2016 Ngā Kupu Ora Awards: Celebrating Māori Books and Journalism

The importance of Māori telling their own stories has been celebrated with Massey University’s expanded Ngā Kupu Ora Awards: Celebrating Māori Books and Journalism.

For the first time in the Awards’ eight year history journalism was added as a category to the five book categories. Newshub reporter Maiki Sherman was named Māori Journalist of the Year for stories she produced while working for Māori Television with Native Affairs reporter Iulia Leilua highly commended.

A special award to honour the memory of veteran Māori Broadcaster Whai Ngata was also announced. Te Tohu a Tanara Whairiri Kitawhiti Ngata – Lifetime Achievement Award went to longtime TVNZ reporter and current producer of Marae, Tini Molyneux. The announcent was greeted with a standing ovation as former collegue Shane Taurima paid tribute not only to the work of Ms Molyneux but her contribution to the careers of many Māori journalists.

The Awards were held in conjunction with the Auckland War Memorial Museum in the Museum Event Centre last night and Massey University Assisant Vice-Chancellor Māori and Pasifika, Dr Selwyn Katene, hailed the new categories a success saying the journalism awards were here to stay.

In the book section, internationally-acclaimed writer Patricia Grace won the Te Tuhinga Auaha - Creative Writing category with her first novel in 10 years, Chappy. Ms Grace who’s been honoured with many awards in her glittering career, says the Ngā Kupu Ora Award is important. “To be honoured alongside other Māori authors and to have such a variety of categories for Māori makes these awards so special.”

Taranaki author Danny Keenan won the Te Kōrero o Mua/Te Haurongo – History/Biography with his latest book, Te Whiti o Rongomai and the Resistance of Parihaka. The Art category went to Māori Art: History, Architecture, Landscape and Theory by Dr Rangihiroa Pānaho while the Te Kōrero Pono - Non-Fiction section was won by Jessica Hutchings for Te Mahi Māra Hua Parakore: A Māori Sovereignty Food Handbook. The coveted Te Reo Māori award went to broadcaster Scotty Morrison for his latest book Māori Made Easy.

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