Kei kā manutioriori, kei kā kaiwhakairo i te kupu, kai kā kaiwhakaora reo o te iwi.
Nei rā te mihi o Manawa, o Manako ki a koutou katoa.
Nau mai, haere mai, tāuti mai ki tēnei kaupapa mā tātou, mō tātou, ā, mō tō tātou reo rakatira.
Nāia kā waiata a Kāi Tahu.
To the songsters, the poets and the language revivalists of our tribe. We greet you with all our heart and our hopes.
Welcome to this new project for us, about us and most importantly, for our beautiful language.
We present you the waiata of Kāi Tahu.

Ake Associates Limited was fortunate to receive support from Mā te Reo to support the development of a website specifically for Kāi Tahu waiata. The focus of this website will be to make available to Ngāi Tahu whānui waiata and haka from around the rohe. Each waiata/haka will have a copy of the words, a translation of the words, and commentary on which marae / hapū the waiata relates to, notes on what situations are most appropriate to use the waiata, notes on the composer and an audio file of the waiata.

This website is just a start and the aim is that the songs you can see here now are just the beginning. This is a non-profit venture – the aim of which we hope will increase the number of people who know and are confident in Ngāi Tahu waiata and make it easier for all of our people to access them, learn them and celebrate them.

We see this initiative as being complementary to Manu Tioriori, Te Hā o Tahu Pōtiki and more recently, Te Atakura. We have a link from this site to the Te Hā o Tahu Pōtiki series which is currently available online via the Ngāi Tahu Reo website.

At this stage we are looking for those people/composers who may have new or old songs which they are happy for us to promote and teach via the internet.  We will only be using songs which have the full endorsement and permission from the composers.  Any waiata placed on Naia must be accessible to the wider iwi, that is we only want those waiata that the composers feel good about others singing their songs. The reason for this is that many of our beautiful waiata get lost and forgotten because others are too nervous to sing them in case they offend the composers or different kapa haka groups.

It is our belief that Kāi Tahu aren’t really in a position for this to happen. Any opportunity we have that we can grasp to promote te reo through waiata and composition is an opportunity we do not want to let slip through our fingers. Instead we support the view that a composer should be rightly proud if others chose to learn and sing their song, as there is no greater mihi than that!

What we do ask on the site, is that recognition is always paid to the composer, be they historical or contemporary composers. Although it may be open for anyone to use, they need to respect the waiata by acknowledging its origin and also the purpose for which it was composed (as described in the section on ‘notes on appropriate usage').

So with all of that in mind, if you have any contributions that you would like to make to support this initiative, or know of someone who may like to support this project please don’t hesitate to contact us. The sky is clear, it is a new start, and by working together, our language will survive!

Nau Mai ki te kaupapa o Nāia! Nā māua noa nā

Charisma Rangipunga & Hana O’Regan