Waiata Māori Music Awards

Wednesday 07 September 2022

Kapa haka expert and educational leader Dr Te Rita Papesch and Hip Hop legend Hone Ngata are this year’s recipients of the Waiata Māori Iconic Award, which recognises lifelong dedication and contribution to uplifting Māori music. This year’s theme is “Whakamātūtūngia e Raukatauri – To be healed by music”.

The recipient of the Iconic Keeper of traditions award, Te Tohu Kaitiaki Tikanga Pūoru is Dr Te Rita Papesch, of Waikato-Maniapoto, Ngāti Whakaue and Czech descent. Dr Papesch was encouraged at a young age to pursue a musical career, which began with studying classical piano and singing and led to a love for Māori performing arts, under the guidance of Canon Wi, Te Tau Huata, Dr. Hirini Melbourne, Dr. Timoti Kāretu and many others. A two-time recipient of the ‘Kaitātaki Wahine’ award, Dr Papesch retired from the stage in 1994 to take on new roles as a judge and commentator.

An educator and staunch promoter of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga, Dr Papesch lectures for the Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge degree at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. She also sits as the matriarch, sometimes composer and tutor to her children and grandchildren’s Kapa Haka group, Te Hāona Kaha.

The recipient of the Iconic contribution to the music industry award, Te Tohu o te Ahumahi Puoru, is Hone Ngata a.k.a. ‘DJ Poroufessor’ of Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Ranginui descent. A cornerstone of the Aotearoa Hip Hop scene, Hone was an accomplished DJ, graffiti artist and collector. A lifelong dedication to Hip Hop took him worldwide with his turntables. He was able to draw on those experiences to inspire young people, leaving positivity in his wake.

With his art grounded in Te Ao Māori, Hone brought his creative skills back to his hapū and was among those selected to restore Ngāti Porou wharenui, Ruatepupuke, housed in the Chicago Museum.

So many in Aotearoa were affected by his untimely death in 2019. His impact was such, that his tangi saw the largest gathering of the Aotearoa Hip Hop community.

The Iconic Awards will be presented as part of the 15th Annual Waiata Māori Music Awards held at the newly refurbished Toitoi Arts Centre in Hastings. The awards programme begins this Thursday 8 September with mentoring sessions by music industry professionals and Waiata Māori Music Awards Ambassadors.

On Thursday evening, the programme will feature spring collections and accessories by internationally renowned and local designers. Friday begins with a breakfast for the Iconic Award recipients and their whānau and concludes with an awards ceremony celebrating the best of the Māori music industry.