Moana and the Moahunters “A E I O U”

This is where it begins. The first funding round had only three videos, but they managed to cover the extremes of New Zealand pop. The first was Moana and the Moahunters ode to indigenous cultural pride “A E I O U”.

But was its NZ On Air funding considered newsworthy? A 3 News story makes no mention of that – the focus is more on the message of the lyrics. And it’s noteworthy that back in ’91, a national news story was “Hey, check out this music video!”

Watching the video itself, you can tell the early-’90s have come to New Zealand. Moana’s wearing a peasant blouse and waistcoat – Vanessa Huxtable chic. Moana performs the song with her girl group Moahunters in front of a green screen, while Maori-influenced graphics swirl around behind her.

There’s no pretending that the world of the green screen is real. There are wide shots that show the edges of the screen, and the cold concrete floor of the studio (warehouse? suburban garage?) they are filming in.

And it looks like Moana’s doing the Madonna trick of having no other women in the video, other than her backing singers. All eyes on the star, thank you.

This video features the familiar rotating NZ On Air logo in both bottom corners of the screen instead of the usual one corner. Was this the producer misunderstanding the requirement or did NZ On Air originally get a bit carried away with their branding requirements?

It’s a bright, cheerful music video, that nicely matches the uplifting house beats. It’s a perfect video to begin our journey into the world of NZ On Air funding.

Best bit: Moana’s dad, looking cool as.



Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Don and Harry versus the bright shiny world of consumer culture.

0 thoughts on “Moana and the Moahunters “A E I O U””

  1. Ah, the covetable floppy blouse and waistcoat.
    Your mention of “here’s a music video” on the news makes me remember back in 1996 or 1997 – it must’ve been 1996 – there was a story on the news (forget whether it was TV1 or 3) about the Spice Girls doing their first live performance. Not a concert – just them singing live in a TV studio for a small audience or something. I think the idea was “look! They don’t just lipsync!” but still…

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