Moana Maniapoto

Ngati Tuwharetoa / Tuhourangi / Ngati Pikiao | MNZM

Described in the US magazine The Beat (2006) as a ‘truly inspiring performing and recording artist', singer/songwriter Moana has been credited by Longlines (2006) with ‘laying the foundations for the recent international exposure of New Zealand acts like Te Vaka, Fat Freddy's Drop and Wai.'

 In 1990, Moana & the Moahunters released the feminist anthem Black Pearl which shot to No. 2 on the national charts, earning Moana her first gold. Since then, she has released albums Tahi, Rua, Toru, Wha and the DVD Live & Proud as well as a retrospective album The Best of Moana & the Tribe.

“Moana has consistently pushed the boundaries of Maori music in both recording and live performances, fusing tango pour, haha, and chants, with soul, reggae and classical ‘to produce her own blend of traditional and contemporary styles without compromising either.” - New Zealand Herald, 2003 

Formed in 2002, Moana & the Tribe have played hundreds of international concerts on stages in Budapest, Istanbul, Moscow, Berlin, Toronto, Venice, Shanghai, Seoul, Toronto and more. Meeting and singing for Nelson Mandela during his Auckland visit is a personal career highlight.  

In 2014, Moana worked with Scottish and indigenous Australian musicians and dancers in a highly anticipated tri-nations collaboration that premiered at WOMAD NZ. Her 5th album RIMA was also released in the same year.

“I grew up around haka, moteatea and waiata. My father, uncles and others of their generation performed these art forms with absolute passion. I enjoy pulling together creative elements from the past and mixing them with contemporary artistic styles. So I surround myself with musicians and performers who can move me towards that vision. When it works, it's like being at the centre of a creative vortex. It's moments like that when I love what I do and who I do it with.”