Te Waka Toi Awards mark 30th year

For his contributions towards all art forms pertaining to Waka Moana, Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr was celebrated last night at the Te Waka Toi Awards in Rotorua.  This year marks the awards 30th year celebrating Māori art practitioners. 

Waka expert, Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr is well known in the pacific for his passion for navigating the seas in the traditional way.

Hoturoa Kerr (Waikato, Tainui) says, “Canoes paddling to canoe racing these have been passed down to us by our ancestors the building of traditional canoes all of it should be treated as a gift and shown to the world.”

Hoturoa was one of eight Māori artists celebrated last night at Te Rau Aroha in Rotorua. 

Taiarahia Black (Mēmā kaunihera, Te Waka Toi) says, “Those that are being celebrated tonight are known widely with-in our country, their contributions from written, spoken forms are clear within our minds so this night is dedicated to them.”

Patricia Grace received the Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu award for her outstanding contribution to the arts, followed by Keri Kaa, Te Kawana Pitiroi, Hokimoana Te Rika-Hekerangi and Professor Piri Sciascia who all received the Tā Kingi Ihaka lifetime of service award.

Piri Sciascia (Ngāti Kahungunu) says, “We are able to thrive with into arts it has a place in order for us to express ourselves in any art form.”

The Ngoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi award for strengthening the Māori language was given to Mana Elizabeth (Liz) Hunkin.  This year's emerging Māori artists awards were given to Cori Marsters and Te Kanawa Ngarotata, both being awarded $5000.