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SOUNZ and Mahi Moana Partnership

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music is delighted to announce our partnership with Mahi Moana Inc. to undertake work on the SOUNZ Instrument Revitalisation Project that will be completed in July 2024. This project is funded by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s Regeneration Fund and we are grateful for their support. The partnership is viewed as a natural progression from previous collaborative works between Tau’ili’ili Apha Maiava, the Moana Pacific music community and SOUNZ and is reflected in our ongoing relationship with Mahi Moana Inc.

Following the successful ‘Sounds of the Moana’ podcast series and animations in 2021, and the implementation of the SOUNZ Moana Musics Strategy, SOUNZ has again partnered with the Moana Pacific community, through its ongoing relationship with Mahi Moana Inc. to undertake the research of eight endangered and/or extinct instruments from the Pacific, which will result in the creation of publicly available videos. These videos will detail historic information and demonstrate their uses and, where possible, how they should be played. The project aims to preserve the information currently available about these instruments and to uncover and present stories held by knowledge holders in order to revive and safeguard the unique musical heritage of the Moana Pacific.

SOUNZ Chief Executive, Diana Marsh, says “SOUNZ is delighted to partner with Mahi Moana Inc. to undertake this project. We first developed our relationship with Moana Pacific music experts and knowledge holders during our storytelling project which resulted in the award winning ‘Sounds of the Moana’ podcast series and instrument animations. The relationship has strengthened through our ongoing work and this partnership with Mahi Moana Inc acknowledges the platform that has been built and one that will continue to be developed with our ongoing mahi."

Mahi Moana Incorporated is a legally registered collective, established post-COVID 2020. Its core purpose is to aid progress and growth, advocate for and on behalf of, as well as helping mediate ara (paths), encountered by Aotearoa’s Tangata Moana (peoples from Moana Oceania) communities. 

A tautua (service) specifically aimed at groups and individuals who ply their trades within the various creative disciplines, as composers, choreographers, copywriters, artists and performers. 

Tau’ili’ili Alpha Maiava, Moana Pacific Musics Specialist, says “Mahi Moana Inc. is partnering with SOUNZ to produce and deliver the scope expected for the project. Mahi Moana Inc. is already working with SOUNZ to develop and establish the SOUNZ Moana Pacific portfolio that will include a permanent full-time Moana Pacific staff member to serve composers of tangata moana heritage joining the SOUNZ composer catalogue. 

I view the partnership between SOUNZ and Mahi Moana Inc. as a legacy platform with historical reciprocal benefits for both organisations as well as the collectives they represent.”

Work on the project commences this month and is expected to be completed by 31 July 2024.