It's been 30 years since New Zealand had its last Te Reo Maori hit with Poi E in 1984 but rising star Stan Walker is hoping his catchy new single will change that.

The Sydney-based singer has teamed up with Maisey Rika, Ria Hall and his Mt Zion co-star Troy Kingi to sing Aotearoa, which will be launched with a live performance in Porirua on Monday to mark the opening of Maori Language Week.

The project was initiated by broadcaster and TV producer Matai Smith who said the idea of Walker performing the song came to him when he sang Crowded House's Don't Dream It's Over - in Te Reo Maori - at the Beyonce concert in Auckland last year.

"I was like, 'Wow' then I looked around at the audience and they were the same, they were completely spellbound by this fulla singing this song in Maori.


"It was just the reaction from the crowd - everyone was on board with the reo."

Smith said it was then he realised that it had been 30 years since Poi E - one of a string of Te Reo Maori number one hits during the early 1980s

"I thought 'what if we could do that again?' So I approached Stan with the idea and he was excited because he had been thinking about home a lot recently.

"I'm hopeful for it as well, Stan hopes it could be a song that could be taught in schools one day. It will be interesting to see the reaction."

Walker, the Australian Idol winner in 2009, said he'd wanted to perform in Te Reo Maori but the opportunity hadn't presented itself until now..

Matai Smith.

"We all have to connect ourselves back to the mainland where we're all from. For me in the last six years since I've been a singer, I've never been more proud to be Maori.

"It doesn't matter who you are or where you've come from, to live in New Zealand, you are us and we are you. We are one!"

The song was translated into Maori by Te Haumihiata Mason of Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Maori who hopes the tune will be heard everywhere.


"Some might think the words were written for Maori only, but I believe they've been written by a soul who loves Aotearoa and who embraces all those who have made this land their home."

"The song encourages us to nurture each other and to persevere with whatever it is we aspire to, no matter where we come from."

The song's recording and the production of the music video was funded by Te Puni Kokiri, Te Mangai Paho and Ma Te Reo funding through Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori.

Some of the proceeds of the song will go towards the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre.