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Writers of original songs that inspire positive change are being encouraged to get their entries into the third annual E Tū Whānau Song competition as soon as possible, to maximise their votes and chance of winning.

“We’re asking people write an original song that incorporates one or more of the E Tū Whānau values  – Aroha, Whanaungatanga, Whakapapa, Mana/Manaaki, Kōrero Awhi, and Tikanga,” says competition organiser, Teresa McGregor. 

E Tū Whānau is a movement encouraging New Zealanders from all communities to reject unacceptable levels of violence in Aotearoa by nurturing and celebrating the things that make whānau strong.

“We want people to challenge attitudes that accept violence in any form and this competition is a great way of doing that,” Teresa McGregor says.

Entries for the online song competition are currently flooding onto the E Tū Whānau facebook page where anyone can vote once a day for any number of songs, including their own. Those that attract most votes in the peoples poll will then be judged by award winning singers, Maisey Rika and Tawaroa Kawana and producer, Maaka ‘Phat’, who’ll choose the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners. Entries close at 5pm on 11th June 2018 and voting closes at 5pm on Wednesday 20th June. 

The E Tū Whānau Song Competition’s focus on grassroots talent attracts a large popular following. Last year’s winning entry, “One Love” by the group East Coast Breevas, has had 27,000 views on YouTube. Whilst 2016 winner “Whakatō Te Kākano” by Mauri has spent 49 weeks in the Top 20 Te Reo Māori Airplay Chart.

A music clip for the song “Bring Mana To Your Name” by Pianika Duncan, which attracted the most votes in 2016, has achieved an impressive 105,000 Facebook views. The song propelled Pianika into the finals in the Best Female Vocalist category at the 2017 Waiata Māori Music Awards.

Tawaroa Kawana from chart-topping group Maimoa Music is a judge for the first time this year, joining Maisey Rika and producer, Maaka ‘Phat” who have been involved in the competition since it started in 2016. 

“This competition has captured the imagination of whānau throughout the motu because it showcases the depth of talent in our communities,” says Maaka Phat.

"People everywhere are making inspirational, meaningful music and the E Tū Whānau Song Competition gives them a chance to share it with us all.”  

First prize in the 2018 E Tū Whānau Song Competition is worth $5000. Second prize is $2000 and 3rd prize $1000. The song that receives the most votes will receive $2000. Entrants are asked to upload footage of their song being performed to YouTube and complete the online entry form on the E Tū Whānaufacebook page.