Cliff Curtis, Stan Walker and Lisa Reihana are among the finalists for the 2016 Matariki Awards which celebrates extraordinary Māori talent across a broad range of fields and industries.
Māori Television CEO and Convenor of Judges, Paora Maxwell says, “I'm not surprised at all with the high calibre of nominees. There are many Māori who are high achievers. This is not just about individual achievement, it also recognises a collaborative effort, which is why we received a high number of entries. ”
The annual event presented by Māori Television and Te Puni Kōkiri pays homage to the seven stars of Matariki and features seven award categories.
The event also features Te Tohu Tiketike o Matariki Supreme Award, which will be presented to one of the finalists recognising outstanding commitment to Aotearoa and kaupapa Māori.
Hosted by Stacey Morrison and Matai Smith, the 2016 Matariki Awards will be held on Sunday, June 26 at Auckland War Memorial Museum and will be accompanied by a special 90 minute live broadcast on Māori Television.
The event and broadcast will also feature live performances by Ria Hall and The Modern Māori Quartet.
The categories for the 2016 Matariki Awards and the finalists for each section are listed below
Te Waipuna-a-Rangi Award for Arts and Entertainment
The arts and entertainment category sees strong contenders such as acclaimed actor Cliff Curtis and singing superstar Stan Walker selected alongside Venice Biennale 2017 artist, Lisa Reihana.
Te Waitā Award for Sport
In the sports category, young All Black sensation Nehe Milner-Skudder, Olympian canoer Lisa Carrington and Championship Super Rugby coach Jamie Joseph are the finalists.
Matariki Young Achievers Award
As a celebration of young Māori talent, the Young Achievers Award has a line-up of very impressive rangatahi Māori. Motorsport rising star Faine Maniapoto-Kahia, performing arts prodigy Māpihi Kelland and young leader Ezekiel Raui are all finalists.
Te Tupu-a-Nuku Award for Business & Innovation
The three finalists of the Business and Innovation category are all Māori-owned businesses that have excelled in the industries they operate in. The finalists are Miraka Limited, Ngāi Tahu Tourism and Tainui Group Holdings.
Te Tupu-a-Rangi Award for Health & Science
The Health and Science category includes gifted, innovative finalists such as AUT Senior Lecturer Dr Hūhana Hickey, NASA engineer Mana Vautier and IronMāori co-founders Heather Te Au-Skipworth and Missy Mackay.
Te Ururangi Award for Education
As an acknowledgement of their contribution to the Education sector, Otago University Dean and Professor Suzanne Pītama, Waikato University Professor and Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori Linda Smith and Melbourne University Professor Elizabeth McKinley are the finalists of the Education category.
Te Waitī Award for Te Reo & Tikanga
The last of the seven categories focuses on the contribution each finalist has made to the revitalisation of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori. Television personalities Scotty Morrison and Pānia Papa are joined by leading Māori language representative Mana Elizabeth Hunkin as finalists for this category.