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Unitec Pacific Song Writing Competition

29 May 2014

Unitec Pacific Song Writing Competition

Unitec Institute of Technology is launching the first Unitec Pacific Song Writing Competition. The nationwide contest is aimed at inspiring Pacific people young and old to show their pride for their Pacific heritage and language through music and song.

Submissions for the competition are open from now until 31 August. Fifty percent of the songs' lyrics need to be in one of seven Pacific languages including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga or Tuvalu.

The winners for each language will win a $500 voucher from Music Planet and the top seven videos will also have the chance to win a $1000 People's Choice award when public voting opens later this year on 8 September.

Linda Aumua, Director Pacific Student and Community Engagement at Unitec, says Unitec wanted to celebrate the Pacific language weeks in a way that would engage people from across the community and support the language initiatives already happening in Pacific communities.

"Music is such a big part of Pacific culture so with this competition we wanted to inspire people to get involved and to have fun composing something original in their native tongue," said Aumua. "We've chosen a 50% Pacific language content, from any genre of music, to encourage people of all levels of fluency, ages and ability to have a go."

Award winning R&B Soul duo Adeaze are headlining as one of six Pacific music artists who have leant their support to the initiative. Naina Tupa'i of Adeaze said "We're so proud to be part of this project with Unitec, using music to keep the language alive is awesome." As part of the project Adeaze share their own arrangement of a Samoan classic and provide some tips on songwriting at www.unitec.ac.nz/pacificsongs

The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs encourages all communities to keep their languages alive by speaking them in their homes and within their communities. Chief Executive Pauline Winter says a songwriting competition, which encourages younger people to keep the language of their ancestral homes alive, seems a great way of doing this.

Information on the Unitec Pacific Songwriting Competition and links to the videos and songwriting tips from Adeaze and the other Pacific artists can be found at www.unitec.ac.nz/pacificsongs

Pacific Language weeks 2014
• Cook Islands Language Week: 4-10 August
• Fiji Language Week: 6-12 October
• Niue Language Week: 13-19 October
• Samoa Language Week: 25-31 May
• Tokelau Language Week: 26 October - 1 November
• Tonga Language Week: 1-7 September
• Tuvalu Language Week: 29 September - 5 October

ENDS

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