Te Reo exponent encourages aspiring Māori songwriters to "keep it simple"

By Taroi Black

A reo Māori exponent, Te Haumihiata Mason who helped translate a song into Māori which won an award at the APRA Silver Scrolls last night is encouraging Māori songwriters to find inspiration through their heritage.

Te Haumihiata was acknowledged at the awards for her contribution to the single.

Te Haumihiata is a reo Māori exponent.  With little time to spare, she was approached to translate the lyrics of the song, Aotearoa, into Māori.

She explains, "(We had) little time but yet we did it.  We had meetings and tried different ways to capture the true meaning of the song and how Stan envisioned it at first."

Then the song became a huge hit nationally and internationally.

"I was in Wellington not long ago and I heard a young Pākēhā girl sing the song, (she was) very fair looking.  But she was singing Stan's song. She sung it beautifully.  I smiled because I knew this girl had a feeling what the song meant to her," Te Haumihiata says.

"I felt relieved.  So this song is catered for our youth, it also helps to empower them."

One key piece of advice Te Haumihiata has for aspiring Māori composers is to, "Keep it clear and simple."