1 Sep 2012
This content is tagged as Ngā toi Māori .
From orators to painters, dancers to composers; tohunga, artists and community leaders who have made an outstanding contribution to Māori arts have been honoured in Wellington.
From orators to painters, dancers to composers; tohunga, artists and community leaders who have made an outstanding contribution to Māori arts were honoured in Wellington tonight.
The annual Te Waka Toi Awards are the only national Māori arts awards to celebrate all art forms. Established in 1986, they recognise achievement in oratory, literature, music, performance, object and visual arts. Two scholarships are also awarded to emerging artists.
“Celebrating those who tirelessly promote and preserve Māori arts is a great honour for Te Waka Toi”, said Darrin Haimona, Chair of Te Waka Toi, the Māori arts board of Creative New Zealand, “through their generosity and talent, they have enriched communities and lives, and invested in a rich future for Māori arts”.
The supreme award
The Māori King’s son, Te Ariki Tamaroa Whatumoana Paki, congratulated Dr Timoti Kāretu QSO (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tūhoe) on receiving Te Tohu Aroha mō Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu. Dr Kāretu is synonymous with language excellence. He was the inaugural Māori Language Commissioner, has Honorary Doctorates from Victoria University of Wellington and The University of Waikato, is a director of Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo (the Institute of Excellence in Māori Language) and is past Chair of Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust. A teacher and scholar, Professor Kāretu is also a prolific composer who once chaired the organisation now known as Te Matatini Society. He has expertise in Māori performing arts as a performer, tutor and judge. Professor Kāretu has written many books on Māori language and the arts. His award will be formally presented at his marae in October.
Lifetimes of service to Māori arts
Kaumatua who have devoted their lives to Māori arts were honoured with Nga Tohu a Tā Kingi Ihaka.
Strengthening the Māori language
Professor Pou Temara (Ngāi Tūhoe) was recognised for his mastery of language with Te Tohu Aroha mō Ngoi Kumeroa Pēwhairangi. His profound knowledge of whaikōrero (oratory), whakapapa (genealogy) and karakia (incantations) have made him a recognised cultural authority. Professor Temara was appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal in 2008 and chairs the Repatriation Advisory Panel to Te Papa. He is Professor of reo and tikanga at the University of Waikato, has held senior lecturing positions at Victoria University and is one of three directors of Te Panekiretanga o te Reo.
Te Tohu Toi Kē, the award for making a positive difference to the development of Māori arts and culture was presented to Tama Huata ONZM (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou). With a background in live bands and television production, Mr Huata formed the Takitimu Performing Arts School (offering the first accredited certificate of Māori performing arts) and Kahurangi Māori Dance Theatre in 1983. Approaching its 30th anniversary celebrations, Kahurangi now showcases ‘exciting and innovative’ Māori dance theatre around the world. Mr Huata is Chair of the Ngāti Kahungunu Rūnanga Arts and Culture Board, He Kura Te Tangata Kaumatua Kapa Haka, former Chair of Te Matatini Society and is a Fulbright Scholar (1994). He is currently Chief Executive Officer of Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu in Hastings.
Two scholarship winners
Two emerging artists were awarded Nga Karahipi a Te Waka Toi, worth $4000 each.
· Rongomaiaia Te Whaiti (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Kāi Tahu, Rangitāne) is a painter who creates work which recalls the past, while focussing on contemporary Māori contexts. Rongomaiaia’s paintings are inspired by stories from her home, the Wairarapa. She is currently exploring stories of taonga in museum collections. Rongomaiaia is in her first year of a Masters of Māori Visual Arts at Te Putahi-a-Toi, Massey University Palmerston North.
· Gisborne based Kingi Pitiroi (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) produces art including tā moko, three dimensional works, painting, reo Māori and kapa haka. With a Bachelor in Māori Visual Arts and Design, Kingi is currently practicing tā moko under the guidance of tohunga tā moko, Derek Lardelli. He is working towards a Certificate in Studio Workshop (Art and Design) at Toihoukura School of Māori Visual Arts. He is a member of Whangarā Mai Tāwhiti kapa haka and tutors secondary school students in the performing arts. Kingi’s vision is to return to Taupo to promote better appreciation of Māori arts and culture.