1 Aug 2016

Olympic waiata to 'get people chanting'

8:11 pm on 1 August 2016

The Māori Language Commission has released a song in te reo to support New Zealand athletes at the Olympics.

The song, Ana Hī, was commissioned by Te Taura Whiri o Te Reo Māori and is supported by Sky TV and the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

Commission chief executive Ngāhiwi Apanui said the song was composed in a way that was easy for all New Zealanders to join in.

"It's catchy, it's easy to sing, it's beautifully produced, it's very modern," he said.

"Sky has agreed to use the song, the Olympic Committee is going to play it when the medal winners come back into the village.

"I think Sky is looking to use it for their highlights package wrap-up for the end of the day, so the song is going to get a lot of air-play."

The song is performed by Kirsten Te Rito and James Illingworth and Wellington kapa haka group Ngā Taonga Mai Tawhiti.

Mr Apanui said one of the reasons Poi E was so popular was because it was easy to sing along to and Ana Hī was composed in a similar style.

He said the chorus "Ana Hī, Ana Hī, Ana Hī Haa" loosely translated to "give it everything you've got," and he hoped it would be used as a chant to support New Zealand athletes.

"We wanted to make it really catchy so you have stadiums full of groups of New Zealanders starting that chant up."

The song and accompanying video was launched at an event on Monday night where it was endorsed by veteran Olympian Barbara Kendall.

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