New Zealand Music Tours

At some stage of their self drive tour of New Zealand, many visitors will have the opportunity to experience musical performances by the indigenous Māori​​ people. To give you a taste of what you might experience, we've selected two songs in the Māori​ language that have become favorites of visitors and locals alike. Both feature the beautiful voice of our great opera singer, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
New Zealand Music

The first is a song a song called "Hine E Hine" a Māori lullaby composed by Princess Te Rangi Pai and written in 1907. It's a beautiful but sad song that she wrote to console herself at a time when her health, career and family life were collapsing around her. This performance features the great New Zealand and Māori opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and was recorded at the Abbey Road Recording Studios in London in 2014.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

The second clip "Pokarekare Ana" also featuring Dame Kiri, is known as New Zealand's unofficial National Anthem. It's a beautiful love song, written by a homesick soldier, serving in the Maori Battalion during World War I - it's tale of longing, for home & loved ones and has become a poignant musical touch-stone for any homesick New Zealander.


We can arrange your attendance at a kapa haka - or traditional Māori performing arts program, an intrinsic element of the New Zealand cultural experience, when you  travel to New Zealand on your vacation. Please let us know if this interests you by clicking here.

Kapa haka is the term for Māori performing arts and literally means to form a line (kapa) and dance (haka). Kapa haka is an avenue for Maori people to express and showcase their heritage and cultural Polynesian identity through song and dance.

Kapa haka dates back to pre-European times where it developed from all traditional forms of Maori pastimes; haka (war dance), mau rakau (Maori weaponry), poi (ball attached to rope or string) and moteatea (traditional Maori songs). These everyday activities were influential to the development of kapa haka.

A kapa haka performance involves choral singing, dance and movements associated in the hand-to-hand combat practiced by Māori in mainly pre-colonial times, presented in a synchronization of action, timing, posture, footwork and sound. The genre evolved out of a combination of European and Māori musical principles.

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Jan 25, 2017