Young animator creates new animated video series

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Waiata Bro's is a series of fun animated music videos that teach words and phrases in te reo Māori.

It is the creative brainchild of Turanga Mahutonga and was created in an effort to address the lack of waiata Māori for tamariki.

The kaupapa came about as his final project in the young animators six-week training programme with Māoriland Charitable Trust.

“I used my skills for something that I think would help rangatahi learn te reo Māori,” he says.

Mahutonga grew up in Rotorua and says there was always music and te reo in his whare but not on the tv, although one of his favourite tv shows was The Wiggles - and he hopes his series will be as popular as that one day. 

"Just imagine a Māori adaptation of that," he says.

"For tamariki and adults that just want to learn and get into te reo and have fun doing it."

Mahutonga has recently launched a booster campaign that will help raise funds to continue this project. 

"With this pūtea, I am able to hire out musicians or studio space, therefore, me being able to create all of this.

"So far, I've got six out of the eight thousand that I'm trying to raise," he says.