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Announcing The Finalists For The 2020 APRA Maioha Award

The APRA Maioha Award recognises the art of contemporary Māori songwriting and honours composers who are telling their stories in the language of Te Ao Māori.

  • Ka Mānu by Rob Ruha, performed by Bella Kalolo, Maisey Rika, Majic, Ria Hall, Rob Ruha, Seth Haapu, Troy Kingi, and The Witch Dr
  • Ūkaipō by Seth Haapu
  • Whāia by Pere Wihongi, Meto-Tagivale Schmidt-Peke, Hoeata Maxwell-Blake, Awatea Wihongi, Te Kaaterama Pou, Mereana Teka, Raniera Blake, Puawai Taiapa, Nathaniel Howe, and Tawaroa Kawana, and performed by Maimoa

Rob Ruha (Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Rongowhakaata, Tainui, Te Arawa, Ngā Ariki-kaipūtahi, Ngā Puhi) has been a finalist multiple times, and won the Maioha Award first in 2014, and again in 2016. This year he returns with Ka Mānu – a waiata written in response to the dispute around Ihumātao, speaking of unity and peaceful resistance, and highlighting the issues of oppression for indigenous people around the world. In continuing the theme of unity, the song brings together musicians from across Aotearoa for a stirring performance full of aroha and hope.

Also a former finalist, Seth Haapu’s smooth and tender style is once again commended with his new work Ūkaipō. It’s a powerful ballad examining the origins of life, and exploring the path of awakening, reclamation, and restoration of identity. The track pairs his lush vocals with memorable piano melodies and captivating rhythmic percussion, and draws influence from Haapu’s own Māori and Polynesian heritage.

Bringing together ten musicians, Maimoa is a collective of young Māori music artists who first made headlines in 2015 when they knocked off Justin Timberlake from the number spot on the iTunes NZ Charts, and went number 2 on the New Zealand Charts. This year they’re finalists for their waiata Whāia, from their recently released album Rongomaiwhiti. It’s a proud pop song that encourages everyone to embrace their unique qualities and celebrate their identity – an objective which permeates Waiata Nation, the series that follows the members in their creative pursuits.

The judges for the 2020 APRA Maioha Award were: Matai Rangi Smith, Ngatapa Black, Tama Waipara, and Toni Huata.

You can watch past Maioha Award performances and presentations HERE.

The awards are proudly supported by NZ On Air and Te Mangai Paho.

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