Two highly talented teenagers did more than gain national prominence when they won last year's Korihi 2020 with their original waiata 'Waimarie.' They also made a massive contribution to Shine on Kaitaia, which they named as their chosen charity to receive the $50,000 prize.
The windfall became official at a small ceremony at Te Ahu, where April Hetaraka, from He Whānau Marama Trust, received the prize on Shine on Kaitaia's behalf.
Tiare Lanigan (then 13) and Waimarino Tait (14), both students at Te Kura Takiwa o Tāipa, had been so busy writing songs for Smoke-Free Rockquest, and Pacifika Beats, and taking out more awards from the E tu Whānau songwriting competition, surprised some when they found the time to enter the waiata competition Korihi, a national quest to find Māori contemporary music composers able to create waiata that captured and reflected the impact of Covid-19 on whānau, hapū, iwi and communities across the country, but enter it they did. The competition was organised and funded by the National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA), Whānau Ora, Māori Television and Te Whakaruruhau o Nga Reo Irirangi Māori.
'WAIMARIE' was about how fortunate they are to be provided for by their land: "We can always rely on it so long as we take care of it.".
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Their win did not altogether come as a surprise to Micah Tawhara.
"We first heard Tiare's amazing voice at Far North's Got Talent 2017 - she won junior section that year, and she has been shining ever since, individually and with her Tāipa School band, entering various online singing competitions such as E tu Whānau, Smoke-Free Rockquest, and sharing her talents to thousands online," Micah said.
"Winning Korihi 2020 will no doubt set her and Waimarino off on an amazing musical journey. That online competition alone reached an audience of more than 77,000 people, Māori Television's highest viewership for the month of October 2020. The ongoing soft-launch for the live compilation of all finalists also continued to engage thousands of online viewers, including Instagram.
"They have performed at many community events and functions, and are already well known for their talents at such a young age.
With the excellent tutorship of their music teacher, Christian McDonald, and dedicated, proud support of their families (Waitai, Lanigan, Tait and Larkin) as well as their many friends, Shine on Kaitaia mentors and the community, we will no doubt see more greatness from them for many years to come."
Their generous gesture to nominate Shine on Kaitaia via He Whānau Marama Trust would now enable the youth- and community-focused team to create more opportunities for young people to shine, she added.