About us

about us

WHERE WE CAME FROM /Whakapapa

In 1959 Eddie Hegan shipped out to Australia with a cast of 25, the first real Maori show to leave the country with the appropriate title of ‘Maori’ a show, he had convinced NZ Tourism to get behind.

Eddie produced and directed at the time what was an epic undertaking to an appreciative if slightly mystified Australia.

Eddie had already a long career as Tap dancer, writer, radio and theatre actor. He had also been a founding member and later producer of the infamous ‘Kiwi Concert Party’ a group of Kiwi show people that entertained the troups during World War 11 in Africa.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s as well as writing and acting on radio, Eddie produced and directed Christmas shows and ran Talent quests through the year.

Through their organisation of local talent quests via Eddie’s theatre management contracts they could see the vast array of untapped local talent coming up through the ranks.

Additionally some of Eddie’s colleagues as an entertainer in the infamous ‘Kiwi Concert Party’ of the second world war were starting to ask him for honest New Zealand promoter’s contacts, something in short supply back then.

At the time the entertainment industry in New Zealand was on the verge of massive change and Elaine instinctively could see the writing on the wall. Eddie at this time was working alongside The Hon Goerge Gair and Mel Tronson in what was then The Auckland Public relations Office (precursor to The Auckland Festival Society, Tourism Auckland and Auckland Business Association)

When Hegan Entertainments agency started in 1960 they soon had the who’s who of NZ show business on their books and later discovered and managed the late Billy T James

Eddie being typically Irish had no time for the ethnic divides of the times and nurtured and encouraged young maori such as local discoveries like the late Sir Howard Morrison, Goerge Tumahai as well as Chic Littlewood and a very young Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. These were backed up with internationals such as Max Bygreaves and Dame Vera Lyn.

With the growing Hegan clan including son Kim, Hegans went on to take responsibility for management of the careers of many local stars including Dave Dobbyn, Ray Woolf and the Late Billy T James and a host of international artists.

Touring became less of a focus with the company being contracted by TVNZ to event produce the mammoth 1990 live event for television to celebrate New Zealand’s sesquicentennial year. Three stages and twelve hundred performers to a live Pacific wide audience of some 20 million hadn’t been tried before.

The show was a success and Hegans added event management to their skill set.

The rest is entertainment history and in 2005 Hana Ngatai Hegan, Kim’s daughter, actor and musician joined the company as a third generation of Hegan Entertainment

Hegans have experienced the ebbs and flows of the Entertainment and event production landscape for over 5 decades and must be New Zealand’s most experienced and longest standing, entertainment entities.