Waiata | Anthems

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WAIATA / ANTHEMS is released to celebrate Maori Language Week / Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori 2019 (Sep 9–13) and to coincide with the 20-year anniversary of Hinewehi Mohi first performing the New Zealand National Anthem in Te Reo Maori at an All Blacks game.

In 1999, singer and songwriter Hinewehi Mohi stood in front of 70,000 people at a sold-out Rugby World Cup quarter final in Twickenham and sang the words: “E Ihowa Atua…” All she had wanted to do when she chose to sing the national anthem in Te Reo Maori instead of English was share her language with the world.

Back home in New Zealand, the feedback was overwhelmingly negative and Mohi was forced to defend herself, and Te Reo Maori, in the media. This proved to be a turning point, sparking a national conversation about our cultural identity and the first language of Aotearoa New Zealand. Today, New Zealanders all over the country proudly sing the national anthem in both English and Te Reo Maori.

20 years on, she has decided to mark that anniversary not by remembering the controversy, but by celebrating how far we’ve come.

The result – 11 of New Zealand’s best loved artists performing their hit songs in Te Reo Maori, as well as an acknowledgement of ‘Aotearoa’ with a vibrant rendition by the renowned Hatea Kapa Haka.

Tracks include:

Hatea Kapa Haka - Aotearoa / God Defend New Zealand
Six60 - Kia Mau Ki too Ukaipo? / Don't Forget Your Roots
Stan Walker - Tena Ra Koe / Thank You
BENEE - Kua Kore He Kupu / Soaked
Drax Project - I Moeroa / Woke Up Late
Shapeshifter - Nga Kano / In Colour
Kings - Kei Aro Atu Koe / Don’t Worry Bout' It
Tiki Taane - Kei Toku Ngakau Nei Koe / Always On My Mind
Sons of Zion - Potere Ana / Drift Away
Bic Runga - Haere Mai Ra / Sway
TEEKS - E Kore E Wehe / Never Be Apart
Tami Neilson - Roimata / Cry Myself To Sleep