Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival to pay tribute to Aotearoa music legends

By Online News - Rereātea

Performers confirmed for 2017 Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival, which will be held in a new venue.

Next year the event will takes place at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre and Viaduct Basin on Auckland Anniversary Weekend, from the 28th to the 30th of January.

The Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival is driven by Mana Whenua of Tāmaki Makaurau in partnership with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council.

This free, family-friendly festival offers an opportunity for Mana Whenua to share their culture and supports the identity and aspirations of local Māori.

The festival’s musical line-up includes a host of established and emerging performers, as well kapa haka performances and tributes to some of the legendary performers of Aotearoa musical history.

On Saturday 28 January, in tribute to the late Dr Ngapo ‘Bub’ Wehi and his wife Pimia, founders of Te Waka Huia, the main stage programme will kick off with a performance by 80 kaihaka, performers from the kapa haka rōpū of Te Waka Huia.

Across the three days of the festival, some of New Zealand’s brightest musical stars will team up with emerging musicians in collaborations designed to nurture the next generation. The established musicians are Whirimako Black; Ria Hall; Seth Haapu; Rob Ruha; Ranea Aperahama; and Majic Paora. The emerging talent includes Aporonia Arahanga; Sherydon Ngaropo; Kaaterama Pou; Ngapera Aperahama, Te Punawai and Teone Hotu; and Alamanda Tahu.

The festival finale will honour the life and music of Prince Tui Teka, Maui ‘Dalvanius’ Prime and Sir Howard Morrison. It will feature songs that have been on New Zealand airways for years, and in some cases, will be performed by people who were mentored by these giants of the Māori musical world, including the Patea Māori Club and Howie Morrison Jnr.

Festival music director and entertainer Leon Wharekura says, “Festival producer Torise Flay had been inspired by a piece Moana had written about Dalvanius, about how he had mentored so many musicians throughout the years, not just in kapa haka, but across all kinds of music.

Mana Whenua representatives, Torise and I were keen to explore the concept of ‘passing the poi’, nurturing aspiring musicians to help them chase and achieve their dreams as artists, and to recognise that none of us musicians would have got to where we are without those who went before us.”

Auckland Council Environment and Community Committee Chair, Councillor Penny Hulse says, “The Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival restores that presence, bringing a feel for both traditional and contemporary Māori culture of Tāmaki Makaurau. It is a great opportunity for Aucklanders and visitors to see, hear, taste and experience Māori culture and heritage that is unique to this region.”

In addition to its three-day programme of music, kapa haka and DJs, the Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival features workshops and displays of traditional Māori crafts, games and healing; storytelling; inter-tribal waka races and opportunities for the public to paddle a waka and sail waka hourua (double-hulled sailing waka). It also includes a marketplace selling Māori crafts and kai. Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland Museum will be running programmes at the festival.

A detailed festival programme and festival map will be available online closer to Auckland Anniversary Weekend at www.aucklandnz.com/tamakifest.