Dam Native Profile

aka DAM N8V
Gareth Shute
26 Oct 2017

Dam Native’s first album, Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted (1997), is widely considered one of the best hip hop albums ever to have come out of Aotearoa. The lyricism of lead rapper Danny Haimona (aka Danny D) fused hip hop attitude with a deep knowledge of Tikanga Māori and he fronted a live crew that sometimes extended out to a dozen rappers, singers, musicians, and breakdancers.

Haimona grew up in Island Bay, Wellington, and one of his childhood friends was a young Jon Toogood (pre-Shihad): both played cricket and made the local rep team. However, when Haimona was 13 years old, his father moved the family to Auckland for his work. The sudden move left Haimona feeling disconnected and listless. He was hanging around Aotea Square in Auckland’s CBD one day when he happened to meet DLT and Teremoana Rapley, who had moved to the city as part of Upper Hutt Posse. Coincidentally, the pair happened to live in the same part of town (Mt Eden) and became mentors in the years that followed. They also introduced Haimona to master carver, George Nuku, who often let the youngster stay at his house.

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Daniel Haimona
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Traill. Simon Grigg collection.
Tipene feat. DLT, Tyna & Dam Native - Pioneers
Dam Native - poster for second album launch
Dam Native - art design for debut album
Cover of Dam Native's second album Aotearoa Nobody Does It Better (2010)
Dam Native - Behold My Kool Style (1996, directed by Jonathan King)
Dam Native feat. Che Fu - The Son (1997)
Behold My Kool Style, a 1996 single from Dam Native
Dam Native's 1997 single The Son featured Che Fu and was produced by Andy Morton.
Dam Native
Dam Native - Lick My Patu (2012, directed by Daniel Haimona, Rongotai Lomas)
Cover of Dam Native's debut album Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted (1997, Tangata Records)
Dam Native - Bryson Campbell, Danny Haimona
Dam Native - Horified One (1996, directed by Rongotai Lomas)
Danny Haimona, Dam Native
Dam Native on the cover of New Zealand Musician June-July 1997. 
Dam Native - B. Wave, Daniel Haimona, Bryson Campbell, Che Ness
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Dam Native - Danny D, Bryson Campbell, Bennett Pomana
Dam Native - second album interior artwork design
Dam Native - Whakarongo Mai Nei
A poster to promote the Ram Dancehall single and live event with Danny D aka Dan E Dee on the right.
Dam Native - Only You

Tangata Records

Heart Music


Dam Native remixed the Emma Paki song ‘Standalone’ in 2003 and Haimona added rapped verses to the track. This version was released as a single with an accompanying music video featuring Haimona.


Danny D Haimona - MC

Bennett Pomana - MC

Teremoana Rapley - vocals


Bryson Campbell - guitar

Hone Manukau - MC

Thomas Kani Kani - guitar

Pirimia Falwasser - backing vocals

Tom Atkinson - drums

Jo Keating - bass

Timothy William - keyboards

Jo Kopua - percussion