Seven classic Christmas carols – translated and sung in Māori – will be launched by multi-award winning artist Pere Wihongi in a one-hour music and entertainment special, PERE KIRIHIMETE – CHRISTMAS IN TE REO, screening on Māori Television on Thursday 22 December 2021 at 8.00 PM.

Music videos for three of the Christmas carols as well as lyrics to all seven songs will be available to view on the website, maoritelevison.com, from 17 December 2021.

PERE KIRIHIMETE – CHRISTMAS IN TE REO will feature a sprinkle of interviews and a dusting of Christmas wishes from prominent New Zealand leaders, influencers and other tangata rongonui as well as an extra coating of helpful tips to get through the silly season.

Co-manager and creator of Maimoa Music, Pere hopes to bring some joy back into communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic through the power of music, te reo Māori and the festive season.

"Reo Māori Christmas songs will promote our language and spread the Kirihimete spirit and cheer in what has been a really intense year.”

Viewers can download the lyrics and the entire whānau can sing along with Pere and guests during the show. The waiata include:

  • Mārie Te Pō (Silent Night);
  • Rūrawhe Te Tia Ihu-Whero (Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer);
  • Kei Te Haramai A Hana Koko (Santa Claus Is Coming To Town);
  • Tangi Pere (Jingle Bells);
  • Ngā Mihi Meri Kirihimete (Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas);
  • Te Reo Pāniora Me Te Reo Māori (Feliz Navidad);
  • Kori Tangi Pere (Jingle Bell Rock).

Pere’s co-host, Te Ao Māori News journalist Jess Tyson who recently appeared in Celebrity Treasure Island, performs the role of 'Santa’s Little Helper'. Jess will be out in the field hanging out with some of Māori Television’s personalities.

PERE KIRIHIMETE – CHRISTMAS IN TE REO screens on Māori Television on Thursday 22 December 2021 at 8.00 PM (repeats on Christmas Eve, Saturday 24 December 2021 at 10.30 PM and will also be available to view on the MĀORI+ app.