Moana Maniapoto

Nga mihi nui ki a 

Moana Maniapoto

wahine toate manutioriori ataahua


Moana Maniapoto’s evening at the tiny Coromandel Club was an absolute delight. 

She described her show, My Name is Moana,  as being about our waterways- and indeed, we were  drawn into a passion for protecting our waterways – and our land, and our unique language, te reo-  through her irresistible  performance. 

She told the story of the struggle in Aotearoa against colonisation, through song.   She began with sing-a-along “garage party” songs, mostly in English, like You are my Sunshine, and Down by the Riverside…  followed by stories of her own bicultural family ,  growing up in Invercargill, going to law school and moving into music.

The political changes of the 1970s and 80s were covered in word and music with humour, anger , pain and aroha.  She talked about meeting heroes like Bob Marley and singing for Nelson Mandela, and sang more recent topical songs like Fire in Paradise.  She touched the hearts of the very mixed audience, mainly from Coromandel township.  We spotted Maori and Pakeha,  Japanese and German, gardeners, artists, yoga teachers, environmentalists, RSA members ,young  solo mums,  and even a few townies like us who came especially from Auckland for this very intimate, nostalgic and totally up-to-date and political show.

Her group in Coromandel  included her sister, singer and guitarist Trina Maniapoto, electronic musician Paddy Free (who interspersed the performance with news reports from the times, mimicking the announcers of the day), and Karlos Saunders-Tunks, bass guitarist and singer. 

Paddy, Trina, Moana, Karlos

Unfortunately My Name is Moana has now completed  her tour of 20 small towns in Aotearoa, but if you are interested  go to to listen, and buy one of her most recent  CDs:  Rima and The Best of Moana and the Tribe – or any of the others, of course.  And enjoy the on-line video on her website.

Moana Maniapoto is acknowledged as one of Aotearoa’s most original and powerful musicians because her songs weave thought, te reo and tikanga Maori and Pakeha, feeling, political analysis  and musical excellence in a wide range of styles, and draw Maori, Pakeha and other tauiwi together into a powerful coalition for responsibility and change.

Moana’s outstanding contribution has been honoured for many years,

most recently in 2016 when she was inducted into the

New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. 

We can’t think of a worthier recipient of that honour.


  1. Thanks for the review both. This tour was made possible by the Christchurch based agency Arts On Tour NZ and in this instance the Coromandel Music Society. The primary partner in funding is Creative NZ with support from Interislander and various Trusts, notably Otago Community Trust, Southland Community Trust, Southern Trust and the Rata Foundation. I would like this recorded.

    Kind regards

    Steve Thomas
    General Manager

  2. Lyn Riesterer says

    We had Moana and her group here in Opotiki as part of the Arts on Tour acts for 2017. We had about 150 people at her concert and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening…there were many older pakeha attending who found the whole concept of her message well presented and very entertaining.
    I particularly enjoyed talking politics with Moana and Kim Webbey at the end of the evening. What an intelligent thoughtful activist!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.