Riqi Harawira releases new waiata E Rere Ai

By Stefan Dimitrof

1990s grunge band Dead Flowers' former lead guitarist and songwriter Riqi Harawira (Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) is releasing a new waiata, E Rere Ai.

Harawira has played with some of the biggest bands in the world including Pearl Jam and Guns n’ Roses. He is also known for melding te reo Māori and English with rock music and was nominated for best Māori male solo artist at the Māori Music Awards in 2020.

Harawira said his new waiata is for his partner Flossie and it captures the essence of their relationship.

“Despite the racial differences and cultural backgrounds, we make it work.”

Harawira said that his musical career started with his father, Rangi Harawira, a Māori entertainer with an international audience.

“My sister and I were playing in shopping malls in the 1970s and 1980s as kids.”

More recently, in 2019 Harawira was studying mental health and addiction and got an opportunity to work at Waikeria Prison teaching Mau rakau for a year.

After his family situation changed Harawira was offered an opportunity to work in a non-violent space with Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.

“It’s all about co-existing problems, it’s all about suffering in our community, so I was very blessed and very proud to be working at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga with the Ngāti Kahunganu people there.”