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Stan Walker Sings Te Reo for Maori Language Week

16 July 2014

Stan Walker Sings Te Reo for Maori Language Week

His new song, AOTEAROA, is an Anthem for the Nation

New Zealand’s favourite singer, Stan Walker, is to release his next song ‘Aotearoa’ in Te Reo Māori to celebrate Māori Language Week (July 21-27). And some of the proceeds of the song will go towards the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre.

It will be launched on the opening day of Māori Language Week, Monday July 21, in a live performance at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua, Wellington. The music video will be premiered on Māori Television’s youth show, Pūkana, at 4.30pm on the same day.

The project was initiated by Pūkana producer Mātai Smith, who says the idea came from witnessing the bonding experience in the audience during Walker’s performance as the opening act for the Beyonce concerts in Auckland.

“I then realised it had been 30 years since Poi E, the only Te Reo song to reach Number 1, and I thought ‘what if we could do that again?’ So I approached Stan with the idea and he was excited.”

Walker composed Aotearoa with producer Vince Harder and it features Troy Kingi, Ria Hall and Maisey Rika. The lyrics will be published in both languages online via the Pūkana, Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori and Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori Facebook pages.It was translated into Te Reo Māori by Te Haumihiata Mason of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission).

Te Haumihiata Mason says, “My hope is that this song will make the entire country resound with its indigenous language. I hope it’s heard everywhere. Some might think the words were written for Māori only, but I believe they’ve been written by a soul who loves Aotearoa and who embraces all those who have made this land their home. The song encourages us to nurture each other and to persevere with whatever it is we aspire to, no matter where we come from.”

Stan Walker says, “We all have to connect ourselves back to the mainland where we’re all from. I’ve never been more proud to be Māori. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve come from, to live in New Zealand, you are us and we are you. We are one!”

Troy Kingi, whose career was launched in the film Mt Zion, says “I hope that New Zealand as a whole will take ownership of the song and that it will stand the test of time like Poi E.”

Singer Ria Hall, who also features on Aotearoa, says “This experience has been a fantastic journey. I hope people gravitate positively towards it, find their own connections, and make it something familiar. This is a song to celebrate our nation, our landscape, our uniqueness, our language and our people - I hope the listeners feel the spirit of the song within their souls.”

Vodafone Music Awards Winner for Best Māori Album 2013, Maisey Rika, sings the National Anthem in Aotearoa. She says,“It’s a song about love, peace and harmony and no matter where you are in this world, if you’re a Kiwi, no matter what culture, what reo you speak, you’re from home (Aotearoa) and be proud of that. Use it as a foundation in whatever you do.”

Michelle Hippolite, CEO of Te Puni Kōkiri says, “Te Puni Kōkiri supports this initiative because we are committed to assisting in the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori.

“For me and many others Poi E is Aotearoa New Zealand’s “other official” anthem, and was thoroughly enjoyed by many Kiwis both here and more so overseas. Thanks to support from other Māori artists like Taika Waiti, 30 years later Poi E is still getting air-time. I’d hope that this song would be share a similar fate for the next generation coming through.”

CEO of Te Mangai Paho, John Bishara, expressed his delight that a number of parties who are all engaged in the revitalisation of Te Reo Maori, have been able to collaborate to fund this exciting initiative. “Me mihi ka tika, ki a koutou nga kaitautoko i tēnei kaupapa.”

The recording of the song and the production of the accompanying music video was funded by Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Māngai Paho and Mā Te Reo funding through Te Taura Whiri.

The project was produced by Mātai Smith of Cinco Cine Productions.

For information on Maori Language Week:
For background on Stan Walker:


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