As a proud Kiwi she was determined to give him a taste of Maori culture and grabbed her chance as security guards escorted the star into an elevator in the wee hours.
‘I nudged my mate and said quick do a waiata he must at least have something – so we started singing Toro mai to ringa as they were shuffling him into the lift’ she said.
‘As chance had it we were there and we took our opportunity – he has a very expressive face – he put his little grin on as he got into the lift – he liked it – he looked right at us and nodded as a sign of acknowledgement’.
Once downstairs Hei questioned one of Prince’s entourage to discover what he thought of the brief encounter.
‘I asked if he liked it – he smiled and said ‘he sure did’. [Prince] said something to the effect of ‘they really can sing’.
Ms Hei understood it was the singer’s promoter Dainty Group who did not allow a full powhiri at the airport – something she felt was disrespectful.
‘This is important to Maori – Oprah got it – UB40 got it – why not Prince?’ she asked.
‘They should know about the protocols – that we want to welcome a guest – I would go as far as to say promoters should be respectful of the customs of our land in future.
‘We are loving people as is Prince I think he would embrace a powhiri – I feel he missed out on something – he may not have liked it but I feel like that decision was taken away from him’.