12 Sep 2020

Silver Scrolls 2020: te reo Māori songwriting finalists announced

From RNZ Music, 6:00 am on 12 September 2020

The three finalists for this year’s APRA Maioha Award, which recognises the art of contemporary Māori songwriting, have been announced. The award will be presented at the 2020 APRA Silver Scroll Awards in October.

Maioha finalists 2020

Maioha finalists 2020 Photo: Screen capture

2020 APRA Maioha Award finalists:

  • Rob Ruha - ‘Ka Mānu’, performed by Bella Kalolo, Maisey Rika, Majic, Ria Hall, Rob Ruha, Seth Haapu, Troy Kingi, and The Witch Dr
  • Seth Haapu - ‘Ūkaipō’
  • Maimoa - ‘Whāia’, written and performed by by Pere Wihongi, Meto-Tagivale Schmidt-Peke, Hoeata Maxwell-Blake, Awatea Wihongi, Te Kaaterama Pou, Mereana Teka, Raniera Blake, Puawai Taiapa, Nathaniel Howe, and Tawaroa Kawana

The awards will be presented alongside the Silver Scroll, New Zealand's most prestigious songwriting award, at an online ceremony on Wednesday, October 28, and RNZ Music will be posting all the behind-the-scenes action!

Follow RNZ Music on RNZ Music Facebook and RNZ Music Instagram to see backstage interviews, show highlights and more!

More on the songwriters:

Rob Ruha

Distinguished Tairāwhiti musician Rob Ruha brought together his musical whānau to create ‘Ka Mānu’ in support of the Ihumātao land protectors.

Along with Bella Kalolo, Maisey Rika, Majic, Ria Hall, Rob Ruha, Seth Haapu, Troy Kingi, and The Witch Dr., he created a song that gives tautoko not just to Māori, but to indigenous people around the world.

Seth Haapu

Seth Haapu has written and produced music for some of the biggest names on the New Zealand music scene, including Stan Walker, Sons of Zion and Maisey Rika. He’s also been steadily releasing music under his own name since 2010.

His lates track, ‘Ūkaipō’. “Ukaipo is about being proud of who you are and where you come from,” Seth says, “It is a memoir on the origins of life; an awakening, reclamation and restoration of identity.”


Superstar Māori music collective Maimoa were the first ever creators to top New Zealand’s YouTube chart with a te reo Māori video. Their 2017 track ‘Wairua’ racked up more than 3.1 million views that year, and has since surpassed nine million.

Released in March, ’Whāia’ featured in episode one of Maori TV’s Waiata Nation which follows 12 musicians on their journeys to make Aotearoa’s next hit single.

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