Aotearoa chart-toppers Tomorrow People paused their #FirstFridays campaign to address an important topic prevalent in today’s society.
After teaming up with Wellington-based director Brandon Te Moananui (The Maori Sidesteps, Under The Korowai), they discovered that nearly 80% of Maori soldiers had experienced symptoms of PTSD, with only 10% seeking support for mental health issues.
For the most part, the majority struggled to integrate back into society affecting their employment opportunities and personal relationships.
Tomorrow People felt compelled to bring awareness through their music and video.
“Õku Rā” is their 4th Maori language song and it talks about a healthy relationship breaking down since returning back from service. The extended music video portrays the journey of this soldier who suffers from PTSD and rejects his partners support, but eventually finds solace at the beach where they first met.
Director Te Moananui says “When I first heard the track and read the lyrics, it gave me the inspiration to explore and use this opportunity to bring awareness to a very important topic.
It’s a reminder as we celebrate ANZAC Day, that more support is needed for the large number of New Zealanders who are serving, or have served in the military but now suffer from PTSD”.
It is only fitting that the song was released on ANZAC day where our military personnel are honoured.