Season2, Episode 2

He Reo Tawhito

A conversation with Dr Hana O’Regan

Mōteatea is a centuries-old tradition of chanted song-poetry; a great literary and musical art form that expresses the powerful portrayal of storytelling and is reflective of the emotional depths of a Māori world view. Its vast richness is yet to be fully understood. 

In these eleven episodes, over three series, hosted by Crystal Edwards, we hold conversations with some of the world’s leading experts on mōteatea and ask them: What exactly is mōteatea? How has it changed since colonisation? What issues does it face today?

‘He Reo Tawhito’ is available on all major platforms.

Click any of the links below to listen.

Please note: This podcast is spoken in English & te reo Māori

Dr Hana O’Regan has worked in language revitalisation, cultural development, te reo Māori, and education for over 25 years. She is a published author and composer, and is recognised internationally for her work in indigenous language acquisition and revitalisation. In June 2021, she was appointed a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.

In He Reo Tawhito, a conversation about Mōteatea with Dr. Hana O’Regan, Hana takes us on a journey of language loss within Kai Tahu, and the impact that this has had on the record of mōteatea. 

“He mea i tuku iho mai ki a mātou ekari ko te reo tēnā tētahi o ka aitua o te noho mai o te Pākehā ki a mātou.” [Mōteatea is a treasure passed down from generations right through to us, however the loss of language is but one of the tragedies of colonisation.]

Hana speaks about rare examples that were recorded—in particular, ‘E koro mā i Kaiapoi’—and likens mōteatea to a vessel that is able to carry thoughts and aspirations, stories of events, and the emotions of the composer to future generations and the wider community.

“I believe our people had a beautiful way of crafting knowledge so that knowledge could be transmitted—and would be transmitted—continually to ensure cultural persistence, language persistence.”

Hana describes how there was a long period in which new compositions were not seen amongst her people, however the turn of a new generation with te reo Māori as a language has brought growth to the revitalisation and composition of mōteatea, and the desire to develop language capabilities throughout Kai Tahu and Te Waipounamu whānui. 

Join our host Crystal Edwards for a fascinating look at mōteatea from a Kai Tahu perspective in this bilingual (te reo Māori and English) conversation with Dr Hana O’Regan.

Host: Crystal Edwards
Guest: Dr Hana O’Regan

Links & Resources
E hine
E Kimi ana
Mātahi ā te tau

Production team
Producers: Toni Huata & Roger Smith
Sound Engineer: Phil Brownlee
Research: Dr Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal
Production Assistance: Ngahuia Maniapoto, Kelly Mata, Nina Lesperance, Jonathan Engle, Alpana Chovhan
Marketing: Leoné Venter
Executive Producer: Diana Marsh

Special thanks to
Special thanks to Dr Hana O’Regan for E kimi ana
Dr Hana O’Regan and Ngai Tahu for Tūhawaiki and E hine
Charisma Rangipunga, Kā Pari Kārakaraka 2007 and Ngai Tahu for Mātahi ā te tau 
Thanks to Adrian Wagner and Te Upoko o Te Ika
Cover Art: Kennedy Kioa Toi Faimanifo of Manatoa Productions

This podcast is supported by funding from Creative New Zealand.



© Copyright Centre for New Zealand Music Trust


Crystal Edwards

Hokahoka atu rā tēnei maioha ki a koutou katoa.

Crystal Edwards is a proud Ngāti Kahungunu woman who resides in the beautiful Hawkes Bay. She currently works for The Eastern Institute of Technology as an evening tutor, teaching Te Reo Māori over a range of classes.

From 2013 – 2020 Crystal worked as an iwi radio announcer and broadcaster for Radio Kahungunu. This role led her to Emcee work for Ngāti Kahungunu. She has hosted, emceed and entertained many events ranging from local community gatherings to national events such as Te Matatini Te Kahu o Te Amorangi 2017, The National Māori Music Awards and The National Māori Housing Conference 2020. She also coordinated an international Tā-Moko expenditure to Europe, travelling to six countries in 2018 with four Kahungunu Tā-Moko specialists.

“Ngāti Kahungunu has been the cornerstone to my success, and I am truly blessed to have built respect among my people. My network continues to grow, ranging from national to international contacts.”

Crystal’s latest accomplishment is being accepted as a member to Toast Masters International at the local branch in Hastings.

“I’ve always wanted to upskill in this area, simply because this is where I feel most comfortable and where my skills and talents lay.”

Crystal continues to be an emcee, host and public speaker, developing this talent by using Te Reo Māori as a vessel to showcase the events she is invited to.


Dr Hana O’Regan

Ngai Tahu

Dr Hana O’Regan has worked in the areas of language revitalisation, identity and cultural development, te reo Māori and education for over 25 years. Hana is a published author and composer and is recognised internationally for her work in indigenous language acquisition and revitalisation. A graduate of Te Panekiretanga – Institute of Excellence in Te Reo Māori, Hana is widely respected for her Māori language contribution, skills and advocacy. Hana’s passion for education and community, history and equity has resulted in a career committed to working with organisations, businesses and individuals to support and enhance positive outcomes for learners and whānau.

Since late 2020 Hana has been Tumu Whakarae of CORE Education.

In 2006 Hana took up the role of General Manager, Oraka for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu where she managed the portfolios of Education, Tertiary Education and Employment Transition, Health and Wellbeing, Tribal Economies, Iwi Capability and the Whai Rawa Iwi Superannuation scheme. Prior to working at Ngāi Tahu Hana held two director positions on the senior executive at ARA Institute of Canterbury as the Kaiārahi -Director Māori and Pasifika, and the Director for the Student Services Division which oversaw the areas of Student Academic Support, Student Transitions, our Student Wellbeing portfolio, the Centre for Māori and Pasifika Achievement and the Youth Transitions stream.

* Photo credit: Core Education