June Pitman-Hayes is one of the country's preeminent jazz singers as well as a keen writer.

She's combined both talents to create a new audiobook 'Tāwhirimātea - A Song for Matariki' to celebrate Matariki. 

She says it was important to have the book in both English and Māori so that non-Māori speaking children have an opportunity to engage in Māori worldviews.

"The resurgence and interest of te reo Māori in schools is really important and to also give Pākehā children an opportunity to learn our beautiful te reo Māori." 

Descended from Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti Maniapoto, she has worked as a singer for 20 years now, and in the last few years made her debut as a published writer. 

Pitman-Hayes is set to publish her latest book 'Hello Kiwi' during Māori Language Week which is focused on acknowledging and welcoming refugees to New Zealand.

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