Drum and bass radio station normalising te reo Māori

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Auckland-based radio station George FM has extended an open invitation to its listeners to uncover the next wave of music producers while normalising te reo Māori.

It has teamed up with Māori hip hop artist Rei, and is encouraging its audience to remix his te reo song Whāia te Rā.

George Fm Te Ao Māori consultant Tipare Ngā (Ngāti Maniapoto) says this competition is the first of more to come and the station has already received some great entries.

“You can be any age, and it’s not limited to Auckland either. We’ve already had a 14-year-old submit a cool beat, and also I would really like it if our wāhine took up this challenge as well.”

The winner will get their remix played on Geroge FM plus five-hundred dollars cash. Ngā says this competition is all part of an effort to normalise Te Reo and mātauranga Māori at the station where most of the announcers are pākehā.

“Everyone checks in with me on their pronunciation, and we have fun with it too,” Ngā says.

“The goal is to normalise it and not have it separate – our hosts in the morning are both Māori and one of them, General Lee, is just discovering his whakapapa, so we’ve had a lot of fun on this urban Māori journey.”

The competition is available now, with entries closing on December 8.