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Inspiring Journeys Through Music
with Mere Boynton

Inspiring Journeys Through Music with Mere Boynton

The journey of Mere Boynton is painted with the broad strokes of an artist who has embraced every opportunity to express her truth. She is an accomplished film and theatre actor and a devoted advocate for the arts. Her voice is a powerful instrument that carries the stories of her past and the hopes for future generations. In this episode of ‘Inspiring Journeys Through Music’, Mere gives us a glimpse into her music and advocacy, inviting us to listen, learn and be inspired by the timeless power of music to transcend barriers and connect hearts.

Mere shares stories of her upbringing and the influences that sparked her passion for music. From singing to sheep in the vastness of Mangatu Blocks to mastering opera arias and classical repertoire, her musical journey blossomed from a young age. But as Mere won competitions and honed her craft, her waka was turned toward te reo Māori and the start of her journey as a Māori artist.

“I didn't know what decolonising was in those days, but for me it was becoming, you know, reclaiming myself as a Māori person. So te reo Māori really has driven who I am as an artist.”

Mere has proven herself a trailblazer in reshaping the artistic landscape of Aotearoa, creating space for Māori artists to share their stories authentically. From her role as the Artistic Director of Taki Rua to her current position as Director Ngā Toi Māori for Tāwhiri (the organisation that produces the New Zealand Festival of the Arts, Wellington Jazz Festival, Lexus Song Quest and others), Mere is at the forefront of promoting cultural diversity and inclusion in the arts.  

“I work for Tāwhiri, which is an organisation that creates events and festivals. And my job is Director Ngā Toi Māori. So I take it very seriously. And I’m very passionate about creating space for our Māori artists — not only to tell stories through theatre, but through music, through dance, through visual arts.”

In a world where voices are often drowned out by the noise of modern life, Mere shares a story that stands as a testament to resilience, creativity, and the power of artistic expression. Her message for emerging artists is clear — be brave, trust yourself, don't listen to negativity, and never stop learning and growing in your craft. 

“Trust yourself. You know intuitively what you want to do. Yes, get some guidance, but don't listen to  negativity. Don't listen to people when they say ‘no’. Because it's just creating.”

Join host Alana Broughton on this captivating journey through music with the magnificent Mere Boynton, whose voice echoes with the essence of tradition, the spirit of innovation, and the promise of a brighter, more inclusive artistic future.

E mihi kau ana ki te tira tautoko i te kaupapa Puoro ki te Ao

Kaiuiui: Alana Te Piki Broughton
Kaitito, Kaipuoro: Mere Boynton

Te Tira Hanga Hōtaka Māori

Kaihautū Matua: Diana Marsh, Claire Szabó
Kaihautū Puoro Māori, Hanga Hōtaka Māori: Toni Huata
Kairuruku Hanga Hōtaka Māori: Kirsten Te Rito
Kaitohutohu Hanga Hōtaka Māori: Roger Smith
Kaiwhakahaere Whakatairanga: Leoné Venter
Kaiāwhina Hanga Hōtaka: Jonathan Engle, Sarah Ballard, Isobelle Walker, Yeonhee Lee, Grace Newman, Aisyah Dzulkiflee

He mihi nui ki te tira tautoko

Kaihanga Kiriata: The Renegade Peach Project - Mark Russell (Director, DOP, Editor) Arlo Edwards, Josiah Nevell (Camera Operators) and Tyler Andrews (Camera Assist)
Taupuni Hopuoro: Matrix Digital – Phill Adams, Simon Blackwell (Sound Engineers), 
Kaiwhakatauira Whakanikoniko: IDIA – Johnson Witehira, Kimiora Whaanga (Graphic Designers)
Kaimanaaki, Kaitautoko: James Illingworth, Tracey Mackay
Ringa Whakapai Āhua: Michele Perry, Natalee Fisher
Kaikarakia, Kaitautoko: Adrian Tangaroa Wagner

He mihi nui ki te Manatū Taonga, nā rātou te pūtea tautoko

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


© Copyright Centre for New Zealand Music Trust