Indigenous | Matariki Awards

Te Huihuinga o Matariki: A tribute to two Māori pioneers

Sir Sidney Hirini Moko Haerewa Mead & Emeritus Professor Dr Whatarangi Winiata honoured at 2022 Matariki Awards.

Māori leaders, musicians, entertainers, academics and entrepreneurs have been recognised for their outstanding achievements at the 2022 Matariki Awards. It's the sixth annual ceremony hosted by Whakaata Māori to highlight the contribution of inspirational Māori people.

Emeritus Professor Dr Whatarangi Winiata's accomplishments include the restoration of the Māori language amongst his people of Ngati Raukawa through initiatives such as Te Wānanaga o Raukawa, the protection of Treaty rights and as a co-founder the Māori Party.

“He was pleased that those who helped him were mentioned because those dreams would not have been fulfilled without them,” says Kimo Winiata, Whatarangi’s son.

“He mistakenly thought that two or three generations would come back to learn Māori, and he was surprised to see that only one generation came back. This surprised dad, how fast the language was dying and how hard it was to recover.

Summarising the extent of Sir Sidney Hirini Moko Haerewa Mead's work is impossible as a recipient of the lifetime achievement award. Within his own tribe of Ngāti Awa, he established education initiatives, led its Treaty claims and was an advisor of his people.

“The exhibition of Te Māori was seen by the world, they were intrigued, the world was intrigued, Māori were intrigued, Pākehā were intrigued,” said Tā Hirini Moko Mead.

He says the future is positive for Māori.

“I can see that, as we move forward, the negative thoughts, the evil deeds of the past, are falling off our backs. We are free to be Māori.”

Their legacy for the future is incomparable.