The WAI Family

The WAI Family
The WAI Family
The WAI Family


These are just preview samples. You need a valid account and be logged in to hear the full tracks.
  • country:New Zealand
  • region:Polynesia
  • style(s):Electronic, Maori
  • label:Minaaka Music
  • type:Band, Composer/Songwriter, Large Ensemble
  • gender:male, female, child
  • instrumentation:vocal, a cappella, electronic, percussion, singer songwriter, unplugged, guitar
  • artist posted by:Minaaka Limited

Line up

  • Maaka Phat (Vocals, Poi, Guitar & Drums)
  • Mina Ripia (Vocals & Poi)
  • Tuari Dawson (Vocals & Poi)
  • Uta Te Whanga Ripia-McGregor (Vocals, Poi, Cajon & Drums)


Since 1999 WAI has been raising the awareness of Māori artistic expression both nationally and internationally.

WAI has performed at numerous high profile international events and has been recognized and acknowledged as innovators in their field breaking new ground and fearlessly going where no Māori language bands have been before.

​By only performing 100% in Te Reo Māori WAI are one of the few original Māori music groups at the coal face of pioneering international opportunities for the development of Māori language music.

Producer’s Mina and Maaka strive to craft a distinctive Māori voice that is traditional in its inspiration, creativity, innovation and that is unique, authentic and sounds like where it originates, AOTEAROA.

Internationally the WAI family is known and loved for their unique Māori electronica. As they traveled the world their audience and opportunities broadened and this led them to create a minimalist but very powerful acoustic performance set. Their music appeals to and has the ability to cross all boundaries regardless of language, age, color, race or creed. Their performances create intense, personal and intimate relationships with their audiences.

In 2008 WAI took a well-deserved break from touring internationally to have a family and to raise their son Uta Te Whanga. 2013 saw WAI return to the Northern Hemisphere after receiving an invitation to return to Belgium. This their first International tour since having their beautiful son as he has been their priority. Uta Te Whanga the newest WAI member was 4 years young joining WAI on this tour in Belgium and Copenhagen. Now 11 years young internationally Uta Te Whanga has since toured Seattle, Jeonju, Seoul, Charlottesville Virginia, Colorado Springs, Yilan, Taipei and Uta was very excited to be heading to the Island of Borneo, Malaysia in July to be apart of the 2019 Rainforest World Music Festival.

A strong reflection of cultural pride is the essence and sound of WAI.



"WAI 100%" - The WAI Family

On Tour