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Waiata Māori Music Awards 2019 winners announced

Story Published Monday 16 September 2019

The Waiata Māori Music Awards were presented last week at a red-carpet ceremony before an audience of stars and VIPs from the world of Māori music at Club Hastings.

Te Kākono, the group of young Māori artists who created the Te Reo compilation album Te Kākono were the most honoured, awarded Best Māori Traditional Album (Te Reo Māori), Best Maori Pop Artists and Best Song by a Māori Artist for the song Tōrea.

The winning song, Tōrea, was written by group member PERE, who won Best Māori Male Solo Artist in his first venture as a solo artist. PERE is also a member of the group Maimoa, which won Radio Airplay Song of the Year By a Māori Artist in Te Reo for their song Kawea.

This year is the third time Waikato-Tainui musician Amba Holly has won Best Māori Female Solo Artist. This year, she also took out the Best Māori Songwriter award.

Best Māori Urban Artist is 2013 APRA Silver Scroll finalist Tipene for his groundbreaking album Tautoko, while Best Roots Reggae Award went to Whanganui reggae band NLC.

Best Video of the Year by a Māori Artist went to LAB for their video Baby Will You Let Me

Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist went to Six60 for Vibes, who also performed at the ceremony.

And the Waiata Maori Music Awards Iconic recipients for 2019 were:
Trevor Horowaewae Maxwell - Keeper of Tradition | Kaitiaki Tikanga Pūoru
Jarrod Huirama - Music Industry Award | Ahumahi Pūoru
Abe Phillips - Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music | Mauriora o Te Ao Pūoru Māori
Pixie Williams - Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music | Mauriora o Te Ao Pūoru Māori

Now in its 12th year, the Waiata Māori Music Awards were established by composer, musician and teacher Tama Huata ONZM (Ngati Kahungunu), a renowned leader and champion of Māori music and performing arts.
Awards executive director Ellison Huata says, “The Waiata Māori Music Awards celebrate excellence in Māori music and acknowledge and honour the keepers, teachers, promoters, creators and performers of Māori music.”

Head to for a list of all the winners and photos of the evening.