Tō Uru Raumati - 20 top NZ artists urge rangatahi to get 'summer' passport

By Marena Mane

A new campaign aims to persuade Kiwis to get vaccinated so they can use their summer passports to go to festivals and concerts in coming months.

Te Aorere Pēwhairangi of Ngāti Porou explains that "Uruwhenua" is the Māori word for passport, and he replaced the word "whenua" with raumati, which means summer.

That's because, as a result of the new Covid-19 rules, people must be fully vaccinated to attend concerts and festivals during the summer.

“We've thought to send out a positively charged message not to get people to vaccinate but, if you are vaccinated, this is what you can do. It's a big part of New Zealand summers, New Zealand culture, attending live music events,” he says.

Summer is approaching, which usually means summer music festivals, but things are likely to be more subdued this year, especially around Tāmaki Makaurau, owing to Covid-19.

So a new campaign, spearheaded by some of Aotearoa's most well-known artists, is encouraging whānau to be vaccinated so they can return to playing and delighting audiences around the motu.

Upbeat tone

Pēwhairangi is one of the faces (or uncles) of the Tō Uru Raumati campaign, as well as the scripter.

'Tō Uru Raumati' is aimed toward rangatahi, according to Pēwhairangi, because they attend summer festivals.

As a social influencer, Pēwhairangi says he has released a video on his Instagram explaining why he opted to be vaccinated.

“One of the reasons I got vaccinated was to go to summer concerts, which is why I jumped on board the kaupapa, which is why I supported it and I hope other young rangatahi Māori will do the same.”

Working on the campaign, according to Pēwhairangi, was difficult and hard, especially explaining the campaign to the 20 artists from a Te Ao Māori viewpoint, which comprised seven two-hour consultation hui over seven nights.

“We had to take all of their feedback and put it into a 60-second and a 90-second and 30-second video. So that was a challenge but it was rewarding at the end because everyone was happy.”

Pēwhairangi says he recognises that many people are opposed to or apprehensive about vaccines, which is why he was careful with the phrasing and communicated the message in a funny and upbeat tone.

“And another thing we wanted to do was to strengthen numbers. We want them to stand and be a collective and have a united front, not only Māori artists but big artists essentially.”