Most of this Waka Huia episode consists of an in-depth interview in te reo with composer and teacher Hirini Melbourne (Ngāī Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu). Melbourne reflects on his Rūātoki childhood and his (short) time at Te Aute College. He penned his first te reo songs in Pōneke (Welllington), while studying to be a teacher. Melbourne performs a selection of short, catchy waiata inspired by animals and birds, plus a longer composition about Lake Waikaremoana, and 'Orongomai' — a song inspired by the 1987 return of Halley's Comet. The last 20 minutes features a performance by Invercargill cultural group Te Puka a Maui.
...my thoughts returned to my origins . . . I started thinking deeply about the topics of my compositions. I started with my own origins. I heard the stories and desired to follow the stories of Hinepūkohurangi and Te Maunga at the beginning of Ngā Pōtiki.– Hirini Melbourne on being drawn to write songs about his Tūhoe heritage, early in this interview