Topics: NZ Music, Waiata Māori

Finalists announced for 2015 Waiata Māori Music Awards

  • North Island: East Coast

The nominated finalists list was announced recently for this year's coveted Waiata Māori Music Awards, which includes posthumous acknowledgements for Tama Huata, and Mauriora Kingi, for their respective contributions for Māori music and performing arts, and the Quin Tikis.

Tama Tūranga Huata will receive posthumously the Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music Award, one of the top titles at this music awards event that he founded only eight years ago.

Known as one of Aotearoa's best-known advocates of Māori performing arts and a mentor to many performers in the music and entertainment industry, Huata was at the forefront of the renaissance of Māori performing arts during the 1980s, and a group leader of the Te Māori Exhibition in San Francisco during this time.  In 1983, he established the Kahurangi Māori Dance Theatre, a group that has toured the world for more than 30 years.

In 1991, Huata formed Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu, the first institution to offer a degree course in traditional Māori performing arts.  In 2007, he launched the first national awards event recognising Māori music and performers, with the inaugural national Waiata Māori Music Award ceremony held in 2008.

Tama Huata was 64 years old when he passed away earlier this year in February.

The Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music Award is for an individual or group that has dedicated a large part of their life, time and career to the promotion and development of Māori music in contemporary or traditional styles.

The Keeper of Traditions Award will be posthumously awarded to Mauriora Kingi, who worked to further Māori in the arts, as well as local and central government.

The Te Arawa/Tainui descendant was involved in Māori performing arts and speech competitions as a tutor since the 1980s.

Kingi was one of the longest serving judges for Te Matatini national kapa haka competition, as well as a former chair for National Standing Body and Whakaruruhau for Te Reo, Tikanga and Performing Arts.

More recently, he worked as the Kaupapa Māori Director at the Rotorua Lakes Council.

Mauriora Kingi was 53 years old when he passed away in June, just a few days after he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday honours for services to Māori.

He will be the recipient of the Keeper of Traditions Award, which recognises an individual, who is or has been dedicated to the teaching of Māori culture in music.

This year’s Māori Music Industry Award recipient was known as one of New Zealand’s first Māori rock ‘n’ roll showbands.

The Quinn Tikis originally formed in Rotorua but moved to Auckland to perform before arriving in Australia in 1964 to further their career.  

Within a 10-year period from the 1960s to the 1970s, the band hosted numerous musicians, including Rim D Paul, Eddie Low and Keri Summers.

The band also starred in two New Zealand movies during the 1960s; Runaway and Don’t Let It Get You. They travelled the world and completed four tours of duty entertaining America and Anzac forces in Vietnam.

The Quinn Tikis will be the recipient of the Māori Music Industry Award, which is for an individual, Māori or non-Māori, who is or has been active in the New Zealand music industry (production, promotion, operations, management) who has, through their dedication to Māori music, made a positive impact on Māori music.

This year’s Waiata Māori Music Awards ceremony will be held on September 11 in Hastings.

Here's the Quin Tikis' Guitar Boogie Shuffle from 1966: