Last weekend our waiata group – Waiatatia were requested to open the Wakatipu Music Festival at the Memorial Hall. It was a huge honour for our group to do the opening performance for such a renowned festival. By our own admission, our group members are not experienced singers or Kapa Haka performers. The pressure was ramped up on this occasion, when we were told that our performance would be Live Streamed on Radio New Zealand across the world. As nervous as we may have been, it was one of our proudest moments. Our performance began with a whakaeke of the waiata, Te Pū. A waiata that tells the creation story. Our next song was the first public performance of a new song written specifically for our group called He Manu Hou. The message of this song is that despite being early into our journey into Te Reo Māori, we understand how important the language is, summed up by the final lyrics: Ko te reo kia tika, ko te reo kia rere, ko te reo kia Māori. The language should be correct, the language should flow, the language should promote a Māori world view. We finished off with our group’s favourite action song – waiata-a-ringa: Ko te Waipounamu, where we paid respects to the mana whenua who support and nurture us here in the South Island – Te Waipounamu. He wheako mīharo – An amazing experience.
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