Polytechnic celebrates 'Lorde connection'

By Christine Linnell
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Lorde’s newfound stardom is an indirect claim to fame for Tai Poutini Polytechnic, which is promoting the link between its Auckland-based Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ) programme and the pop star’s co-writer Joel Little.
Mr Little, a producer, songwriter and former Goodnight Nurse frontman, graduated with the polytechnic’s certificate and
diploma in contemporary music in 2003.
He went on to co-write Lorde’s song Royals and work with her on her album Pure Heroine, which rocketed the 17-year-old Aucklander to fame and earned her two awards at the Grammys last week.
At a leadership conference at the Greymouth campus this week, MAINZ dean Harry Lyon said he personally taught Mr Little in Auckland for two years.
Mr Little continued to support MAINZ, which originated on the West Coast, and he gave the address at last year’s graduation ceremony before Christmas.
“He said, be nice to people on the way up — you might meet them on the way down.”
Mr Lyon said Mr Little’s career path was an example of how Tai Poutini Polytechnic could take a student from basic foundation courses to finding their niche in the music industry.
“It’s all possible, because 10 years previously he was sitting out in the audience (at graduation).”
The MAINZ foundation courses opened up a number of different pathways, so students from Greymouth could potentially move on to studies in Christchurch or Auckland, he said.