Six60 Presents Departing All Black Aaron Smith with Commemorative Guitar

by Madonna

In a poignant display of appreciation, the renowned Ōtepoti band Six60 bestowed a guitar upon the departing All Blacks halfback, Aaron Smith, as a token of recognition for his concluding test match in Dunedin.

With deep-rooted connections to the city, Six60 orchestrated this heartfelt gesture, which unfolded in a moving scene captured through a video shared on the official All Blacks Instagram account, following their weekend victory over Australia.


The video footage captures the momentous occasion as Aaron Smith receives the guitar, accompanied by a heartfelt mihi from the lead vocalist of Six60, Matiu Walters.


In conveying their gratitude, Walters acknowledged Smith’s unwavering “commitment to rugby” and his profound impact on the city of Dunedin. The guitar itself holds a poignant place in the band’s history, having played a pivotal role during their nascent stages.


Walters spoke to the guitar’s significance, underscoring its integral role in the band’s formative days, notably within the confines of their abode at 660 Castle Street, the iconic Dunedin student flat from which Six60 launched their musical journey. “In 660 Castle Street, we nurtured nothing but aspirations. This guitar was a permanent fixture in our living space, and it resonates with the genesis of our inaugural compositions.”

Notably attributed to lead guitarist Ji, the guitar carried added weight, even though he expressed hesitance in delivering a speech. Walters playfully recounted, “[This is] Ji’s guitar, though he shied away from addressing the gathering.”

As the room erupted in applause, Walters continued, “With genuine appreciation, we extend this guitar to you.” This farewell gesture held profound meaning as Aaron Smith led the haka for the final time on native soil, just prior to the match.

The esteemed rugby veteran, boasting an impressive record of 118 test appearances, bid a fitting farewell to his home crowd within the confines of Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium, a venue where he had etched his legacy with the Highlanders.

Marking his ultimate home appearance, Smith’s presence undoubtedly spurred the All Blacks to a triumphant victory against their trans-Tasman rivals, the Wallabies, culminating in a resounding score of 23-20.


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