Thursday, 06 May 2021

He waiata reo rua - arts agencies come together to support bilingual music

"This is a powerful way for all of us to access te reo Māori, and in determining our cultural imperative.”- Hinewehi Mohi.

APRA AMCOS NZ, Creative New Zealand and the Māori Language Commission - Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori have combined to support the development of a bilingual music industry. This initiative aims to enrich our cultural identity and change the way New Zealanders create and consume music performed in te reo Māori. 

Under a pilot programme Pokapū, the initiative will fund support for artists to work with mātanga reo/language experts to translate existing songs from English into te reo Māori, and with pronunciation to record and perform waiata. The pilot aims to produce a further 20 reo remixes, adding to the repertoire of waiata reo Māori.

Led by APRA’s manager of Māori Music Growth & Development Hinewehi Mohi, the Pokapū pilot programme builds on the popularity of the 2019 Waiata/Anthems album which translated hit songs into te reo Māori, by artists such as Six60, BENEE, Drax Project, Bic Runga, Stan Walker and others.  “It is not just the translation of the music that we see revealed through this kaupapa but the transformation of the artists and response of audiences. This is a powerful way for all of us to access te reo Māori, and in determining our cultural imperative.”

APRA AMCOS Head of NZ Operations Anthony Healey, said "We are excited to work with CNZ and Te Taura Whiri on this pilot project. We share a strong belief that music is an excellent vehicle to strengthen and grow, both te reo Māori itself, and our collective identity as a nation, together. Aotearoa is blessed with a rich history of waiata reo Māori and we want to support those who have been making it forever and support those who are new to that journey.”

CE of Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori, Ngahiwi Apanui said “Music has been key in the revitalisation of te reo Māori and with the advent of Covid-19, local music has taken centre stage. We are proud to partner with CNZ and APRA to ensure that te reo Māori is integral to the musical culture of all Aotearoa music artists.”

Investment from Creative New Zealand is provided by the Te Hā o ngā Toi Māori Arts strategy in recognition of the importance to join with others to create an ecosystem that supports ngā toi Māori.  The initiative also demonstrates Creative New Zealand’s commitment to Maihi Karauna – the Crown’s Māori Language Revitalisation Strategy 2019 – 2024 and the use and development of te reo Māori. 

“Te reo Māori, waiata are endangered art forms and Creative New Zealand has a duty to help protect these taonga for Aotearoa New Zealand.  They are a part of our identity, feeling comfortable and confident in this identity increases our collective wellbeing.” Said CNZ CE, Stephen Wainwright. 


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