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He Reo Tawhito
Season 2, Episode 2: A conversation with Dr Hana O’Regan

Mōteatea is a centuries-old tradition of chanted song-poetry; a great literary and musical art form that expresses the powerful portrayal of storytelling and is reflective of the emotional depths of a Māori world view. Its vast richness is yet to be fully understood. 

In these eleven episodes, over three series, hosted by Crystal Edwards, we hold conversations with some of the world’s leading experts on mōteatea and ask them: What exactly is mōteatea? How has it changed since colonisation? What issues does it face today?

He Reo Tawhito: Conversations about Mōteatea podcast

Season2, Episode 2

Please note: This podcast is spoken in English & te reo Māori

Dr Hana O’Regan has worked in language revitalisation, cultural development, te reo Māori, and education for over 25 years. She is a published author and composer, and is recognised internationally for her work in indigenous language acquisition and revitalisation. In June 2021, she was appointed a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.

In He Reo Tawhito, a conversation about Mōteatea with Dr. Hana O’Regan, Hana takes us on a journey of language loss within Kai Tahu, and the impact that this has had on the record of mōteatea. 

“He mea i tuku iho mai ki a mātou ekari ko te reo tēnā tētahi o ka aitua o te noho mai o te Pākehā ki a mātou.” [Mōteatea is a treasure passed down from generations right through to us, however the loss of language is but one of the tragedies of colonisation.]

Hana speaks about rare examples that were recorded—in particular, ‘E koro mā i Kaiapoi’—and likens mōteatea to a vessel that is able to carry thoughts and aspirations, stories of events, and the emotions of the composer to future generations and the wider community.

“I believe our people had a beautiful way of crafting knowledge so that knowledge could be transmitted—and would be transmitted—continually to ensure cultural persistence, language persistence.”

Hana describes how there was a long period in which new compositions were not seen amongst her people, however the turn of a new generation with te reo Māori as a language has brought growth to the revitalisation and composition of mōteatea, and the desire to develop language capabilities throughout Kai Tahu and Te Waipounamu whānui. 

Join our host Crystal Edwards for a fascinating look at mōteatea from a Kai Tahu perspective in this bilingual (te reo Māori and English) conversation with Dr Hana O’Regan.

Host: Crystal Edwards
Guest: Dr Hana O’Regan

Links & Resources
E hine
E Kimi ana
Mātahi ā te tau

Production team
Producers: Toni Huata & Roger Smith
Sound Engineer: Phil Brownlee
Research: Dr Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal
Production Assistance: Ngahuia Maniapoto, Kelly Mata, Nina Lesperance, Jonathan Engle, Alpana Chovhan
Marketing: Leoné Venter
Executive Producer: Diana Marsh

Special thanks to
Special thanks to Dr Hana O’Regan for E kimi ana
Dr Hana O’Regan and Ngai Tahu for Tūhawaiki and E hine
Charisma Rangipunga, Kā Pari Kārakaraka 2007 and Ngai Tahu for Mātahi ā te tau 
Thanks to Adrian Wagner and Te Upoko o Te Ika
Cover Art: Kennedy Kioa Toi Faimanifo of Manatoa Productions

This podcast is supported by funding from Creative New Zealand.

© Copyright Centre for New Zealand Music Trust