Kaeo teens enjoy success in national song competition

By Sandy Myhre

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An online song competition established as part of NZ Music Month in May has proved successful for two young Whangaroa College students.

Te Rina Flavell-Kahle and Fairy-Allen Rikihana, both aged 16, were placed second in the nationwide contest with Moving Forward, a song acknowledging destructive relationships and based on personal experience.

The competition, called E T Whnau, aimed to raise awareness of the unacceptable levels of violence and carried a $10,000 prize pool incentive. It was run by the Mori Media Network in conjunction with Mori music stations and attracted 62 entries from musicians, songwriters and whnau from throughout the country.

The winning song, Whakat Te Kkano, was written by Kawai Joe and Te Irirangi Maxwell of Gisborne and performed by Tatana and Tame Tuari, Raniera Samuels and Kawai Joe. Judges were singer-songwriters, Maisey Rika and Ngahiwi Apanui and Maaka McGregor, chief executive of the Mori Language Commission.

According to Whangaroa College music teacher Christian McDonald, the girls plan to spend their $2000 prize money on clothes.

"That's what girls of their age are into but they have a lot of natural musical talent and this competition has inspired them to do more writing and singing," Mr McDonald said.

It's not the first accolade for the Kaeo teenagers.

They won Best Vocals in the Northland Smoke Free Rock Quest held just a few weeks before this recent success and credited that with giving them the confidence to enter E T Whnau.

- Northern Advocate

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