Entertainment | Karaoke

Former Homai Te Pakipaki winner wows Las Vegas

You may remember the powerful voice of Pikiteora Mura-Hita, a past winner and fan-favourite presenter of the classic Whakaata Māori show Homai Te Pakipaki.

Nowadays she's a rumaki teacher at Pukekohe North Primary School but is still belting out the songs, so much so that she made it to the semi-finals of the International Karaoke Contest in the United States.

Her students welcomed their teacher back with kapa haka and a huge group hug for their whaea at Auckland International Airport, as she and her father Rob Hira returned home from Las Vegas.

Though at first she felt nervous doing it, encouragement from her sister gave Pikiteora (Ngāti Maniapoto, Tainui, Ngāpuhi) confidence. In fact, she says, “I was fortunate enough to make it through the five rounds. Then got to the last round, it was out of the top five and I was selected as second overall so yay!”

It is one thing to win a national competition on television in Aotearoa, but it’s another to take her vocal talents to Sin City. Father Rob says, “This is a world scene this one, so I’m very proud of her.

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“It was good for me to be there for her as well, otherwise she would have spent a lot of time by herself, so it was really cool.”

It's only natural that she would do well in the competition. She's definitely not shy of the spotlight going from winning the 2008 edition of Homai, presenting the same show for a number of years and has gone on to present the award-winning rangatahi show Pūkana.

“It took us two months to fundraise, mei kore ake toku whānau. I would never have made it, my family, my friends and my tamariki got me there.

“I'm just so proud to represent Aotearoa and our hood of Pukekohe.”

For now, she’s dropped the mic and is back to teaching her students.