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Moana And The Tribe


New Zealand band Moana & the Tribe defy easy definition as their music slips and slides across genre ‘creating dub-ambient-soul-funk from nowhere else but right here, right now.’

One of the most distinctive, articulate and significant voices and long acknowledged for having consistently pushed the boundaries of Māori music in both her recordings and live performances, singer/songwriter Moana Maniapoto (Ngati Tuwharetoa /Tuhourangi /Ngati Pikiaao) who - first with Moana and the Moahunters and latterly as Moana & the Tribe - has taken her often politically conscious music to festivals across the world.

She paid her way through law school by singing in covers bands, took her version of the feminist soul song Black Pearl with her band Moana & the Moahunters onto the charts in 1990. Moana has articulated a Maori perspective of colonisation in memorable songs (not the least in the powerful song Treaty) and has effectively incorporated taonga puoro (traditional instruments) into music which refers to rock, soul, classical and reggae - but always sounds solely like Moana-music.

Moana Maniapoto has been awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Maori and music, and in 2007 was also honoured with the prestigious award of New Zealand Art Laureate and won the Grand Jury Prize of the International Songwriting Contest with her song Moko. She was also the driving force behind the APRA Maioha Songwriting Award

Moana Maniapoto has released the albums Tahi, Rua, Toru, Acoustic ,Wha and the DVD Live & Proud as well as a retrospective album The Best of Moana & the Tribe and teamed up with band member Paddy Free (Pitch Black) to produce and co-write in 2014 her fifth studio album Rima.

Since 2002 Moana & the Tribe have played many big festivals and smaller venues in Germany, Italy, Poland, Austria, Netherlands, Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Spain, England , Scotland, Greece, Turkey, Norway , Canada, South Korea, China, Taiwan, New Caledonia, Australia and New Zealand.

They have taken their haka-funk-dub-fusion to venues as iconic as Herodus Atticus (Athens) or the Sydney Opera House as well as to the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Chiemsee Reggae (Germany) Etnosur (Spain) Cross Cultures (Poland) and Sziget Festival Budapest (one of the biggest festivals in Europe with more 400,000 visitors)

The New Zealand Herald described Moana & the Tribe as "the most powerful, enjoyable and important act on Womad 2014 main stage delivering a thumping, visually powerful and cleverly calculated implosion of waiata, haka and electronic-flavoured soul-funk".

They performed at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 where they represented New Zealand in the “Boomerang Project”, a collaboration between Scottish, Maori and Aboriginal artists.

She continues to articulate the desires and aspirations of her people while also addressing head-on the wrongs of the past. Moana does this with a rare voice, which can be as seductive as it is assertive. The emotional depth and sad beauty of her songs, as much as their hypnotic melody and groove, confirms Moana’s status as one of New Zealand’s finest artists.

Band Members:
Moana Maniapoto (vocals)
Trina Maniapoto (vocals)
Paddy Free (keyboards)
Cadzow Cossar (guitar)
Marika Hodgson (bass)
Mickey Ututaonga (drums, vocals)
Kemara Kennedy (haka)
Laurence Kershaw (haka)
Tamihana Morunga (haka)





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muzic.net.nz Admin

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Moana And The Tribe album release
Posted: Sun May 11, 2008 10:22 am
Moana & The Tribe - Wha

New Zealand music icon, Moana Maniapoto prepares to unveil the beautiful new work entitled ‘Wha’. In the six years since their last album Moana & The Tribe have been capturing the hearts and minds of international audiences and critics with their breathtaking live performances.

“Sometimes when we’re singing, we get emotional and then we see people in our audience in tears. To connect with a stranger in that way is almost a spiritual experience and I guess that’s one part of music making that I’m addicted to.” - Moana Maniapoto

Moana and The Tribe's fourth album 'WHA' is set for release on May 12th and will be celebrated with a special showcase of music performance and multimedia at the new Erupt Festival at Taupo’s Great Lake Centre on May 10th and again at Auckland’s Galatos on Thursday May 15th.

Moana & The Tribe - Thursday, 15 May 2008
at Galatos, 17 Galatos Street, Newton
Plus special guests Ruia.

The exquisite new album is an extensive collage of contemporary dub, reverential odes to heroes lost, emotive reminders about our past, and sensual love songs. The sounds range from electronic programming through to flugel horn to Taonga Puoro (traditional Maori instruments) and include historical recordings such as that of the 28th Maori Battalion.

It is their first entirely Maori language album and their first foray into collaborations with the classical world including composer Victoria Kelly (Strawpeople, Anika Moa, Greg Johnson) and members of the New Zealand Trio (one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed professional chamber groups).

This blend amplifies the warmth and passion of this accomplished, incredible woman that has connected her with audiences around the world.

Formed in 2002, Moana & The Tribe have played nearly 150 international concerts, most recently from Kanak villages in the islands of New Caledonia to sell out concerts in Vladivostok, Russia. Some of their live highlights include playing on the ancient field of Olympia (Greece), on the spiritual idyll that is Rekohu (Chatham Islands) Tollwood Festival (Germany), Etnosur Festival (Spain) and at the Gnesins Music Academy (Moscow).

"A must-see, so much to listen to and see. Astonishing, I was blown away…." - Daily News Forum, Vladivostok ( Russia), 2007

Moana & The Tribe’s Auckland album launch showcase will feature new Tribe members Ryan Monga (percussion), Richard James Murray (bass), Ashley Brown (cello) and Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper (violin). Core Tribe members Cadzow Cossar (guitar), Amiria Reriti and Trina Maniapoto will also perform alongside Moana .

Following the album release and shows at home, Moana & The Tribe tour to Bonn, Germany to represent the Pacific before a 5000 strong audience at a concert for the United Nations. The band will perform alongside artists such as Bob Geldof (UK), Hugh Masekela (Africa), Daniela Mercury (South America) and Gocoo (Japan). After which they will head off on their 7th European tour.

"The audience was mesmerized by… the stunning harmonies of Moana’s sister Trina Maniapoto and Amiria Reriti blended seamlessly …The audience were privy to Moana the captivating storyteller, peace advocate, rebel supporter and consummate performer" - Bay of Plenty Times, Tauranga, October 2007

Moana Maniapoto
Ngāti Tuwharetoa / Tuhourangi / Ngāti Pikiao

“My best friend, sister and partner are all in my band and the rest are great mates. When we aren’t singing, we are usually laughing our heads off, and that is a great space to be in.” - Moana Maniapoto

From the living room of her Grey Lynn home Moana Maniapoto admits she gets more nervous singing in front of her aunties at Waitetoko marae, than the thousands she faces at the hundreds of festivals she has performed at. Moana Maniapoto says her father and his brothers provided early inspiration with their legendary combination of live performance and hospitality at the marae.

She credits her time at St Josephs Māori Girls College for honing her love of vocal harmony and performance. Moana paid her way through law school by singing covers in the highly competitive Auckland club circuit. In 1990, Moana & the Moahunters released the feminist anthem Black Pearl which shot to No. 2 on the national charts, earning Moana her first gold. Since then, she has released albums Tahi, Rua. 2002 heralded time for a change and Moana & The Tribe was formed and have since released Toru (which reached No.17 on the European World Music Charts), the DVD Live & Proud and now in 2008, the latest full length album, Wha.

Moana cites meeting and singing for Nelson Mandela during his Auckland visit as a personal highlight. She is a recipient of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music and Maori, a Life Time Recipient of the Toi Iho Māori Made Mark and received the 2005 Te Tohu Mahi Hou a Te Waka Toi Award from Te Waka Toi (Creative N.Z), in recognition of outstanding leadership and contribution to the development of new directions in Māori art and in 2007 was bestowed the honour of being made a New Zealand Art Laureate.

Offstage, Moana is one half of an award-winning documentary team led by her partner, producer/director Toby Mills. Their documentaries (including GUARDING THE FAMILY SILVER / Up For Grabs (2005) about intellectual and cultural property issues) has screened in theatres and at conferences around the world. Their latest documentary ‘The Island’ will be launched at the Erupt Lake Taupo Festival of Arts.

A former television and radio presenter, actor, artist and law graduate, Moana is a mother, writer, advocate and mentor. A talkback host on the very first national Maori radio station in 1990, she also hosted her own weekly night-time show on Radio Waatea and a music magazine series called Tribal Beats. Moana co-hosted a children’s live television series, Yahoo (TV3) and appeared on a weekly current affairs show The Ralston Group as a political commentator. She also acted on Shortland Street opposite Temuera Morrison.

In 2005 and 2006, she managed a national project mentoring 25 whanau to capture their unique family stories through creative genre such as writing books, producing CDs and documentaries, websites and short film scripts.

Facts Bio


- 'Wha' released May 12th 2008
- May 15 Moana & The Tribe perform for the United Nations alongside 4 other chosen artists including Bob Geldof


- Moana is made a NZ Art Laureate by The Arts Foundation of New Zealand. Laureate Awards are an investment in excellence. Annually, five exceptional New Zealand artists are chosen in recognition of their artistic achievements and as a challenge to continue working at high levels. Laureate artists are selected without knowing they are under consideration by a panel of peers, who use their collective knowledge to select high performing artists as companions to the previously Awarded Laureates.


- Awarded Te Tohu Mahi Hou a Te Waka Toi, in recognition of outstanding leadership and contribution to the development of new directions in Maori art.


- Moana became the first non-American to win a major U.S.A based songwriting contest with her song ‘Moko’. Moana beat over 11,000 compositions to win the Grand Jury Prize of the International Songwriting Competition.
- Awarded NZ Order of Merit for services to Maori and music
- Moana made Lifetime Honorary Recipient of the Toi Iho-Maori Made Mark denoting work of high quality and authenticity


- Moana & The Tribe open the premiere of Whale Rider in Germany and Australia
- Moana made member of Music Industry Export Development Group - taking NZ music international
- Moana performs for Nelson Mandela on his Auckland visit
- June - DVD Live & Proud launched in Berlin.
- Moana & The Tribe perform at the Cultural Olympiad in Greece representing New Zealand alongside representatives from 28 nations including Paco Peña (Spain) and the Shaolin Monks (China)


- 'Toru' enters European World Charts at no.17
- Moana & the Tribe were formed in 2002, quickly cementing their reputation as one of the most successful indigenous groups to emerge from Aotearoa.

Pre 2002

- Moana’s former band, Moana & the Moahunters released two albums "Tahi and "Rua" . They toured not only New Zealand but also took part in Womadelaide, Australia, and played the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Vancouver Folk Festival. Their remake of the classic ‘Black Pearl’ shot them up the New Zealand charts, earning the band their first gold single.

"Wha; - the songs"
He Waiata Aroha na Puhiwahine

This traditional waiata is often sung on marae throughout Ngati Tuwharetoa despite being composed well over a century ago. It is a love song composed by the ancestress Rihi Puhiwahine and describes the mountains, hills and landscape of the Taupo region. It also mentions the arrival of volcanic fire to Ngaruahoe and Tongariro, carried from Hawaiiki to warm the ancestor Ngatoroirangi. This archival excerpt was performed on an unidentified marae and recorded through Radio N.Z Sound Archives.

Titia (M.Maniapoto/D.Nehua)

Vocals: Moana Maniapoto, Amiria Reriti, Katarina Maniapoto
Guitar: Cadzow Cossar
Bass: Max Stowers
Programming: Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper

Titia is a song that is a tribute to Syd Jackson, revolutionary Maori leader, thinker and doer. With lyrics written by his wife Deidre to encourage him during a stem-cell transplant, Titia uses the paddling of a canoe as a metaphor for strength – Titia to hoe kia hohonu, dig your paddle in deeper. Syd Jackson was the founder of Maori activist group Nga Tamatoa, which forced the Treaty of Waitangi onto the political agenda, called for Maori language to be taught in schools, led the sporting boycott against South Africa and initiated the 1975 Maori Land March. He died in 2007.

Whaura (M.Maniapoto/S.Morrison/T.Paenga)

Vocals: Moana Maniapoto, Amiria Reriti, Katarina Maniapoto
Te Hira Paenga, Scott Morrison
Guitar: Cadzow Cossar
Bass: Max Stowers
Programming: Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper

Whaura is a song that speaks to those who romanticise the Pacific as a holiday destination full of ‘palm trees and coconut cream, lying in the sand, feeling nothing but a cool breeze.’ Yet the Pacific is a region in which various governments and monarchies are under threat including those that tourists frequent - Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Kanaky and Tonga. Timor, which was colonised by Portugal for 450 years, operated under 3 weeks of self-proclaimed independence in 1975 until it was invaded by Indonesia, leading to a bitter and bloody struggle until UN Peacekeeping forces finally arrived in 2002. Whaura reminds us that many small nations in the Pacific are struggling with sovereignty and independence issues.

Rangikane ana (M.Maniapoto/S.Morrison)

Vocals: Moana Maniapoto, Amiria Reriti, Katarina Maniapoto
Additional vocals: Scott Morrison
Guitar: Cadzow Cossar
Bass / percussion: Max Stowers
Taonga Puoro: Horomona Horo
Violin: Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper
Cello: Ashley Browne

Rangikane was commissioned for the opening of the very first Moriori marae on Rekohu (Chatham Islands). The lyrics encourage rememberance of those who courageously laid down an ancient peace covenant a thousand years ago. Concerned at senseless killing, Moriori ancestors Muwheke and Rongomaiwhenua made a ruling that at the drawing of first blood, fighting would end. This commitment led to the decimation of the Moriori, when centuries later, they were invaded by other tribes from Aotearoa. Rangikan ana revisits the concept of the original peace covenant and acknowledges the wish of Moriori to have Rekohu established as a venue for international peace talks. The band travelled to this small island to perform this composition for the people in a very moving and special ceremony.

Manawa Tahi (M.Maniapoto/S.Morrison)

Vocals: Moana Maniapoto, Amiria Reriti, Katarina Maniapoto
Additional vocals: Scott Morrison
Guitar: Cadzow Cossar
Bass: Max Stowers
Cello: Ashley Browne
Taonga Puoro: Richard Nunns
Programming: Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper

This song speaks of the relationship between humanity and the great forests of the world. Tane is the God of Forest and Nature. A symphony of bird calls, emanates forth. A cacophony of fidgeting insects, the descendants of Tu-te-wehiwehi, resound forth.. Yours is the divine kingdom of shelter, of permanence for all who reside. In daytime, a plethora of sound, In darkness, almost complete tranquillity. Tis your inner being, oh Tane, that carries my inner being, to the heavens

Te Apo (M.Maniapoto/S.Morrison/M.Bridgman-Cooper)

Vocals: Moana Maniapoto, Amiria Reriti, Debbie Harwood
Haka vocals: Te Hira Paenga, Scott Morrison, Paora Sharples
Guitar: Cadzow Cossar
Bass: Max Stowers
Cello: Ashley Browne
Taonga Puoro: Richard Nunns
Programming: Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper

In 2006, members of the band attended the World Trade Organisations Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong to document the huge protests against the WTO which challenge the concept that all living and inanimate things may be commodified and controlled. Te Apo not only incorporates the street sounds of the actual protest, but also utilises traditional Maori artforms of haka and karanga to convey the Maori dimension to the argument. I respond to the nurturing voices of our ancestors cascading across the rippling waters and the breast of the earth mother, lying below. Don’t trust outward appearances, that which will only conceal what lies within. Greed permeates the world of trade. Desist and apologise, American plunderers. Words float above, but deception lies beneathKeep the food sources of indigenous people protected, and well stocked - these that are inherently theirs. Such was the great storage house o Te Heuheu, which fed visitors from near and far, of all ethnicities. An ancient custom of the Maori, still adhered today, still sacred.
Te Arawa E(trad.)

Vocals: B Company, 28th Maori Battalion, courtesy of Radio NZ SoundArchives

This archival recording was recorded during World War 2 by Radio N.Z, possibly in the Western Desert at a performance by members of the B Company (28th Maori Battalion). It is a tribal anthem still sung throughout Te Arawa today.

Pae o Riri (M.Maniapoto / S.Morrison / V.Kelly)

Vocals: Moana Maniapoto, Katarina Maniapoto
Bass: Gordon Hill
Violin: Justine Cormack, Miranda Adams, Diana Cochrane, William Hanfling
Viola: Rob Ashworth, Christine Bowie
Cello: Claudia Price, Ashley Browne

This song was inspired by an old Italian partisan song. Pae o Riri means the heat of the battle. This song is a plea to Italian families to treat Maori soldiers as their own, to look upon them as their sons, brothers and family members. It pays special tribute to those soldiers who are still buried offshore such as the writers great uncle Lt Hupa Hamiora, of B Company (28th Maori Battalion) who was killed in the battle of El Alamein at aged 36. The vocals are accompanied by an arrangement produced by Victoria Kelly and played by member of the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

Oh beloved father, take him as your son. He has gone afar to battle. Please protect him and should he die fighting, return him to Mother Earth. Oh beautiful mother, weep for this boy who has fallen. When he has gone, adorn his grave with a feather plume, a symbol of a chiefly traveller from afar so all will know there lies our warrior and the partisan, who fought and died for freedom's sake.

Matakuikui (M.Maniapoto / S.Morrison / M.Bridgman-Cooper)

Vocals: Moana Maniapoto, Amiria Reriti, Katarina Maniapoto
Guitar: Cadzow Cossar
Bass: Max Stowers
Alto sax: Hareruia Aperahama
Soprano sax, tenor sax, flugel horn: Chris Nielson
Programming: Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper

This song is a simple groove about unexpected love.

Wha; (M.Maniapoto)

Glass Harmonium: Alistair Galbraith
Taonga puoro: Richard Nunns
Taonga Puoro: Horomona Horo

This brief instrumental track brings together the glass harmonium, played by Alistair Galbraith (Art Laureate) and the taonga puoro as performed by Richard Nunns. It is a tribute to nature and evocative of the spiritual nature and natural sounds of the N.Z native bush. The glass harmonium was invented by Thomas Edison and according to Alistair Glabraith, Mozart himself wrote pieces specifically for this delicate instrument whose tones were so unique that it was once banned in Germany.

Iri Kura (M.Maniapoto / S.Morrison / H.Horo)

Vocals: Moana Maniapoto, Amiria Reriti, Katarina Maniapoto
Guitar: Cadzow Cossar
Bass / percussion: Max Stowers
Taonga Puoro / vocals: Horomona Horo

Iri Kura is a lovesong sung around the bass of Max Stowers and the taonga puoro of Horomona Horo. I shall gaze there too, and despite our yearning, we shall be united spiritually by Mahina. My love charm is now complete.

He Waiata Aroha na Puhiwahine (traditional arranged by V.Kelly)

Vocals: Moana Maniapoto, Scott Morrison
Bass: Gordon Hill
Violin: Justine Cormack, Miranda Adams, Diana Cochrane, William Hanfling
Viola: Rob Ashworth, Christine Bowie
Cello: Claudia Price, Ashley Browne

This traditional waiata is often sung on marae throughout Ngati Tuwharetoa despite being composed well over a century ago. It is a love song composed by the ancestress Rihi Puhiwahine and describes the mountains, hills and landscape of the Taupo region. It also mentions the arrival of volcanic fire to Ngaruahoe and Tongariro, carried from Hawaiiki to warm the ancestor Ngatoroirangi. This song was performed by Moana Maniapoto and Scott Morrison, accompanied by members of the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

muzic.net.nz Admin

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Moana & The Tribe Rating High In Germany
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 10:07 am
The 45 minute special 'Moana & The Tribe : Live At Chiemsee Summer Festival 2002', which broadcast on Bavarian TV on 10 June, rated at 4.8% pulling 90,000 viewers in Germany at midnight!!

This figure is even more impressive when compared with the 'Rock In The Park Special', which featured big acts like Marilyn Manson, which rated at 2.5%!

'Moana & The Tribe' outrated all the other Music Specials from the 'Chiemsee Summer Festival' (including Luciano, UB40 etc) and it looks like a few others besides.

Good stuff!

muzic.net.nz Admin

Joined: 01/01/02
Posts: 827
Location: Manawatu
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Germans Own Maori Name (Press Release)
Posted: Wed Sep 4, 2002 5:24 pm
Singer Moana Maniapoto returned home this week confirming that German company MediaXS was legally entitled to ban her from releasing anymore CDs under her birth name, just as her latest release is rising up the World Music Charts in Europe – under its original title.

‘It’s a little bit of utu really!’ said the singer. ‘The C.D hit number 17 in the charts last night and of course, the charts are still registering it under the name MOANA.’

MediaXS trademarked the name in 2000 for a variety of products including soaps, beauty and body products, hair dyes, cosmetics, toothpastes, sound and audiovisual works, records, music, films, videotapes, calculators, computer-dvd and videogames, paper and cardboard products, christmas tree decorations, fantasy toys, services for education schooling and entertainment, especially music, song, theatre and dance performances, live or via media, radio or TV production, reproduction, sports or cultural activities, including concerts etc.

‘At one concert, ten thousand people turned up to hear us sing about culture and identity,’ said Ms Maniapoto. ‘That’s while a German company was banning me from using my first name on my own CD. At the time, there was nothing we could do about it. But the whole issue of cultural appropriation under laws relating to patents and trademarks is a hot issue internationally. Lots of top German artists have expressed their support, not aware of Germany’s role in trademarking and patenting Maori property. So the discussion to come out of it is one real positive.’

Tour Manager Toby Mills reported that lawyers representing MediaXS and Pirate Records finally reached an out-of-court settlement last week. Pirate Records guaranteed that all future pressings and promotional aids would now include the N.Z singer’s surname. Pirate were required to pay a smaller amount in damages, and their website would promote the existence of the white unsigned Berlin-based trip-hop band to whom MediaXS had licensed the name.

During its thirty performances in Europe, Moana’s group played a variety of venues ranging from a Roman Amphitheatre built in 3 AD, to the trendy Atomic club in Munich, which described the group as ‘mad, obsessed and inspiring.’

During September, Barvarian TV (Germany) is broadcasting a 45 minute special on the band from its performance at the Chiemsee Reggae Festival, which featured headliners UB40, Luciano and Steel Pulse.

‘Considering that we aren’t even a reggae band, the level of interest in the group indicates the huge impression we had on European audiences. We already have 16 invitations to return next June. And the CD hit number 17 in the charts this week and is climbing. Whether MediaXS likes or not, Moana’s name is already out there and fully associated with music,’ said Mr Mills.

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