12:45PM: Openly lesbian Maori singer and songwriter Mahinarangi Tocker died this morning in North Shore hospital after a massive asthma attack last week. Mahinarangi Tocker Tocker and her guitar were frequent and popular additions to LGBT fundraisers and events like Auckland's Big Gay Out, and she has also performed at Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. She also gave lectures around New Zealand about the use of music and creativity to boost learning and self-esteem, and was an adult literacy tutor, writer and poet. For her services to music, she became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2008 New Year's Honours List. Tocker, 52, was comfortable and open to talking about her sexuality, and in the early '90s was one of the original guests on TVNZ's LBGT current events programme Express Report, the forerunner to Queer Nation. In 2001, she took part in the television campaign Like Minds Like Mine to de-stigmatise mental illness. GayNZ.com understands a massive asthma attack last week left her without oxygen for several minutes. Family and friends were summoned to say goodbye as she was cared for in hospital. She leaves behind her long-term partner and one daughter.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Tuesday, 15th April 2008 - 12:43pm
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