Unitec has announced the finalists for the 2015 Unitec Pacific Songwriting Competition.

Judges were impressed with the quality and diversity of this year’s entries which is reflected in the makeup of the finalists representing Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Niue and the Cook Islands.

“This year’s entrants have definitely lifted their game and we’ve chosen the top five entries that will vie for the prizes and of course, the People’s Choice Award,” says award-winning Pacific musician and UPSC coordinator, Patrick Mose.

The People’s Choice Award will be decided by the finalist who gets the most views for their music video on the UPSC YouTube channel.

The competition, in its second year, celebrates the seven official Pacific languages in New Zealand through music, education and cultural engagement with these diverse communities.

All winners will be announced on 16 November. First place is a $1000 music voucher, second place a $600 music voucher, and third place a $400 music voucher.

The People’s Choice winner will receive a free professional video recording of their song and a guitar to the value of $500 from the main sponsor Music Planet.

2015 UPSC Finalists:

Song: Choices
Contestant: Xara Pickering (Elim Christian College)
Language: Fiji

Song: Ma’alahi
Contestant: Sonatane Kaufusi (Manurewa High School)
Language: Tonga

Song: Ko taku aroa teia
Contestant: Hannah Teipo (University of Auckland)
Language: Cook Islands

Song: Oso le la
Contestant: Group TIMtrio – Teejay Nanai, Seira Tuimaseve Gasu, Melevesi Finau (Otahuhu College)
Language: Samoan and Tongan

Song: Niue Fekai
Contestant: Churchaboy – Vincent Togiavale
Language: Niue