Toto responds to pōwhiri with smash hit Africa

NZ 08/01/2019

American hitmakers Toto have touched down in Tauranga on Tuesday where they were welcomed with a pōwhiri.

The band members responded with a showcase of their own, belting out their 1982 hit 'Africa' back to the ceremony tangata whenua.

Band member Steve Lukather told performers the group had never experienced such a greeting, and that they were "humbled" and "blown away".

Promoter Toby Burrows told Newshub he and his colleagues have been working on bringing the iconic group to New Zealand for almost three years.

"It's fantastic that day has finally come," he said.

"Tauranga has put on some beautiful weather and with a near sell-out crowd it's going to be a great day of hit music."

Toto is known around the world for other songs including 'Rosanna' and 'Hold The Line', and have released 17 studio albums since forming in the 1970s.

In May, 2013, the band experienced a new round of fame when 'Africa' reached number one on the New Zealand iTunes chart. Its return to prominence was triggered by a campaign of then-The Edge DJs Fletch and Vaughan.

Toto are set to perform at the ASB Bay Park in Mount Maunganui on January 9; Church Road in Napier on January 10; TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth on January 11 and Hagley Park in Christchurch on January 13.