Pop collective Te Kākano, and singer songwriter Amba Holly were the big winners at the Waiata Māori Music Awards in Hastings. Te Kākano took home a total of four awards, while Holly scooped two.
Accomplished Waikato-Tainui singer and songwriter Amba Holly took home Best Female Solo Artist and Best Songwriter. It’s the third time Holly’s been named Best Female Solo Artist, having won the category on both 2016 and 2017.
Te Kākano – a soul, pop, and R&B collaboration by Pere Wihongi (Maimoa), Mere Arihi Pipi-Takoko, Makaira Berry and Hamiora Tuari – took home Best Traditional Album (Te Reo Māori), Best Pop Artists and Best Song, for the Wihongi-penned ‘Tōrea’.
Wihongi also won Best Male Solo Artist for his work under his PERE moniker.
The awards were presented at a red-carpet cermony at Club Hastings, which included performances from Six60, Troy Kingi, and Theia.
Also acknowledged on the night were the Waiata Māori Music Awards Iconic recipients, who were named in August.
Two musicians were honoured posthumously with the Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music Award / Mauriora o Te Ao Pūoru Māori: Pixie Williams, singer of New Zealand’s first homegrown hit, ‘Blue Smoke’, and Abe Phillips, leader of popular Hastings band The Shadracks in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Kapa haka legend Trevor Horowaewae Maxwell, was acknowledged as a Keeper of Tradition / Kaitiaki Tikanga Pūoru.
The late Jarrod Huirama, sound engineer and music tutor at Kahurangi NZ Māori Dance Theatre and Takitimu Performing Arts School Trust, was honoured with the Contribution to Māori Music Industry Award / Ahumahi Pūoru.