National | Concert

Kapa haka group welcoming Juicy Fest heavyweights

International Hip Hop and R'n'B artists have landed in Aotearoa to perform at a series of Juicy Fest concerts across New Zealand and Australia.

The line up includes Nelly, Ne-Yo, Ja-Rule, Bow Wow, Xzibit, Chingy and Mya - to name a few. The first of the New Zealand concerts took place in Napier yesterday.

Ja Rule touches down in Aotearoa. Video / Juicy Fest via Facebook

Each of the artists will experience a customary pōwhiri (welcome) from Kaihaka Collective, a group made up of Māori practitioners guided by Malcolm Kerehoma (Ngāti Whātua) and led by Eruera Rarere-Wilton (Tainui, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Whātua). The collective, which started with humble beginnings after a back stage haka for rap artist Common, have been welcoming honoured guests to Aotearoa in their customary way, since 2006.

Bow Wow and Chingy touch down! Photo / Supplied

“Seventeen years on, we are blessed to continue to share the beauty of our culture with the world. These artists bring a wealth of knowledge and experience through their music. It’s through implementing our customary Māori practices we can inspire our people to take pride in our culture."

"One of the main values for Kaihaka Collective is inspiring, growing and nurturing Māori, especially those who live in urban areas." said Rarere-Wilton.

Guidance from elders in the community has been the biggest motivation.

"We have been fortunate to be mentored by many amazing Māori leaders and teachers which includes: the late Hohapata McGarvey who in his ōhākī (testament) reminded us to get on and just do those things important to maintaining Te Ao Māori despite the opposition."

"The late Whaea Haneta Brown was always a staunch supporter and also reminded us to holdfast to our Māoritanga.  The late Jerry Pomare was another great support and would also remind us 'Kia Tū Māori Mai– Stand as Māori.'  These wise leaders live on in our memories, and we hope that through the mahi we do helps keep the flame of their mātauranga shared with us, burns bright for others to catch.

"Malcolm Kerehoma, our Co-Founder taught us the value of investing in our people. Through this kaupapa, we are able to provide them with a safe and non-competitive space to learn their culture through kapa haka."

Nelly is back in New Zealand. Video / Juicy Fest via Facebook

For Juicy Fest co-founders Rawiri Nelson (Te Arawa) and Kane Sala (Scottish/Sāmoan), it’s their first time as entrepreneurs hosting events of this magnitude in Aotearoa, and supporting Māori and Pacific businesses is important to Rarere-Wilton.

“When Rawiri reached out, I offered our full support, we mobilised our team to prepare for the welcome and to share a little piece of who we are with our guests. This includes gifting them one of the carved instruments that I make, either a pūrerehua (wind instrument) or kōauau (flute) as a small memento for them to take home."

"We hope it serves as a tangible reminder to them, of their brief encounter with Te Ao Māori, and hope that the frequencies imbued in these taonga puoro can continue to make musical impact around the world."

Nelly is welcomed to Aotearoa. Photo / Supplied

The work for Kaihaka Collective and the Juicy Festival is almost done, we will greet four more artists, arriving later on today,” says Rarere-Wilton

Read more: Māori entrepreneur fronts up on Juicy Fest legitimacy