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Hero image for Tangata Whenua

Tangata Whenua

Upper Hutt Posse , Music Video – 1998

from the album Movement in Demand (1995)

After a decade of rapping about racism and injustice, Upper Hutt Posse upped the ante by singing solely in te reo Māori. This music video for 'Tangata Whenua' marks the first time the pioneering hip hop group sang entirely in te reo. Environmental pollution is a key theme of this video, where green effluent harms eels, and smoke billowing from factories poisons the air. Hapeta calls on Māori to reject destructive Pākehā ways. After releasing this video, Upper Hutt Posse released further tracks featuring te reo Māori.

In today’s increasingly interconnected world where environmental degradation, war profiteering, misogyny, police brutality and white privilege can no longer be denied, I see our being recognised as according also with progressive activism over the last decade – from Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter, Me Too, and protests against that miserable good-for-nothing skirt-chaser in the White House.
– Dean Hapeta, on Upper Hutt Posse being inducted into The NZ Music Hall of Fame, 18 November 2018, Vodafone NZ Music Awards press release

Key Cast & Crew

Generic Profile image for Dean Hapeta (aka Te Kupu)

Dean Hapeta (aka Te Kupu)

Director, Producer, Performer

Generic Profile image for Rongotai Lomas

Rongotai Lomas


Profile image for Fred Renata

Fred Renata


Produced by

Dean Hapeta


Dean Hapeta