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Tau’ili’ili Alpha Maiava appointed as Moana Pacific Musics Specialist | Kaiārahi, Ngā Puoro o Te Moananui-a-Kiwa

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music | Toi te Arapūoru is delighted to announce the appointment of Tau’ili’ili Alpha Maiava as the Moana Pacific Musics Specialist | Kaiārahi, Ngā Puoro o Te Moananui-a-Kiwa.

Tau’ili’ili Alpha Maiava has been appointed as the Moana Pacific Musics Specialist | Kaiārahi, Ngā Puoro o Te Moananui-a-Kiwa at SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music. He is tasked with implementing the SOUNZ Moana Pacific Peoples Musics Strategy, which will be the first nationwide strategy for the musics of the Moana Pacific peoples in Aotearoa. 

Tau’ili’ili brings a wide variety of skills and experience to this position. He is the recipient of three international music awards and has hosted TV shows and radio programmes aimed at the Pacific community in New Zealand and abroad, including Radio Samoa’s Breakfast Show and Pacific Media Network’s Pacific Breakfast: 531pi. He is a highly-accomplished integrated marketing and business development communication professional whose twenty-year career has spanned the Middle East and Australasia. His multilingual ability allows him to be at ease and respectful in complex cultural spaces with community, industry, and cultural leaders.

SOUNZ Chief Executive Diana Marsh says, ”We are delighted to have someone of Tau’ili’ili’s calibre leading the implementation of this strategy. He brings a wealth of expertise and experience to this role and has already had significant involvement in the development of the strategy and other SOUNZ projects.”

Tau’ili’ili was the host and co-producer for the SOUNZ podcast series Sounds of the Moana, which recently won Gold at the prestigious New York Festivals Radio Awards. Alpha also managed and researched material for the SOUNZ Pacific Animations Project in 2021.

Tau’ili’ili Alpha Maiava says, “Two ancient Samoan alaga’upu/proverb come to mind in assessing the magnitude of this collaboration; 1). O le ala ile pule o le tautua, i.e. the pathway to leadership is grown/earnt/learnt through service! Whilst the proverb foretells the relationship of instant reward should we choose the path of service, I see it as a legacy action for the leaders birthed, nurtured and supported in a time that is currently tangible only through visions and dreams. For our greatest moments remain ahead of us. Therefore, it gives me and my aiga the greatest of pleasure and honour, of contributing to tomorrow's leaders via this humble opportunity. Which brings me to 2). A fa’amaoni i mea iti, ta te pulea mea e tele; remain hopeful in the grouping of tiny pebbles, for it will collectively form the cornerstone of a better tomorrow.”

The SOUNZ Moana Pacific Peoples Musics Strategy was initially scoped in 2020, and developed in 2021. SOUNZ worked closely with Moana Pacific music elders, practitioners and knowledge holders to develop an appropriate strategy for the music community in Aotearoa.

Fangufangu (nose flute) specialist and Professor of Tongan Philosophy, Historical Anthropology, and Aesthetics Hūfanga-He-Ako-Moe-Lotu Dr ‘Okusitino Mahina says, "I'm reminded of this milestone by a Tongan lea heliaki proverbial saying, 'taau e lei moe tofua'a,' i.e., 'the lei tooth befits the whale.' This mammoth of a task is equal to the stature of a musician (and artist) upon whose big uma shoulders (as well as'atamai mind and loto heart) will carry the refined 'ilo knowledge (and poto skills) of our Moana levu, lahi, tele, or nui great Oceana ancestors-gods ki-mu'a forward into the deep kuohili past and ki-mui backward into the distant kaha'u future, mediated in the infinitely complex ever-changing lotolotonga present."

This role and the implementation of the SOUNZ Moana Pacific Peoples Musics Strategy is being supported through funding from Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Music Commission.  

“We are thrilled SOUNZ is implementing its first national strategy to support Pasifika music. This is a significant milestone and leadership for Aotearoa music. We congratulate the SOUNZ team and are excited to support Alpha’s role to continue this beautiful mahi under our Pacific Arts Strategy 2018 – 2023”, says Makerita Urale, Senior Manager Pacific Arts, Creative New Zealand.

New Zealand Music Commission Chief Executive Cath Anderson says, "The Music Commission is very proud to support SOUNZ to implement their first strategy for Moana Pacific peoples in Aotearoa and their appointment of a Moana Pacific Musics Specialist. We are really looking forward to working with Alpha in the coming months to support more of our amazing Pacific Moana musicians and writers."

SOUNZ would like to thank both Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Music Commission for making this role and the implementation of the strategy possible.

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music | Toi te Arapūoru works to champion and promote the sounds and music of Aotearoa New Zealand’s composers. SOUNZ is home to a diverse and vibrant collection of information, scores, recordings,  films, podcasts and animations of New Zealand music and performances. Creative collaborations with partner organisations such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, RNZ Concert, APRA, and NZ On Air highlight the organisation’s ongoing growth and development through events and projects that promote the music of Aotearoa to national and international audiences.