She’s the little lady with a fabulous voice – but not the singing variety. Beautiful te reo speaking radio personality Stacey Daniels will make sure things run smoothly at this year’s Lakeside concert in her role as MC/host. She might not be from Rotorua originally but with a surname like that, we will always claim her as one of our own. Married to local legend and Te Karere host Scotty Morrison, Stacey is a household name in the entertainment industry. As the daughter of long-time radio host James Daniels, Stacey grew up in Christchurch and kick-started her career as host on shows such as What Now and Mai Time. Today she’s a host for The Hits radio station as well as being mum to her and Scotty’s three children, daughters Maiana and Kurawaka, and son Hawaiki. With her fluent te reo Maori skills, she is very active in promoting the Maori language, making her the perfect host for Lakeside 2018 – Whenua #itsabouthome given Rotorua’s new bilingual status.
Bursting onto the music scene is Rotorua Boy’s High School’s newly named Head Boy Hohaia Macfarlane. This talented 17-year-old has only been getting classical singing lessons for less than a year but already has raised the attention of local experts who pick him to have a big future. Growing up around music as the son of well-known local musicians Bruce and Leah Macfarlane, it was no surprise Hohaia had a musical ear. Lakeside 2018 – Whenua #itsabouthome will be Hohaia’s first big public appearance aside from being a key member of his school’s champion kapa haka group, Raukura. The genuine and humble youngster is taking all these opportunities in his stride as he prepares for a big year leading his school and setting his sights on joining the army in 2019.
Locally adored singer and dancer Turanga Merito is a big name on the transtasman entertainment scene but it’s Rotorua gain that this local lad has chosen to come home and give back to the city he loves. The former Lakes High School student has flitted from one impressive role to another between New Zealand and Australia for the past decade. His credits include playing Simba in Disney’s The Lion King, opening for Beyonce as part of Stan Walker’s troupe and being a national and world judge for Hip Hop International Australia and World Supremacy Battlegrounds. His master dance skills are seen each year as head choreographer for the ever popular Christmas in the Park concerts. The newly established Lakes Performing Arts Company in Rotorua has scored a coup by snapping him up as a dance teacher and vocal coach. This year Lakeside 2018 – Whenua #itsabouthome is thrilled to have Turanga as choreographer in charge of a 4Dimensional Dance Extravaganza – the details of which we will keep under wraps. He will also join vocal group Maimoa Music of Maori Television fame to sing a number.
When you put a bunch of talented young Maori singers together on a reality TV show, you get Maimoa Music. The bubbly group of 12 singers were made famous on Maori Television show Voice Of Our Future as they strived to write not one, but two hit songs for Maori Language Week. Maimoa Music consists of current and former presenters of the hit TV series Pukana, including Makaira Berryman, Puawai Taiapa, Nathaniel Howe and Raniera Blake as well as Tawaroa Kawana of New Zealand’s Got Talent fame. Pere Wihongi, who’s a familiar face in Maori broadcasting, is also a part of the group, alongside his sister Awatea Wihongi, Metotagivale Schmidt-Peke, Hoeata Maxwell-Blake, Kia Kaaterama Pou, Mereana Teka and Te Awhina Wanikau. The group burst onto the charts in 2016 with the release of their single Maimoatia and followed it up last year with their second single Wairua. The group has had vocal coaching from Rotorua’s Turanga Merito, who also featured on the reality television series.
She’s a musician, a journalist and a mum and this year’s she’s fitting her first performance on the main stage at Lakeside 2018 – Whenua #itsabouthome into her busy schedule. Kelly Makiha is a familiar name in Rotorua either in her role as senior journalist at the Rotorua Daily Post for the past 22 years or as arguably the city’s busiest musician. Somehow Kelly juggles working at the newspaper with several singing commitments each week, whether it be at conferences, private functions or at local establishments. Her musical credits include being a past New Zealand Gold Guitar Award winner, transtasman Entertainer of the Year as well as performing at literally hundreds of functions throughout the North Island in the past 20 years. Despite being able to work both of her greatest passions – news reporting and singing – Kelly says her best role is with husband Pete raising her three daughters, Stevie, 7, and twins Millie and Roni, 3.