10th Waiata Māori Music Awards celebrate top Māori artists

By Tepara Koti
Image / Waiata Māori Music Awards

The red carpet has been laid out for this year's top Māori musical composers, performers and artists.  Tonight the 10th Annual Waiata Māori Music Awards kicks off in Hastings.

Over the years Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga have nurtured the kaupapa of the Waiata Māori Music Awards, and this year they have embraced the event with open arms once again.

Earlier today the guests gathered at Clubs Hastings for a breakfast amongst the stars, which started with a karakia by host Te Hamua Nikora.

Finalists were named last month with a range of new and old artists in the mix.

Newcomers Vallkyrie and Alien Weaponry are both up for the Best Video By A Māori Artist Award.

Teeks, who recently made his debut on the New Zealand Fashion Week runway, is up for a few awards including Best Song By A Māori Artist.

Experienced artists like Rob Ruha and Troy Kingi were on the red carpet tonight, as well as Maisey Rika who is a finalist in five categories.

Also tonight, the late Bunny Walters will be honoured posthumously with the Music Industry Award, acknowledging the height of his career during the 1970s.

This year's Keeper of Tradition Award will be awarded posthumously to the late Kiritokia e-te Tomairangi Adrianne Gail Paki, sister to Māori King, Kīngi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII.

The late Canon Wiremu Te Tau Huata will also be awarded posthumously with the Music Composer's Award, his most renowned song that many Māori still sing today is his rendition of "How Great Thou Art" as Whakaaria Mai.

The event is being livestreamed from 6pm on their official YouTube page here.