Dave Dobbyn popular hit delivered in Māori

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Māori pop group Maimoa Music are joining melodies with kiwi music icon Dave Dobbyn, to celebrate Māori language week. 

It's the renowned kiwi song Welcome Home sung in Māori.

"Nau Mai Rā, feels really good," said Dobyn.

"It feels, it's an honour and a privilege to sing in te reo."

Rising Māori pop group Maimoa approached the kiwi legend to translate the iconic song into Māori, as a way of celebrating Māori language week. Dobbyn says he loved the process. 

"It was a real challenge."  It took me a while to get up to speed, but between Te Hau and Maimoa I think I had good coaching. Yeah they were wonderful to work with great singers."

The song was translated by language expert Te Haumihiata Mason. Dobbyn says the process has encouraged his own reo journey.

"I would challenge any Pākeha to know a little bit of te reo. To know the spirit of it and to know the history."

"I'm 60 (years old) now," he said,

"In ten years’ time, I'd like to think I'd be conversant and bi-lingual. It's a big ask, but if the process is as much fun as it was doing this song then I think it will be a great growing curve for me."

Dobbyn is no stranger to supporting Māori. Welcome Home featured in Māori Televisions Kotahi Te Rā: Waitangi Day broadcast in 2009. 

The singer says he's looking forward to singing the song in far off lands, because it connects the dots.

"Being in te reo it sort of depends on the authenticity of it. This is taonga, the language is precious and extremely poetic, very singable."  

Nau Mai Rā is available on Spotify and will be officially launched on Sunday.