Porirua, Wellington, NZL
BandWorldA Capella

A distinctive Maori voice that is traditional in its inspiration, creativity, innovation and that is unique, authentic and sounds like where it originates Aotearoa, New Zealand.


Tihei Mauri Ora! 

We are WHIRI TU AKA - WHIRI TU AKA is the coming together of our individual traditional values, creativity, innovation, uniqueness, authenticity and our wairua(spirits) forming a strong fine or plait.

The WHIRI TU AKA concept in terms of tikanga (culture) promotes positive messages. It highlights the challenges we face as Maori Artists who sing entirely in Te Reo Maori (the Maori language) and it will raise and strengthen the awareness of our Maori Artists. It doesnt matter that you dont understand the Maori language; there are resonances and meanings here that go way beyond literal translations.

WHIRI TU AKA encourages the normalisation of Te Reo Maori as it is hip, funky, relevant and competitive against the daily bombardment of non Maori language products mainstream and not mainstream. WHIRI TU AKA is a stimulating presentation of the Maori language, Maori music, Maori people & Maori culture. WHIRI TU AKA will attune the ears of the listeners to the beauty and rhythm of Te Reo and to the Maori vowels, diphthongs and consonant sounds of the Maori language.

As an artist and a producer it has always been a dream of mine to create a Maori a-capella body of work. In 2012 I decided to approach four talented, beautiful, and powerful women to join me to create this album. They graciously agreed and I am now privileged to present to the world, WHIRI TU AKA.

WHIRI TU AKA are Gaynor Rikihana, Kirsten Te Rito, Betty-Anne Monga, Lisa Tomlins and myself Mina Ripia.

The sound of WHIRI TU AKA

As individual artists we have all brought a wealth of experience, dynamics, knowledge and passion to the creation of WHIRI TU AKA. As a producer I strived to craft a distinctive Maori voice that is traditional in its inspiration, creativity, innovation and that is unique, authentic and sounds like where it originates Aotearoa, New Zealand. These are the qualities that are the essence and the sound of WHIRI TU AKA.

The inspiration for WHIRI TU AKA

If I were asked to define motherhood, I would say love, in its purest form. It is the hardest thing I have ever done and it has taught me how to love, unconditionally.

Having a family and giving life to my most precious gift, our son, Uta Te Whanga Whetuariki Johanson Ripia-McGregor, has inspired me to create this album of Maori  a-capella waiata. I believe Uta Te Whangas existence continues the ancient sacred pattern of universal unity that ties us all into the fabric of life.

'The power of the voice' I sang to him at the very beginning of his creation, I sang to him when he was born into the world and I will continue to sing to him for the rest of my life. Words alone cannot explain the feeling of creating such a powerful taonga(treasure), the gift of life.

My victory is not achieved alone, but it is accomplished through many

"Ehara, taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa, takitini"