WEDNESDAY 22nd FEBRUARY, 2023
Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata 2023 theme song inspires Greatness
The highly anticipated Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata 2023 official theme song by Six60 has been released on Wednesday morning.
Te Taumata is a translation of one of Six60’s biggest hits The Greatest, and was translated by Te Matatini Te Reo advisor and Te Mitatini Lead Max Matenga.
The waiata marks the 50th song for Te Matatini’s 50 golden years album which celebrates waiata performed at Te Matatini since its debut in Rotorua from 1972 to now.
Six60 lead singer Matiu Walters’s grandparents Muru and Lorraine Walters performed in the kapa Waihīrere, which won the inaugural festival in 1972.
He says Te Taumata is the perfect expression of what it means to perform kapa haka at the highest level of Māori performing arts.
"Once it's gone through that filter and translated, it makes a lot of sense, what kapa haka stands for, the process of working and striving and putting yourself in a position to win but also to fail,” says Mr Walters.
Kapa haka legend and musical director Robert Ruha led the recordings of the 50 waiata, and was instrumental to the inception of Te Taumata.
"This waiata is about striving, encouraging people to have faith beyond what they can do and what they think they can achieve. It's about inspiring people to occupy places of inspiration. I think that is what Te Matatini is all about. That's what it's been about for the last 50 years,” Mr Ruha says.
"It's inspired me and some of our greatest artists in the country. I think this is the perfect song."
Auckland Limited operations manager Wi Pere Mita expects 60,000 people to embark on Ngā Ana Wai Eden Park across the four-day festival which kicked off Wednesday 22 February.
"Music is the thing that unites everyone and through this theme song we want everyone to understand they have a place in this festival," Mr Mita says.
Te Taumata will be available on all music platforms following the Festival.