Topics: Arts, Entertainment, NZ Music, Waiata Māori, Te Reo Māori

Tūwharetoa FM quartet finalists again for Ngā Tohu Reo Māori

By Mānia Clarke
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
  • Wellington

For the second consecutive year Tūwharetoa FM are finalist for Ngā Tohu Reo Māori Awards. Their Tūwharetoa FM Quartet's 'Talk it Over' reversion called "Kōrero Tahi' has been nominated for the Arts and Entertainment category.

These are sultry sounds from Tūwharetoa FM's finest.

Tūwharetoa FM's two Breakfast announcers, Drive and Night hosts make up Tūwharetoa FM Quartet. They released Kōrero Tahi as a way of celebrating Te Reo Māori during Māori Language Week.

“Heck, many of our elderly women adore us now,” said Te Kawau Rukuruku Drive show host, Iraia Bailey. “When we come out of the station, there they are cheering us on, wanting to kiss us and take a photo.”

Rā te Haeata Breakfast co-host, “Azza” Aaron Moeke says it was one of those party songs.

“Everybody knows that song, both young and old. That was the main reason why we choose that song,” he said.

Kōrero Tahi was one one month in the making from the humble garage of music artist Aaron Moeke.  The local boys admit it wasn't easy.

Reti Hepi said about his Breakfast co-host, “When you’re with somebody like Azza whose got an acute sense of hearing for everything. I mean you think you're doing good, he quickly throws you back on the ground going ‘you’re flat’.”

Hepi says it was frustrating, it was everything, a really enjoyable experience.

“Most of us sing, said Te Kōpu Kānapanapa Drive host, Karam Fletcher. “Some of us are haka performers and singers in haka groups. Azza is a seasoned musician. So, he wanted to guide us.”

They're humbled to be finalists for the Awards for the second time, however for them the Reo is the champion.

“There aren't a lot of Māori songs we can gobble up,” said Bailey. “So from this we have another Māori song in the pool to listen to and lure the ear to the Māori language.”

“Never mind singing English songs, we should sing Māori songs to endorse our esteemed language,” said Fletcher.

The quartet will know whether they are successful on Friday when the Awards take place in Wellington.