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Maorioke Champ Wins $10,000 On Maori Television

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FRIDAY DECEMBER 14 2007

Maorioke Champ Wins $10,000 On Maori Television

There is an old adage that says 'God loves a trier'. And if you have been watching Maori Television's popular talent show MAORIOKE for the past 10 weeks, you will know now that it is not only God who favours triers - but the rest of us too!

And the singer who won our hearts and the $10,000 first prize on tonight's (Dec 14) grand final? An unassuming young man from Auckland's North Shore, Purcell Taka. Purcell is a cabinetmaker by day but spends all of his spare time entertaining his young son (almost two years of age) or singing, composing and arranging music.

By his own admission, Purcell does not know what a musical note is on paper but according to MAORIOKE judges Whirimako Black, Brannigan Kaa and Betty Anne Monga, he has almost perfect pitch and timing. He says he was overwhelmed and astonished when he was announced as the winner - "I'd already had such a positive experience from making it through to the final, this was just unbelievable".

Unlike many other talent shows, in which most of the contestants have been young and cute, MAORIOKE has been about ordinary people - people exactly like himself and the audience, says Purcell. "We all have busy lives, we all have a lack of confidence some days but you just keep trying, keep stretching yourself and making sure you put the time and effort in."

Over 500 hopefuls from Northland to Southland tried out for the fourth series of MAORIOKE made by Mauri Ora Productions - just 25 made it through to the semi-finals before the final cut of seven. Purcell paid tribute to the other finalists saying that any of them could have won - "they were all superb, professional and really supportive".

Ends

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