Excellence in Māori storytelling celebrated

Back row from left, Dr Rangihiroa Pānoho, Scotty Morrison, Danny Keenan, Iulia Leilua,
Front row, Maiki Sherman, Patricia Grace, Ani Mikaere (on behalf of Jessica Hutchings) , Tini Molyneux




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.

This year, for the first time since the awards began in 2009, Māori journalism was added as a category – an initiative commended by Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell, who opened proceedings. 

"As a Minister who is daily besieged by journalists, it’s my observation that we need more people who are proficient in both te reo Māori and journalism; who have some knowledge of the history of this country as context for what they are reporting; who provide balanced and accurate accounts of events; and who are nimble and agile to meet the demands of deadlines across a range of divergent media – print, broadcast, and online," Mr Flavell said.

Newshub reporter Maiki Sherman was named Māori Journalist of the Year for stories she produced while working for Māori Television.

Māori Television Native Affairs reporter Iulia Leilua was highly commended.

A special award to honour the late Māori broadcaster Whai Ngata was also presented. Te Tohu a Tanara Whairiri Kitawhiti Ngata – Lifetime Achievement Award went to longtime Television New Zealand reporter and Marae producer Tini Molyneux. The announcent was greeted with a standing ovation. Former colleague Shane Taurima paid tribute not only to Ms Molyneux's work but to 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. Massey 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 has been honoured with many awards in a 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 category 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 Pānoho, 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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