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Te Waka Toi Awards Celebrate Māori Artists


Date: Sunday 31 August 2008

Te Waka Toi Awards Celebrate Māori Artists

Over 300 supporters from around the country converged on the Wellington Town Hall last night (Saturday) to celebrate the achievements of the recipients of Ngā Taonga Toi a Te Waka Toi – awards from Te Waka Toi, the Māori arts board of Creative New Zealand, the only national awards dedicated to Māori arts.

Seven awards and two scholarships were presented by attending dignataries including Heeni Katipa, sister to Te Arikinui Kiingi Tuheitia, Associate Ministers for the Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Judith Tizard and Hon Mahara Okeroa.

A theme for the evening was “taonga tuku iho”, treasures handed down from the ancestors with the kaumatua and kuia who received awards being celebrated for their commitment to the growth and transmission of Māori arts.

Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, who was announced as the recipient of Te Tohu Tiketike the supreme Te Waka Toi Award for her role in establishing the National Kohanga Reo Trust continued the theme of the evening saying “the future belongs to our mokopuna”.

The five Tā Kingi Ihaka award recipients in regonition of a lifetime contribution to the development and retention of Māori arts and culture are:

• Matakino Lawless (Te Arawa)
• Rapiata Darcy Ria (Rongowhakaata)
• Katerina Daniels (Te Arawa)
• Rangiteremauri Tari (Tūhoe)
• Kereni Bartlett (Ngāti Kahungunu)

Te Tohu Aroha mō Ngoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi for contribution to te reo Māori is awarded to:

• Merimeri Penfold (Ngāti Kuri)

Te Tohu Toi Kē recognises an individual who is making a significant positive difference to the development and retention of Māori arts and culture through their chosen art form. This award was presented to:

• George Henare ( Ngāti Porou) for his outstanding contribution to Māori theatre.

Ngā Karahipi a Te Waka Toi/Te Waka Toi Scholarships awarded to two tertiary level students of Māori artforms who show promise and commitment to both their artform and to Māori development through the arts. The scholarships are for $4000 per recipient and are a strategic investment in the future of Māori arts. The scholarships are awarded by Te Waka Toi after an external call for application process.

The 2008 recipients of Ngā Karahipi a Te Waka Toi/Te Waka Toi Scholarships are:

• Waiana Jones (Te Arawa, Te Aupouri)
• Aimee-Rose Stephenson (Ngāti Mārau)

Te Tohu Tiketike a Te Waka Toi – Te Waka Toi’s premiere award acknowledges the work of individuals who are exemplary in their chosen field of artistic endeavour. Past recipients have included Sir Howard Morrison, Diggeress Te Kanawa, Cliff Whiting and the late Don Selwyn. Te Tohu Tiketike a Te Waka Toi will be presented to Iritana Tawhiwhirangi (Ngāti Porou) later in the year.


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