Professor Derek Lardelli is set to be honoured with a prestigious award at the annual Waiata Māori Music Awards in Hastings next month.
He has dedicated his life to Māoridom and has held many roles, including tāmoko artist, carver, kapa haka performer, composer, and teacher.
Lardelli is nationally known as New Zealand’s finest tā moko artist and has been prominent in many exhibitions and workshops both nationally and internationally.
He is a senior tutor and Associate Professor at Toihoukura – School Māori Visual Art and Design, at the Eastland Institute of Technology in Gisborne, where he continues to keep his legacy alive by passing down his knowledge to his students.
While the school built its kaupapa from the strong arts traditions of Te Tairawhiti, the students throughout Toihoukura’s history have been an amalgamation of iwi from across the country.
The school took to Facebook to commend their professor for his achievement, saying they are very proud that he is a recipient of the iconic 'Keepers of Tradition' award, alongside Dame Georgina Kingi.
More recently, Lardelli won the Supreme Award at the annual Matariki Awards.