Waiata Bros

19-year-old animator Turanga Mahutonga is creating Waiata Bro’s: A series of fun animated music videos that teach words and phrases in te reo Māori for everyone to sing along to.

Tihei Mauri ora! Ko Turanga Mahutonga toku ingoa, he uri tenei no Te Arawa, Taranaki me Ngāti Whakaue. Anei he kōrero e pā ana ki aku mahi pakiwaituhi, ara, ko Waiata Bro’s!

Waiata Bro’s are animated music videos that teach te reo Māori. They’re catchy and fun – for everyone to sing along to. 

Waiata Bro’s was created at M.A.T.C.H – the Māoriland Tech Creative Hub. Over the past six months Turanga has been developing this kaupapa – and now we need your help. 

Turanga has 15 Waiata Bro’s puoro ataata – 4 are complete and 11 are in development. 

We aim to raise $8,000 to support Turanga to complete Waiata Bro’s! This pūtea will go towards artists, studio time and musicians. 

Your donation will result in 15 reo Māori puoro ataata – Māori language music videos – that will help us all grow our te reo Māori.

Turanga Mahutonga

Turanga Mahutonga

Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Moeahu

Turanga Mahutonga grew up in Rotorua in a reo-Māori speaking home. In January 2021 he moved to Ōtaki to study animation within the M.A.T.C.H Intensifier programme. During this time he created Waiata Bro’s, a series of animated music videos that teach te reo Māori. Turanga is passionate about create reo Māori resources and making te reo more accessible for all tamariki.

TĪTIRO MAI Watch the first Waiata Bro's Puoro Ataata

Mihi o te Rā

Mōrena, Kia ora, Ata Mārie! Morning, Hello, Good Morning – Tītiro mai ki Ngā mihi o te Rā! An easy to learn waiata full of greetings you can use anywhere you go. 

About the Kaupapa

Turanga Mahutonga grew up in a Māori speaking whānau in Rotorua. Music and art was celebrated and encouraged at home, so it’s little wonder that Turanga combines his creative talent with his passion for te reo Māori. 

It all came together earlier this year, when Turanga moved to Ōtaki for a six week animation intensifier course at the Māoriland Tech Creative Hub – MATCH.

For his graduation project Turanga presented an animation of waiata and te reo Māori aimed at young children. The tune was a hit right away with children and adults alike.  Turanga knew he was onto something.

“Everyone was happy when they heard my waiata. They quickly picked up the words and I would hear them singing it for days afterwards. Even those who were learning te reo Māori were singing along. It was exactly what I wanted to happen and it spurred me to write and animate more waiata” says Turanga.

Turanga has a vision. It’s called WAIATA BRO’S. He plans to write, sing and animate 15 catchy waiata that offer words and phrases to help anyone feel comfortable about speaking te reo. He is a third of the way through a list of songs that include language about Atua Māori, kai, jobs, animals, numbers, emotions, pepeha and greetings.

It’s the waiata about greetings and mihi that Turanga has decided to release in time for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori. 

“It’s a waiata of greetings used from the morning to the end of a day. My whakaaro is that by singing it, more people will be able to use te reo Māori every day.” says Turanga.

At the same time as the release of his first music video, Turanga and MATCH are launching a Boosted campaign to raise funds so he can write and animate 10 more waiata for his Waiata Bro’s collection.

“We need far more reo Māori resources for our tamariki and their whānau” says Māoriland managing director Libby Hakaraia. “We hope everyone will support Turanga’s vision to create really joyful waiata that celebrate reo Māori as such a beautiful language of our country.”

Turanga is currently in the MATCH Incubator programme after completing an internship at Māoriland. Turanga also won an award for best actor for his first acting role in a short film, Manu Masters at the Māoriland Film Festival 2021.