15 Sep 2017

Iconic Kiwi song now in te reo Māori

8:30 pm on 15 September 2017

Legendary New Zealand musician Dave Dobbyn has released his song 'Welcome Home' in te reo Māori.

dave dobbyn

Dave Dobbyn has released Nau Mai Ra. Photo: RNZ

The new version, 'Nau Mai Ra', was a joint effort with Maimoa Music and Māori Television and was launched just in time for te wiki o te reo Māori.

Mr Dobbyn said it was hard work trying to learn the meaning of the words in te reo but had a very patient teacher in Te Haumihiata Mason.

He said 'Nau Mai Ra' became a waiata of its own.

"It's an honour for somebody to do it with one of my songs so I thought, you've got to stand up to that and give it the dignity it deserves. It's become its own waiata.

"The song in te reo makes it go deeper. It's sort of almost instantaneous, you know. I never really get much action on Facebook but it's really going off at the moment."

Mr Dobbyn admits it took him a while to adjust to the new sounds of the reo Māori version.

"I didn't really get the flow going until I was actually singing it and recording it because before that it was kind of torture at home trying to get everything right.

"It's really great, it's exciting, it's like learning a brand new instrument."

Mr Dobbyn said he hoped to sing more waiata in te reo in the future and encouraged all New Zealanders to give te reo a go.

"There's another language that goes on underneath it that binds it all, you know, the musical language of the heart.

"To fit into it and rise to the occasion is sort of, you know, I guess a challenge to other Pākehā to give it a go. Get a lung full of air and sing that at the rugby."

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