Waiata Maori Awards Nominees Announced

September 2nd 2010
Ten artists from around New Zealand and Australia will be heading to Hawke’s Bay next week as finalists for the third annual National Waiata Maori Awards in Hastings on Friday 10 September.

The finalists were announced by awards executive director Tama Huata at a special launch event at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings on Thursday, August 26.

The launch was also used to introduce the 2010 Waiata Maori Awards ambassador, Taisha Tari, to present the awards' new television commercial and release details about the Awards Fashion Show, Maori Music Expo and Music Award Breakfast.

There are seven first-time finalists for the 2010 awards, which has pleased Mr Huata.

"We've got to keep encouraging more of our artists to record their music and now we see more people putting their albums forward for these awards, it's a sign they are recording more," Mr Huata said.

"And the Waiata Maori Awards are there to help them achieve that goal. I quite impressed with the finalists this year and really happy to see new talent come through."

Taisha, an award winner at the inaugural Waiata Maori Awards in 2008, said she's pleased to see new artists coming through.

"Some of the artists I know quite well and have been award winners before and it's lovely to see them come back but I am really interested in the new faces," she said.

"It can be quite daunting (submitting work for the awards) I had never put myself forward before and I won two awards ... it fills you with confidence, it sets you up and give you a really good platform."

Among the first-time finalists is Brisbane's Phatboy Pouet who works in pop/reggae/electronica genre and will be travelling from Australia for the awards.

He's contesting the Best Maori Male Solo Artist category and is up another first-timer, Auckland's Pieter T, as well as 2008 Waiata Maori Awards winner Young Sid (Best Maori Urban Artist).

Pieter T and Young Sid will also contest the Best Maori Urban RAP/Hip Hop/Rnb Album.

Three out of four female artists with connections to Ngati Kahungunu and Hawke's Bay are also first-time finalists.

Maisey Rika attended Hato Hohepa College (St Joseph's Maori Girls' College) in Taradale, Hawke's Bay, during the late 1990s and has been nominated alongside singers Toni Huata from Hastings, Susan Rose from Wairoa and Wellington-based artist Kirsten Te Rito, who is from Omahu, Hastings.

Rika, from Whakatane, won the Best Maori Female Solo Artist at the awards in 2009.

The Waiata Maori Awards each year also includes a Nominated Section, where judges and organisers elect people for four categories to recognise their contribution to the Maori music industry.

It includes the Maori Industry Award, Keeper of Tradition Awards, Lifetime Contribution To Maori Music Award and Iconic Maori Music Composers Award (historical).

The names of those nominated awards were also released at yesterday's launch and includes Whakatane man Nuki Waaka, who with his wife Marge formed the Maori Volcanics showband in 1964.

Mr Waaka lives in Australia now but will make the trip across the Tasman to receive his Nominated Award next month.

This year's awards event will also launch reggae as a new category to be added into next year's list of categories. To celebrate the addition, six-piece crew Sons Of Zion perform at the 2010 awards night.


For more information, go to: www.waiatamaoriawards.co.nz


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