The 2015 Te Waka Toi Awards celebrating contributions to Māori Art was hosted in Rotorua last night. The award was established in 1986 to recognise the successes of Ngā Toi Māori practitioners and advocates, and serve as a springboard for emerging artists.
Te Tohu Aroha mō Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu - Supreme Award
Matekino Lawless, QSM (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Whawhākia) received the supreme award for her exemplary contribution to Ngā Toi Māori. She’s been weaving for 60 years and known for her quality. She was awarded the Queens Service Medal (QSM) in 1999 and a Creative NZ Kingi Ihaka Te Waka Toi Award in 2008 to honour her contribution to the art of weaving.
Te Tohu Toi Kē - Making a difference to Māori arts
Multi-disciplinary artist Lisa Reihana, MDes, BFA (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tū) has been acknowledged for making a positive difference to Ngā Toi Māori. Lisa has contributed in powerful ways to multimedia, photography, sculpture and screen culture in Aotearoa. Most recently, Lisa was selected to represent Aotearoa at the prestigious 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, where she will present her acclaimed work In Pursuit of Venus [infected]. She will also take a version of the work to the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam next year.
Te Tohu Aroha mō Ngoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi - Strengthening the Māori language
Rahera Wiremu Shortland (Ngāpuhi) has been honoured for her contribution to strengthening and promoting the Māori language. In the past 40 years she has been committed to the revitalisation of Te Reo as an integral part of the everyday lives of Māori people. A long supporter and advocate of Te Ataarangi, she was one of the first adult Māori language Teacher Trainees and started the first Māori Language immersion programme at secondary level in the country.
Ngā Tohu ā Tā Kingi Ihaka - Lifetimes of service to Māori arts
Awards were also given to Te Whetu Morehu, Pareaute Nathan, Huhana Morgan and Maata Wharehoka for their lifetime achievements in their specialised fields, to their iwi and community.
Ngā Manu Pīrere - Emerging Māori artists
Mapihi Kelland was celebrated for her contribution the performing arts sector and Hana-lee Kereru-Wainohu for her expertise in waka hourua and voyaging.