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Te Whetū o te Tau – The Star of the Year

26 June 2008

Media Release

Te Whetū o te Tau – The Star of the Year

“We are proud to announce that Hareruia ‘Ruia’ Aperahama (Morehu, Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri) is the 2008 recipient of the annual Te Whetū o te Tau award for his continued promotion and use of the Māori language through the medium of music and song writing”, says Huhana Rokx, Chief Executive of Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission.

Ruia is a native speaker of te reo Māori, raised in the small rural settlement of Ratana Pa is a talented composer, singer, recording artist, illustrator, creative writer, trained primary school teacher, and radio host on Radio Waatea 603am.

“This national award is a way for Aotearoa to acknowledge those who have consistently strived to bring recognition to the Māori language and culture on a national and international scale. It is clear throughout all of Ruia’s work that he is incredibly passionate and committed to te reo Maori and it’s place in our nation”, says Huhana Rokx.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori will present Ruia with its Te Whetū o te Tau award at the Matariki Gala, Te Papa tomorrow night. Ruia is the first male recipient of this special award which is bestowed annually to a person who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the revitalisation of the Māori language. Previous recipients include Diane Prince, Hinewehi Mohi and Mate Kaiwai.

“It is a great opportunity for us all to acknowledge Ruia’s incredible contribution to the promotion of our indigenous language particularly through his writing and singing”.


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