The launch was used to honour four artists including Sir Horward, composer Tommy Taurima, Missy and Tui Teka as well as kapahaka legends Nagpo and Pimia Wehi.
It was also where we launched the categories of the inaugural National Waiata Maori Music Awards and called for artists and composers to submit their work to be considered as the first recipients of the first awards ceremony which was held the following year, 2008, at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings.
The awards event is run every year in September in Hawke’s Bay and incorporates four major events over two days, including the Maori Music Expo, Te Kohanga Maori Fashion Show, the Maori Music Celebrity Breakfast and the Waiata Maori Music Awards ceremony.
The awards event aims to develop and promote the diversity of all Maori music to showcase and celebrate its excellence, to recognise the unique vision of Maori composers and musicians.
Since the first awards ceremony in 2008, we have celebrated an array of artists from across the spectrum of the music industry, working in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.
A music awards event just for Māori has never been done before. Seeing everyone come together to remember and honour our musical icons is something we should celebrate and remember always.
All finalist entries are secretly judged in a non-biased way by active members of the Maori music industry and audited by a chartered accountant.
Judges work independently, rather than as a panel, to mark the work of the finalists. The results are submitted and only the awards administrator is aware of the outcome of each category before the winners are announced at the awards ceremony evening.
The value of these awards is that if you are a new artist or composer, it could launch your career. We are really looking to build the Maori music industry, it’s unique and we need to give people recognition, and this is an opportunity to do that.