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Red Contributor


Rob Ruha

Composer, Performer

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Biography

Ko Rob Ruha tētahi o ngā tino kai-waiata, kaitito waiata hoki tēnei whakareanga Māori. He tamaiti nā te ao kapa haka i whāngai ki te waiata me te Māoritanga, ā, nō te tau 2014 ka puta a Rob ki te ao hai kai-waiata takitahi. Kua eke a ia i ngā tiketiketanga nui o te ao waiata ki Aotearoa nei, kua puta hoki wōna momo waiata e kīa ana ko te ‘Haka-soul’ ki te ao whānui.

Rob Ruha (Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tainui, Rongowhakaata, Ngāpuhi, Ngā Ariki-kaipūtahi) is an iconic composer and solo artist from a new generation of Māori, a product of powerful kapa haka traditions of song. His unique style of music, coined ‘Haka-soul’, has been performed and embraced worldwide.

Rob's awards include Best Māori Album (Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2014 and 2016), Best Songwriter, Best Māori Song and Best Male Solo Artist (Waiata Māori Music Awards) and the prestigious APRA Maioha Award in 2014 and 2016 for his waiata Kariri and Tiki Tapu. In addition, Rob has won numerous kapa haka awards, beginning with his first national award at the age of 17 for Best Waiata Tira at the "Te Matatini" of its time. These achievements have lead him to assume official roles as an ambassador for APRA AMCOS NZ and the Waiata Māori Music Awards and to serve as mentor to many young Māori artists including Kaaterama Pou, the Rū-cru and TEEKS.

As a songsmith, Rob is acknowledged by his tribal elders as possessing “a genius that lies in the rare ability of weaving together sound and rhythm to conjure emotions, that bring to life the lyrics of the song." His compositions are well known and his skill in the area of sung poetry is "without compare amongst people of his age group” (Rikirangi Gage, 2013).

This compositional prowess has seen Rob serve as a judge for the APRA Maioha Award for Best Waiata Māori Composition as well as various VNZMA awards. In addition to translating the soundtrack to the Disney animated film Moana, Rob was a consultant and performer on the award winning soundtrack for the movie Mahana, directed by Lee Tamahori (soundtrack by Tama Waipara and Mahuia Bridgeman-Cooper).

An acclaimed kapa haka exponent, Rob has judged the quality and standard of this art form for the past 15 years at national and international competitions. He was a mentor and judge for the reality television series “The Kapa”, where he trained the winning team and was an expert panelist for the live broadcast of the Te Matatini in 2017.


Composed (28)