Massey University’s Māori book awards are being expanded this year to celebrate excellence in Māori journalism. The 2016 Ngā Kupu Ora Awards, Celebrating Māori Books and Journalism will include the first national Māori journalism award.
Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori Pasifika, Dr Selwyn Katene says, “Māori stories, told by Māori, in a Māori voice and in a Māori way has always been at the heart of Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards and the addition of a category to honour Māori journalists will provide encouragement to another important area of writing and storytelling.”
The initiative has received backing from Māori Development Minister, Te Ururoa Flavell, who says the National Hui on Māori Journalism is an important step forward.
“In Aotearoa we’re blessed with some excellent Māori journalism and it’s great to see that being celebrated by Massey University. I look forward to seeing how these awards help grow the valuable work being done by journalists throughout the country.”
Ngā Kupu Ora started at Massey University in 2009. It has grown from an awards ceremony to a major event on the publishing calendar.
While the book finalists are chosen from the catalogue of Māori books published each year, journalists will be invited to nominate their own work. Nominations for Māori Journalist of the Year are now open to journalists in any media to submit a portfolio of three stories published in 2015.
A special Lifetime Achievement Award in Māori journalism will also be announced at this year’s awards event.
Massey University will also host a Māori journalism hui at its Auckland campus in conjunction with the awards.
Dr Katene says, “There are many challenges facing Māori journalism and we believe these awards provide an opportunity for the media and interested groups to come together to tackle some of those issues and to encourage a new generation of Māori journalists.”
The event will be held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on October 3rd.