Finalists for prestigious Maioha Award announced

By Te Ao - Māori News

The finalists for APRA's prestigious Maioha Award recognising composers of contemporary te reo Māori waiata have been announced.

The three finalists are Rob Ruha, Seth Haapu and Maimoa, a collective of young Māori music artists.  

Rob Ruha has been selected for his song Ka Mānu, a waiata written in response to the dispute around Ihumātao.

An APRA statement says the song speaks of unity and peaceful resistance and highlights issues of oppression for indigenous people around the world. Ruha brought together musicians from across Aotearoa to perform the waiata.

He has been a finalist multiple times and won the Maioha Award in 2014 and 2016.

Seth Haapu is recognised for the waiata Ūkaipō, a ballad which examines the origins of life and explores the path of awakening, reclamation and restoration of identity, the statement says.

The track pairs his lush vocals with piano melodies, rhythmic percussion and draws influence from his Māori and Tahitian whakapapa.

The ten musicians who together form Maimoa are Pere Wihongi, Meto-Tagivale Schmidt-Peke, Hoeata Maxwell-Blake, Awatea Wihongi, Te Kaaterama Pou, Mereana Teka, Raniera Blake, Puawai Taiapa, Nathaniel Howe and Tawaroa Kawana.

Maimoa have been selected as finalists for the waiata Whāia from their recently released album Rongomaiwhiti. The track is described as a proud pop song that encourages everyone to embrace their unique qualities and celebrate their identity.

The winner of the APRA Maioha Award receives a $5000 cash prize and is the guardian of Te Ngore, the award sculpture, for one year.

The award winner will be announced on 14 October as part of the APRA Silver Scroll Award event.