E Tū Whānau song entries address family violence

An online song competition, E Tū Whānau, aimed at raising awareness of the unacceptable levels of violence, is gaining momentum around the country. The competition was established as part of NZ Music Month and gives entrants the opportunity to win cash prizes.

This song called Aroha is one of nearly 50 entries in the E Tu Whanau online song competition.

Kapa haka tutor Mana Epiha had some advice for the composers, “When composing, it helps to reflect back to the time of our ancestors and look at the world from their perspective. In my opinion, the ability to do this has been lost and we've forgotten what the spiritual essence is.”

Epiha says he and his students decided to enter the competition in the wake of recent child abuse cases.

“I could see that E Tu Whanau is about raising awareness around family domestic violence.

We've recently seen that our children are still dying for nothing.”

According to the competition's Facebook page, E Tu Whanau is a movement for positive change in response to the unacceptable levels of violence in NZ.

“Through the work that I do, I travel around the country often and I've utilised our Māori values.”

So far, 43 entries have been submitted with their own unique themes including this song “Moving Forward” by Te Rina Flavell-Kahle, which talks about her sister being in an abusive relationship.

"This song was inspired by my sister who was in an abusive relationship. I wrote it to encourage her to move forward and to be strong for her children. The verses and the chorus are a message to my sister, and the rap is her voice."

The Facebook page also says the competition gives entrants the opportunity to win cash prizes worth $10,000 dollars. The public can vote for their favourite song. Voting closes on 31 May.