National Nati news / Reo and Culture
Written by: Creative NZ
15 Dec 2014

Tohunga, artists and community leaders of Ngati Porou descent were among those recently honoured for their contributions to preserving and promoting the future of high-quality Maori arts.

The Creative New Zealand Te Waka Toi Awards, were held at Te Papaiouru Marae in Rotorua. The awards celebrate the lives and successes of nga toi Maori practitioners and advocates, and serve as a springboard for emerging artists. Established in 1986, the annual awards are the only national Maori arts awards that celebrate all artforms, with awards that recognise leadership, outstanding contribution, excellence and potential in nga toi Maori.

Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou Chairman Dr Apirana Mahuika was awarded Te Tohu Aroha mo Ngoingoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi. Matanuku Mahuika attended the awards ceremony in Rotorua and accepted the award on behalf of his father.

Other Ngati Porou who were recognised at the event were Professor Derek Lardelli, the late Reverend Rollo John Richard Hovell, Elizabeth Ellis and emerging artist Te Utanga-ki-Whangaparaoa Tautuhi.


Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika (Ngati Porou) was awarded Te Tohu Aroha mo Ngoingoi Kumeroa Pewhairangi. Dr Manuika’s passion for the promotion and protection of Ngati Porou Taonga and Te Reo ake o Ngati Porou is unrelenting. Among numerous other contributions and achievements, he was one of the founding lecturers in Te Reo Maori at Victoria University (along with his whanaunga Dr Te Kapunga Dewes) as well as the founding lecturer in Te Reo Māori at Massey University.


Te Tohu Toi Ke was awarded to the multi-talented Professor Derek Lardelli, ONZM (Rongowhakaata, Ngati Porou) for making a positive difference to nga toi Maori. Professor Lardelli is a ta moko artist, painter, carver, kappa haka performer, composer, graphic designer, researcher of whakapapa and oral histories, and kaikorero.


Kaumatua and kuia who have devoted their lives to strengthening Maori culture through their support of Maori arts were honoured with Ngā Tohu ā Tā Kingi Ihaka.

Reverend Rollo John Richard Hovell, MA, JP, 1937–2014 (Ngati Porou) – The late Reverend Hovell established a reputation as a kowhaiwhai artist under the guidance of Ngati Porou carving expert Pakariki Harrison. He was part of the contemporary Maori art movement, exhibiting his paintings alongside Para Matchitt and Sandy Adsett, and taking part in the activities of the Maori Artists and Writers Society and Nga Puna Waihanga.

Elizabeth Aroha Ellis, CNZM, JP (Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou) – Auckland-based Elizabeth Ellis is a visual artist with a high profile in Maori arts, the education sector and the community. Mrs Ellis has served New Zealand’s arts and cultural sector for many years and continues to have an active leadership role in arts and culture of Aotearoa.


Te Utanga-ki-Whangaparaoa Tautuhi (Ngati Ranginui, Ngai-te-rangi, Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Porou) is in his final year of completing a Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts at Te Putahi a Toi (School of Maori Art, Knowledge and Education). Through his work, Te Utanga hopes to inspire Maori people to uphold the tikanga and kawa of the various traditions in ahurea Maori (Maori culture).

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