Topic: Entertainment

Mana Whenua waiata promotes the protection of Papatūānuku

By Taroi Black
  • Auckland

Ihi, a young group of Māori musicians have been nominated in this weeks APRA Silver Scrolls for their song Mana Whenua. The song is about the controversial building of 480 homes next to the protected Otuataua Stonefields reserve in Ihumātao, Auckland. 

Mana Whenua is a song which carries a message emphasising the protection of Papatūānuku.

Singer, Thomas Rawiri says "Sometimes a typical Aucklander forgets that this place consists of huge cultural significance such as our local iwi."

The song talks about permission granted by local government to build 480 homes next to the protected Otuataua Stonefields reserve in Ihumatao, Mangere.

Rawiri says, "One of the focal points in our composition is about the Otuataua Stonefields in Ihumātao area of Mangere."

Meanwhile locals are vowing to keep fighting the controversial special housing area  

Rawiri says, "We believe this land has huge significance because of its heritage where many ancient waka settled. So that was one reason why we targeted that particular issue."

Rawiri says he's surprised with their bands nomination for the APRA Silver Scrolls, but believes the message in the song will resonate with people.

"I was brought up here and i know all the locals. I have many friends and relatives. I also belong to Auckland thanks to my tipuna."