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SOUNZ wins Gold at the prestigious New York Festivals Radio Awards

Story Published Wednesday 27 April 2022
Sounds of the Moana

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music | Toi te Arapūoru is thrilled to announce that the SOUNZ podcast series Sounds of the Moanahas won Gold (the highest category award) at the prestigious New York Festivals Radio Awards (NYFRA).

Entries for this year's awards were received from over 30 countries and some of the global broadcasters shortlisted include BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBS News Radio, NBC News, RTÉ Ireland, Deutsche Welle (DW), Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Mediacorp.

Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, says, Malo lava and a big congratulations to SOUNZ and the ‘Sounds of the Moana’ podcast team for receiving the Gold award at the 2022 New York Festivals Radio Awards. I’m proud that the stories of Moana-Nui-ā-Kiwa and its vibrant history of indigenous sounds have been recognised internationally for its unique beauty. This is an exceptional feat and a big win for our Pacific whānau.”

Gold has not been awarded in the ‘Music Podcast’ category in at least the previous two years, making this a rare win.

Diana Marsh, SOUNZ Chief Executive and Executive Producer of ‘Sounds of the Moana’, says, “SOUNZ is absolutely delighted to receive this award, especially as this was our first major podcast series. We worked in partnership with the Moana Pacific peoples’ music elders, practitioners and knowledge holders to shed light on the indigenous musics of Moana-Nui-ā-Kiwa in a series that was designed to be engaging and accessible. It took a village to produce and I would like to thank each and every person involved. Thanks to Creative New Zealand for providing the funding”.

The two-episode podcast series ‘Sounds of the Moana’ explores the indigenous sound of Moana-Nui-ā-Kiwa (Oceania) and asks how this musical identity can be kept alive today.

Tau’ili’ili Alpha Maiava, podcast Host and Co-Producer, says, “It’s gratifying to witness our stories finding a home in the wider world’s value vault. After all, our representation to the world has been ‘his-tory’ — this acknowledgment, however, validates and affirms the uniqueness and significance of ‘OUR-story’. Long may they captivate.”

The SOUNZ podcast series ‘The Magpie House’ was also a finalist in the ‘Culture & The Arts Podcast’ category in this year’s NYFRA awards. Only three podcasts were shortlisted in this category, and we are also very proud of this achievement.

To listen to ‘The Magpie House’, visit:

Other prominent companies that made the shortlist include HarperCollins Publishers, TBI Media, Radio New Zealand, ABC Radio National, Bloomberg, Intelligence Squared U.S., Lockdown Productions, Fresh Air Productions, SiriusXM, Penguin Random House UK, Swedish Radio, Unusual Productions, Colorado Public Radio, DCP Entertainment, FM Club, JAZZ.FM91, GoLoud, Magnum Opus Broadcasting, Media 24, Radio Free Asia, Radio-Canada, Religion of Sports, Sky News Radio, Sveriges Radio, USG Audio, Virgin Radio UK, and Wondery.

The production team for ‘Sounds of the Moana’ included: Tau’ili’ili Alpha Maiava (Host and Producer), Sophie Yana Wilson (Producer), Diana Marsh, Tiumalu Noma Sio-Faiumu and Leoné Venter (Executive Producers), Phil Brownlee (Sound Engineer), Roger Smith (Production Assistance), Kirsten Johnstone (Script Adviser), Jonathan Engle, Alpana Chovhan, Nina Lesperance and Kelly Mata (Production Assistance).

‘Sounds of the Moana’ podcast guests included: Hūfanga-He-Ako-Moe-Lotu Dr. ‘Okusitino Mahina, Rita Seumanutafa, Leuga Ape Taua’ana Ata Sofara, Ma’ara Maeva, Anonymouz (aka Faiumu Matthew Salapu) and John Kiria.

SOUNZ is currently in the process of implementing its SOUNZ Moana Pacific Peoples Musics Strategy, the first music strategy in Aotearoa for Moana Pacific peoples.

‘Sounds of the Moana’ and ‘The Magpie House’ were part of a series of podcasts and animations that tell the stories of the music and people of Aotearoa New Zealand. This project was funded by Creative New Zealand’s Adaption fund.