Moana Maniapoto to be inducted into NZ Music Hall of Fame

Kaiwaiata Māori, Moana Maniapoto (Ngāti Tūwharetoa/Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wahiao), is to be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame at this year's Silver Scroll Awards.

The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame pays tribute to songwriters, musicians, and acts that have made a significant impact on life and culture through their music

"It feels amazing and overwhelming and an opportunity to reflect on all the different performers, musicians, writers and mentors that I've had like from Dalvanius and Scotty Morrison a real important co-writer for me," says Maniapoto.

Maniapoto first rose to fame in 1987 when she released the song Kua Mākona, which is still being played on airwaves today. 

"I grew up in a household where my Dad had a sax, a kapa haka man, love singing so we had that, what was going on at the marae. Meanwhile, I'm living in this world in the clubs where we are singing Chaka Khan stuff. It wasn't until I heard the band Aotearoa perform Maranga Ake ai and then I thought well actually you can converge those things."

APRA released a media statement earlier today describing Maniapoto as a "trailblazer and a self-confessed political junkie who has never shied away from pushing boundaries".

The Invercargill-born singer-songwriter went on to form Moana and the Tribe in the early 2000s, shaping a unique fusion of waiata, haka, and electronic-flavoured soul. Since then, they have travelled the world to hundreds of festivals and concerts showcasing waiata Māori. 

In 2004 Moana Maniapoto was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2005 she was made a Life Time Recipient of the Tohu Mahi Hou a Te Waka Toi Award acknowledging her leadership and contribution to Maori art. And in 2008, she received a Music Industry Award at the Maori Waiata Awards for her positive contribution to Maori Music.

Head of New Zealand Operations for APRA, Anthony Healey says, “Her achievements, which continue today, as an award-winning writer, artist, film-maker, band member and activist, are many and varied – but the unifying strand that runs through all of them is music.

She has shown people here that music is a language to unify, educate, advocate, understand, inspire, comfort and forgive – and she has taken that message around the world, leading the way for artists everywhere, encouraging and empowering them to do the same."

Moana will be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards at Vector Arena in Auckland on Thursday, September 29.