Local Stars Set to Shine Bright at Tauranga's New Matariki Art Awards

Friday 29 April 2022, 8:10AM

By Village PR


Event organiser Julie Paama-Pengelly.
Event organiser Julie Paama-Pengelly. Credit: Village PR


A prestigious awards night to celebrate the brightest artists who whakapapa to the iwi of Tauranga Moana will be held this June, as an inaugural Matariki event acknowledging the depth of artistic talent produced in the city. 

Event organiser Julie Paama-Pengelly, Chair of Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust, says tribal descendants of Tauranga Moana are amongst some of the country’s most revered artists across multiple disciplines. 

“The gala evening, Ngā Tohu Toi Mo Ngā Uri Iwi o Te Rohe o Tauranga Moana, is a chance to recognise the creatives from our rohe who have led the way in sharing our pūrākau (stories) through transformational art experiences and an opportunity to honour the significant contribution that this remarkable group of achievers have made,” she says. 

Hosted by a team of Community Creative Arts and Māori Development agencies, with a major award being supported by the Tauranga City Council, the event is to be held on Aotearoa’s first Matariki public holiday, Friday June 24th, at the city’s University of Waikato campus and is set to become an important annual Matariki event for Tauranga. 

“What better time to align our ‘stars’ and set out our future aspirations than on our national Matariki holiday,” says Paama-Pengelly. 

Uri o Tauranga Moana Iwi artists (those who whakapapa to Tauranga Moana) whose work spans disciplines as diverse as contribution to art education, leadership in visual arts, music and arts research have been carefully selected for the inaugural series of twelve awards that all bear names associated with the region. 

“It was important to us to locate the awards within our rohe and to ascribe names which speak to the whakapapa of Tauranga Moana. 

“These annual awards specifically recognise Māori who play a part in creating our regional identity and who take this out beyond our boundaries and in some cases, internationally. Each award winner is well deserved and widely acclaimed, and we are extremely excited to acknowledge them as our own,” says Paama-Pengelly. 

“We are thrilled that the Tauranga City Council has agreed to be a major sponsor of an ‘icon award’ which acknowledges significant contribution to a field of Māori arts knowledge, and we look forward to welcoming other community members with a desire to support and align themselves with Māori achievement in the arts,” she says.  

“We are also appreciative to the University of Waikato for their substantial support, in providing an elegant and fitting artistic backdrop to the evening event which will be held at the University’s Tauranga Moana campus.” 

While the council is the latest to join an impressive line-up of sponsors who have already committed to the project, Paama-Pengelly says further sponsors and patrons are invited to join Te Tuhi Mareikura in enabling specific awards that will honour and celebrate Māori artists that have achieved excellence in the arts.  

“Sponsors for the 2022 awards have the unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this annual event; to share with their networks, clients and whānau their contribution to enable a cluster of Māori creatives to shine bright,” says Paama-Pengelly. 

Ngā Tohu Toi Mo Nga Uri Iwi o Te Rohe o Tauranga Moana has been founded by Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust, a collective that aims to champion Māori arts distinctive ongoing contribution to our regional identity. 

“Te Tuhi Mareikura was set up in 2015 by a small group of Māori artists who wanted to raise the profile of iwi creatives and advance education opportunities in Māori arts.  

“Our goal is to build strong, sustainable and enduring relationships with organisations, groups and individuals within the rohe of Tauranga Moana to ensure the continued advancement and development of ngā toi māori - Māori arts, the wider creative community and art audiences,” says Paama-Pengelly. 

More information about the individual awards and sponsorship opportunities is available on the website for the event: or by email: 

A limited number of tickets to this exclusive evening will be released in the coming weeks and available to book via the website.