Introducing the Māori voices of Moana and Māui!

updated By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Who will play Moana? It's the announcement we’ve all been waiting for.

"Taupiri is the mountain, Waikato is the river, Tainui is the Iwi, Tainui is the canoe, Ngāti Paoa and Ngāti Whawhākia are my subtribes, Waitī is the Marae," says Māori Mōana, Jaedyn Randell.”

She's 16, from Tokoroa, and she's buzzing.

During her first interview since her successful casting as the Māori voice of Moana, Randell told Te Kāea, "I'm very excited to be working with Rob and Rach, I've grown up watching them listening to them so I'm so excited to work with them."

It’s the first Disney Film to be translated into Te Reo Māori. With over 250 auditions Performance Director Rachel House says the decision wasn't easy.

Randell says, "I saw it on Facebook and me and my mum talked about it and we were like oh well you never know until you try so we just gave it in and yeah here I am."

According to Music Director Rob Ruha, her voice shows a strong resemblance to that of Auli'i Cravalho, the voice of Moana in the original Disney movie. Ruha says, "Our girl is good."

Director Rachel House has also unveiled the Māori voice of Māui, it is that of Te Kāea anchor, Piripi Taylor. 

Piripi told Te Kāea, “My daughters love this movie Moana. They encouraged me to send in an audition so I did that because of them.”

Rob Ruha says that Moana in Te Reo Māori is going to be a hit, “When I was young Lion King was my favourite. Lion King was the best. This generation, it's Moana. I know that for the three generations to come it will stay that way.”

The film's release is expected to coincide with this year's Māori language week which is to be held from 11-17 September.