Two young Kaeo girls and budding songwriters are $2000 richer after being presented with a cheque at a special assembly at Whangaroa College.

The reward was for Year 12 students Te Rina Flavell-Kahle and Fairy-Allen Rikihana, who took out second prize for their original song Moving Forward as part of a nationwide competition run by Maori Media Network in conjunction with Maori Radio Stations and E Tu Whanau during New Zealand Music Month in May.

Miss Flavell-Kahle and Miss Rikihana wrote the song together over two days. For both girls it was their first attempt at musical composition.

"One of us would write some lyrics and the other one would add to it," said Miss Flavell-Kahle.


"Then we would put those words and the music together and it sort of grew from there."

Moving Forward was about Miss Flavell-Kahle's sister, who was a victim of domestic violence.

E Tu Whanau was developed by the Maori Reference Group for the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families. The waiata (songs) entered in the competition were required to reflect Maori values.

The competition received 62 entries from around the country. Contestants then uploaded videos on Facebook of themselves performing their original songs.

Voting was open to the public and more than 30,000 votes were collected in total. The 10 videos receiving the most votes were then judged by Maori music producer Maaka McGregor and singer-songwriters Ngahiwi Apanui and Maisey Rika.

As for the money they've just received, Miss Rikihana said she's saving her portion to put towards studying te reo at university after she has finished Year 13.

Miss Flavell-Kahle wants to do a music or business degree, and will "go shopping" with some of the money in the meantime.

The presentation assembly coincided with the end of the first term but had originally been planned for the end of June when the results of the competition were announced. However, the first cheque from Westpac went missing in the mail.

Levi Bristow, an announcer with Tautoko FM, said the large cardboard cheque, designed as a gimmick but still legal tender, "simply disappeared".