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He Reo Tawhito
Season 4, Episode 1: A conversation with Ngahiwi Apanui-Barr

Season 4, Episode 1

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

Ngahiwi Apanui (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Hine, Rongomaiwāhine) is one of New Zealand’s most prolific composers of mōteatea and contemporary Māori music. As a young student, he was part of the legendary kaupapa Māori band, Aotearoa, which hit the NZ Music Charts in 1985 with their single ‘Maranga Ake Ai’, an anthem urging Māori youth to rise up and embrace their identity. Since Aotearoa, Ngahiwi has performed as a solo artist and collaborated with many top Māori singers and musicians. He is currently the CEO of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.

 In this episode of He Reo Tawhito: Conversations about Mōteatea, Ngahiwi shares the powerful influence of his ancestors on his musical journey, particularly his great-great-great-grandmother Hine Tāwhirangi. “I would like to think that I got some of that DNA, that she sent that down to me,” says Ngahiwi.

 The conversation delves into the evolution of the art form, exploring how mōteatea have been adapted into modern genres, creating a bridge between the past and the present. Ngahiwi emphasizes the significance of preserving te reo Māori through music, highlighting the importance of language revival in maintaining cultural identity. 

 “It's like our language — you keep it to a few, those few die, they die with the language. And it's the same with music — the less people you let into the whare to play with you, the less likely the music is to live on. So it’s really, really important to be inclusive.”

 Ngahiwi offers reflections that are both inspiring and educational. He discusses the integration of traditional motifs within contemporary compositions, illustrating the dynamic and evolving nature of mōteatea. He acknowledges the critiques he has received from elders and peers, valuing their guidance in refining his work. “I've found more often than not, the more I take the advice of others — good advice of others — the more often I get a good result.”

 Join our host Crystal Edwards for this insightful interview with Ngahiwi Apanui, whose words and melodies invite us to connect with the past, appreciate the present, and look forward to the future of Māori music. 

E mihi kau ana ki te Tira tautoko ki He Reo Tawhito, wāhanga tuawhā 

Kaiuiui | Interviewer: Crystal Edwards 
Mātanga | Expert: Ngahiwi Apanui-Barr

Tira Hanga Hōtaka Māori | Production team
Kaihautu Matua | Executive Producers: Diana Marsh, Claire Szabó 
Kaihautu Puoro Māori, Kaiwhakahaere Hanga Hōtaka Māori | Director of Māori Māori Music and Programmes: Toni Huata
Kairuruku Hanga Hōtaka Māori | Coordinator of Māori Programmes: Kirsten Te Rito 
Kaitohutohu Hanga Hōtaka Māori | Adviser of Māori Programmes: Roger Smith
Kaituitui Hanga Hōtaka Māori | Coordinator of He Reo Tawhito: Ngahuia Maniapoto
Kaiwhakahaere Whakatairanga | Marketing Manager: Leoné Venter
Kaitohu Puoro, Ratonga | Music, Services Adviser and Copy Writer: Jonathan Engle
Kaiwhiriwhiri Hanga Hōtaka Māori | Māori Programme Liaison, Media: Robyn Walker
Kaiāwhina Hanga Hōtaka | Production Assistance: Sarah Ballard, Isobelle Walker, Grace Walker, Yeonhee Lee, Aisyah Dzulkiflee. 

He mihi nui ki te tira tautoko | Special thanks to:
Kaihanga Kiriata | Film Maker: Renegade Peach Project (Director, DOP, Editor) Mark Russell, (Camera Operator) Arlo Edwards, (Lighting) Josiah Nevell
Taupuni Hopuoro | Sound Studio: Matrix Digital, Phill Adams, Simon Blackwell (Sound Technicians) 
Kaiwhakatauira Whakanikoniko | Graphic Design & Cover Art: IDIA, Johnson Witehira, Kimiora Whaanga
Kaiwhakamāori | Translation : E Tā, Stephanie Tibble 
Kaikarakia, Kaitautoko: Adrian Tangaroa Wagner 
Kaimanaaki, Kaitautoko: James Illingworth, Moana Leota
Ringa Whakapai Āhua | Makeup: Michelle Trigger
Book a Bach, Airbnb, CJ Hāngi’s. 

Te Wāhi | Locations: Bach of the year ‘Harakeke’, Waikanae Beach

This podcast is supported by funding from Manatū Taonga | The Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

© Copyright Centre for New Zealand Music Trust

He Reo Tawhito Conversations about Mōteatea Awarded a Silver and two Bronze awards in the 2022 NZ Podcast Awards.