Topics: Entertainment, Waiata Māori

Massive night ahead for Waiata Māori Music Awards

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Māori musicians and their achievements in the music industry are being celebrated tonight in Hastings at the 8th annual Waiata Māori Music Awards.  

There are 15 finalists this year including SIX60 and Stan Walker, but  tonight, the founder of the awards, Tama Huata, will be given a posthumous Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music Award.

It's a night to celebrate some of Māoridom's biggest and brightest stars in the music industry.

But tonight, the late Tama Huata, who founded the Waiata Māori Awards, will be recognised for his lifetime work to Māori music.

Māori songstress Maisey Rika says, "It's only right that we acknowledge him, his life's work, his skill-set and his forward thinking.  I say that with love and thanks to him."

Huata acted as a mentor to many up-and-coming performers wanting to make music and entertainment their career.

Tipene Harmer says, "He gave a lot of us our first chance I remember 10 years ago, he gave me my first chance at Waitangi Day, but he was visionary, taking Māori music to the world."

Tyna Keelan says, "We recognise everything that he's done for Māori entertainers for performing arts for kapa haka he took to the world and we all recognise that."

Though he passed away earlier this year at the age of 64, his legacy continues to live on.