Topics: Waiata Māori, Youth

Manawatūkaha wins "Yeah, Nah it's not OK" song competition

updated By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Manawatūkaha is an all-female band of students from Te Kura Kaupapa Motuhake o Tāwhiuau who are fighting against violence in their community.  They recently won the Eastern Bay of Plenty Song Quest competition whose theme this year was to promote violence-free communities.

The girls in Manawatūkaha may seem shy here, but when performing together they become stars. 

Group member Waiata Te Pairi says, “Growing up, we would play alongside other students, hang out in the music room and jam on the band gears. That's how we began.”

Based in Murupara, these band members range from Year 9 to 11. Their school has a six-year relationship with the competition, Yeah, Nah it's not OK, first winning in Hamilton.  

Teacher Pouaru Tawhara says, “It is not right that children born into this world are taken away by violence, so that inspired these girls to perform and take that message to the stage.”

After performing and winning on Saturday night, they received an eight-hour free recording session with Outlet Productions.

Te Pairi says, “We were really worried about our performance that night, but we did our best against the other bands and singers there.”

Manawatūkaha is now working toward performing in Hamilton in October.

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