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Musician And Te Reo Māori Advocate Launches EP For Tamariki

Aotearoa musician Codi Wehi-Ngatai has released a new Te Reo Māori EP ‘Tahi’ under the artist name ‘Kia Whanake’, which means to grow or develop. The EP is tailored to support the learning of Te Reo Māori, filling a critical gap in educational waiata Māori for tamariki.

After recognising a lack of simple waiata to support the learning of Te Reo Māori for children, Codi (Ngāti Maniapoto) began writing his own songs with this purpose.

“I like to play music around the house, and as my daughter grew up, I couldn't find many simple waiata to support the learning of kupu Māori, or Māori words. I decided to write some waiata, and my daughter picked up the kupu and tunes very quickly.

“This motivated me to share these waiata with others who wish to support their tamariki with their Te Reo Māori,” Codi says.

Codi’s ultimate mission is to support the growth of Te Reo Māori for future generations.

“I believe the more waiata Māori we have and the more we speak and sing the language, the more ingrained it will become in our day to day lives.”

The Kia Whanake kaupapa is about more than music; Codi has also developed videos and learning resources to help extend the impact of the waiata.

“My hope is that whānau, kindergartens, Kōhanga and schools will listen to the Tahi EP, learn and sing the waiata, and engage with the resources.”

The Tahi EP includes four waiata and two karakia that teach topics like animals, shapes, colours and family. Codi says this EP is the starting point for the Kia Whanake kaupapa.

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“I am hoping to continue to create waiata and collaborate with other artists who want to make good songs for our tamariki to support their learning of Te Reo Māori. The next EP will be ‘Rua’ or ‘Two’.”

Codi is currently a student at Te Wānanga Takiura, where he is deepening his knowledge of Te Reo Māori and Te Ao Māori.

The Tahi EP is available now on all major streaming platforms. Educational resources are now available for whānau, schools and Kōhanga Reo from www.kiawhanake.co.nz.

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