Internationally acclaimed haka soul musician Rob Ruha walked away with four trophies from his seven nominations at the 11th annual Waiata Māori Music Awards which were held in Hastings on Friday. Ruha’s wins for his latest album Survivance included Best Māori Male Solo Artist | Manu Tīoriori Tāne Autaia, Best Māori Traditional Album | Kōpae Mōteatea Hira, Best Māori Urban Artist | Kaipūoro Māori-Noho-Taone Autaia and Best Song by a Māori Artist | Waiata Māori for Kalega.
Trailblazing songstress Ria Hall, who released her pop album Rules of Engagement last year, was named Best Māori Female Solo Artist | Manu Tīoriori Wahine Autaia and singer/songwriter Seth Haapu won the Best Māori Songwriter | Kaitito Waiata Māori Autaia for his track New Wave. Elsewhere, Aotearoa’s heaviest metallers, Alien Weaponry, were awarded Best Music Video by a Māori Artist | Ataata Māori Hira o te Tau for their powerful single Kai Tangata.
Other award winners on the night included last year’s award winning Male Solo Artist Troy Kingi who this year took out the title for Best Māori Pop Album | Kaipūoru Māori for Shake That Skinny Ass All the Way To Zygertron while Wellington band Tomorrow People were awarded Best Roots, Reggae | Kōpaeroa Autaia Roots, Reggae for their album BBQ Reggae which went number one earlier this year, knocking Ed Sheeran off the top of the Kiwi album charts.
For the second year in a row, the unstoppable SIX60 took out Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist | Kōpae-Irirangi Kaipūoro Māori o te Tau, this year for their single Don’t Give It Up and Māori pop sensation Maimoa were awarded Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist in Te Reo Māori | Kōpae-Irirangi Kaipūoro Reo Māori o te Tau for their iconic pop hit Wairua.
Two Emerging Artists were also named by the awards this year: singer and rapper Ngatai Waretini won the Emerging Artist in the Under 25 category and Arona Maui was awarded in the Over 25 category for his soulful vocals.
There were also dual award honoured this year as Keepers of Tradition | Kaitiaka Tikanga Pūoro: renowned ta moko artist, Gisborne-based Arts Foundation Laureate Derek Lardelli who is very involved in kapa haka and who previously coached and led East Coast kapa haka group Whangara-mai-Tawhiti to become supreme winner at the national kapa haka championship; and Dame Georgina Kingi DNZM QSO, esteemed New Zealand educator and principal of Napier's St Joseph's Maori Girls' College.
Elsewhere, legendary Māori showband troubadour Monty Cowan was honoured with a special award for his Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music | Mauriora o Te Ao Pūoro Māori, the late House of Shem lead singer Carl Perkins was posthumously awarded the Music Industry Award | Ahumahi Pūoro and Ngatai Huata was granted the Music Composers Award (Historical) | Te Puna o te ki o nehe.
The 2018 Waiata Māori Music Awards winners are:
Best Māori Traditional Album | Kōpae Mōteatea Hira
Rob Ruha – Survivance
Best Māori Pop Album | Kaipūoru Māori Autaia
Troy Kingi - Shake That Skinny Ass All the Way to Zygertron
Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist in Te Reo Māori Award | Kōpae-Irirangi Kaipūoru Reo Māori o te Tau
Maimoa - Wairua
Radio Airplay Song of the Year by a Māori Artist | Kōpae-Irirangi Kaipūoru Māori o te Tau
SIX60 - Don't Give It Up
Best Music Video by a Māori Artist | Ataata Māori Hira o te Tau
Alien Weaponry – Kai Tangata
Best Māori Urban Artist or Artists | Kaipūoru Māori-Noho-Taone Autaia
Best Roots, Reggae | Kōpaeroa Autaia Roots, Reggae
Tomorrow People – BBQ Reggae
Best Māori Songwriter | Kaitito Waiata- Māori Autaia
Seth Haapu – New Wave
Best Māori Male Solo Artist | Manu Tīoriori Tāne Autaia
Best Māori Female Solo Artist | Manu Tīoriori Wahine Autaia
Best Song by a Māori Artist | Waiata Māori Hira
Rob Ruha - Kalega
Keeper of Tradition | Kaitiaki Tikanga Pūoru
Dame Georgina Kingi
Lifetime Contribution to Māori Music | Mauriora o Te Ao Pūoru Māori
Music Industry Award | Ahumahi Pūoru
Music Composers Award (Historical) | Te Puna o te ki o nehe