Papa's Pack proud to sing their waiata on Waiata Anthems

By Stefan Dimitrof

The Māori funk, reggae and pop band Papa’s Pack made their debut back at Ngāti Kurī's Hīkoi to 100 music festival, which was run as a reward by the iwi for people in Te Tai Tokerau getting their Coivd-19 vaccinations.

Now the band has been selected to present their song Muriwhenua in this year's Waiata Anthems 2022.

Rapata Mclean and Kapowairua Waitai expressed their excitement about participating in Waiata Anthems.

Mclean said that they were really excited, especially being a small whānau band from Te Tai Tokerau, and that “it’s been really cool, especially commemorating 50 years since the signing of the petition to make te reo Māori an official language”.

Waita said her great grandparents Sana Waitai-Murry, Te Paia Waitai and Ross Norman wrote the waiata Muriwhenua and sent a mihi out to her whānau and her grandfather Syd Waitai who recently died.

Muriwhenua is about te kotahitanga o ngā iwi e rima o Muriwhenua. So that's Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa Kaiwhare, Ngāi Takoto me Ngāti Kahu."

Waita said she was excited to share the Te Tai Tokerau anthem with the rest of the motu.

Mclean said if rangatahi wanted to give the music industry a go, then they should “give it a crack”.

“We still don’t know what we are doing but we are just making it up and creating that space to be natural and remind yourself who you are, where you come from, who your people are and what they did to be here.”