Alien Weaponry: Henry de Jong, Lewis de Jong, Ethan Trembath.

Northland heavy metal band Alien Weaponry took out the prestigious APRA Maioha Award for their song Raupatu. The award recognises and celebrates compositions in te reo Māori.

“This is an absolute shock,” said drummer Henry de Jong on behalf of the band in last night’s awards ceremony.

“We didn’t really have much planned seeing as we’re a metal band, and you know, it’s kind of awesome to be able to be taking part in mainstream music now.”

The band, made up of brothers Henry and Lewis de Jong, and friend Ethan Trembath, thanked Smokefree Pacifica for inspiring them to compose songs in te reo Māori.

“They inspired us to start writing in Te Reo Māori and we’ve kept doing that because of how well it was received by people, and I guess this just proves it.”

They also acknowledged the kura kaupapa Māori movement.

“The other group of people we want to be thanking is kura kaupapa Māori movement here in New Zealand because that gives rangatahi here the opportunity to step up and take charge of keeping Māori alive here in New Zealand. It’s really a privilege to be able to stand up here and, I guess, be an advocate for that.”

The award comes days after the trio signed a three-year contract with a German record company.

Our reporter Rapaera Tawhai will have more on Te Karere today at 3.55pm, TVNZ 1.