Aotearoa (Maori word for New Zealand) was a Maori reggae band from New Zealand between the mid and late 80's. Aotearoa hit the headlines and NZ Music Charts in 1985 with the single Maranga Ake Ai, a call to Māori youth to rise up and take pride in their identity. With lyrics such as, “all my life I get taught by the right of the great white way, how much longer before we get up and say?”, it was little wonder that mainstream NZ recoiled in shock. The band toured extensively over the following four years and featured more than 30 band members in that time including Moana Maniapoto of Moana and The Moahunters, opera singer Mere Boynton, Southside of Bombay founder Kevin Hodges, Maaka McGregor of Wai, Ruia Aperahama, Maori judge Joe Williams and Ngahiwi Apanui.
Links To Peel
Peel obtained a copy of the band's album, Tihei Mauriora, in the summer of 1986 and played their controversial track Maranga Ake Ai on his 28 July 1986 show. Afterwards, Peel mentioned that he might play more Maori reggae music the following evening or during the week.
- 28 July 1986: Maranga Ake Ai (LP - Tihei Mauriora) Jayrem