A national TV talent contest is coming to Wanganui, seeking our best singers.
The popular Maori Television singing competition Homai Te Pakipaki will hold auditions on Sunday - and it is all thanks to local woman Cilla Te Ua Wiri.
The former contestant on Homai Te Pakipaki asked the show's producers in Auckland to come to the River City and check out the talent.
"I said, 'Please come to Wanganui - we've got a lot of talent but a lot of people can't afford to come up to Auckland'," Ms Te Ua Wiri told the Chronicle.
Ms Te Ua Wiri, who took herself and others up to auditions in Auckland in 2013, has been beating her feet around town this week to get the word out.
She has about 20 people lined up to perform on Sunday in what will be the first time the show has held auditions here.
She is trying to convince an opera singer friend to take part and, if she can get her Taumarunui grandson to back her, she may have a go herself.
"I love singing, because it's God's gift - that's what he gave me."
Ms Te Ua Wiri would like a kaumatua section in the show for people like herself.
"Why don't they put in a session for us kaumatua - 65-plus - because we can't compete against the Mariah Careys and Bob Marleys," she said.
Many Wanganui region performers have done well in the show over the years. Last year We Three and Harmony Showdown reached the finals in Auckland, and others to taste success have included William "Wizz" Tokelau, Chad Chambers and Melody Potaka-Osborne.
-The auditions will be in the Wanganui War Memorial Centre concert chamber, starting at 10am. They are for anyone who can sing solo or with one or two others. Musical accompaniment is optional, and songs can be original or karaoke. The best will be recorded after 2pm, to be shown on television. For details see www.maoritelevision.com