World renowned film-director, Taika Waititi has won the 2017 Matariki Supreme Award. His sister Tweedie Waititi received the award on his behalf and surprised the crowd with a moving speech.
Taika is currently filming in Atlanta-Georgia for the upcoming Thor film, Ragnarok. He won both the supreme and entertainment awards. Haka exponent Tangiwai Ria was also a nominee in the same category.
Tweedie had the audience roaring with laughter when receiving her brother's award and acknowledging Tangiwai Ria, "Hika mā, this should be yours e kui, we grew up loving you. If it was Taika, he would only talk about himself."
Tweedie is also involved with the reo-Māori rendition of Moana.
"Taika and I, and his wife Chelsea are producing the re-versioning of Moana into Te Reo Māori. It's something that we pride ourselves on, mō te reo te take," says Tweedie.
The black-tie event was hosted by Television personalities Pio Terei and Stacey Morrison at Auckland's national museum and attended by superstars, dignitaries, and raw talent.
Two times Olympic gold-medalist, Lisa Carrington won the Waita sports award while Māori reo-academic, Rawinia Higgins received the Te Waiti Award for her contribution to Te Reo Māori and Tikanga, and was up against tough competition.
Te Puea Marae was also recognised for providing shelter for hundreds of homeless families taking home the Hiwa-i-te-rangi Award for community services
Hurimoana Dennis, "This award is a huge honour to our team who have been working at Te Puea. We're so excited."
The annual event is now in its second year and celebrates Māori achievement across a range of areas including entertainment, education, and sport.