Using maori music to inspire youth

Pounamu Wharehing is inspiring other rangatahi to reach their goals and aspirations through te reo Maori and music

Pounamu Wharehing is inspiring other rangatahi to reach their goals and aspirations through te reo Maori and music

Pounamu Wharehinga aka ‘Miss Pou’.

Maori teenage musician Pounamu Wharehinga, aka ‘Miss Pou’, has always had a passion for te reo Maori and music.

Now she is developing a new passion — inspiring other rangatahi, or youth, to reach their goals and aspirations through te reo Maori and music.

The Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Horouta Wananga student is coming to the end of her first music tour. She has travelled the East Coast, performing at various kura (schools).

As an artist who sings and composes songs in te reo Maori, Miss Pou said it was fitting that her tour conclude at the end of Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori - Maori Language Week.

“It has always been my dream to travel doing what I love, and what better place to start that dream than here on the beautiful East Coast.

“But this tour has been more than just singing, it has been a chance for me to meet with other rangatahi who share similar aspirations.

“They’ve asked me questions about what it’s like to be a musician, and how I manage to do that with everything else I have going on with my life, such as kura and family.

“This tour has been amazing. What has motivated me is that I wanted to do something especially for rangatahi who are my age.

“I’m still in school. Through my years being in kura, there have been many programmes, workshops and visits to our kura, where the speakers were either older people who spoke Maori, or young people who spoke English.

“I always wanted to have a young Maori person, who speaks te reo, to visit our kura to inspire us as rangatahi.

“Having that rangatahi connection is very important, as I believe that one day this world is going to be in our hands.

To start building those relationships and connections now, will come handy for the future.

“Also, it is a chance for our rangatahi to be inspired, and to share the message that you can do anything, no matter who you are and where you come from.

“All of the kura that I have been visiting have mostly been kura kaupapa Maori because a lot of these opportunities seem to pass them by.

“All of the schools that I have visited so far — Mangatuna, Muriwai and Te Waha o Rerekohu — have been so amazing to me and are very appreciative.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I was fortunate enough to be funded by the Creative Community Scheme to go on my tour of the East Coast.”

Chairman of the Creative Community Scheme Larry Foster praised Miss Pou for her efforts.

“I’ve seen Pou perform at local venues. She is an amazing performer,” he said.

“This is a great example of how the Creative Community Scheme works to support local up-and-coming acts, and identify talented potential and help to support their future aspirations.”

Miss Pou will be appearing in a special performance at Cobham School on Monday.

Maori teenage musician Pounamu Wharehinga, aka ‘Miss Pou’, has always had a passion for te reo Maori and music.

Now she is developing a new passion — inspiring other rangatahi, or youth, to reach their goals and aspirations through te reo Maori and music.

The Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Horouta Wananga student is coming to the end of her first music tour. She has travelled the East Coast, performing at various kura (schools).

As an artist who sings and composes songs in te reo Maori, Miss Pou said it was fitting that her tour conclude at the end of Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori - Maori Language Week.

“It has always been my dream to travel doing what I love, and what better place to start that dream than here on the beautiful East Coast.

“But this tour has been more than just singing, it has been a chance for me to meet with other rangatahi who share similar aspirations.

“They’ve asked me questions about what it’s like to be a musician, and how I manage to do that with everything else I have going on with my life, such as kura and family.

“This tour has been amazing. What has motivated me is that I wanted to do something especially for rangatahi who are my age.

“I’m still in school. Through my years being in kura, there have been many programmes, workshops and visits to our kura, where the speakers were either older people who spoke Maori, or young people who spoke English.

“I always wanted to have a young Maori person, who speaks te reo, to visit our kura to inspire us as rangatahi.

“Having that rangatahi connection is very important, as I believe that one day this world is going to be in our hands.

To start building those relationships and connections now, will come handy for the future.

“Also, it is a chance for our rangatahi to be inspired, and to share the message that you can do anything, no matter who you are and where you come from.

“All of the kura that I have been visiting have mostly been kura kaupapa Maori because a lot of these opportunities seem to pass them by.

“All of the schools that I have visited so far — Mangatuna, Muriwai and Te Waha o Rerekohu — have been so amazing to me and are very appreciative.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I was fortunate enough to be funded by the Creative Community Scheme to go on my tour of the East Coast.”

Chairman of the Creative Community Scheme Larry Foster praised Miss Pou for her efforts.

“I’ve seen Pou perform at local venues. She is an amazing performer,” he said.

“This is a great example of how the Creative Community Scheme works to support local up-and-coming acts, and identify talented potential and help to support their future aspirations.”

Miss Pou will be appearing in a special performance at Cobham School on Monday.

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