APRA NZ is joining forces with songwriters, broadcasters, funders, record labels and other music entities, to support the emergence of a bilingual music industry.
Head of NZ Operations, Anthony Healey says “Waiata connects us all to Māori language and culture, and we want to embrace the opportunity to celebrate our Aotearoatanga through music.
"We are blessed with a rich history of waiata reo Māori and we want to support our kaitito waiata (songwriters) who have been fostering the language in song for many years. We also want to encourage those who are not so confident yet with the reo to write, record, and perform more”.
ORO (meaning to resound, resonate or a musical note) is APRA's strategy, as part of a shared music industry approach to increase the repertoire of waiata reo Māori and waiata reorua (bilingual songs).
Initiatives include the translation and recording of existing songs, as well as collaborations between artists and mātanga reo (language experts) to write new waiata.
Leading APRA’s Māori music development, Hinewehi Mohi says “Whether artists are already recording and performing in Māori, or have just started their reo journey in this way, we want to celebrate their work and create more opportunity for it to be heard.
"We’re pulling together a maramataka/calendar of special events such as Matariki and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, to create awareness and opportunity for waiata punctuations around the country, throughout 2021”.
APRA will also conduct a research initiative and review of data collation for legacy waiata and songwriters, as well as greater engagement with kapa haka communities, and taonga puoro (traditional instrument) practitioners to support them in registration and recognition of their works.
“Music is a great connector, and is a way we can express our unique cultural identity. By supporting the production, promotion and broadcast of waiata, we may all one day be singing from the same song sheet!”