The Auckland Arts Festival has kicked off on a moving note with an Aotea Square performance of 'Hareruia'.
The te reo Māori version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' has become a New Zealand classic in its own right, and Thursday evening's rendition brought tears to the eyes of many.
Musician Ria Hall and an accompanying choir performed onstage in front of a crowd of all ages and ethnicities, many of whom could be seen singing and swaying along.
The waiata was part of Tira, an event celebrating Māori music to open the Auckland Arts Festival. Other performers included Stan Walker, Troy Kingi and Maisey Rika.
The 2019 festival lineup offers a diverse range of artistic delights, from international performances like Mozart's The Magic Flute, to local productions such as Tusiata Avia's Wild Dogs Under My Skirt.