August 02, 2016
Waiata ready for Olympic chant
New Zealand supporters at the Rio Games have a new waiata to learn.
Ana Hi was launched last night as the official Olympic song.
It was written by Ngahiwi Apanui and other staff from Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Maori and performed by Wellington kapa haka group Nga Taonga Mai Tawhiti, with production by singer Kirsten Te Rito and pianist James Illingworth.
Mr Apanui says the Olympic Committee wanted a Maori catch phrase for people to use to voice their support of the athletes, so the Maori language commission ran a number of phrases past focus groups of mainly Pakeha people.
"The phrase they liked was ana hi, ana hi, ana hi ha !. That became the chorus for the song because we need to get that taken up and we found it works really well as a chorus. We wrote the song to be played in stadiums, to be played for sports audiences to support their team, but also to push that aha hi, ana hi, ana hi ha across," he says.
Ana Hi was launched last night at a function that also marked the anniversary of the passing of the Maori Language Bill.
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