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Te Ururoa Flavell Speech - Congratulations to Lorde

Tuesday 28th January 2014

Te Ururoa Flavell, Co-leader of the Maori Party

Notice of Motion to congratulate Auckland singer/songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor, who performs as Lorde, who won the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance, and together with co-producer Joel Little won Song of the Year for Royals.

I stand on behalf of the Māori Party to support other comments that have been made about Lorde and Mr Little and congratulate them on their win.

Maybe there is something to be said about changing your name to get that ultimate success, and I suppose I have got to say for myself, something like “Jimbo” or “James” or something like that might be a good idea in the future. I have got to say that Beyoncé still does it for me, but Lorde is still right up there—Lorde is up there.

I understand that Dame Kiri Te Kanawa back in 1984 won the first Grammy awarded to a New Zealander, and so Lorde has joined a long queue of other people already mentioned today whom we must acknowledge as bringing pride not only to themselves and their families but also to the country.

We have got to think about their parents as well, who have been mentioned, and say that obviously that talent must come from somewhere, and we acknowledge Lorde’s parents.

I understand that as a young person in 2009 at Belmont Intermediate, Lorde won with a song called “Warwick Avenue”. I do not know the song—it was a little bit after my time—but apparently that video was shown to Universal Music representatives and, of course, subsequently they signed her to that label.

Five years later, of course with the support of her family, those around her, her school, and music—and I understand that she went back to her school not long ago—she has clearly demonstrated that she has the talent, and, according to most commentators, will carry on with that success.

The last word, I think, would probably need to go back to her. In her first interview, not even one year ago, she admitted to the success of her song-writing style as “You’ve got to be honest for it to lock with me. It’s got to have real things.” We love the fact that she keeps it real and writes about real things that are important to her and possibly touch the hearts and minds of many people. Clearly, they do. We wish her well.


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