Matariki award winners announced

Quinton Hita. Supplied photo.

The stars have aligned with the rescheduled Ngā Whetū o Matariki Awards 2020 now taking place during Māori Language Week 2020.

The Awards, which were originally scheduled to take place in Auckland last month with a live audience of 500, was postponed with the Government’s announcement of COVID-19 alert level three.  

In what can only be described as an unprecedented year, 11 categories and 27 finalists were celebrated and acknowledged for their contribution to Māori achievement across Aotearoa over the past year.

The evening’s recipients join the ranks of previous Matariki Awards winners which includes Noeline Taurua, Taika Waititi, Cliff Curtis, Mike King, Julian Dennison and Lisa Carrington.

Māori Television, Tāhūhū Rangapū, Shane Taurima says that while COVID-19 presented initial challenges for Ngā Whetū o Matariki it has provided an opportunity to rethink the way the network delivers the event.

“With no option for a traditional awards ceremony we did what we do best and changed the way we deliver the awards to ensure our people would still be recogised in such a challenging year.

"Our production crews visited finalists in their homes and communities to capture their celebrations. These stories recognise the contribution these people have made to Māori achievement and Aoteaora and create a valuable broadcast archive for years to come," he says.

In its fifth year, Ngā Whetū o Matariki, recognise outstanding Māori achievement and celebrate the best of us – ngā toa o ngā toa.

This year includes an additional category that recognises outstanding contribution to community during COVID-19 lockdown.

Ngā Whetū o Matariki Awards 2020 recipients are


Te Toi o Ngā Rangi - Lifetime Achievement Award – an individual who demonstrates exemplary achievements in his or her field as well as an outstanding commitment to Aotearoa – New Zealand.

  •   •  Tā Tipene O’Regan (Ngāi Tahu)

Te Tohu Tiketike o Matariki Supreme Award – the overall winner selected from the finalists who demonstrates exemplary achievements in his or her field, as well as an outstanding commitment to Aotearoa – New Zealand.

  •   •  S.O.U.L - Te Hapori o te Ihu o Mataaho

Te Whetū Tārake o te Rangi Award - Acknowledging those who made an outstanding contribution to the community during COVID lockdown:

  •   •  Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency 

Te Whetū Maiangi Award for Young Achievers – inspirational rangatahi proactive in social and community situations, motivating and encouraging others:

  •   •  Irihapeti Edwards (Ngāti Manawa, Ngapuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa)

Te Ururangi Award for Education – trailblazers making a significant contribution to the development of mātauranga Māori – Māori knowledge:

  •   •  Prof Dr Rangi Mātāmua (Ngāi Tūhoe)

Te Waipuna-ā-Rangi Award for Arts and Entertainment – creative professionals leading the way in literature, performing arts, media arts or visual arts:

  •   •  Chelsea Winstanley (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi) 

Te Tupu-ā-Rangi Award for Health and Science – healthcare and science experts dedicated to improving the physical and mental wellbeing of New Zealanders:

  •   •  Lady Tureiti Moxon (Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Kahungunu, Kāi Tahu) 

Te Waitā Award for Sport – extraordinary men and women who are excelling in the sporting arena both at home and abroad:

  •   •  Lindsay Tait (Te Rarawa) 

Hiwa i te Rangi Award for Community – showcasing Māori groups and organisations that play a vital role in enhancing the social, economic, cultural and environmental prosperity of their rohe (region):

  •   •  S.O.U.L - Te Hapori o te Ihu o Mataaho 

Te Tupu-ā-Nuku Award for Business and Innovation – game changers in their field making an impact and driving our economy and society forward:

  •   •  Pania Tyson-Nathan (Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu) 

Te Waitī Award for Te Reo and Tikanga – individuals championing the revitalisation of the Māori language and culture:

  •   •  Quinton Hita (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Taranaki)

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