Maori success to be celebrated at 2017 Matariki Awards

Julian Dennison, Taika Waititi, Mike King and Graham Hoete are among finalists announced for the 2017 Matariki Awards to be hosted by Stacey Morrison and Pio Terei at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Friday 21 July. 




The annual event celebrates and honours extraordinary Māori talent and achievement across a broad range of fields and industries and will be broadcast live on Māori Television on the night.


“We are thrilled with the calibre of finalists this year,” says Māori Television Chief Executive Paora Maxwell.


“The awards are an opportunity to acknowledge and honour those individuals and organisations whose passion, innovation and dedication is making a difference to our communities and to our country.”


From achievement in sports and academia through to contributions to arts and culture, the Matariki Awards aim to highlight and celebrate outstanding commitment to Aotearoa and kaupapa Māori.


Each of the finalists across the eight categories demonstrate a high calibre of Māori success and accomplishment, helping to nuture and support the growth of the language and culture – both in Aotearoa and worldwide.


The categories and finalists are as follows:


Te Waipuna-a-Rangi Award for Arts and Entertainment


The arts and entertainment category finalists are acclaimed actor and director Taika Waititi, Tangiwai Margaret Ria and visual artist Graham Hoete aka Mr G.


Te Waitā Award for Sport


In the sports category, rugby superstar Dane Stuart Coles is nominated for the award alongside Olympian Lisa Carrington and sprint champion Tupuria King.


Te Whetū Maiangi Award for Young Achievers


As a celebration of young Māori talent, the Young Achievers Award has a line-up of very impressive rangatahi Māori. New Zealand actor Julian Dennison, activist Laura O’Connell Rapira and social entrepreneur Shay Wright are the finalists for the award.


Te Tupu-ā-Nuku Award for Business & Innovation


Business innovation is important in the 21st century and these trailblazers are putting Māori initatives and talent on the map. The finalists are Hohepa Tuahine and Kristen Ross of Pipi Ma, Grant Stracker of Straker Translations, and Mavis Mullins of the Poutama Trust.


Te Tupu-ā-Rangi Award for Health & Science


The Health and Science category includes finalists Dr Elana Taipapaki Curtis for her work with Māori health initatives and Professor Michael Walker and his work to target under-achievement among Māori and Pacific Island students.


Te Ururangi Award for Education


As an acknowledgement of their contribution to the Education sector, St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College principal and visionary Dame Georgina Kingi, University of Otago Associate Dean (Māori) Joanne Baxter and Massey University’s Whiti o Rehua School of Art Professor Robert (Bob) Jahnke are finalists at this year’s awards.


Te Waitī Award for Te Reo & Tikanga


To celebrate their contribution to the revitalisation of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori, Professor William Te Rangiua (Pou) Temara, Victoria University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) Professor Rawinia Higgins, and Mahuru Māori movement pioneer Paraone Gloyne are nominated for the Te Waitī Award for Te Reo & Tikanga.


Hiwa i te Rangi Award for Community


The He Korowai Trust, the Te Puea Memorial Marae, and the Key to Life Charitable Trust have all been recognised as champions of outstanding contributions to community programmes and initatives.


On the night the recipient of the new Te Toi o Nga Rangi Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced.


Special recognition will also be given to the recipient of the Te Tohu Tiketike o Matariki Supreme Award - an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of the nation through their achievements.