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He Reo Tawhito
Season 4, Episode 2: A conversation with Tamati Waaka

Season 4, Episode 2

Please note that this episode is spoken entirely in te reo Māori.

Tamati Waaka (Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāi Tūhoe) began his education in local schools with a foundation in te reo Māori. Later progressing to Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, his professional journey over the past twenty years has spanned Māori broadcasting and tertiary education. More recently, he has worked as a consultant on tikanga Māori alongside Māori land owners, whānau, hapū and iwi. Passionate about Māori performing arts, Tamati has led his iwi team, Te Whānau a Apanui, since 2005. 

In this episode of He Reo Tawhito: Conversations about Mōteatea, Tamati shares his profound insights into the world of mōteatea, providing a glimpse into the heart of the art form. Tamati reminisces about his early years, where prayer and mōteatea were daily practices — an immersive environment that laid the foundation for his lifelong passion for mōteatea. But while his childhood was filled with these traditions, it was during his university years that he truly began to understand their value. Joining kapa haka groups, he delved deeper into the varied terminology and significance of mōteatea.

Tamati provides an intriguing analysis of the differences between male and female voices in mōteatea, using ‘Kāore te mokemoke’ as an example. He illustrates how men and women bring unique qualities to their performances, offering a rare insight into the nuanced vocal styles that characterise mōteatea. He also discusses the challenges of preserving the authenticity of traditional songs in modern kapa haka competitions, emphasizing the importance of oral transmission when learning mōteatea. 

Despite the evolving landscape of cultural practices, Tamati remains hopeful about the future. He notes a growing interest in mōteatea among younger generations, particularly in school kapa haka competitions. He reflects on the broader significance of mōteatea, likening them to a living archive that honours and remembers the ancestors. 

Join our host Crystal Edwards for this deeply insightful interview with Tamati Waaka.

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

Kaiuiui | Interviewer: Crystal Edwards 
Mātanga | Expert: Tamati Waaka

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.