The Original Wailers in NZ to celebrate Waitangi Day

By Hone-Haunui Rapana

World-famous reggae band, The Original Wailers, arrived to Māori Television to share their message of love to celebrate Waitangi Day. 

The sound of reggae has made its way from Jamaica to the taumata kōrero.

Lead singer Chet Samuels shares that the Māori culture is similar to that of his people, saying "The same love we have for music is the same love we have for tradition."

Noel Aiken from the Original Wailers says, “We've been to about five and five different ones, and we respect that.”

Chet Samuels who is also from the Original Wailers says, “By the time you finish going through the ceremony, it's like you are one with the people, you know.”

The Original Wailers came to Māori Television in preparation for the Waitangi Day celebrations, they shared what they know about this day.

“It's the national day,” says Aiken.

“It was a day when they had a treaty with the colonisers and they got to control.  Some of the land they got back, some of the land that belongs to the Māori to begin with.  It also happens to be on the same day as Bob Marley birthday,” says Samuels.

The reformed members are Al Anderson, Rohan Reid, Howard Smith, Noel Aiken and Chet Samuel.  They carry forward the true spirit of the original music, and the message of "One Love".

Aiken says, “The same spirit, same vibe seen here, from morning to night love it. Bob Marley planted a seed and it's growing.”

“Bob's message overall was love.  Loving who you are, where you come from, and I think the Māori have received it, spirit to spirit,” says Samuels.

Accompanied by the very talented Rātana-based reggae and RnB superstars, L40, the Wailers shared their thoughts about New Zealand music and the Māori culture.

“The singing just trips us out, you guys love to sing and harmonise and that's super,” says Aiken.

They will be performing on Ata Mārie which screens on Māori Television this Friday for the Waitangi Day special.

You can find out more info here on the Ata Mārie page on the Māori Television website.