Moana Maniapoto’s name is firmly cemented as iconic in New Zealand’s music industry.
But few know the singer/songwriter is from Rotorua and is Te Arawa’s own – and so too are a majority of her band.
It’s for that reason, organisers of this year’s Lakeside 2018 – Whenua #itsabouthome concert decided her appearance at the show was a must.
Maniapoto, who is descended from Ngati Tuwharetoa, Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao and Ngati Pikiao, will appear at Lakeside 2018 as Moana & the Tribe.
Maniapoto will front the band alongside her sister Trina Maniapoto.
Formed in 2002, Moana & the Tribe have played hundreds of concerts on stages in Budapest, Istanbul, Moscow, Berlin, Toronto, Venice, Shanghai, Seoul and Toronto, and have played at the Sydney Opera House twice.
Maniapoto’s talents were recognised in 2016 when she was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame as a musician who had made “a significant long-term contribution to New Zealand music”.
Last year, Maniapoto and her sister led their band on a 22-town national tour called My Name Is Moana, which focused on fresh and saltwater water issues in New Zealand.
Her latest album, Rima, has been her most successful and was a finalist at three major music awards in 2015 and named a Top of the World Album (Songlines UK). She and her co-writers, Scotty Morrison from Rotorua of Te Karere fame and Paddy Free, are nearing completion on her sixth studio album, Ono.
Her performances incorporate haka and that part of her show at Lakeside will be led by Laurence Kershaw, who is organising a local group to perform alongside him.
Rotorua’s Mickey Ututaonga, who has toured the world with her, will be back on the drums.
Lakeside artistic director Richard Anaru said Maniapoto’s invitation to Lakeside was long overdue.
“Her musical achievements have always been based unselfishly around her whanau and her people and she’s used her music to communicate those thoughts and she’s taken that message all around the world.”
Anaru said everything about Maniapoto was what this year’s Lakeside theme was all about.
“She’s an extremely clever individual and her wairua is interwoven always with her performances. Whenua is about all of that and we are so thrilled she is part of the show.”