"111 Ambulance Song" translated to Māori

By Mare Haimona-Riki

The Māori version of the popular "111 Ambulance Song" was launched this week in Christchurch.

St John's personnel joined students at Te Waka Unua School to celebrate the launch of the waiata as part of their Wiki o Te Reo Māori festivities.

St John Māori advisor Timoti Pahi (Ngāti Rereahu) says this song has practical value to the children.

"We all know when there's an emergency children can panic. This song is to help everyone know, especially children, what to do in an emergency," says Pahi. 

The original song, composed and written by Chris Sanders, was released 18 months ago. 

Sanders was joined at the school by Lucy Hiku, a Tui award-winning songwriter from Christchurch, to teach the kids the song in Māori. 

"Combining music, which I love and te reo which I love, it's such an important message. This has become such a meaningful song for us," says Hiku. 

St John Director of Community Programmes Sarah Manley says that this Māori version of the song is an outward display of their commitment to their already existing community-based health care programmes. 

“We are thrilled to be involved with this bilingual version which... aligns with St John’s Te Ara Hato Hone'strategy of providing initiatives that work on helping improve Māori health outcomes and engaging with Māori communities," says Manley. 

The song has been released on iTunes.