Independent Music New Zealand (IMNZ) will honour Patea Māori Club's 1983 single Poi E at the Taite Music Prize in Auckland, where the song will be awarded the title of NZ Classic Record for 2021.
The single, featuring lyrics from Ngoi Pewhairangi (BSM) and music by Dalvanius Prime, spent four weeks at number one and 22 weeks in the charts, which was unprecedented for a song in te reo Māori.
Group member Maryanne Broughton said the release of Poi E was a huge milestone for Māori music and was a dream "of Dals and Aunty Ngoi's to get our language back out there, and to encourage young Māori to be proud of being Māori".
"It actually wasn't popular with the older generation as it was not the traditional way of singing our songs, but it was released at just the right moment, when young kids were learning and relating to te reo Māori via Te Kohanga Reo," Broughton said.
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"Our teenagers were jumping on the break dancing craze and singing Poi E meant the kids were using our language every day."
The Pātea Māori Club toured the United Kingdom in 1984, playing at the London Palladium, the Edinburgh Festival and giving a Royal Command Performance.
New Musical Express (NME), named Poi E as its Single of the Week.
In 2010 Poi E was used in Taika Waititi's hit movie, Boy, which resulted in the song returning to the New Zealand music charts, and a documentary on the song was released in 2016.
The presentation will be held at Auckland's Q Theatre on April 20.