Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Waiata ki te wai – Songs for water

November 13, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm


Waiata ki te wai

Songs for water 

Wednesday 13 November

12pm – 1.15pm

211 Oxford Tce, on the banks of the Ōtākaro River

(between Colombo & Manchester Sts near the Town Hall)

Wet weather venue: Christchurch Town Hall

Free public event

You are all invited to come & sit together on the banks of the Ōtākaro Avon River at lunchtime on Wed 13 November to acknowledge the rivers of Waitaha/Canterbury through song & weaving. While kairaranga weave harakeke, we will sing waiata together, and listen to karakia, stories & music that celebrate this life-sustaining water that connects us all.

This is part of Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Project in Christchurch, which explores how culture actively shapes a better future, and involves Yo-Yo performing with talented musicians and weavers of Ōtautahi. Marlon Williams will do a special performance with Yo-Yo Ma. Also performing are Sistah Waitoa, Project Miere, Aporonia Arahanga, a group of instrumentalists led by Tamara Smith, Ruby Solly, and Phil Dadson.

The wet weather venue for the event is the Christchurch Town Hall. Please keep an eye on Te Pūtahi’s social media accounts for the latest information.

Waiata ki te wai is conceived by artists Juliet Arnott of Rekindle and Kerepeti Paraone (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hine), commissioned by Yo-Yo Ma and produced by Te Pūtahi – Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making in collaboration with Tier One events.

Important information:

For those who can, we’d prefer it if you sat on the ground for this event. Bring a rug or mat to sit on. There is limited space for chairs, so if you need to bring a chair, or use a wheelchair, please arrive early to secure a place. Chairs will be seated at the rear.

If you are approaching the event site from another part of the city, on foot or bicycle, to acknowledge your connection with water and rivers we suggest you walk or cycle along the Ōtākaro Avon river to arrive at the event.

Two of the waiata are for everyone at the event to sing – including you! The first is Purea Nei, a well known waiata adapted by Hirini Melbourne from a waiata written by Henare Mahanga. The second is Te Wai Tuku Kiri, a local waiata composed by Te Rita Papesch and adapted by Puamiria Parata‐Goodall for Te Taumutu Rūnanga. All the musicians who are performing at Waiata ki te wai will be playing the second waiata.

Please find the lyrics for the waiata-a-rōpu (group waiata) attached. You can also follow along with these YouTube videos:

Purea Nei


Te wai tuku kiri


Facebook Event



November 13, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm


211 Oxford Terrace
211 Oxford Terrace
Christchurch, 8011 New Zealand
+ Google Map