August 28, 2017
Te Waka Toi celebrates modernists and traditionalists in awards
Tohunga who have preserved and passed on Maori traditions and those who are expanding those traditions were honoured over the weekend at the annual Creative New Zealand Te Waka Toi Award.
A posthumous award went to sculptor and educator Cliff Whiting from Te Whanau a Apanui, who died last month at the age of 81.
It acknowledged his innovative use of new materials and his contributions through art education, art administration, marae building and renovation over many decades.
The supreme award went to another contemporary artist of that generation, Fred Graham from Ngati Koroki Kahukura, Tainui, whose large-scale work can be seen displayed prominently in many public spaces in New Zealand and overseas.
Lifetime achievement awards went to language educators and kapa haka tutors Tawhiri and Kaa Williams from Ngai Tuhoe, who started the first bilingual and then total immersion Maori medium school in New Zealand, historian, educator and treaty negotiator Manahi Paewai of Rangitane, New Plymouth kaumatua
Ronald ‘Rocky’ Hudson, and Tuhoe kaumaua Miriama Paraki from Ruatahuna.
Murupara-based educator Pem Bird from Ngati Manawawas honoured as a champion of te reo Maori, and a new award for services to kapa haka went to
Louise Kingi of Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, who with Waihirere has competed in every Te Matatini national kapa haka competition since 1972.
Kapiti-based playwright and screenwriter Briar Grace-Smith from Ngapuhi, was recognised for her impact on the development of Maori arts.
Lower Hutt photographer Chevron Te-Whetumatarau Hassett and Auckland-based screenwriter Turene Huiarau Jones won Nga Manu Pirere awards that recognise achievement by young Maori artists at an early career stage.
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