In this episode from a series for secondary school music students, singer Hinewehi Mohi recalls the controversy that followed her Maori language rendition of 'God Defend New Zealand' at the 1999 Rugby World Cup. She talks of her immersion in music at school and its importance to her following the birth of her daughter with cerebral palsy (and the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre this inspired her to establish). As a songwriter who doesn't play an instrument, she explains the origins of 'Kotahitanga' — her Maori language-meets-dance pop hit with Oceania in 2002.
Hinewehi Mohi (Ngāti Kahungunu/Ngāi Tūhoe) released her debut single 'Kai U' in 1992. The first Oceania album (1999), made with British musician Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke), fused Māori harmonies and dance beats. It went double platinum, sold overseas and yielded single 'Kotahitanga'. The same year Mohi won headlines after singing the national anthem in te reo at an All Blacks game. Recorded with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, her 2013 album Raukatauri - Te Puhi o te Tangi marked 20 years of making music. Mohi founded the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre, after her own daughter was born with cerebral palsy.