a New Zealand personality.

Mal Matheson was primarily known as a sports broadcaster and journalist. He began his career as a print journalist in the 1930s, but later moved to radio broadcasting, where he became a fixture on New Zealand's national airwaves. He covered a wide range of sporting events including the Olympics, Commonwealth and Empire Games, rugby, cricket and golf.

Matheson was known for his distinctive voice and his ability to capture the excitement and drama of live sporting events. He was also a talented writer and published several books throughout his career.

In addition to his work in sports journalism, Matheson was also involved in the community, serving as president of the New Zealand Amateur Athletic Association and the Wellington Rugby Football Union. He was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) in recognition of his contributions to sports journalism.

Matheson passed away on December 31, 1985, leaving behind a legacy as a pioneer in the field of sports broadcasting in New Zealand.

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Doug Freeman

Doug Freeman (November 7, 1914-May 31, 1994) was a New Zealand personality.

Born in Wellington, Freeman was a well-known radio and television presenter. He began his career in broadcasting by working for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation in the 1940s. Freeman hosted a number of radio programs, including the popular quiz show "It's in the Bag" in the 1950s and 1960s. He later became a host of various TV shows, including "Spot On" and "The Zoom Show." Freeman was also a keen collector of antiques, and wrote several books on the subject. In 1990, he was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for his contributions to broadcasting and his community work.

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Colin Murdoch

Colin Murdoch (February 6, 1929 Christchurch-May 4, 2008 Timaru) was a New Zealand personality.

Murdoch was most notable for his contributions to the development of tranquilizer guns for animal control. He was also the inventor of the disposable syringe, which has revolutionized medical treatments around the world. In addition to his inventions, Murdoch was a successful entrepreneur, establishing several companies over the course of his career. Despite his success, he remained committed to giving back to his community and was involved in a number of charitable endeavors throughout his life.

He died as a result of cancer.

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Keith Hay

Keith Hay (December 13, 1917-January 2, 1997) was a New Zealand personality.

He was best known for his work in radio and television broadcasting, as well as his long-standing involvement in the New Zealand National Party as a Member of Parliament. Prior to his career in politics, Hay served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force during World War II. After the war, he pursued a career in broadcasting, eventually becoming a prominent figure in New Zealand media. In 1960, Hay was elected to Parliament, representing the electorate of Fendalton. He would go on to hold the seat for the next twenty years, serving in various roles including Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Broadcasting. After his retirement from politics in 1980, Hay remained active in the community and continued to be a well-respected figure in New Zealand public life until his death in 1997.

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Lionel Terry

Lionel Terry (April 5, 1873-August 20, 1952 Seacliff Lunatic Asylum) was a New Zealand personality.

He is infamous for committing a racially-motivated crime in 1905 when he shot and killed Joe Kum Yung, a 22-year-old Chinese man, in Wellington. Terry claimed that he was trying to start a race war between Europeans and non-Europeans. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. Terry was eventually released in 1927 and spent the rest of his life in mental institutions. He is often cited as an example of the dangers of racial and religious extremism.

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Truby King

Truby King (April 1, 1858 New Plymouth-February 10, 1938) was a New Zealand personality.

He is best known for his pioneering work in the field of child and maternal health. After studying medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland, King returned to New Zealand and traveled extensively throughout the country advocating for improved health practices for infants and mothers. He promoted a system of parenting known as the "Plunket method," which emphasized regular medical check-ups, breastfeeding, and hygienic practices. King founded the Plunket Society, which provided education, support, and resources for new parents. He was also involved in other social and public health issues, including the regulation of alcohol and the promotion of physical fitness. Today, the Plunket Society continues to provide health and education services to families in New Zealand.

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Tommy Lynch

Tommy Lynch (July 20, 1927 New Zealand-December 29, 2006 Canterbury) was a New Zealand personality.

He was mainly known for his work as a broadcaster and television presenter. Lynch started his broadcasting career in 1955 in a radio station, and later transitioned to television where he hosted various shows including the popular music program "C’mon". He was known for his charming personality, wit and humor, and his ability to connect with his audience. He was also a keen supporter of rugby and was involved in the sport as a commentator and analyst. In recognition for his contributions to broadcasting, Lynch was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997.

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George A. Gillett

George A. Gillett (April 23, 1877 Leeston-September 12, 1956 Auckland) also known as George Gillett was a New Zealand personality.

He was a prolific mountaineer, photographer, and writer who authored several books on his climbing expeditions in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Gillett is known to have climbed many peaks, including Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand. In addition, he served as the Honorary Secretary to the New Zealand Alpine Club from 1903 to 1944. Gillett's contributions to the field of mountaineering and his passion for adventure have made him an influential figure in New Zealand's history. His photographs, which often captured the beauty of the New Zealand wilderness, remain popular today and are regarded as some of the most iconic images of the country's natural landscape.

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David Collins

David Collins (October 1, 1887 Wellington-January 2, 1967 Tauranga) was a New Zealand personality.

He was best known as a pioneer of commercial radio broadcasting in New Zealand. Collins founded the country's first licensed private broadcaster, 1YA, in 1922. He also helped launch the National Broadcasting Service, which later became the publicly funded Radio New Zealand. In addition to his work in broadcasting, Collins was also a successful businessman and entrepreneur. He served as a member of parliament, and was awarded the CBE for his contributions to New Zealand's cultural life. Collins was a tireless advocate for the development of a distinct New Zealand culture, and his legacy remains an important part of the country's cultural history.

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Alan MacDiarmid

Alan MacDiarmid (April 14, 1927 Masterton-February 7, 2007 Drexel Hill) also known as Alan Graham MacDiarmid was a New Zealand chemist and scientist.

He is best known for his discovery of conductive polymers, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000 along with two other scientists. MacDiarmid initially studied at the University of New Zealand before completing his PhD in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Apart from his work on conductive polymers, MacDiarmid also made significant contributions to the fields of materials science and molecular electronics. He received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Longstaff Prize and New Zealand’s highest honor, the Order of New Zealand.

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Nick Carter

Nick Carter (September 5, 1924-November 23, 2003) was a New Zealand personality.

Nick Carter was a well-known broadcaster and television presenter in New Zealand. He started his career with the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC) in the early 1950s and went on to become one of the most recognizable faces on New Zealand television. He hosted a variety of shows, including game shows, music shows, and even a cooking show.

Carter was also known for his work as a columnist for several New Zealand newspapers, where he wrote about a range of topics including politics, social issues, and entertainment. He was highly respected for his insightful commentary and his ability to connect with people from all walks of life.

In addition to his career in broadcasting and journalism, Carter was also an accomplished author. He wrote several books, including a memoir about his experiences as a war correspondent during World War II, and a collection of short stories.

Carter was a beloved figure in New Zealand, known for his warmth, wit, and infectious enthusiasm. He passed away in 2003 at the age of 79, leaving behind a legacy as one of New Zealand's most enduring and beloved personalities.

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Janet Frame

Janet Frame (August 28, 1924 Dunedin-January 29, 2004 Dunedin) was a New Zealand writer, novelist, poet, essayist and author.

Frame is best known for her semi-autobiographical trilogy: "To the Is-Land" (1982), "An Angel at My Table" (1984), and "The Envoy from Mirror City" (1985). In 1990, "An Angel at My Table" was adapted into a film by director Jane Campion, which won critical acclaim and helped to bring Frame's work to a wider audience. Frame's writing often explored themes of isolation, madness, and the struggles of creative expression. Despite suffering from mental illness herself, she continued to write prolifically, publishing dozens of books over the course of her career. In 1999, Frame was awarded the Order of New Zealand, the highest civilian honour in the country.

She died as a result of leukemia.

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Mel Cooke

Mel Cooke (May 30, 1934 Christchurch-September 5, 2013 New Zealand) was a New Zealand personality.

He was a well-known journalist, author, and historian, who was particularly famous for his contributions to New Zealand's cultural and artistic scene. After finishing his education, Cooke began his career as a journalist, working for several newspapers and magazines in New Zealand. He was also a regular commentator on radio and TV, providing his unique insights and opinions on a wide range of topics.

Aside from his journalistic work, Cooke was also a prolific author, having written several books on New Zealand's history and culture, and was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to literature. He was also a passionate advocate for Maori culture and was committed to promoting cross-cultural understanding in New Zealand.

Through his work and personal achievements, Mel Cooke has left a lasting impact on the cultural and literary scene in New Zealand.

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Alphonsus Carroll

Alphonsus Carroll (April 20, 1895 Mataura-December 1, 1974 Palmerston North) was a New Zealand personality.

He was known for his contributions in music, particularly in the field of brass bands. Carroll was a self-taught musician and started playing the cornet at the age of 14. He played in various bands and later became the conductor of the Palmerston North Municipal Band. Under his leadership, the band won numerous competitions and became one of the top brass bands in New Zealand.

Carroll also served as the President of the New Zealand Brass Bands Association and played a key role in the development of the national brass band movement. In recognition of his contributions, he was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1960.

Apart from his musical achievements, Carroll was also a successful businessman. He owned a music store in Palmerston North and was involved in the local community. He was a member of the Rotary Club and a Justice of the Peace.

Carroll passed away in 1974 at the age of 79, leaving behind a legacy as one of New Zealand's most prominent musicians and community leaders.

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Elizabeth Gilmer

Elizabeth Gilmer (March 24, 1880 Kumara-February 29, 1960 Wellington) was a New Zealand personality.

She was known for her contributions to women's suffrage movement in New Zealand. Gilmer was a prominent member of the National Council of Women of New Zealand and was actively involved in campaigning for women's right to vote. She was also an advocate for women's education and helped establish several women's schools in the country.

Aside from her activism, Gilmer also had a successful career in journalism. She worked for various publications including the New Zealand Herald and the Auckland Star. She was the first woman to sit in the press gallery of the New Zealand Parliament and was known for her insightful political reporting.

Later in life, Gilmer was awarded the King George VI Coronation Medal for her services to the community. She remained an important figure in New Zealand society until her death in 1960.

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Harold Baigent

Harold Baigent (November 16, 1916 Canterbury-March 9, 1996) also known as Harry Baigent or Harold Baigner was a New Zealand actor.

Baigent was born in Canterbury, New Zealand and began his acting career in the 1930s with the New Zealand Players' Trust. He later moved to Australia and worked in radio drama before returning to New Zealand in the 1950s to work in television. Baigent appeared in many of New Zealand's early television dramas, including the long-running series "Pukemanu" and "Glide Time". He was also a prolific stage actor, appearing in productions of notable plays such as "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "The Crucible" at the Mercury Theatre in Auckland. Baigent continued acting into his 70s, even having a role in the Peter Jackson-directed film "Braindead".

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Wilfrid Nelson Isaac

Wilfrid Nelson Isaac (March 30, 1893 Kyneton-June 15, 1972) was a New Zealand jeweller and metalsmith.

He trained as a jeweller in Melbourne, Australia before serving in World War I. After the war, he moved to New Zealand and became the head of the jewellery department at Wellington Technical College. He founded his own jewellery business in 1925 which quickly gained a reputation for innovative designs and quality craftsmanship. Isaac's work was heavily influenced by his interest in Maori and Pacific Island art, and his jewellery often incorporated traditional designs and motifs. He also experimented with new techniques and materials, such as titanium and plastics. Isaac's work can be found in collections at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and the Dowse Art Museum.

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Edward Parry

Edward Parry (April 8, 1893-August 21, 1972) was a New Zealand personality.

He was a well-known aviator, airplane designer, and inventor. Parry was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and developed an early fascination with flight. He began taking flying lessons after moving to England as a young man, and went on to establish himself as a skilled pilot and engineer.

During World War II, Parry played a crucial role in the development of aircraft engines and other aviation technology. After the war, he founded his own company, Parry Aircraft Ltd., which produced a range of innovative aircraft designs. One of his most successful creations was the Parry X-4, a small, single-engine plane that was used for everything from training to aerial photography.

In addition to his work in aviation, Parry was also a keen inventor, with over a dozen patents to his name. He particularly enjoyed working on projects related to the intersection of technology and the natural world, and his inventions included a solar-powered hot water heater and a device for harvesting rainwater.

Parry died in Whangarei, New Zealand, in 1972, but his legacy continues to live on in the aviation and engineering communities.

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Terry Pearce

Terry Pearce (May 4, 1905 Auckland-February 13, 1985 Auckland) also known as Trevor Mark Pearce was a New Zealand cricket umpire.

He officiated in 12 Tests involving New Zealand, including the one between New Zealand and England in Auckland in 1951 which was tied. Pearce was known for his calm and composed demeanour on the field and was highly respected by the players. He also served as an administrator for Auckland Cricket and was instrumental in the development of cricket in the region. Pearce was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in 1976 for his services to cricket.

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