09 Nov 2023

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Te Waka Toi trophy

This week, the 2023 Ngā Taonga Toi a Te Waka Toi Awards will pay homage to the late Dame Te Atairangikaahu, remembering her enduring legacy and contributions to ngā toi Māori.

Creative New Zealand is excited to host this event in the Waikato region, te waka o Tainui. Te nōhanga o te Kiingitanga to honour and celebrate Māori artists across the motu.  At the heart of this evening lies the supreme award, a tribute to the late Dame Te Atairangikaahu - a testament to her love and commitment to the arts in Aotearoa.

Haniko Te Kurapa, Kaiwhakahāere o Te Kaupapa o Toi Aotearoa, respectfully reflects on Dame Te Atairangikaahu and her influence on the arts.  “She was an iconic figure in the art world during her time. She championed Māori performing arts with dedication, which generated long-lasting relationships across our nation and extended into the Pacific – we owe a lot to her."

The 37th annual Te Waka Toi awards will recognise 13 recipients for their accomplishments and contributions of Māori artists in customary and contemporary Māori arts. Beyond the top awards, including Te Tohu Aroha mō Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu-Supreme Award and the Sir Kingi Ihaka Awards, which honour a lifetime of dedication to ngā toi Māori, leaders and visionaries of ngā toi Māori, as well as emerging Māori artists will be recognised. 

“We hope that by holding the event in the regions, the heart of ngā toi Māori, artists and their whānau can feel a strong connection to the event and celebrate individuals who have, or are currently, shaping the creative landscape in Aotearoa”, says Te Kurapa. 

The awards have been developed in collaboration with Creative New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori, and Te Matatini.

For media enquiries, please contact: media@creativenz.govt.nz