Pacific | Death

Prominent Cook Islands broadcaster dies at only 49

Bernard (Bernice) Tairea has been in the Pacific broadcasting industry for 30 years and the Pacific people are mourning his death.

A prominent Cook Islands broadcaster, and labelled by many the ‘Voice of the Cook Islands’, has passed away at the age of 49.

Bernard (Bernice) Tairea has been in the Pacific broadcasting industry for 30 years and Pacific peoples are mourning his death.

Pacific Media Networks (PMN) Niue language show producer Faama Viliamu says he will miss his friend’s big smile and talented singing voice.

“Feeling very, very sad today at losing a beloved friend of many years.

He is in a better place in the Lord’s Kingdom where he resides only in peace and happiness not to mention he will be reunited with his mum and father and other loved ones in heaven,” he says.

Tairea was born during the 1970s in Dunedin and as a child, was educated in the Cook Islands, Fiji, and Australia.

He settled back in the Cook Islands after his schooling years and began working for Telecom, local radio, the Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, and was part of the Taakoka Dance Troupe before moving to Aotearoa in 2002.

Known for his vibrant personality as a master of ceremony (MC), he inspired many including nephew Kendall Browne who let his people know on social media.

“It’s because of you that’s why I am one of the best MCs around!” Browne jokingly said.

“I will always hold you close to me and keep everything you taught me! Love you Uncle Bernard Tairea,” Browne says.

The flamboyant MC never let his guard down when speaking onstage with countless videos online singing songs on the fly to impress crowds.

Tairea had a big passion for radio broadcasting, becoming a host on PMN’s Cook Islands Language show and not long after the producer.

Seumanu Te’eva Matāfai, who works for Radio Samoa paid his respects to her friend who he says put the Cook Islands Language at the forefront of everything he did.

”We worked in radio for almost 30 years and Pasifika Festival for close to 20 years. You were one of the most hardworking servants for the Cook Islands and Pacific communities.

You will be missed by many whom you’ve served tirelessly. Deepest condolences to the extended family,” Seumanu says.

Tairea was also include part of the team that established the youth radio station of NIU FM.

It was responsible for Pacific radio hosts such as Nickson Clark, Nate Nauer, and Jandals Tuipe’a who are now featured on many mainstream broadcasting platforms.

One of Tairea’s main wishes was to train Pacific broadcasters to go into mainstream spaces and express their Pacific language and culture.

Apa Temata, a nurse at Auckland Hospital and close friend, says the news of his passing came while working a 12-hour shift on Christmas Eve.

“We spoke candidly after the Te Maeva Nui Awards and I wanted to acknowledge him that night for all the work, love, and commitment he gave to the community for so many years.

His commitment to serving our iti (iwi) Tangata speaks volumes in the legacy he left behind and no one can ever compare to your humility and dedication. RIL darling,“ Temata said.


Who you gonna call for all your community notices and advertisements? Call Pacific Media Network Niu FM/531pi on 0800 000531. Listen to our Cook Islands Te Kura Mareva Producer Bernard Tairea tell you how in Samoan Language supporting our Samoan Language Week

Posted by Tina Marsters Mataiti Qsm on Monday, May 26, 2014

Tairea will lie in Māngere, with proceedings of his funeral to be finalised.