HomeNewsUCOL | Te Pūkenga alum rising up in New Zealand music industry

UCOL | Te Pūkenga alum rising up in New Zealand music industry

By UCOL on Wednesday, 30 August 2023

Te KuraHuia Uha music video

UCOL | Te Pūkenga are proud to support the success of alum, Te KuraHuia (Ngāi Tara, Ngāti Raukawa), as her musical talent has been recognised by renowned musician Tiki Taane and band Black Comet.

Originally from Horowhenua, 24-year-old Te KuraHuia had her track BMW, which stands for Bad Mana Wahine, remixed by the industry-leading artists following a successful grant application with Creative New Zealand Toi Tipu Toi Rea (Emerging Artist Fund).

"I had originally applied for a grant with Te Māngai Pāho with my track for BMW. Tiki saw my track on their records and liked it so much he chose to remix it following the release of my Visual EP (long form music video) which I produced using my Creative New Zealand funding. It was so exciting!"

"Working and recording with Tiki was such a cool experience. He thought my bars and lyrics went hard, and that the track was inspiring and uplifting for our wāhine."

Te KuraHuia pictured in her music video

A recent UCOL graduate of the New Zealand Certificate in Music Level 4 and New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Music) Level 5, Te KuraHuia believes that the skills she gained during her qualification jump-started her career.

"I appreciate the knowledge that my tutors at UCOL shared with me. They taught me everything I needed to know about how to get funding, how to get in touch with people, and how to master the sound of my track. I put those lessons into action in my second year there, and it's amazing to see how far I've come since."

Tiki Tane with UCOL music students and lecturrers

UCOL Senior Lecturer in Music Kane Parsons says the New Zealand Music Certificate is a great launching pad for people on their music journey.

"We don't focus on one thing specifically - we offer a platter, if you like, of music education. It's a place for our learners to explore and develop their understanding of the music industry and business of music, so they have a better idea of where they can go in their career."

"We help ākonga (learners) refine their skills, performing as individuals, and in band performances. We teach across many genres throughout the year and guide students to develop the skills they need to take their music career to the next level - from working in live sound and recording, to songwriting/composition, and music and event management.

Since completing her certificate at UCOL, Te KuraHuia has performed all over the North Island and beyond.

"I performed in the Girls Rock show hosted at The Stomach and at Waitangi Day events in Palmy, I've also played in Auckland and Wellington, and performed in Levin for Matariki celebrations.

"The best moment for me was when I was asked to perform as an artist in the Asinabka Media and Film Festival in Ottawa, Canada. That was exciting for me as I got to go overseas and be a Māori ambassador for my people while doing what I love doing."

In July, Te KuraHuia was asked to feature in the lineup for the FIFA Fan Festival in Wellington, alongside headliner Maisey Rika.

"I performed in Wellington at TSB Arena's Shed 6. It was a big crowd! Maisey was the headliner and I was supposed to open for her, but at the last minute, they asked me if I wanted to perform last so I could have a bigger audience!"

Te KuraHuia is not only making waves in the music industry, but is also a passionate advocate for the wellbeing of rangatahi in Aotearoa. In September, she will be participating as a youth speaker in 'Real Talk' in Ōtaki, an event that provides a safe space for sharing stories to inspire and empower, addressing the critical issue of youth suicide rates in New Zealand.

Alongside this, Te KuraHuia is also currently in production for a short film in Oruawharo.

For those considering a future in music, Te KuraHuia encourages people to study at UCOL.

"If music is what you love doing, then keep doing it - but be prepared to do the hard yards.

"I loved my certificate year so much. I graduated last year, but I wanted to stay on just to see my tutors. The way that they taught us was so engaging and inspiring and really helped to reignite my love for music. I highly recommend it!"

You can find more information about UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Music Level 4 here and the New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Music) Level 5 here.


1. Te KuraHuia (centre) flanked by Ofa Latui, Pirihira Henare, Shaniele Suitauloa, and Kassidy Tovo in the music video for her song Uha.

2. The cover for Te KuraHuia's track BMW, remixed by Tiki Taane and Black Comet. 

3. Tiki Taane, Te KuraHuia, Laughton Kora (from Black Comet), Wairere Iti (from the Māori Music Industry Coalition), and Nadia Marsh (from Te Māngai Pāho) at a production session from the BMW Remix.