Māori artists win big at 2014 Vodafone NZ Music Awards

By Te Ao Māori News

The annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards took place at the Vector Arena last night, an occasion influenced by the presence of many inspirational Māori, either being nominated or presenting awards.

The very best Kiwi artists with the very best songs are being honoured as the crème de la crème of New Zealand Music for 2014.

Soul singer Maisey Rika (Ngāti Awa, Tūhoe, Te Arawa) says, "This is a great night for all within the music industry."

“Without a doubt this is going to be one great night, no doubt we will see the very best of NZ music,” says Ria Hall (Ngāti Ranginui).

The category for Best Māori Album of the Year, it is well stipulated that the language is seen and heard wide and far.  A sign that Māori music is being acknowledged by different cultures.

Rob Ruha (Te Whānau-a-Apanui) says, “Māori are being acknowledged in many ways tonight, through the language and stories we tell in our music.”

The multitudes arrived in glamorous outfits, Rob Ruha showcases the beauty of Māori attire.

“Luckily for me, this beautiful outfit was made for me.  It is named 'Tuhaipo', my relation Kōhai Grace designed for me to display this evening,” Ruha explains.

While Lorde is now a well-known figure within the music industry across the globe, tonight the Vodafone People's Choice Award was scooped up by Tauranga Moana's own, Stan Walker (Ngāti Ranginui, Tūhoe).

"Far I beat Lorde!  Too much girl, you the bomb!" exclaimed Stan Walker as he accepted the award.

The winner of the Best Roots Album was Tama Waipara (Ngāti Ruapani, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou).

The most prestigious award of the night for Māori was the Best Māori Album of the Year; up against strong entries from House of Shem and Tama Waipara, it was the descendant of Apanui Ringamutu, Rob Ruha who came away with the win.

“I am lost for words," says Ruha - "I never thought I would be fortunate enough to win this award.  As my relations Tama and House of Shem are all great musicians, but this novice from the East Coast will humbly accept this award knowing well that God's influence is the reason I am successful.”