December 03, 2020
Compositions give Otautahi roopu fighting chance
A winner in this year’s Te Waka Toi Awards has been praised for advancing Māori performing arts.
Tihi Puanaki won Te Tohu Whakamanawa o Te Matatini for outstanding contribution to kapa haka.
Pere Wihongi, who won the Ngoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi tohu for strengthening te reo rangatira, says the Ngāti Hine kuia is the only person to lead a South Island rōpu to win Te Matatini.
He says her compositions stand out.
"If I look at Te Kotahitanga in previous years, they have had some outstanding compositions, not only from the tunes and the arrangements but also from the words and the topics they have chosen. They have been a group that has pushed the composition boundaries within the kapa haka realm," Wihongi says.
Other Te Waka Toi award recipients for 2020 include Awards include painter Robyn Kahukiwa, who won the supreme award, Whatarangi Winiata and Gabrielle Rikihana from Ngāti Raukawa who won Ngā Tohu a Tā Kingi Ihaka for their lifetime contributions to Māori culture, Bob Jahnke for his contribution to art, and ceramicist Baye Riddell, actor and educator Tanea Heke and musician Tama Waipara for developing new directions in Māori art.
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