Music fans across the ditch who will be piling into Bryon Bay this weekend for Bluesfest will be treated to a Māori trio delivering them a slice of Rotorua talent.

Māmā Mihirangi and The Māreikura are an all-female Māori world-roots production, led by Mihirangi and accompanied by locals Hinerongonui Kingi (Ngāti Pikiao) and Jacinta Bernard (Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Pikiao).

The Māreikura are Kingi and Bernard who perform women's haka, waiata-a-ringa, mau-rakau, taiaha and poi while Mihirangi's waiata showcases a strong kaupapa around empowering women, inclusivity and the role of indigenous people in environmentalism.

The group will be performing throughout the weekend for those at the Bryon Bay Bluesfest. Photo / Cira Olivier
The group will be performing throughout the weekend for those at the Bryon Bay Bluesfest. Photo / Cira Olivier

Kingi, also known as Hi-Nes, said it was an honour to travel from the small city of Rotorua and perform in front of blues legends such as Iggy Pop and Norah Jones.


"We've been invited to perform last at the VIP party, that is a huge honour to perform there."

The act has only recently returned from Canada which is where front-runner Mihirangi was able to secure the spot.

"The festival director of the Australian Bluesfest is someone you wouldn't expect would be crying but he was at our performance in Canada," Mihirangi said.

"He sent me a message and said 'hey I'll put you on the main stage at Bluesfest but you have got to make me cry again'."

The performance has been categorised as soulful world roots which Mihirangi described as a mixture of everything.

"It incorporates these elements of mana wāhine and how that looks from an indigenous perspective.

"The haka is specifically written for indigenous women that are kidnapped and murdered and thrown into this river they call the highway of tears in Canada."

The group is mindful when performing in Australia that they do not want to preach to the converted.


"Our intention is to do it through love with no finger pointing," Mihirangi said.

"What is really powerful about this is it is coming from the empowerment of women but it is not using the sexuality or beauty of women.

"It is coming too from a place that is solid in tikanga Māori, matauranga Māori and solid as in wairua Māori."