The Moana Premiere at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood was spectacular in every way. Opetaia and Te Vaka joined Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina, Auli'i Cravalho. the film makers, drectors and many more on a night that show cased the South Pacific culture and music.

El Capitan theater in Hollywood
 Pictures by Julie Foai  



Te Vaka flys to the Goldcoast for a one off performance at the International Movie convention held at Jupiters Casino and Theatre in the Gold Coast.

Te Vaka at Jupiters
The team that performed a song from Moana
For the International Movie Convention
Joe and Livy at Jupiters
Joe and Livy just before performance
 Te Vaka with Heilani dancers

Te Vaka was a highlight of the
International Movie Convention
performing a track written
by Opetaia for the upcoming
Disney animated feature film -
Moana. Te Vaka was joined by
the Heilani dancers from Brisbane.
The event was held at Jupiters
casino and theatre in




Opetaia and Mark Mancina recording vocals for Moana Sulata, Vai, Melodee and Olivia at Warner Bros
 Matatia  Douglas and Talaga at Warners singing for Moana
 Soundstage control room at Warners  Te Vaka at Warner Bros Recording Studio
 The whole Te Vaka crew at Warners  Te Vaka with the music team at Warners
The Te Vaka singers from 1994 to present time arrived in LA on the 20th of August to add the magic Te Vaka sound to the songs and score of the upcoming Moana movie. The experience for the band and the Disney music team was nothing short of  incredible to read more click here                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Media release pacific - 1
June 9, 2016


Much-loved music and dance group Te Vaka and multi-talented Vince Harder have taken out the top accolades at the 12th annual Vodafone Pacific Music Awards. 

Te Vaka’s achievement is significant as it secured both the Best Song and Best Album awards, while Vince Harder took home no fewer than three awards – for NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist, Auckland Council Best Pacific Urban Artist and MAINZ Best Producer – showcasing the diversity of his abilities. 

Te Vaka has won the APRA Best Pacific Song award for ‘Papua I Sisifo’, written by band member Opetaia Foa’i. The group also took out the Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album for ‘Amataga’, its 8th collection of songs released in late 2015. 

For more than two decades Te Vaka has occupied a central space in Pacific music and dance, under the inspired leadership of Foa'i. The group has toured the world and performed at important global occasions including America’s Cup events in Auckland, the Commonwealth games in Melbourne, the Rugby World Cup in Paris and the Olympic Games in Beijing. 

Te Vaka is a regular visitor to the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards podium having won numerous accolades over the years. The group’s songwriter and lead vocalist Opetaia Foa’i was noticeably missing from the awards ceremony but for good reason; he is currently writing the soundtrack for the upcoming Disney film Moana. 

Moana: The Kiwi musician behind the next Disney blockbuster

MIKE ALEXANDER Sunday Star Times
Last updated 05:00, May 1 2016

Opetaia Foai

Te Vaka - we are family

January 24 2016
Sunday Star Times
Opetaia, Matatia Olivia Manase and the rest of the Te Vaka family

Kiwi songwriter hits the big time with new Disney soundtrack

NZ-based group joins next big Disney movie

Opetaia, Te Vaka and Dwayne the rock Johnson

Te Vaka with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, who will star in Disney's 'Moana'. Photo / Facebook

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

A New Zealand Pacific band has been chosen to lend their voices to Disney's next big movie - Moana.

Te Vaka is a group of musicians and dancers from various Pacific Island backgrounds based in New Zealand.

Their unique music - a blend of traditional Island and contemporary tunes - has taken them around the world and they have a huge following around the Pacific region.

Led by composer and lead singer Opetaia Foa'i, the group will perform on the Moana soundtrack; for which Foa'i has been chosen to be one of its song writers alongside award-winning composers Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mark Mancina, who worked on the Tarzan and The Lion King soundtracks.

The announcement came over the weekend at Disney's D23 Expo in the US, where Te Vaka was invited to perform one of the film's key songs: We Know The Way.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - who is the voice behind one of the main characters in the film, Maui - introduced Te Vaka as "aiga" (Samoan for family) before they took to the stage.

Speaking to the crowd, Johnson, who is half Samoan on his mother's side, said: "I am so excited to be with you here today to talk a little bit about Maui and our incredible story about Moana....Samoa is in my blood and to tell a story inspired by the South Pacific is truly a great honour."

Speaking to the Herald from the US yesterday, Foa'i said they were shocked when approached by Disney two years ago.

"They went searching for a song writer from the Pacific and [my wife] Julie noticed that somebody had ordered everything on our site and then she noticed it said Disney at the bottom of the email.

"Then they brought me over here, so they could meet me...They thought they were checking me out, but I was checking them out. I didn't want to be involved with a movie that's going to make our culture look silly.

"I sit in on meetings with every top director in Disney and I speak my mind - and they listen. These people really care and they really want to present respectfully the culture of the South Pacific. I tell you, this movie is going to be something very special."

Foa'i travelled with some of the film's producers and directors to New Zealand and Samoa for research purposes and included an undercover visit to Auckland's Pasifika Festival last year.

The highly anticipated film, which is due out next year in November, follows a young girl named Moana Waialiki who travels the seas to fulfil her ancestors' unfinished quest. Along the way she meets demi-god Maui, who helps her along the way.

New Zealand already has a connection to the movie in Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi, who is behind the film's script.