Northland teen stars in Alien Weaponry music video

By Tumamao Harawira
Source / YouTube

Māori language heavy metal band Alien Weaponry has released a new video to one of its singles 'Hatupatu' taken from their just-released album 'Tangaroa', and a Māori boy from the Far North features as the main character Hatupatu.

Te Tuhimāreikura Hopa, 15, of Ngāpuhi, Waikato, Ngāti Whātua and Ngāti Hinerangi, stars alongside Dayna Grant, who plays the bird-woman Kurangaituku in the video clip.

Te Tuhi says that when he found out that he had been named as the actor who would play Hatupatu, he felt really blessed to have been given the opportunity.

"It was mean as! It was definitely a privilege and honour to get the opportunity to whakaora i tēnei pūrakau o Ngāi Tātou a Ngāi Māori."

Source / YouTube

The video retells the great Te Arawa story of their tupuna Hatupatu. He was taken prisoner by the fearsome bird-woman Kurangaituku but managed to escape from her lair. Kurangaituku gave chase, and in order to hide from Kurangaituku, a rock was magically opened to shelter Hatupatu. Some say that the bird-woman’s claw marks are still visible on the rock.

Te Tuhi says that the experience of filming the video clip over three days was amazing.

"I really loved it. I think that I looked pretty cool. It was three days of running around in my maro all day."

Te Tuhi's father, Joby Hopa, says that the role of Hatupatu was almost tailored for Te Tuhi, who has grown up in te reo, attending kōhanga and kura kaupapa, as well as being brought up around kapa haka with their whānau group Hātea in Whangārei.

'When we were approached about the opportunity, the whānau is really proud to be a part of it, and them to want a particular type of person. When we saw the write-up, we said, "This is Te Tuhi all over it". This has been him since he was born.

The video has garnered quite a following on YouTube, with over 13,000 views of the clip in only six hours.

Alien Weaponry was formed in 2010 by brothers Henry and Lewis de Jong, with many of their songs in Te Reo Māori. Alien Weaponry has gone on to become one of the most prominent Te Reo Māori bands in the world, with a massive following in Europe. 

Te Tuhi says that although their following is not as great here in Aotearoa, Alien Weaponry promotes Te Reo Māori in parts of the world that may not get exposed to Māori culture.

'It's cool how other countries like Te Reo Rangatira, and it shows that Te Reo is a key to success."