Hinewehi Mohi and Bic Runga join APRA

By Bronson Perich, Kevin Harrison, Tepara Koti
NB: Hinewehi Mohi and Te Anga Nathan were interviewed in te reo Māori. Their answers are quoted verbatim in bold italic type. Contextural translations are provided below each quotation.

The future of Māori music and te reo looks even brighter as music stalwarts Hinewehi Mohi and Bic Runga took up their new roles at APRA AMCOS today. APRA AMCOS is the organisation responsible for helping Aotearoa musicians reach the height of the potential.

Hinewehi Mohi (Kahungunu, Ngāi Tūhoe) was welcomed to APRA today to take up the very first Pītau Whakarewa tenure. Her role will be to grow APRA membership among Māori and support Māori members. Te Anga Nathan, from Te Māngai Pāho says:

“He korokorotūī, he hinengaro koi. I te wā i tū au ki te korero, i tika ana e au tētahi o ngā kīwaha e kīa ana, “Iti rearea, kahikatea ka taea.”

“He wahine e taea ai te whakatūtuki tāna i pai ai.”

“She [Mohi] is a beautiful singer. She has a sharp mind. When I stood to speak, I used this quote to describe her, ‘The tiny wedge topples the largest tree’.

“Mohi is the type of woman that achieves anything she sets out to do.”

Hinewehi Mohi acknowledged the forerunners, who supported her, and paved the way for others to follow.

“Hoki ngā whakaaro, ki a Hirini Melbourne, Delvanius Prime, rātou katoa kua wehe atu ki te pō. Engari nā rātou i tautoko tonu mai te korowai, ki tēnei tūranga hou.”

“My thoughts go back to Hirini Melbourne, Delvanius Prime, all those who have passed on. They are the ones, who supported me, to reach this new position.”

Fostering te reo Māori is at the core of this new role. Mohi explains how music helps to achieve that.

“Nā te puoro, nā te waiata, ka haria te reo Māori.”

“Music and song transmits te reo Māori.”

Bic Runga (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine) began her new role on the APRA board today. Runga explains why having a musician on the board is important.

“I think it’s really good to have musicians in these kinds of roles, because they do have an insight into just how hard it is to be a musician, especially in a country this size, and this remote.

“But yeah, I’m excited to get started.”

They are encouraging aspiring Māori musicians to reach out for help to ensure their music flourishes.