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Monday, October 31, 2022

Bird of the Year Winner is - Pīwauwau Rock wren

Can you name a bird that loves our mountains so much that it never retires below the bush-line? Look no further than New Zealand’s true alpine bird species! Weighing less than an AA battery and laying eggs the size of 10c coins, these tiny rock bobbers defy all laws of survival and demonstrate true mountain bravery.

The pīwauwau/ rock wren is the winner of the Bird of the Year contest for 2022.

The winner of the country's most popular competition was announced on Morning Report today.

By yesterday three frontrunners had emerged, the pīwauwau / rock wren, the kea, and kororā / the little blue penguin.

The diminutive alpine dweller narrowly defeated the little blue penguin to take the top spot, with nearly 3000 voters putting it in the top spot.

Pīwauwau campaign leader Stephen Day said the bird had definitely flown under the radar up until now.

"Unless you'd spent some time in the mountains, you'd probably never heard
of a rock wren until two weeks ago. It's a true underbird."

The two-time champion kākāpō was barred from the ballot, as the organisers, Forest and Bird, decided to focus on the underbirds.

Last year's competition proved controversial, with a win by the long-tailed bat.

Kororā PremiereKororā / the little blue penguin is the runnerup this year

For more information - go to

Thursday, October 20, 2022

WOMAD NZ 2023 - Artists announced!

WOMAD NZ announces 22 more incredible and diverse international & local talent for the 20th anniversary of the festival. 
Including Sampa The Great, Deva Mahal, Fly My Pretties, Mdou Moctar, Youssou N’Dour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar, and many more. 

WOMAD NZ 2023, March 17-19 Celebrating 20 years, 17 Festivals And Over 1500 Performers 

From; Afghanistan to Zambia, psychedelic rock to incredible vocalists, classical to hip hop, Grammy award-winning to up-and-coming, traditional to contemporary, memoirs to mathematics. 

Today, WOMAD NZ 2023 has announced 20 new music and dance acts and two World Of Words and OMV STEAM Lab speakers as part of the 2023 festival this March. The festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary at the award-winning Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Park in New Plymouth. 

Set to celebrate, inspire and entertain, the 22 new artists performing WOMAD 2023 in alphabetical order are: Acapollinations (Aotearoa) * Bab L’ Bluz (Morocco/France) * Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn (USA) * Cimafunk (Cuba) * Constantinople (Canada) * Deva Mahal (Aotearoa) * Fly My Pretties (Aotearoa) * Professor Hinke Osinga (Aotearoa) * Justin Adams & Mauro Durante (UK/Italy) * Kefaya and Elaha Soroor (Afghanistan/UK) * Kita (Aotearoa) * Lil O'Brien (Aotearoa) * MazbouQ (Aotearoa) * Mdou Moctar (Niger) * Mudra Dance Company (Aotearoa) * Pandit Ronu Majumdar & Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh (India) * Rizwan Muazzam Qawwals (Pakistan) * Rubi Du ( Aotearoa) * Sampa The Great (Zambia) * The Garifuna Collective (Belize) * The Langan Band (Scotland) * Youssou N’Dour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar (Senegal) 

These 22 new musicians, dancers and speakers join the already announced brilliant multi-award-winning Korean folk-pop group ADG7, Aotearoa's genre-pushing jazz, hip hop project Avantdale Bowling Club, and modern Occitan troubadours San Salvador from France. Plus, World Of Words speaker Dick Frizzell and OMV STEAM Lab meteorologist Lisa Murray, both from Aotearoa. 

More artists and festival announcements are expected in the coming months. The World of Music, Arts and Dance festival boasts eight stages, each featuring an eclectic and cross-cultural line-up with talented musicians, artists, and inspiring speakers for three days and nights of extraordinary music and culture like nothing else in Aotearoa. Situated in a natural amphitheatre over a lake, the iconic Bowl stage is a venue with the wow factor. While the Dell Stage is an intimate affair surrounded by gentle native bush. 

Both The Gables and the Brooklands stages are known for their high energy and late-night sets. The Kunming Garden hosts the World Of Word stage, which celebrates diverse and exciting voices designed to inspire people to think, talk, laugh, listen and learn and the OMV STEAM Lab is a place of wonder where Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics unite, with inventors, innovators and people at the top of their fields pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. 

Unique to Aotearoa, Te Paepae proudly hosts Māori Culture workshops and activities, and music, food, and conversation are at the heart of Taste the World. Loved by all ages, WOMAD NZ 2023 is a worldly fix without leaving the country—the ultimate culmination of sounds, scenery and good vibes. 

Chief Operating Officer for WOMAD UK, Mike Large, states, "WOMAD, first and foremost, is a great festival to enjoy and discover music, arts and dance. But it was born with a purpose and created in response to difficult times. There was apartheid aboard, race riots and terrorism at home in the UK. Our founder Peter Gabrel believed that by bringing great artists together in a family-friendly environment, the audience would forget their fears and prejudices and open their hearts to the music instead... WOMAD and what it stands for feels more important now than ever." 

Tickets to the three-day camping festival are on sale now from .

This year, WOMAD has teamed up with PayPlan making it easy for festival-goers to book tickets now, pay in regular, easy payments, and be dancing under the mighty Taranaki Mounga in March 2023. 

Camping and glamping options are available.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

2022 Silver Scroll Awards announced

Photo - Supplied

This year's top Kiwi songs for were announced last night at a special ceremony at Spark Arena. About 500 people attended, with many more watching it online. This was the first full-scale event to take place in over 3 years, due to Covid-19 disruptions.

Each year a different musical director takes care of the performances - this year being Rob Ruha and Cilla Ruha.

The APRA Silver Scroll Awards, which celebrates Aotearoa's songwriters and composers, is an annual event.  Members of APRA AMCOS, which takes care of musical royalties, were able to vote in the awards. 

This year's winner was the song '35' by Rob Ruha and an East Coast youth choir.  he song is named after a State Highway that loops around Te Tairāwhiti, the East Coast.

Members of APRA AMCOS, which takes care of musical royalties, were able to vote in the awards.

The released version was performed by Tairāwhiti youth choir Ka Hao with Rob Ruha, and was written by Rob Ruha, Kaea Hills, Te Amorutu Broughton, Ainsley Tai, Dan Martin, Whenua Patuwai.

"The feel-good local anthem gained international recognition late last year after going viral on TikTok, proudly putting Māoritanga and the East Coast on the map," the APRA statement said.

"The coming together of Rob Ruha and Ka Hao is seamless, as a project to promote and revitalise te reo Māori, the group's name refers to the proverb ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi (as the old fishing net is worn, a new one is made), referring to youth growing up and entering adulthood."

The song was performed at last night's performance by Stan Walker and Hamo Dell.

Maioha Award for a te reo Māori waiata

Aja Ropata, Byllie-Jean Zeta and Chris Wethey took out the Maioha Award for an exceptional waiata in te reo, for their song 'Te Iho'.

"'Te Iho' praises the essence of powerful wāhine Māori, using poetic language to express the importance of women. [It] is a potent waiata about whakapapa and the DNA passed down from atua wāhine," APRA said.

SOUNZ Award winner inspired in Paris

Reuben Jelleyman won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for his orchestral work called 'Catalogue'.  He has been nominated for the award twice previously.

The composition is described as: "a chaotic collision of Jelleyman's musical exploration", created whilst Jelleyman was studying at the Conservatoire national Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris (and  written for the performance ensemble Multilatérale).

Compositions for film and television

The award for original music used in a film was scooped up by Dana Lund and Horomona Horo for their score for Whina, a story about the legacy left by Dame Whina Cooper.

And the award for music used in a TV series was won by Jonathan Crayford, Joel Tashkoff, Troy Kingi and Stephen Atutolu for the soundtrack to TV Mini series 'The Panthers', about the history of the Polynesian Panthers and the Dawn Raids.

Here is the full list of finalists:

2022 APRA Silver Scroll award finalists

WINNER: '35' written by Rob Ruha, Kaea Hills, Te Amorutu Broughton, Ainsley Tai, Dan Martin, Whenua Patuwai, performed by Ka Hao and Rob Ruha

'Beyond the Stars' written by Tami Neilson and Delaney Davidson performed by Tami Neilson and Willie Nelson (Native Tongue Music Publishing)

'Girl At Night' written by Natalie Hutton, Minnie Robberds, Joel Becker, Angus Murray, performed by There's A Tuesday (Native Tongue Music Publishing)

'He Ōrite' written by Troy Kingi*, Iraia Whakamoe, Ryan Prebble, James Coyle, performed by Troy Kingi and The Nudge (*LOOP Publishing Limited/Kobalt Music Publishing)

'My Boy' written and performed by Marlon Williams (Native Tongue Music Publishing)

APRA Maioha Award finalists, celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori

WINNER: 'Te Iho' written by Aja Ropata, Byllie-Jean Zeta, Chris Wethey, performed by AJA & Byllie-Jean

'E Hine Ē' written by Em-Haley Walker, performed by TE KAAHU

'Rangatira/Owner' written and performed by Ria Hall translated by Teraania Ormsby (published by LOOP Publishing Limited/Kobalt Music Publishing)

SOUNZ Contemporary Award finalists, celebrating excellence in contemporary composition

WINNER: 'Catalogue' by Reuben Jelleyman

'more full of flames' and voices by Neville Hall

'Manaaki' by Phil Brownlee, Liane Taikao (Ariana Tikao)

APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award finalists

WINNER: Dana Lund and Horomona Horo for Whina

Karl Steven for The Justice of Bunny King

Conrad Wedde, Samuel Scott, Luke Buda (Moniker) for Night Raiders

APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award finalists

WINNER: Jonathan Crayford, Joel Tashkoff, Troy Kingi, Stephen Atutolu for The Panthers

Conrad Wedde, Samuel Scott, Luke Buda (Moniker) for Wellington Paranormal

Claire Cowan for One Lane Bridge

2022 NZ Music Hall of Fame Inductees: Te Kumeroa "Ngoingoi" Pēwhairangi QSM, Tuini Moetū Haangū Ngāwai

For the full story, go to the APRA Website