Te Vaka
Opetaia Foai


Tokelau's cash economy has greatly changed the lives of the people living in Tokelau. The incentive to work the land is quickly diminishing. Cigarettes and sugar rich items subsidised and sold to the people are causing a serious rise in Diabetes and other health damaging effects.


Tokelau language




NUKUKEHE (A different land)
Opetaia Foa'i Lyrics, Opetaia Foai & Malcolm Smith Music

Au na fofou fia kikila kia koe
Taku atu ai kina tino uma
Ko au na fafia mimita lahi
Ona fai e au na pehe mo koe

Teki au fakalogo kua sui tou olaga
Tiga e lahi na mea faigata
Kae taumafai lava ke taunuku
Taunuku te malaga fetaui ai taua

Tele tele kehe kehe
Tele kehe
Te lagona halamo
Na lagona halamo

Kua kehe mea

Te fanoanoa i te pa atuga ki na
Ho ve kua fai toku tuai atu
Kua teka atu na aso lelei
Na iei aganuku na
Aganuku lava moni

Kehe mai te olaga
Te olaga ona mea fou
Taofi ai na galuega lelei
Liliu kina uiga faigofie

Tatau na hakili he auala
Fakamimita uma ki tatou
Fakamakeke talia tali lelei
Teki kua tuai atu

O te nuku atunuku
na fia taunuku ai te malaga
Te malaga kua leva na fia tau

I dreamt of meeting you
And proceeded to tell everyone about you
I was so proud
I even wrote songs about you

I hesitated when I heard you’d changed
But still braved the elements to see you
The journey itself an adventure
An introduction leading me to you

Many many differences differences
Many differences
Overcome with sadness
I was overcome with sadness

Things have changed

I was saddened to have finally met you
As I came a little too late
Your prime was long ago
When there was real pride in you

This is a different place now
Spoilt by things that are new
People no longer tending the land
But opting to take the easy way out

We need to find a way
To make us all proud again
We need to be strong
In actioning the right answer
Before it’s far too late

This land, this land I’ve always wanted
to go to. A journey, for a long time
I needed to make.

© Spirit of Play Productions/Opetaia Foa'i

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TE VAKA BEATS - 25.02.17

"TE VAKA BEATS" is a 10 track album of new percussion tracks written by Te Vaka's master percussionist - Matatia Foai and produced by Opetaia Foai.  "Te Vaka Beats"is for dancers, choreographers and anyone who loves log drums, skin drums and adventurous percussions. Mastered at "The Bakery" in LA by grammy award winning mastering engineer, Eric Boulanger you have not heard log drums like this before. 

Te Vaka Beats - new album


NEW ALBUM!!! Release date - 25th February. Available for pre-order soon! 

Click to hear interview with Matatia

First single - Lukitau


Moana is nominated for: "Best Animation" and "Best Original Song". Winners announced at the Oscar awards ceremony on the 26th of February.

Soundtrack album

Moana soundtrack Album                                                                                         

The Moana soundtrack album made it to No.2 on the Billboard 200 album charts and No.1 on the Billboard sound track album charts.

Other news




The making of Moana’s music [An interview with composer Opetaia Foa’i of Te Vaka]

Telling the stories of their ancestors, the voyagers and way-finders, through music


The Te Vaka singers arrived at Warners Brothers Recording Studios in Burbank to add the Te Vaka magic to the Moana soundtrack click here for pics and more




Great news - The Amataga album wins "Best Pacific Music Album" ( Recorded Music NZ award) and "Best Pacific Song" for Papua i sisifo" the song written in support of West Papua and their struggles for freedom.
Read more.


FROOTS MAGAZINE give "Amataga" a big "Thumbs up" read review HERE



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