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A Journey of Musical Discovery – on Maori TV



A Journey of Musical Discovery – on Maori Television

The songs of our collective memories are featured in Maori Television’s new documentary entertainment show NGA WAIATA O TE IWI – premiering on Sunday April 13 at 8.30 PM.

Hosted by Te Raumawhitu Kupenga and researched by Hone Apanui, the show looks at the songs we love to hear and the songs we love to sing. It is an in-depth look at our special composers, their life and times and the influences impacting on them. Each episode also showcases a contemporary Maori singer/songwriter who has some emotional ties with either the featured composer or the song.

SIR APIRANA NGATA – Sunday April 13 at 8.30 PM: Sir Apirana Ngata was many things to many people but he was also a writer and a prolific composer. This episode features interviews with friends and family who knew Sir Apirana who talk about what life was like at the time his song He Putiputi Koe was written and why this song is important today. Brannigan Kaa is in the studio talking about the influence Sir Apirana had on his composing and singing career.

FANNY ROSE HOWIE – Sunday April 20 at 8.30 PM: Fanny Rose Howie – also known as Princess Te Rangipai – was arguably New Zealand’s first diva. Fanny wrote many songs but her standout composition was Hine E Hine which was used as the goodnight song on TVNZ for many years and is today sung by many world-class singers. Whirimako Black performs Fanny’s song and talks about how some of these old composers have influenced her.

PARAIRE TOMOANA – Sunday April 27 at 8.30 PM: There’s not a New Zealander who doesn’t know Po Karekare Ana but few know the composer Paraire Tomoana. He was a contemporary of Sir Apirana Ngata and apart from being a superb composer, he was an accomplished sportsman. This episode explores the man and his very famous song. Toni Huata is the featured contemporary singer/composer and she talks about the influence this song has had on her.

HENARE WAITOA – Sunday May 4 at 8.30 PM: Henare Waitoa was another contemporary of Sir Apirana Ngata who began composing in 1937. But it wasn’t until the end of World War II that he wrote his famous piece Tomo Mai. His grandson Kahu Waitoa talks about his grandfather’s achievements and the influence he had on his own compositions.

TUINI NGAWAI – Sunday May 11 at 8.30 PM: Tuini Ngawai was a prolific songwriter, always keeping true to traditional forms of Maori performance and language. Her composition Arohaina Mai is the final featured song in this series and in the studio, Ruia Aperahama talks about the influence Tuini had on his own compositions.

Produced by Wellington’s C4 Productions, NGA WAIATA O TE IWI is a superb mix of the old and the new. Producer Maureen Passmore says the idea for the series came after a trip overseas. “Friends and family were singing ‘Now is the Hour’ and as I sat listening to it I realised that none of them had any notion the song was written in New Zealand by a Maori composer. It then occurred to me there were many songs I knew and loved that fell into this category.”

Be taken on a journey of musical discovery and join Maori Television for the season premiere of NGA WAIATA O TE IWI on Sunday April 13 at 8.30 PM.



Year: 2008
Censor: General Exhibition (G)
Duration: 5 x 30 minute documentary film
Language: Maori and English languages

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