Tane Nikau was born on May 10, 1969 in Raetihi, New Zealand. His father, Kahurangi Nikau (born July 7, 1946), is Māori, and his mother, Mina Cheung (born September 18, 1944), is a descendant of a Chinese family who immigrated to New Zealand in 1911 for safety reasons due to the Xinhai Revolution. Raetihi was in a state of depression while Tane was in preschool. A TV advertisement at the same time offered assisted travel for families for a different life in Canada. 28 members of the Nikau and Cheung families left New Zealand by cruise liner in late June 1975. They settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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