Competition rules and entry requirements

The Ngarimu Waiata Composition Competition for Māori learners in Years 7 to 13 is now open now!

This competition closes Sunday 28 July 2024.


  • The waiata composition competition is open to ākonga in Years 7 to 13.
  • You can submit your project as an individual, a team or a kura.
  • You must be enrolled at a registered school or kura or a group of registered schools or kura, such as a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.
  • If you are home schooled, you will need to provide a copy of your certificate of exemption from enrolment at a registered school.

Each waiata must have 1 lead composer to serve as the main point of contact. Recognition and prizes will be given to the lead composer and all those listed as co-composers on the entry form.

Payments of prizes will be made to the school bank account that the Ministry has on file. The school is then responsible for ensuring payment is distributed accordingly. 

The only compensation for submitting a waiata is the opportunity to be awarded a prize. No other payments will be made in relation to the competition.

Any Ministry of Education staff member whose tamariki is entering this competition needs to make the conflict of interest known to

Creating your waiata


Entries can be in any of the following waiata genres:

  • waiata oriori
  • waiata tangi
  • waiata aroha
  • waiata hōu
  • mōteatea
  • waiata-ā-ringa
  • poi
  • haka
  • himene.

Ngā reo | Languages

There are 2 prize categories:

  • English or bilingual
  • te reo Māori.

Participants can submit entries into both te reo Māori and/or English categories.

You will need to include subtitles for any languages other than te reo Māori or English.

Kaupapa | Themes

There are 4 waiata themes for participants to choose from.

  1. Compose a waiata about a tūpuna or member of the 28th (Māori) Battalion from your rohe and tell us what makes that person a tāonga to you, your whānau, kura, community, hapū or iwi.
  2. Compose a waiata about a 28th (Māori) Battalion event and /or company (A, B, C, D and HQ). What made it special to you/your rohe?
  3. The price of citizenship – compose a waiata on the contribution of Māori to the first and/or second world war. Think about why you/your whānau did or did not support the war.
  4. The wāhine of the 28th Māori Battalion played an important role too. Compose a Waiata about a wāhine or pouaru and the significant role she played in supporting the 28th Māori Battalion, their whānau and rohe, during and/or post the war.

The kaupapa of the waiata composition competition is not limited to World War II. Research material and information from World War I will also be considered for this competition.

Who can be involved in your entry

While involving the community is part of team building (manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, tūakana–tēina, tiakitanga, me ētahi atu), this project should be led by ākonga | students. 

Adults may assist with recording the waiata and with the uploading of the video to YouTube but they must not contribute with the composition of the waiata.

No professional assistance is allowed.

Intellectual property

Content must be original. Entrants are solely responsible for their own entries and the consequences for submitting them.

References to all information presented in the waiata must give credit to the original source.

No copyrighted materials may be used for this competition unless you own the copyright, have a license to use the material or other necessary permission.

Plagiarism of any kind will result in disqualification.

What to include in your entry

Waiata video

All entries into the waiata composition competition need to be recorded.

The video must begin with a 10-second full screen 'title screen' that includes the following information:

  • lead composer’s name
  • school name
  • school location
  • title of waiata
  • total running time.

The length of the waiata should be approximately 3 minutes. It should not exceed 5 minutes.

Subtitles and transcripts

All videos must have captions and be accompanied by a transcript file to make them accessible.

A transcript is a time-stamped text version of all lyrics in the video. Transcripts for entries in te reo Māori must be in both Māori and English. The transcript should be provided in a separate document.

Captions are displayed on screen in real time as the video plays.

How submit your entry

To enter the competition, upload a video of your waiata to YouTube (saved as 'unlisted').

Email and include:

  • a link to the video
  • the completed entry form and the consent form
  • a transcript of your waiata
  • the subject line 'Ngarimu waiata composition competition submission'.

You also need to post a physical copy on a flash drive.

A consent form will need to completed by a parent or legal guardian for each individual involved in the waiata video.

Ākonga should keep at least 1 copy of the video of their waiata.

The Ngarimu VC & 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board and the Ministry of Education are not responsible for any lost videos. 

How to upload your video to YouTube

To upload your finished video as 'unlisted' to YouTube, follow the steps below:

  1. Sign into your YouTube account or follow the instructions to create one.
  2. Go to 'your channel' and select the 'upload video' button.
  3. Click the 'select files' button and choose your video.
  4. Fill in the video details, elements, and checks.
  5. On the 'visibility' tab, select the 'unlisted' option.
  6. Once uploaded, select the 'options' button (3 vertical dots) and click on 'get shareable link'.
  7. Paste the link into your video submission email. (Only those with the link will be able to access your video.)

If you have any questions about uploading your video, email

How to send a physical copy

You also need to either post a physical copy of the video of your waiata on a flash drive to the address below or upload your video to an online file sharing database (eg Dropbox).

If you are posting a flash drive, send to:

Ngarimu Secretariat
Ngarimu Waiata Composition Competition
Ministry of Education
1 The Terrace, Mezzanine floor
Wellington 6011

The posted flash drive will need to be post marked on or prior to the competition closing date to be eligible.

Judging criteria

The judges’ decision will be based on the following marking criteria.

Each criterion has a weighting of 10, for a total maximum score of 40.

The criteria are:

  • there is a clear connection between the waiata and the chosen theme
  • the waiata has the ability to evoke an emotional response
  • the waiata is entertaining or thought provoking
  • the waiata shows original artistic flair – composition demonstrates originality and creativity.

Check the content is appropriate

While war themes are permitted, content must be appropriate for Year 7 ākonga. 

The lyrics of your waiata must not:

  • promote illegal behaviour
  • support racial, religious, sexual or other invidious prejudice
  • advocate sexual or violent exploitation
  • violate rights established by law or agreement
  • invade the privacy of any person, or
  • be otherwise offensive or inappropriate
  • contain nudity, profanity, dangerous stunts or illicit drug use
  • promote hate and prejudice
  • damage the name and reputation of your school, the Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board, any Māori Battalion Company, iwi Māori, or the Ministry of Education, any other entity and/or any person.  

The judges in their sole discretion may refuse any entry at any time if the lyrics of the waiata are deemed inappropriate. 

Terms and conditions

At the end of the compeition, ownership of the underlying intellectual property of the project remains with the entrant with the following exceptions:

  1. Entrants grant The Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board and/or the Ministry of Education the right to use their names, photographs, statements, quotes, testimonials, and video submissions for advertising, publicity, educational contexts and promotion in accordance with the purpose of the competition without notification or further compensation. 
  2. The Ministry of Education and the Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board will have unrestricted right to use, edit, publish, broadcast, stream any or all of the waiata entries as well as the name, photographs, statements, biographical information and likeness of any or all participants in accordance with the purpose of the competition without further approval or compensation.
  3. Entrants also grant the Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board and the Ministry of Education the right to use, reproduce, reprint, distribute, perform, and/or play the entrant’s project waiata in accordance with the purpose of the competition without further compensation or notification to the entrant.
  4. The Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board and/or the Ministry of Education maintains the right to reproduce, reprint, distribute, perform, or play the project or parts of the waiata in accordance with the purpose of the competition, on their website, at conferences, or at any other venues.
  5. By accepting the prizes, winners agree to hold the Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board and the Ministry of Education employees harmless against any and all claims and liability arising out of use of such prizes.
  6. Award winners assume all liability for any injury or damage caused from participation in the competition or the use/redemption of any prize.
  7. Entrants agree to be bound by the official competition rules and decisions of the judges.

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