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‘Harakeke’

‘Harakeke’ Press Release 16 October 2006

For Immediate Release

The waiata ‘Harakeke’ was written to celebrate the logo and theme of the 2006 National Midwifery Conference to take place in Christchurch next week. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Women and Midwives: Conscious Guardians’. The logo features the harakeke (flax) plant, which according to the conference programme is ‘considered to be a living symbol carrying its own whakapapa and denoting the generational link within the whānau relationship’.

A few months ago, Kāi Tahu singer songwriter Ariana Tikao was commissioned to write a song about the conference logo. The committee received Creative Communities funding to support the project. In 2002 Ariana released her debut album ‘Whaea’, a dedication to motherhood. She consequently performed at various midwifery and homebirth events in Tauranga, Christchurch, and Auckland. ‘I’m excited to be involved with this prestigious event. Especially with such a wonderful theme to research, and write about,’ Ariana said.

In the song, the harakeke plant is a metaphor for the family. It talks of the need to protect the rito (new flax shoot), which is at the heart of the plant. ‘In the same way, we need to protect our children’ Ariana said. ‘The song also mentions hākui (mothers) and our responsibility to look after them, because they house the future generations’.

‘Harakeke’ was co-written with Shane Bolingford (Ngāti Porou) who recorded and wrote the music; and created the graphic design and visuals. Together Ariana and Shane make up the electronic duo, Hīnaki. They received guidance from the esteemed weaver Ranui Ngarimu (Kāi Tahu/Ngāti Mutunga), who also features on the video footage which accompanies their live performance.

Hīnaki will perform the inaugural performance of ‘Harakeke’ at the opening of the conference on Wednesday 18th October, at the James Hay Theatre. Each of the conference delegates will receive a CD of the song, as a special gift from the conference committee.

Hīnaki is best described as cultural electronica – moody percussive beats with ethereal vocals. Like a New Zealand style mix of Marie Boine, Sinead O’Connor and Portishead. ‘Harakeke’ was recorded at Shane’s Lyttelton based studio, Lunar Digital.


ENDS

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