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2002 Te Waka Toi Awards celebrate achievements

2002 Te Waka Toi Awards
celebrate achievements
in Mäori arts

Icons of te reo Mäori and kapa haka will be celebrated for their contribution to Mäori arts and culture at the annual Ngä Täonga Toi/Te Waka Toi Awards Evening, to be held in Auckland on Saturday, 7 September.

Hosted by Te Waka Toi, the Mäori arts board of Creative New Zealand, the evening celebrates and affirms Mäori artistic and cultural achievements.

A feature of this year’s awards are the number of recipients being recognised for their contribution to the promotion and strengthening of te reo Mäori. Elizabeth Ellis, Chair of Te Waka Toi, says it’s fitting that kuia and kaumatua are leading the renaissance of te reo Mäori.

“Te reo Mäori underpins our culture,” she says. “It is a vital, living language that has relevance in the twenty-first century and Te Waka Toi is committed to providing opportunities for Mäori to contribute to its growth.”

Mate Kawai (Ngäti Porou) of Ruatoria is the recipient of Te Tohu mo te Reo Rangatira/Te Waka Toi Award for Te Reo. The daughter of the late Sir Apirana Ngata, she says: “My mana is my reo.”

Haami Piripi, the Chief Executive of Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Mäori, says Mate Kawai is revered by thousands of students. “She is a täonga of te reo and the language teaching fraternity. She is absolutely dedicated to language regeneration and probably the most inspirational teacher that Te Taura Whiri has.”

Four of the kuia and kaumatua receiving Ngä Tohu a Ta Kingi Ihaka/Sir Kingi Ihaka Awards are also being recognised for their contribution to te reo Mäori. They are Roka Paora (Te Whanau-a-Apanui) of Hamilton; Haupai Tawhara (Tuhoe, Ngäti Rere) of Auckland; Mereheni Waitoa (Ngäti Porou) of Te Araroa on the East Coast and Anaru Takurua (Ngäti Porou) of Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast, who is also regarded as a living legend in kapa haka circles.

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The fifth kaumatua to receive Ngä Tohu a Ta Kingi Ihaka is Henare Te Ua (Te Aitanga o Mahaki) of Auckland, affectionately regarded as one of the elder statesmen of New Zealand broadcasting.

Te Waka Toi is also making a special one-off award, Te Tohu Motuhake, to entertainer Maui Dalvanius Prime of Taranaki to recognise his leadership and outstanding contribution to Mäori arts.

Elizabeth Ellis, Chair of Te Waka Toi, says the evening is a wonderful occasion where Te Waka Toi is able to thank kuia and kaumatua for the way in which they have shared their knowledge and skills with their communities.

“In this way, our kuia and kaumatua promote and consolidate the best of Mäori arts and culture. They are our role models and Poutokomanawa,” she says.

The evening is also about celebrating the vision, energy and commitment to excellence of talented Mäori artists, Ms Ellis says.

Robert Jahnke (Ngäti Porou), a highly regarded artist and senior lecturer at Massey University in Palmerston North, is the recipient of the Te Tohu Mahi Hou a Te Waka Toi/Te Waka Toi Award for New Work. This recognises his contribution to the development of new directions in Mäori art.

In addition to the awards, Te Waka Toi also offers Ngä Karahipi a Te Waka Toi/Te Waka Toi Scholarships, valued at $2500 each, to three post-secondary Mäori students involved in a field of arts learning. Winners of this year’s scholarships are:

 Timua Brennan (Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa, Ngai Tahu). Currently study the Italian language at the University of Waikato, she has been accepted into the Bel Canto Italia Opera School in Florence, Italy. She has a Bachelor of Music (Performance) from the University of Waikato where she has also worked as a vocal teacher within the music department.
 Kelcy Taratoa (Ngai Te Rangi, Ngäti Raukawa). Currently studying at Massey University in Palmerston North towards a degree in Mäori visual arts, Kelcy is determined to establish himself as a Mäori artist, both nationally and internationally.
 Monique Vette (Rongowhakaata). Currently studying for a degree in design, majoring in sculpture at Unitec in Auckland, Monique says the scholarship will help her produce more new works. A former pupil of Gisborne Girls’ High School, she exhibited her work in the 2001 Manukau Vessel and Sculpture Exhibition.

Te Waka Toi also makes an annual award in recognition of a Mäori artist’s life-long contribution to ngä toi Mäori. Te Tohu Tiketike a Te Waka Toi/Te Waka Toi Exemplary Award was presented to Dr Hirini Melbourne at the University of Waikato in July.


The following pages contain profiles of the award recipients. Their contact details are provided if you wish to talk to them. We will also be able to email you photos from the ceremony on Monday morning, 9 September.

To order photos and for further information please call:
Reuben Wharawhara
Mäori Communications Adviser, Creative New Zealand
Tel: 04-498 0727 or 025-534 174
Email: reubenw@creativenz.govt.nz

Profiles of Ngä Täonga Toi 2002 recipients

Ngä Tohu a Ta Kingi Ihaka/Sir Kingi Ihaka Awards

Roka Paora (Te Whanau-a-Apanui) is a 75-year-old Hamilton kuia, who is currently working for the University of Waikato writing stories in te reo Mäori, and editing and assessing work in te reo Mäori. Roka wrote one of the first books on learning Mäori, entitled Learn Mäori with Parehau and Sharon (pub. 1971). She was a primary school teacher in Te Kaha for 14 years from 1946 before teaching te reo Mäori at Te Kaha District High School for another 19 years from 1960-79. She has also worked in Television New Zealand’s Mäori department, lectured in Mäori studies for the Auckland College of Education and edited the Ngata Dictionary, working alongside the late Hori Ngata’s son, Whai Ngata. Among her other professional activities, Roka was a member of the Mäori Language Advisory Board and was involved in editing the seventh (revised) edition of the Williams Dictionary (pub.1971). She also translated Mäori Land Court records on the history and whakapapa of Te Whanau-a-Apanui and has been advisor to both the Ministry of Justice and the National Kohanga Reo Trust. Roka lists gardening, travel and the whakapapa and history of Te Whanau-a-Apanui among her interests. In 1984, she was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal.

Professor Tamati Reedy, Pro Vice Chancellor Mäori at Waikato University, says of Roka Paora: “I’ve known Roka for a long time, going back to the Department of Education days. She’s an invaluable member of the team at Waikato University because of her competency and the quality of her reo. Roka is an extremely important resource for Aotearoa and meticulous in her work.”

Roka Paora, Hamilton
Tel: 07-856 8701

Henare Te Ua (Te Aitanga o Mahaki) of Auckland is affectionately considered one of the elder statesmen of New Zealand broadcasting. He counts among his major achievements in broadcasting the opening of the Te Mäori exhibition in New York in 1984. The 69-year-old has received many awards from the broadcasting industry, including the New Zealand Radio Industries Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting. In 1990, he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation Medal and two years later received the Queen’s Service Medal for services to New Zealand. Even though Henare retired from Radio New Zealand four years ago you can still catch him on National Radio co-hosting Whenua twice weekly.

Whai Ngata, General Manager Mäori Programmes for Television New Zealand, says of Henare Te Ua: “Henare is one of those rare broadcasters who has been able to straddle the divide between commercial radio, the national programme and archives, and to take into these and many other areas of his chosen medium his own very focussed sense of iwi, hapu and whanau history. He has been a very active commentator on the many facets of Mäori activity, including kapa haka, current affairs, music and the moteatea of his iwi.

“Ko tona tetahi o nga reo e tino mohiotia ana e nga mano, puta noa i te motu.”

Henare Te Ua, Papatoetoe, Auckland
Tel: 09-278 3007

Anaru Takurua (Ngäti Porou) of Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast has few peers in the realm of haka. His greatest influence was, and still is, his kuia Tuini Ngawai, composer and leader of Te Hokowhitu a Tu. She recognised his natural talents at an early age and he began learning kapa haka at the age of nine, performing with Te Hokowhitu a Tu and entertaining soldiers during World War II. Anaru was ordained a minister of the Anglican Church in 1958 and from that time, he’s headed several churches in the East Coast, Hawke’s Bay and Wellington regions, eventually returning to Tokomaru Bay. While moving around the country, he either started or became involved in a number of kapa haka groups. However, he has remained true to Te Hokowhitu a Tu and the tutorship of Tuini Ngawai during his 60 years of involvement in kapa haka. In 1972, he travelled to the United States with the New Zealand Mäori Company and in 1986 was a national judge at the Aotearoa Traditional Mäori Performing Arts Festival. This year, he performed on stage in Auckland at Kapa Haka 2002, the Aotearoa Traditional Mäori Performing Arts Festival, with his son’s group, Te Ahikaaroa, from the South Island. Anaru counts among his interests “Mäori, Mäori and Mäori” and hopes to be seen as a “faithful servant of the Christian Church with a very Mäori wairua”.

Ngapo Wehi, founder of award-winning kapa haka group Te Waka Huia, says of Anaru Takurua: “He manifests what the old people say - that you have to make every part of the body talk. You can’t learn that. He would be one of the greatest kapa haka exponents alive. He’s got the ihi and the wehi to bring it all together.”

Anaru Takurua, Tokomaru Bay, East Coast
Tel: 06-864 5465

Haupai Tawhara (Tuhoe, Ngäti Rere), known affectionately as Nana Jack, is an exponent of te reo Mäori and keen to share her knowledge with others. She was born in Opotiki but now lives in Mangere, South Auckland. The 78-year-old has been active in the South Auckland community for many years as a Mäori warden, social worker, a volunteer at the Otahuhu District Court, and a teacher of te reo Mäori to inmates at Mt Eden Prison and a number of kohanga, marae and schools. Nana Jack has travelled the world and assisted the Government in opening the New Zealand Embassy in New Delhi, India. She has raised 13 children – eleven of her own and two whom she adopted.

Aronia Ahomiro, chairman of Mangere East Mäori Wardens, says of Haupai Tawhara: “She’s a nanny to everyone but especially the young people. You can’t help but get caught up in her enthusiasm. She’s a vibrant lady, doesn’t say no to anyone and is always so obliging. Her reo is of utmost importance to her and she wishes to impart it to everyone who wants to learn. While she’s from Tuhoe and is proud of her Tuhoetanga she belongs to everybody. She’s at work every day and is well-known in the South Auckland community Even the Prime Minister and John Tamihere know who she is.”

Haupai Tawhara, Mangere, Auckland
Tel: 09-275 9813

Mereheni Waitoa (Ngäti Porou), who lives in Te Araroa on the East Coast, is a staunch advocate of te reo Mäori and tikanga. In 1990, aged 59, she began her teacher training and graduated with a Diploma of Teaching in 1994. Since then, she’s worked in kohanga reo and various schools in the district. Mereheni attended Hukarere Mäori Girls College in Napier but returned home at the age of 16 when her mother became ill. The 71-year-old kuia has been extensively involved in her local community, serving on her marae committee and also as a Mäori warden. She is also a life member of the Tokararangi Sports Club.

Anaru Paenga, Te Waka Toi Poutakawaenga, says of Mereheni Waitoa: “Mereheni is well-known in the East Coast community of Matakawa and is responsible for setting up a number of kohanga reo in the district and taught the kaiako of those kohanga too. She is enthusiastic about teaching young people in te reo and tikanga, especially young mothers, so they can home school as well. Mereheni is a stalwart of the Hinerupe Marae Committee and in her younger days, during the post-war era, was responsible for running sports and community initiatives. In fact, she’s also a role model in the field of education because she went back to school to do her teacher training at the age of 59.”

Mereheni Waitoa, Te Araroa, East Coast
Tel: 06-864 4770

Te Tohu mo Te Reo Rangatira

Mate Kaiwai (Ngäti Porou) was brought up by her grandparents on the East Coast and Mäori is her first language. The daughter of the late Sir Apirana Ngata, Mate says: “My mana is my reo.” She has been an advisor to various government agencies and currently teaches one of the Mäori language programmes for proficient speakers of te reo offered through Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Mäori. The 86-year-old loves riding horses, enjoys watching hockey and netball, and supports junior rugby. Mate lives on a farm in Ruatoria with her sons and was educated at Ngata College.

Haami Piripi, the Chief Executive of Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Mäori, says of Mate Kawai: “As a former teacher, she’s able to combine her teaching skills with her native language skills and has moulded them successfully into the kura reo programme. She’s amazing. One of the most fascinating things is the way she teaches by asking questions and through interaction. You’ll do some work and then you’ll be amazed at how wrong you can be, but she teaches you to be better in a loving way. She’s revered by thousands of students; a täonga of te reo and the language teaching fraternity. She is absolutely dedicated to language regeneration and probably the most inspirational teacher that Te Taura Whiri has.”

Mate Kaiwai, Ruatoria, East Coast
Tel: 06-864 0380

Te Tohu Motuhake

Maui Dalvanius Prime (Tainui, Ngäpuhi, Ngäti Ruanui, Tuwharetoa, Ngä Rauru, Pakakohi, Ngai Tahu) is a singer, songwriter and producer in a musical career that spans more than 30 years. In 1984, Dalvanius combined his talents with well-known composer the late Ngoi Pewhairangi to produce Poi e, a Mäori language song with the Patea Mäori Club. Poi e topped the New Zealand pop charts for four consecutive weeks and was the year’s biggest-selling single. Dalvanius’ musical career began in 1969 when he won first prize in a talent quest on Wellington’s Radio 2ZB. From there, he became the musical director and pianist for a Porirua trio called The Shevelles and a year later he set up The Fascinations, a group he toured with throughout Australasia. In 1974, he signed a recording deal with Reprise Records releasing two singles: Love Train and Respect Yourself. In 1983, Dalvanius formed his own production company, Maui Records, and has recorded Taste of Bounty, Tama Renata and signed up singer Moana Maniapoto early in her career. More recently, Dalvanius has been involved in the repatriation of moko mokai. Dalvanius says his work with moko mokai and working with Ngoi Pewhairangi stand out as career highlights. Dalvanius is currently working on three new recording projects and heads to the United States shortly to complete negotiations for the repatriation of a number of preserved heads, held in American museums and institutions.

Maui Dalvanius Prime, Hawera, Taranaki
06-278 6883

Te Tohu Mahi Hou a Te Waka Toi

Robert Jahnke (Ngäti Porou) is a highly regarded artist and senior lecturer at Massey University in Palmerston North. He studied at the Elam School of Fine Arts from 1972-1978, gaining his masters degree with first class honours. He also gained a masters degree from the California Institute of the Arts in 1980. The 53-year-old taught art in Hastings, Auckland and Rotorua before taking up his current position at Massey University in 1991. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in Alpha Omega currently at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt. He has received commissions from a number of organisations, corporates, marae and schools. His work adorns the walls of various government agencies such as the Ministry of External Relations and Trade in London and New York. His talents have allowed him to travel extensively and his list of achievements includes: the 1998 Fullbright Visiting Artist/Scholar at the University of Hawai’i and the 1996 Visiting Fellow at the Canberra School of Art in Australia. Robert’s work often deals with political issues facing Mäori. He has illustrated many books and been involved with two animated films, Rangi and Papa (1978) and Utu (1980).

Robert Jahnke, Palmerston North
Tel: 03-356 9099 (ext. 7642)

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