15 Aug 2018

Kiwi singer stuns Māori Affairs Committee with performance

5:35 pm on 15 August 2018

A kiwi singer stunned politicians today in a surprise stand-up performance during a Māori Affairs Select Committee.

Caii-Michelle Baker, who was mentored by the late prince Tui Teka in her teens, has big plans to get New Zealanders speaking up about drug abuse through a new live entertainment show.

Her production team, including award-winning producer Debra Kelleher, told politicians today the live show package would feature 16 motivational songs to encourage people to speak up about the effects of drug abuse including poverty, family violence and mental illness.

Their 15-year plan is to premier the show in Wellington in December, take it nationwide, and eventually to audiences across the world.

Following a presentation on the project, Mrs Baker stood up to sing the "anthem" of the show in front of the committee.

It came as quite the surprise to members in the room, prompting many to film the performance on their mobile devices.

The team expect the project to cost around $1 million.

Producer Debra Kelleher said they had been in communication with private-sector funders but they hoped to get the government on board too.

She would not say how much funding they had secured so far.

Mrs Baker said it was a worthy investment to get people talking about drug abuse.

"We really want people feeling that there is hope. I want people to speak up.

"If you know someone who is giving the drug or selling the drug, then speak up - even if its your family member, you speak up, you work with the police, work with the community, work with the people, [and] work together."