NZ artists band together with new song 'Ka Mānu' for Ihumātao

By Taroi Black

Musicians have banded together to record a song in support of the Ihumātao land protectors. Composed by Rob Ruha 'Ka Mānu' speaks of unity and peaceful resistance.  

“I'm showing my support because our people aren't in the wrong. The Crown has failed them, they must fix the problem. Who gives them the right to tell these people what to do? When in reality, they (the Crown) put our people in that situation in the first place. So that's why we're here,” says Ruha. 

Ruha, 39, announced at Ihumātao that the new single also highlights issues related not only to the people of Ihumātao but indigenous people around the world.   

“We as musicians came together to record a song to help support this issue that has suppressed our Māori people and essentially indigenous people right across the globe.”

Today, mana whenua held a day of worship and also welcomed the group of artists collaborating on the Ka Mānu single who oppose the housing development.

Award-winning artist Maisey Rika says, “It's not right at all to build homes on this spiritual land.”

Ruha told Te Ao the song was inspired by the level of attention the issue at Ihumātao received on social media while he and his wife Cilla were travelling in Japan.  

“We've seen in recent week’s people such as Moana Jackson and other influential individuals who have come to show their support. I believe they will get what they want in the end.”

Today, artists such as Maisey Rika, Majic Pāora, Bella Kalolo, Ria Hall, Seth Haapu and Troy Kingi recorded the song at Parachute Studios in the Auckland CBD after the pōhiri concluded at Ihumātao.  

“The essence of the words are from the book of Mathew chapter 14 from verses 24 to 31. In the Ringatū scripture, there's a hymn for our Christ that highlights a day of worship,” says Ruha.