Hirini Melbourne Profile

Piripi Walker
17 Sep 2021

E ngā iwi, e ngā reo, e ngā whakahuahuatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa. He kaitito, he kaiwaiata, he kaiwhakatangitangi, he mātanga whare wānanga, he kaiako, he kaiwhakaora taonga pūoro a Hirini Melbourne, nō Ngāi Tūhoe, nō Ngāti Kahungunu. I whānau mai ia i te Urewera i te tau 1949, i tētahi hapori kōrero Māori anake, arā, he tangata i whānau tahi mai me te reo. Ka haere i te ao, ka tū hei tupua i ao waiata, mō te ao pūoro, nā te huatau o ana rangi, nā te rōreka o te reo, nā te ātaahua o ana waiata.

This profile was conceived and written in te reo Māori; a rendition in English is here.

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Richard Nunns and Hirini Melbourne on recording Te Ku Te Whe
Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns - Te kū Te Whē (Rattle, 1994)
Hirini Melbourne at the sessions for Te Hekenga-a-rangi (Rattle, 2003).
Photo credit: Rattle Collection
Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns - Te ku Te Whe Remixed (2006)
Hirini Melbourne (left, playing a pūtōrino) and Richard Nunns (ororuarangi).
Photo credit: Ross Clayton, Rattle collection
Richard Nunns (left, pounamu) with Hirini Melbourne (kōauau), at the sessions for Te Hekenga-a-rangi (Rattle, 2003).
Photo credit: Rattle collection
Te Hekenga-a-rangi (excerpt 1) - Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns
Patricia Grace and Robyn Kahukiwa's classic 1981 story The Kuia and the Spider, with Hirini Melbourne's original translation, was republished in 2021 in a dual te reo Maori and English text.
Hirini Melbourne & Richard Nunns with Aroha Yates-Smith ‎– Te Hekenga-ā-rangi (Rattle, 2003).
Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns - Chants Et Musiques Maoris (2004)
Richard Nunns and Hirini Melbourne on recording Te Hekenga-a-rangi
Waiata Maori Music Awards 2012: Hirini Melbourne Tribute
From left to right: Hirini Melbourne, Blossom Taewa, Dalvanius Maui Prime, Hinewehi Mohi, with Stuart Pearce in front, 2001. Taewa and Pearce had just produced He Koha, a video compact disc (VCD) of traditional waiata for karaoke.
Hirini Melbourne visits staff members of Te Upoko o Te Ika as they celebrate the station's third birthday in April 1991. Melbourne is entering the room, centre back; Piripi Walker is sitting, fourth from left.
Photo credit: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PAColl-8124
Hirini Melbourne with a kōauau, at the sessions for Te Hekenga-a-rangi (Rattle, 2003).
Photo credit: Rattle Records
Hirini Melbourne's renowned children's songbook Toiapiapi was republished in 2016, on its 25th anniversary. 
Photo credit: Shearwater Associates Ltd
Hirini Melbourne was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, with Richard Nunns, in 2009. The Hall of Fame is an initiative of Recorded Music NZ and the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), whose support of AudioCulture enables the site to stream music content.
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Rattle Records