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Finalists announced for Waiata Maori Music Awards

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A woman who has dedicated a lifetime to being a cultural mentor through her work as a composer, teacher and judge of kapa haka and music, is among three recipients in the Nominated Awards section of this year’s National Waiata Maori Music Awards, which will be held at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings, September 12 to 13, 2013.

The Nominated Awards recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the industry. These categories are not judged but are awarded to highlight the work of past and present performers, singers and songwriters working in the Maori music sector.

Ngāmoni Huata is of Te Arawa and Mataatua descent. She and her late husband, Hemi PÄ«titi Te Ōkanga Kahu Tāpere Huata tutored many kapa haka groups in their time. She is one of New Zealand’s leading authors on Poi. Her book, The Rhythm and Life of Poi (published, 2000) was the first book on poi ever published and was the first piece of formal literature on poi written by a Māori and a Māori woman.

Ngāmoni, who is based in Rotorua, is the recipient of the Keeper of Traditions Award, in the Nominated Awards section at this year’s Waiata Maori Music Awards. The award recognizes an individual, who is or has been dedicated to the teaching of Māori culture in music.

The Waipatu Maori Culture Club has dedicated its efforts to kapa haka, whanaungatanga, its Catholic faith and Te Reo Maori for more than six decades.

Based in Heretaunga, Hawke’s Bay, the club was established in 1949 under the guidance of kaumatua Joe Kiera, Joe and Thelman Manaena, Sophie Panapa, Polly Whatarau and Topi Apatu.

It propelled the careers of soon-to-be famous musicians such as Sir Howard Morrison, Abe Phillips, Mike Eru and The Clive Trio. Its main focus is the Hui Aranga, an annual gathering of Māori Roman Catholic followers held at Easter on different marae and venues each year for cultural, sporting and religious activities. It also participates at Hui Toopu in Whakatane, Ruatoria, Tolaga Bay and Heretaunga.

The club carries the Catholic name but has members who belong to other religions and although it is based in Hastings it now has members from all over New Zealand as well as some from Australia.

Some of the club’s most senior members will attend the Waiata Maori Music Awards to accept the Lifetime Contribution to Maori Music Award.

The Nominated Award is for an individual or group which has dedicated a large part of their life, time and career to the promotion and development of Maori music in contemporary or traditional styles.

In the 1970s, a band from Turangi called Golden Harvest shot to the top of the New Zealand music scene playing support for international acts as diverse as the Bay City Rollers (1976) and The Electric Light Orchestra (1978). The band’s fondest memory was support act for Bob Marley and the Wailers (1979) at the Western Springs Concert.

The band included the Kaukau brothers, Kevin (lead guitar), Mervin (drums), Eru (bass) and Gavin (rhythm guitar) and the group will be the recipient of the Maori Music Industry Award, in the Nominated Award section. The award is for an individual, Maori or non-Maori, who is or has been active in the New Zealand music industry (production, promotion, operations, management) who has, through their dedication to Maori music, make a positive impact on Maori music.

The band had a hit with the song, I Need Your Love, written by Gavin Kaukau as a three-part love trilogy to his then girlfriend and now wife Karen Kaukau nee Mata.

I Need Your Love was one of Gavin's first compositions and took the $500 first prize as the RIANZ single of the year award for 1978, while reaching number seven on the official New Zealand charts.

In 2013, Golden Harvet’s Kevin Coco (formerly Kaukau) featured in the New Zealand film Mt Zion, performing a string-biting solo, just like he did back in his days with the band.

The Golden Harvest music and hit single, I Need Your Love, also features on the soundtrack for the movie. The band’s opening performance for Bob Marley also features in the film. Some of the band members are now living in Australia and others remained in New Zealand.

Members and representatives from each of the three Nominated Award recipients will appear at this year’s Waiata Maori Music Awards ceremony.

The Waiata Maori Music Awards is a two-day event at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings from September 12 to 13, 2013.

It includes the Maori Music Expo, 9am-3pm, September 12-13;

Te Koanga Maori Fashion Show, 6pm, September 12;

Maori Music Celebrity Breakfast, 8am, September 13;

Waiata Maori Music Awards ceremony, 6pm, September 13.

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