Celebrating, developing and encouraging the diversity of all Māori music

Building the Māori music industry

The Waiata Māori Music Awards seek to ‘develop, encourage and honour the achievements of outstanding traditional and contemporary musical compositions and performances.’ The awards are unique and prestigious in their acknowledgement of Māori artists and individuals involved in the music industry.

Launched in 2007 to honour Sir Howard Morrison, Tommy Taurima and Missy, the Waiata Māori Music Awards' mission is to :

  • acknowledge and honour the keepers, teachers, promoters, creators and performers of Māori music
  • continue to develop and promote the diversity of all Māori music
  • showcase and celebrate the excellence of Māori music
  • recognise the unique vision of Māori composers and musicians
  • and enrich this rich cultural voice.

The first official Waiata Māori Awards Ceremony was in 2008 and since then they have become an annual celebration and a significant event in the Maori and New Zealand Music Industry calendars.

‘We are really looking to build the Māori music industry,' says CEO Tama Huata, 'It’s unique and we need to give people recognition… this is an opportunity to do that.’ 

The Awards

NZ On Air is pleased to support the awards through sponsoring the NZ On Air Best Music Video Award and the NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award which goes to the most-played song by a Māori artist in the last 12 months.

This year, for the second year in a row, the NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award winner is Stan Walker for his song Bulletproof. Bulletproof beat out songs by Benny Tipene and Sons Of Zion for the most-played award.

Stan is an incredible artist and leader in the Māori, New Zealand and Australian music industries. This year his te reo Māori song Aotearoa performed with Ria Hall, Maisey Rika and Troy Kingi, was a great success both musically and culturally. The song is a pop music sensation and is a huge step forward in getting te reo songs onto commercial radio and into the world. Debuting on the Top 20 NZ Singles chart at #1, Aotearoa is the first te reo Māori hit in 30 years (since the 1984 hit Poi E).

Earlier this year, Stan Walker’s duet with Ginny Blackmore, Holding You, entered the NZ Top 40 Singles chart at #1. The hit single went on to hold the top position on the NZ 40 Airplay chart for an amazing three consecutive months.

These songs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Stan Walker’s achievements and we wish to congratulate him on his success.

We also celebrate Sons of Zion on being awarded the NZ On Air Best Music Video Award for their video for their song Superman which was made by Shae Sterling.

Sons of Zion - Superman ft. Tomorrow People (Made by Shae Sterling)

Past winners of these awards include the wonderful Maisey Rika, Stan Walker, Ria Hall, Six60, and Tiki Taane.

We congratulate the finalists for these and other awards and in particular NZ On Air supported artists Tama Waipara, Sons Of Zion, Ria Hall, Majic and Tomorrow People.

The 2014 Waiata Māori Music Awards were held on Friday the 12th of September at the Hastings Sports Centre. They were a wonderful celebration of Māori music, artists and the industry.

What I love about the awards and Tama Huata’s vision is the fact that there is a firm belief and celebration in the future, whilst keeping a firm eye on the past.

— Taisha, artist and ambassador for the Waiata Māori Music Awards

Also funded by NZ On Air

Harry Parsons

February 2014

Harry Parsons

Harry Parsons — singer/songwriter from Waikato and overall winner of the solo/duo category of the Smokefree Rockquest 2013 — is on the road to a professional music career, with the release of his first single and video. 

Lizzie Marvelly

February 2014

Lizzie Marvelly

From Elizabeth Marvelly: classical crossover singer, to Lizzie Marvelly: pop singer/songwriter.