Maori Women Songwriters

In 2005 I began exploring the New Zealand music scene in the hope of finding some good topics to research. One important theme that rather quickly caught my attention was Maori women songwriters, so I began collecting their recordings and conducting interviews with them in 2006. Some of my favorites are Whirimako Black, Moana Maniapoto, and Mahinarangi Tocker, each of whom may be rightfully regarded as world-class creative musicians. I plan to give some research presentations on the topic of Maori women songwriters soon, and have begun developing related lesson plans for a book in collaboration with Kiwi performing arts specialist Susan Battye. Below are some interesting video clips of Maori women songwriters [NOTE: This website is best viewed with the Mozilla Firefox browser - downloadable for free - rather than Internet Explorer or Netscape.]:

Moana Maniapoto’s Life:

Moana Maniapoto’s Performance:

Whirimako Black’s ‘E Te Kai’ Video:

Mahinarangi Tocker (about one minute into this video on Kiwi poet Hone Tuwhare):


And, while on the topic of Kiwi music it seems best to also take this opportunity to introduce a few notable New Zealand bands:

Pan-Pacific band, Te Vaka:

Golden Horse:

A classic Kiwi hit song: Split Enz, "Message to My Girl":

Another classic Kiwi hit song, Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over":

Here is a link to Kirsten Zemke-White’s insightful scholarly article on New Zealand hip hop:


Finally, here is a link to a fascinating news story from New Zealand: dog music hit.

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