Hikoi Nati Stylez

Hikoi Nati Stylez
What does a Korean Pop-hit sensation and the Ngati Porou East Coast rugby team have in common?
January 26, 2024

Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou AGM held at Rahui marae Tikitiki

What does a Korean Pop-hit sensation and the Ngati Porou East Coast rugby team have in common? Both provided some of the creative inspiration behind a new viral music video promoting the Runanganui’s future direction.

“Hikoi Nati Stylez” made its debut at the 2012 Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou AGM in December, with the upbeat catchy presentation capping off the board’s first public release of the new entity’s Strategic Plan.

“The video was created as a way to try and engage a younger generation with this kaupapa, says Runanganui board member Ani Pahuru-Huriwai who a member of the Strategic Planning Sub Committee. “We also wanted to make the plan something more people could relate to, so we thought we’d present it in a creative way.”

Ani says their initial idea involved creating an animation, featuring the ancestral house Porourangi. However while they were developing this concept, another idea rose to the surface - one which replicated the time honoured Nati tradition of taking a well-known tune, and composing new words to promote a kaupapa.

“While we were thinking about what we should do, the song “Gangnam Style” was really popular with our rangatahi. And at the same time our Iwi rugby team were on a winning streak. These two events gave us the idea of creating a waiata where we could communicate the key themes of the Strategic Plan, and also highlight our successes as an iwi.”

However before the music video “Hikoi NatiStylez” could come to life more creative collaboration was needed. After Ani completed the lyrics, Radio Ngati Porou came on board to transform the words into a song and an accompanying visual presentation. A montage of images celebrating Ngati Porou culture and identity, and historic events from the recent and distant past were selected for the video.

These images were interspersed with key words and themes selected from the Iwi consultation process trustees had engaged in before creating the Strategic Plan. “We wanted to demonstrate to our Ngati Porou whanau that we had indeed been listening to them by showing some of the whakaaro they had submitted,” explains Ani.

In keeping with the original rangatahi focus of the presentation, eighteen year old Levi Reedy who has just finished his last year at Ngata Memorial College, was asked to perform “Hikoi Nati Stylez” as a rap. Levi says, “I was on Radio Ngati Porou’s Facebook page one day and they were asking if there were any singers out there who wanted to perform on a track. I got in touch with them, and they sent me a copy of the lyrics and a demo of a version they had done.”

Levi, who was a finalist in the 2012 Nati Awards original music composition category, says he thought it was a good idea to create a music video as a way to engage rangatahi. “The video was pretty cool and I think because “Gangnam Styles” is a song everyone knows, more people would have listened to it. For me the messages in the song are really positive, like making our area a better place to find work, and providing new opportunities for the community like scholarships."

"I think if the Runanganui wants to reach more of the rangatahi population they should make more stuff like that. Other than school, young people spend the majority of their time on social media, so making videos and putting it on Facebook and You Tube is a good way to reach them. Before did the song I really didn’t know much about what the Runanganui does, but now I think they are trying to find more ways to create opportunities for us.”

Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou would like to gratefully express their thanks to Arnold Reedy and the rest of the team from Radio Ngati Porou for helping to create “Hikoi Nati Stylez”, and for pulling it all together in record time.