Launch of ‘Whakatuwheratia’ single

Today I am launching my new single ‘Whakatuwheratia’. Here is some info about it and where you can get it! Link to ‘Whakatuwheratia’: To celebrate the inaugural Māori Music Month, Kāi Tahu singer Ariana Tikao is releasing her new single Whakatuwheratia recorded and produced by Trinity Roots’ Ben Lemi Wood who also provides backing…

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Ariana Tikao signs to Songbroker

Exciting news! I have just signed with Songbroker as my new publisher, and I am looking forward to working with the fabulous Jan Hellriegal, Mahoney Harris, and other members of the team who are helping New Zealand songwriters to find licensing opportunities for their music. See their website for details.

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Singing in ‘No Man’s Land’

I am really excited to be a featured singer in the epic ‘love-letter to peace’ which is John Psathas’ ‘No Man’s Land’. I met John about a year ago, and didn’t quite know how huge and amazing this project was when I first was asked to join in. This is what it says on the…

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Kia Mataara single fundraiser for KidsCan

Acclaimed performer Ariana Tikao (Kai Tahu) has released Kia Mataara today. The single has been eagerly anticipated by Tikao’s fans and will be supported by a multi-date tour of the South Island, Wellington and Auckland, starting in Wellington on 1 November (see details for tour on the ‘konohete/live’ link on this website). Kia Mataara is…

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About Ariana

Ariana Tikao is a unique performer and composer of heartfelt music in both Te Reo Māori and English. She draws on folk and pop styles with a strong emphasis on Māori chant. Although now living in Wellington, her music in inspired and influenced by her Māori ancestry and the dramatic landscape of Te Waipounamu – The South Island of New Zealand.

Ariana was a featured vocalist on John Psathas’s recent international extravaganza No Man’s Land alongside World Music luminaries such as Meeta Pandit and Serj Tankian. She also featured as a vocalist and taonga puoro player for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2015 for Kenneth Young’s In Paradisum. In 2016 she performed in the first concerto for taonga puoro, Ko te tātai whetū, that Ariana co-composed with Philip Brownlee and premiered with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

In 2009 she was a soloist in the WOW Wearable Arts Awards in Wellington, and also performed in the prestigious Pao Pao Pao event in the Wellington Town Hall. At this event, Ariana was presented with an achievement award from Toi Maori.

Ariana contributed a song on the Ihimaera album with some of the country’s top recording artists. She also played ‘My heart beats strongly’ live in the Auckland Arts Festival for the Ihimaera Show.

In 2010 Ariana completed a tour of New Zealand to rave reviews with singer-songwriter Hannah Howes for the “Wahine Toa” tour. That year she performed her Ohaki (multi-media) show, featuring Richard Nunns, to standing ovations in Christchurch and Nelson.

In 2017 Ariana combined her talents with three of New Zealand’s top taonga puoro performers to perform a moving rendition of Alien Weaponry’s Maioha award winning song ‘Raupatu’ at the Apra Silver Scrolls Award ceremony in Dunedin.

Since beginning her music career in Christchurch with folk duo Pounamu in 1993, to launching her solo career and releasing her debut solo album Whaea in 2002, Ariana has consistently produced beautiful and moving music that contributes to the growing corpus of contemporary Māori music.


Hineraukatauri Achievement Award, Toi Maori, 2008

Finalist Waiata Maori Awards 2008/2009

Finalist in RIANZ Folk Album of the Year Award 2009, for Emeralds & Greenstone album

Musician in Residence, Centre for NZ Studies, University of London, 2008 (Funded by Te Waka Toi, Creative NZ)

Winner best music video, imagiNATIVE film + media festival 2009, Toronto


No shows booked at the moment.



Pupuhi Rau – Live at Orange Studio, Christchurch

This is a live version of a whanau waiata ‘Pupuhi Rau’ accompanied by members of Emeralds & Greenstone (Jonathon Hooker, James Wilkinson, and Argene Montgomery-Honger) and Alistair Fraser. The guys from Orange Studio made a beautiful job of filming and editing the performance.

Kā Roimata

Kā Roimata being performed at the Nelson Arts Festival 2010, as a part of the Ōhākī show. Featuring Ariana Tikao, Holly Tikao-Weir, Karuna Karasulas, Richard Nunns, Jon Hooker and Argene Montgomery-Honger.


‘Tuia’ is the first track on Ariana’s album also called ‘Tuia’. It’s a beautiful and stunning piece of film by Louise Potiki Bryant . Please check out : for more of her lovely New Zealand maori music.

Let there be Light (LIVE at Orange Studio)

You can now see the video for Let there be Light, from the concert at Orange Studio, 28 November 2014. I was accompanied by Jon Hooker on guitar, James Wilkinson on bass, Argene Montgomery-Honger on bodhran, and Alistair Fraser on taonga puoro.

This waiata was written as a song of hope for Christchurch after the devastating earthquakes of 2010/2011.

Ōhākī at Christchurch Arts Festival

Te Heke

This is about whakapapa and our responsibilities to it. Whakapapa defines the connection between all things. This song particularly celebrates the lines of descent. The rope represents the lines of descent of whakapapa. So it is a connection between different generations.

Ka Huri te Wa

This is my first music video that I made in 2002 which was released with my first solo album Whaea. The video is for Ka Huri te Wa, which was filmed at Takahanga Marae. It was made by Fisheye Films and funded by Te Mangai Paho. The kaupapa of the waiata is Te Reo Maori revitalisation and was written in 1995 at a Maori immersion hui at Takahanga Marae, and so it was a great experience to go back to that same marae, at a real wananga reo to film the video. My son Tama makes a cameo appearance towards the end – he is the baby in the blue hoodie (nowadays he is a teen, and is taller than me!)

He mihi nui ki nga kaimahi, ki te whanau o Takahanga hoki!

Ōhākī at Christchurch Arts Festival

Contact Ariana

For general enquiries please fill in the contact form on this page.

Get in touchclear

For publishing enquiries contact the lovely people at Songbroker:
(+64) 9 846 8892