Women dominate Māori Journalism Awards

Finalists Ripeka Timutimu, Heeni Brown, Renee Kahukura Iosefa, Maiki Sherman and Oriini Kaipara (image by Māori Television)




Massey University has announced the finalists in this year’s Māori Journalist of the Year Awards and the top five are all women.

The journalism awards were first run last year in conjunction with the University’s long established Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards. 

Massey Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori and Pasifika Dr Charlotte Severne is delighted with the success of the awards. “We wanted to celebrate and encourage excellence in Māori journalism by highlighting its importance not only to te ao Māori (our Māori world) but to Aotearoa. This year’s finalists have expressed Māori perspectives often missing in mainstream media. They have demonstrated overwhelmingly how Māori journalists draw on their culture and language to win the hearts and minds of New Zealanders, thus enriching national dialogue.

Dr Severne says it is enormously rewarding to see the number of entries almost double this year. “We have also witnessed the rising influence of Māori journalism across different modes of communication with increased entries from print and online media alongside the dominance of Māori broadcasting.

“I am particularly grateful to our judges Erana Reedy, Moari Stafford and Chris Wikaira, who spent many, many hours watching, reading and listening to all the entries.”

The awards recognise stories published or broadcast during 2016 and, in a new development, journalists could enter in two categories, Te Reo Māori and/or English. The category winners and Māori Journalist of the Year will be announced at the Ngā Kupu Ora Awards: Celebrating Māori Books and Journalism, to be held at Te Papa in Wellington on Wednesday November 8. The Te Tohu a Tanara Whairiri Kitawhiti Ngata, Lifetime Achievement Award will also be announced at the dinner.

The finalists are:

Te Reo Category

Heeni Brown – For coverage of the death of Dr Ranganui Walker and its impact for iwi Te Whakatōhea, aired on Te Kāea, Māori Television.

Maiki Sherman – For a a story that ran as part of a Māori Language Week series on the 6pm news is a finalist in the Te Reo Māori category.

Ripeka Timutimu – For a story uncovering the NZ Herald’s refusal to publish a memorial notice in Te Reo Māori. The story was aired on Te Kāea, Māori Television.

English Category

Renee Kahukura Iosefa – For a story on Māori Television’s Native Affairs that saw the then-New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd out himself as a recovering racist, sparking a national debate on racism.

Oriini Kaipara – For a story on Māori Television’s Native Affairs programme on the gender debate around a man’s decision to have a normally female-only moko kauae against the wishes of the artist and his iwi.

Maiki Sherman – for political analysis of King Tuheitia’s backing of the Māori party.

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