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Three iconic Māori artists will be honoured posthumously at the upcoming 10th annual Waiata Māori Music Awards in Hastings next Friday, September 15.
Celebrated 1970s singer Bunny Tekokiri Miha Wahi Walters will receive the Music Industry Award.  Walters (Ngāi Te Rangi) was born and raised in Katikati in the Bay of Plenty and his first single, Just Out of Reach was released in 1969. Three years later his single Brandy, featuring the Yandell sisters, was released. The song reached number four on the New Zealand pop charts, while another of Walters’ songs, Take the Money, reached number 2.  Walters was inspired by the artists of his day including The Drifters and Tom Jones and is remembered by those who loved his timeless music, as well as artists with whom he performed and influenced during his time.  Walters passed away in December last year.
Tainui waka performing arts stalwart Kiritokia e-te Tomairangi Adrianne Gail Paki is this year’s recipient of the Keeper of Tradition Award.  Paki, the sister of the Māori king, died in April of this year. In 2016 she was made a life member of the Tainui Cultural Trust for her contribution to kapa haka over four decades performing and tutoring Taniwharau.
Whanau of Canon Wiremu Te Tau Huata (CBE, QSO, MC) will accept the Music Composer’s Award on his behalf at Friday’s Awards ceremony. Huata (Ngati Kahungungu) was a New Zealand Anglican priest and military chaplain. Encouraged by Sir Apirana Ngata, a young Huata enlisted and served in WWII as part of the 28th New Zealand (Māori) Battalion and as a returned serviceman he composed many songs that have become Māori anthems, most notably his rendition of How Great Thou Art into Whakaaria mai.  Other songs he is famous for include Tutira Mai Ngā Iwi, Pā Mai and A.E.I.O.U.  In 2016, Whakaaria Mai, a special 60-minute stage production based on Huata’s life was staged in New Zealand. Huata passed away in 1991.
The iconic award recipients are selected by a special awards committee. All other awards categories are judged separately.