Māori language petition honoured with te reo waiata collaboration

By Stefan Dimitrof

Waiata Anthems 2022 will be released next month and will mark 50 years since the signing of the Māori language petition.

This year’s album will feature 20 new waiata from artists such as Rob Ruha, Coterie, Huia, Rei, and taonga pūoro band IA.

Lead singer, composer and sound extraordinaire Reti Hedley, (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) said he was humbled to be a part of the album releasing music alongside other musicians of Aotearoa.

“To have the ongoing support of Waiata Anthems, really humbled. I couldn’t speak more fondly of the support that we have received this year and previous years.”

Hedley said they have been working alongside the likes of James Webster, Te Ingo Ngaia and Tuahana Clark in creating compositions on tā moko, kapa haka and a love song.

Hedley said his whanau was directly impacted by the Māori language petition as his family supported te reo Māori throughout his life and was keen on its revitalisation.

“Without that upbringing, without that tutelage and those opportunities to be brought up with in my reo, within my world view of Māoritanga I could not stand here as a composer of reo Māori music and a composer of taonga pūoro.

“As we well know when you revitalise your language, you revitalise your culture.”