Tonight, Māori language advocates across the country will gather at Napier’s Pettigrew Green Arena to celebrate the 10th Māori Language Awards hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu, Takitimu waka and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori.
“2015 has been an incredible year for the Māori language. Māori Language Week celebrates 40 years, Ngā Whakataetae Manu Kōrero celebrates 50 years and tonight is the 10th anniversary of the Māori Language Awards,” says Dr Wayne Ngata, chairman of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.
The capacity of the competition has grown, with 33 nominees throughout 16 categories and one overall supreme award.
At the previous awards, the supreme award was awarded to Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc.
Tonight’s co-hosts for the ceremony not only affiliate to Ngāti Kahungunu but are strong promoters of the language.
In 1999, Hinewehi Mohi put the Māori language on an international stage when she sang the New Zealand national anthem in Māori before a rugby test match in England. As a result of her actions the New Zealand national anthem is sung in both Māori and English.
Jeremy Tātere MacLeod is a graduate of Te Panekiretanga, the Institute for Excellence in Te Reo Maori. He is also the Director of Te Reo, Tikanga and Mātauranga at Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.
For more on this story, tune into Te Kāea tonight at 5:30pm.