APRA has announced a new initiative aiming to support the growth of a bilingual music industry in Aotearoa. Oro (meaning to resound) is a strategy designed to increase the breadth of waiata reo Māori and waiata reorua (bilingual songs).
Oro has been in development for a year, with Hinewehi Mohi (APRA’s Māori Membership Growth & Development Leader) working with other industry players to get the initiative off the ground. Mohi says the interest in progressing a bilingual music industry has been significant across the NZ music sphere for a long time.
“There’s been a lot of interest from creators and consumers of music, wanting to access our language and culture through waiata, to participate in and celebrate our unique cultural identity.”
The main task of Oro will be to grow the repertoire of waiata in Aotearoa and support songwriters and artists in this process.
“We’re working with established artists to record and perform reo remixes of existing songs, as well as providing opportunities for collaborations of new compositions,” says Mohi. This will also involve engagement with the kapa haka community and taonga puoro (traditional instrument) practitioners.
In terms of targets, Mohi says APRA hopes to see growth in the range of waiata available for airplay on TV, radio and online platforms, especially during NZ Music Month, Matariki, and Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. She hopes Oro is just the start of more exciting things to come for waiata in Aotearoa.
“Music is a great connector and is a way we can express our unique cultural identity. By supporting the production, promotion and broadcast of waiata, we may all one day be singing from the same song sheet!”