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Ngā Aho Whakaari Awards presented

Producer Desray Armstrong, recipient of Te Kai Ngakahi Melissa Wikaire Award
Desray Armstrong credits
Ngā Aho Whakaari presents $142k worth of awards


The annual conference, Hui-A-Tau, of the Māori screen organisation Ngā Aho Whakaari on Saturday March 16 resulted in these outcomes:


TVNZ Announces Changes to Getty Archive Deal

Due to concerns recently expressed by Ngā Aho Whakaari and the NZ Māori Council about the proposed sale of Māori footage from TVNZ archives to global media supplier Getty Images, TVNZ has today announced the following changes:

●      TVNZ’s collection remains in Aotearoa

●      Fully funded, dedicated Māori taonga will not be available for international sale through Getty Images

●      TVNZ to vest access of this material with a Māori body, which the Te Puni Kōkiri review will help determine


Ngā Aho Whakaari Toihau (Chair) Hineani Melbourne says: “We’re really excited for the people whose images and words were captured in all of those taonga programmes.

“We’re thankful to TVNZ for having another look at this licensing agreement and their willingness to change.

“We are also totally supportive of the Pasifika people’s quest to protect their archive.”

 Urgent Hui About Te Puni Kōkiri Māori Media Sector Review

The other current issue facing screen producers, the Te Puni Kōkiri Māori Media Sector Review, was aired with representatives from TPK, and due to the high level of interest and concern, two further hui were arranged:

Ngā Aho Whakaari will be holding two more in-depth consultation hui and urges members to attend.

Auckland Wednesday 27th March 3.30pm
St Columba Centre 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland

Rotorua Thursday 28th March 10.30am at at Tamatekapua Marae, Ohinemutu, Rotorua

$142,000 Worth of Financial Awards Presented


1.    3 x $10,000 Ngā Aho Whakaari/NZ Film Commission Aho Shorts pitch awards to:

Tajim Kapa for “Pati”. Dave Whitehead for “Tane Mahuta”. Maruia Jensen for “Soul Healing”

2.    $5000 Te Māngai Pāho Best TV/web series pitch award winner: Bridget Tapsell for “Hangi Pants”

3.    2x $2500 Te Māngai Pāho Best TV/web series runner-up awards (awarded spontaneously on the day in recognition of the excellent quality of the pitches). Recipients: Anaru Naden and Tamara Wharerau.

4.    $2000 Te Kai Ngakahi Melissa Wikaire Award to Desray Armstrong, producer Stray, The Watercooler, Wellington Paranormal, Ellen is Leaving.

5.    $20,000  - NZFC He Tohu Whakanui special acknowledgement award to Leo Koziol for his contribution to the industry in running the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, curating the Ngā Whanaunga Māori Shorts section of the NZ International Film Festival and Māori film selections for festivals around the world.

6.    $30,000 - NZFC He Tohu Whakanui special acknowledgement award to Kath Akuhata-Brown for her many years of active involvement in production, industry organisations and governance.

7.    $50,000 Te Aupounamu, the NZFC Māori in Screen Excellence Award went to Fred Renata for his excellence in cinematography throughout a long career. His work includes Mt Zion, Poi E: The Story of Our Song; Confessions of Prisoner T; Nights in the Gardens of Spain, 800 Words and Street Legal, for which he won Best Cinematography at the NZ Film & Television Awards.

VIP Guests at the Hui

Local stars Temuera Morrison, Rachel House, Sima Urale and Antonio Te Maioha provided often hilarious, always pertinent, actors’ perspectives and the international special guest, Anishinaabe filmmaker Michelle Derosier, who is a member of Migisi Sahgaigan First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, played a full part in the Hui as a panellist and an awards judge and was the star of a special feature interview on stage prior to the screening of her feature film, Angelique’s Isle, which was enthusiastically received by the audience.


Screening of Aho Shorts Winners From Last Year

Other highlights included the screening of the three Aho Short Film winners from last year’s hui, which have now been completed. One of these films, Ani, written and directed by Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu, is selected for competition at Berlinale 2019. Also screened were Yellow Roses by Paula Jones andby Awanui Simich-Pene.

 Photographs, video and podcasts from the Hui will be available at

The TVNZ announcement is here:




Photo is producer Desray Armstrong, recipient of Te
Kai Ngakahi Melissa Wikaire Award

Photo credit: Linda T.



Ngā Aho Whakaari Chair: Hineani Melbourne

Ph: 021 2429899

Ngā Aho Whakaari Hui-A-Tau publicist: Sue May, Kiriata
Publicity Ph 0274 739 318


Ngā Aho Whakaari is the national representative body for Māori working in screen production including film, television, digital and gaming in New Zealand. Our members range from actors, directors and independent production companies to presenters, producers, technicians, writers and broadcasting students and educators.

Ngā Aho Whakaari means the “strands of many visions” and encapsulates our representation of the many Māori who work within the industry, the diversity of our productions and our collective aspirations.

Ka whati te tai ka pao te tōrea    When the tide recedes, the oystercatcher strikes



Contact details:

Written by

Kiriata Publicity and Distribution

20 Mar 2019

Interests Kiriata Publicity operates as a specialist publicist of films in New Zealand, created and owned by film publicist Sue May.