For those looking for a creative way to wind down their Maori Language Week activities, a trip to Te Papa for music and slam poetry may fit the bill.

Wellington hosts a family-friendly performance of soulful music, captivating storytelling, and electrifying slam poetry with Nga Reo Roreka (the Sweet Voices) at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa's Level 4 Te Marae, where the music and poetry will all be in te reo Maori.

The 2014 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards Best Maori Album winner Rob Ruha and 2014 National Slam Poetry champion Te Kahu Rolleston, who has been called the taniwha of the New Zealand slam-poetry stage, will make appearances.

The show runs from 11am to 12.30pm on Saturday, and entry is free.


Ruha, from Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou, has over 25 years live performance experience and has been composing waiata (songs) since 12, many performed by kapa haka groups across the country and abroad. He is recognised as the composer of over 200 waiata, haka and moteatea (a moteatea could be a chant, lament, lullaby and much, much more).

His EP Tiki Tapu was released in 2014 and features six tracks, including Hiku, seen here on YouTube.

Slam poet Te Kahu Rolleston, from Tauranga Moana, is a University of Waikato alumni who travelled to Banff, Canada, last year to participate in the Indigenous Writing Programme, which included two weeks of intensive writing followed by 10 weeks of working with a mentor.

Te Kahu, who performed for Te Raranga Tira in 2013, was named winner of the National Poetry Slam Competition in 2014, and has performed at various events across the country

"I create poetry that links people to people, and people to places," he says. "That's a big part of our kaupapa because if you have respect for your people and the place you are in, there is nothing greater than that."