Simon Collins is the Herald’s education reporter.

Maori song to inspire our Olympians

Some of New Zealand's leading Māori musicians have created a song in te reo Māori to inspire Kiwi athletes at the Olympics.

Ana Hī!, produced by Wellington singer-songwriter Kirsten Te Rito and her pianist husband James Illingworth, cuts from scenes of a classic New Zealand beach to an aerial shot of Rio, from kapa haka performers to our leading Olympians in action.

Māori Language Commission spokeswoman Renee Ritete said it was the first time a song had been written in te reo Māori for the Olympic squad.

It was written by a number of commission staff led by its new chief executive Ngahiwi Apanui, whose musical career started when he co-founded the Māori-speaking band Aotearoa in 1984.

"Ana Hī! was commissioned by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori [Maori Language Commission] and is performed by Wellington kapa haka group Ngā Taonga Mai Tawhiti," Ritete said.

"[They] are supported by an all-star line-up of Shapeshifter's Darren Mathiassen on drums, award winning Māori singer Kirsten Te Rito, Lisa Tomlins of Lord Echo [and] Māori performer and singer Jason Te Patu."

She said the NZ Olympic Committee would play the song at their team function the night before the Games opening ceremony as a music track over a video mash-up of their training for the Games.

The song will also play when NZ medal winners walk into the "NZ Club", their hospitality house at the Games.

- NZ Herald

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