Appropriately timed in the middle of Māori Language Week, Irirangi te Motu/NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho have announced the launch of Waiata Takitahi, the two agencies’ first official music funding collaboration.
Opening in Whiringa-ā-nuku (October), the new music funding initiative will be seeking new songs that incorporate Māori language lyrics, with a minimum of 25% te reo Māori content. The fund will be open to musicians of all backgrounds who have a genuine interest in writing and recording waiata integrating te reo Māori, with an eye to distribution across mainstream audiences via online and broadcast platforms.
The funding on offer is $14,000 (+ gst) per track, which can cover costs of recording, video content and promotion, and also be used to meet costs of engaging te reo specialists or coaches to assist with the writing and recording of the songs.
NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho expect to be able to support up to 12 new songs in this inaugural Waiata Takitahi funding round. The grant also incorporates the new (optional) Artist Creation Fee of up to $1000. There will be high expectations placed on the quality of te reo to be used in the funded songs, and te reo Māori consultants and language experts must be engaged to ensure quality control and the contextual relevance in the tracks.
NZ On Air’s Head of Music, David Ridler, describes this focus round of funding as the logical next step in the collegial relationship with Te Māngai Pāho. “We have been actively looking for a way to work together in an official capacity to work on a common goal – break more local music incorporating te reo Māori into the mainstream.”
Te Mangai Pāho Kaiarahi Puoro Nadia Marsh agrees. “Artists are driving the kaupapa, and we are in full support. The 2019 Waiata/Anthems project demonstrates just how effortlessly te reo Māori can be integrated into our nation’s everyday listening,” she says.
Applications for the Waiata Takitahi round will open on 22 o Whiringa-ā-nuku (22 October), with the deadline 12 o Whiringa-ā-rangi (12 November). Funding decisions will be announced in Hakihea (December).
Applications will be online-only and will be made through NZ On Air’s New Music Single application portal